Ride Connection

Ride Connection moved into a new facility at Gateway this fall.

One could be forgiven for thinking that the myriad forms of transportation available in the Portland area would combine to serve the needs of all its citizens. There’s Trimet: the busses, Max, the streetcar, their LIFT program for people with mobility challenges. We have by-the-minute Smart Car rental, and an all-season thriving bicycle culture.

For dialysis patients, though, these options are often unavailable or impractical due to an uncertainty about release times at the end of treatment sessions. This is the unique problem that Ride Connection set out to solve.

Already charged with a mission to provide transportation for older adults and people with disabilities, they are currently expanding their network of volunteer drivers to specifically recruit drivers for dialysis patients. Lydia Corran is the Development and Outreach Specialist who was able to put us in touch with two members of that committee.

Elizabeth Kembel is a dialysis patient who was part of the program from the beginning, including participation in the focus groups that brought the initiative to fruition. Troyce Crucchiola is a dialysis patient, too, and an advocate for the renal community. They spoke with me about the time challenges that dialysis patients face, and how this new free service could be a life-changing asset for kidney transplant patients.

Ride Connection relies heavily on volunteer drivers to administer its transportation programs.

Ride Connection relies heavily on volunteer drivers to administer its transportation programs.

Monday:  Highlighting the unique commuting needs of dialysis patients.
Tuesday:  Stories from a patient who joined Ride Connection to help make the program a reality.
Wednesday: Why this program is so critical for this unique population.
Thursday: How the program supplements and enhances existing options in Multnomah County.
Friday: How the program means to provide both a cost and a time savings for those affected.

Joe Barrett

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