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New program helps residents to get to medical appointments

Boundary area residents who need assistance when travelling to medical appointments will be able to get there easier with the new volunteer driver program.

Interior Health is pleased to announce it has entered into a contract with the Boundary Hospice Association to offer a formalized program in the region.

“Volunteers are the heartbeat of our communities and I’m very pleased that a volunteer driver program is now available to Boundary residents,” said Boundary-Similkameen MLA John Slater. “This program provides a reliable, personal and flexible option for those who need to travel for medical reasons.”

The Boundary Volunteer driver program begins operations on Nov. 1 and is available to residents in Grand Forks and the Boundary area (Rock Creek to Christina Lake, Bridesville, West Bridge and Beaverdell) when travelling to medical appointments within their community or to specialist appointments in Trail, Nelson, Kelowna and Penticton.

“The Hospice Association is very excited to formally offer this program,” said Hospice Association Chair, Daniel VonBank. “We’ve been running an ad hoc program for a number of years, and we’ve worked closely with Interior Health and the Castlegar Community Services Society, which also offers a volunteer driver program, to develop a more formalized program that will better serve our residents and our volunteers.”

Interested residents are referred to the program by their medical practitioner or community support worker. Financial assistance is available for those in need through a referral to the BC Travel Assistance Program.

“Interior Health has been looking into options for the Boundary area and a volunteer driver program is the best fit,” said Interior Health’s Director of Medical Affairs and Clinical Networks, Kelly Murphy. “A volunteer driver program offers flexibility as drivers can be arranged to accommodate client’s needs.”

For more information please call the Volunteer Driver Program at 250-584-4618. Brochures are available at Boundary Community Hospice Association office and all Boundary area doctors’ offices.