CareLink Health Transportation Launched Across Erie St. Clair

October 2, 2014

(CHATHAM-KENT) – Health transportation in Erie St. Clair has a new name, and that name is CareLink. Eight agencies from across the region have come together to create a simplified and integrated system that will let clients call a single phone number (1-855-728-1433). Thanks to an investment of $1 million by the Erie St. Clair Local Health Integration Network (LHIN), accessing transportation services for health needs has become easier for residents living in Sarnia/Lambton, Chatham-Kent, and Windsor/Essex and has enabled LHIN-funded agencies to purchase 18 new vehicles.

CareLink vehicles are branded with a similar look and feel, while still maintaining the designs of the partner agencies. Through hard work and a commitment to improving the patient experience, this co-operative effort saw all of the Erie St. Clair LHIN-funded agencies play an important role in bringing this initiative to life. The partners include:

  • Lambton Elderly Outreach
  • Family Service Kent (CHAP)
  • Canadian Red Cross
  • Windsor-Essex Community Transit (WECT)
    • Led by the Community Support Centre of Essex County
    • Essex Community Services
    • Amherstburg Community Services
    • South Essex Community Council
    • Life After Fifty

The Erie St. Clair LHIN has made transportation services a priority and this investment is an important step towards addressing the challenges of timely, efficient, equitable, and appropriate local health transportation services – specifically to ensure seniors and other vulnerable populations are able to access health services in their community. This will help enable seniors to live at home longer, reduce the dependency on hospital resources, and deliver a better health care system for all local residents.

Another important barrier the health transportation solution helps to break down is one of rural verses urban access. By ensuring that all of the partners are working together under one centrally coordinated system, residents are no longer impeded by municipal borders or living in rural areas. Ultimately, this means that people are better able to access care where they need it and when they need it.

To access health transportation services in your community, please contact CareLink at 1-855-728-1433.

QUOTES

“Transportation is a fundamental element to ensuring access to health care services. The CareLink Health Transportation program is one way that we are ensuring more of our residents, including seniors, will continue to access the health care services they need to live at home.”
—  Gary Switzer, CEO, Erie St. Clair LHIN

“Collaboration of 8 organizations and the support of the LHIN has ensured that people have access. Transportation ranked the highest priority among people in recent surveys. I am thrilled with the outcomes of our work.”
— Tracey Bailey, Executive Director, Community Support Centre of Essex County

“Lambton Elderly Outreach has recently been provided with six new wheelchair accessible vans.  These vehicles were generously provided by the Erie St. Clair Local Health Integration Network (LHIN), and will allow us to retire vehicles from our aging fleet, thus reducing our overall maintenance costs. This replacement will assist us to continue to provide the quality transportation service that our clients have come to expect and help maintain our low user fees for our clients in Lambton County.”
— Agnes Soulard, Executive Director, Lambton Elderly Outreach Inc.

“We have appreciated the opportunity to work closely with the ESC LHIN and our community partners in moving forward with this important initiative.  Throughout the process, the guiding force has been a mutual commitment to the enhancement of service delivery for those who rely on our organizations for assistance.  With the launch of CareLink Health Transit, I am certain we will collectively realize the positive outcomes we set out to achieve.”
— Brad Davis, Executive Director, Family Service Kent (CHAP Program)

“The Erie St. Clair LHIN Transportation initiative, CareLink, aligns well with the Canadian Red Cross mission to improve the lives of vulnerable people.  Increased partnership and networking has been an outcome of this committee’s work over the past year, and is indicative of the caring and thoughtful approach that each member and agency brings to our communities.  Sharing our knowledge and expertise encourages efficiencies and ensures each client receives Better Care, Better Experiences, Better Value.”
— Cheryl Tompkins, Senior Manager CSS Programs, Canadian Red Cross


QUICK FACTS

  • Vehicle distribution
    • Lambton Elderly Outreach: 6 vehicles
    • Family Service Kent (CHAP): 2 vehicles
    • Canadian Red Cross: 7 vehicles
    • Windsor-Essex Community Transit (WECT): 3 vehicles
  • Erie St. Clair LHIN services the regions of Chatham-Kent, Sarnia/Lambton and Windsor/Essex which includes over 640,000 people
  • LHIN Physical Size in Square KMs: 
    Lambton 3001, Essex 1775, Chatham-Kent 2458. Total 7234