Volunteer drivers sought for senior med transport

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Post Independent |

A program to provide transportation for seniors going to nonemergency medical appointments is working to bolster its volunteer force and break out of what one organizer called its uneven nature.

DASH — Drivers Assisting Seniors for Health — operates in Eagle and Pitkin counties, but has been scratching by with fewer than five volunteers. Garfield County offers a Traveler van service, but many seniors with appointments in Glenwood Springs live in El Jebel or Basalt.

The effort to boost DASH by seeking individuals to drive and companies that will support employee volunteer time is an outgrowth of this year’s Roaring Fork Leadership class.

Leadership class members Karen Schroyer, district ranger for the Forest Service’s Aspen-Snowmass district, and Kirsten Michel, a writer and events specialist, partnered for their civic project that’s part of the class.

Roaring Fork Leadership runs from August through May each year with monthly meetings on topics including communication, collaboration, civic engagement and community decision making, emotional intelligence and more.

Participants also work on civic projects, which have included working with Habitat for Humanity, Garfield County libraries, Roaring Fork schools Enrichment Wednesday programs and many more.

Schroyer and Michel, working with Christy Doyon in the Eagle County Public Health Department, decided their project would be to build reliability for DASH. They are working to get 10 employers to commit a certain number of hours to fill with worker volunteer time, plus raising awareness to get individual volunteers.

Schroyer said building the volunteer base and publicity associated with the effort is expected to increase demand as awareness rises.

Volunteers do not need a commercial driver’s license and are not drug tested. They must own their own car and have insurance, and submit to a background check. Volunteers are eligible for mileage reimbursement.

If you are interested in volunteering, email or call Doyon at 970-328-7682 or Mary Barbour in Pitkin County at 970-920-5432.

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