KidOne provides free transportations

Published 10:06 pm Wednesday, September 1, 2004

By By Anna M. Lee
After years of fundraising and team work, KidOne – a program to provide free transportation for children to and from medical appointments – will soon be available to families in Escambia County.
"We're really excited and see this as a real opportunity for children and mothers," said Ruth Harrell with the Coalition for a Healthier Escambia County. Harrell said that operating funds have been secured for the first year of operating KidOne in Escambia, Conecuh and Monroe counties, and drivers are now being recruited. Transportation could be available as soon as mid-September.
The campaign to bring KidOne to this area began about three years ago with pediatrician Dr. Marsha Raulerson and Cindy Waldrep with All Children Together, a Brewton organization of women who work on projects and raise money to benefit the children of this area. With KidOne transportation – based in Birmingham – children in the county could be taken for medical or dental care with only a call to the Birmingham office to arrange transportation, or mothers of newborns in ICU would have transportation to
the hospital several times per week.
According to KidOne, there are 100,000 children in Alabama who live in a home with no car. Escambia County is home to 1,314 of those children, according to 2000 Census data. "When the case for families is that they need to go into another facility a long distance away, the one thing they don't need to worry about is transportation if they do not have it. KidOne Transport will give peace and reassurance to families," Waldrep said.
"When a child is from the age 0-5, their health care issues happen quickly, so you have to react quickly to improve quality of living during this important time. KidOne will be helping this special age from 0-5," said Vicki Fussell with Hope Place Family Resource Center.
KidOne serves children under the age of 19 and pregnant mothers in Alabama who do not have transportation to medical care. Eligible patients can request transportation to any facility that will better them mentally, medically and physically, regardless of the distance. These include doctors, clinics and hospitals, dentists and counseling services. Common referrals to Kid One are made by physicians, neighbors, non-profit agencies serving children, social workers, school counselors/nurses, state agencies and
family members.
The annual cost of a KiOne van is $48,000. This includes the cost of the vehicle, its fuel and operation. Every dollar generated in the Tri-County Region – including Escambia, Conecuh and Monroe counties – will stay in these three counties to benefit its citizens. KidOne is always looking to collaborate with existing transit providers to help meet the need. "It is such a shame that some children are not able to access medical care when
they become ill," Raulerson said. "We have such wonderful medical facilities in her in the Tri-County Region such as D.W. McMillan Memorial Hospital, Monroe County Hospital, Evergreen Medical Center and Atmore Community Hospital."

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