For the past two-years the Branch County Commission on Aging (BCCOA) has been raising funds for a much needed mini-van to transport Branch County senior citizens through the Medical Transportation Program. Recently, the Branch County Community Foundation has stepped up to make the purchase possible with the largest donation for the van.
“Medical transportation for seniors is an important part of the Commission on Aging. Recognizing the need in the community for this service, we are pleased that we could award them with a grant for $2600,” said Colleen Knight, president and CEO of Branch County Community Foundation, “The Branch County Commission on Aging provides valuable resources for seniors, and this grant helps fulfill our mission to partner with the local agencies to make them stronger.”
The Branch County COA Medical Transportation Program offers rides to doctor appointments to any Branch County resident age 60+. The van is driven by trained senior volunteers who pick up an older adult at their home, transport them to a medical office, wait for them and return them to their home. The van travels as far away as Ft. Wayne, Battle Creek, Ann Arbor, Kalamazoo, Lansing and other locations. The program is run with state and federal grant funds, as well as local county millage funds and participant donations.
“Transportation to medical appointments is critical to good quality of life for seniors. Branch County is so fortunate to have the Branch County Community Foundation to supports residents from youth programs to senior services,” said Amy Duff, executive director of the BCCOA.
The COA is also looking for volunteer van drivers to assist with this program, if you’re interested call 279-6565 and ask for Sarah. For additional information about the medical transportation program, please call 279-6565 or go to BCCOA’s website www.burnsidecenter.com.