Forest Park, IL—Cook County Department of Public Health (CCDPH) today launched its “Destination: Vaccination” program, which will provide free rides to many vaccination locations throughout suburban Cook County. The program will enable individuals with limited mobility or transportation issues to easily get vaccinated, removing a key barrier for many residents.
“Transportation is a critical barrier for those in traditionally underserved communities. We want to eliminate this barrier for residents who otherwise want to receive vaccinations,” said Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle.
“Destination: Vaccination” is a partnership between CCDPH, Kaizen Health, and several Community Based Organizations (CBOs), to provide transportation for residents who need assistance getting to nearby vaccination clinics.
“We are providing additional access, education and outreach to encourage more individuals to receive the vaccination, but many barriers still exist. This partnership is an effort to bridge a gap that has continues to impact individual access to healthcare,” said Israel Rocha, CEO of Cook County Health. “We thank Kaizen and our CBOs for this partnership to help us provide a life-saving vaccine to Cook County residents.”
Residents who need a ride to a vaccination location can call 833-308-1988 to schedule a ride. The program is open to suburban Cook County residents, as well as Chicago residents who wish to utilize a Cook County Health location within the city. Kaizen can provide vehicles to accommodate most residents, including those in wheelchairs or those who require child seats. Though advanced scheduling is preferred, residents can call for a ride and one should arrive between 30 and 60 minutes, depending on time of day and fleet availability. This service is provided at no cost.
“Transportation is a significant gap in the delivery of health care for so many residents, and as we see COVID-19 case counts rising again, we are honored to be part of this partnership to offer this service to our neighbors at precisely the right time,” said Kaizen Health CEO Mindi Knebel. “We know through our work that the vulnerable often forgo their healthcare needs due to logistical barriers. If assistance is provided; we know that we can bridge that divide as we have been doing for the last five years.”
CBOs assisting in the program include: Access to Care, Center of Concern, Family Christian Health Center, Next Move Community Services, PASO Action, Pathlights, Seasons Community Outreach Services, and Sisters Working It Out.
“Public Health is healthy communities and these CBOs and so many others have been a valuable resource in helping CCDPH reach people in all corners of the county,” said Dr. Kiran Joshi, Senior Medical Officer and Co-Lead of Cook County Department of Public Health. “We continue to see low vaccine uptake in several communities and are aggressively employing tactics to educate people, to answer questions, to combat misinformation and to remove barriers to care throughout Cook County. ‘Destination: Vaccination’ is a great model of public health in the community.”
About Kaizen Health
Kaizen Health is a healthcare logistics company working to continuously improve community access to healthcare by providing by bringing together transportation options for everyone. Kaizen Health is dedicated to building diverse transportation networks and developing the technology to power those networks to improve access to healthcare, improving patient experience and to give back valuable staff hours to healthcare providers. To learn more, visit: kaizenhealth.org