Quarter 2: April 1-June 30, 2021
In this Issue:
  • Getthere Director Message: A Look in the Rearview Mirror as we Continue Driving Down the Highway
  • Volunteer Drivers are the Heart of Getthere
  • Join Getthere's Growing Team
  • Getthere Quarter Two Metrics
  • Transportation to Employment Program Awarded ARC Grant 
  • Transportation Assistance Goes Beyond Funding
  • Getthere Transportation to Employment Program Q1 & Q2 Key Performance Indicators
  • Getthere and ICF Partner to Bring the 511NY Kiosk to Chobani
  • How Do I Getthere? Travel Training Program Update
  • How COVID-19 Impacted Efforts to Provide Transportation to Healthcare
  • Getthere Announcements
  • Mobility Management & Transportation News
  • Rural Health Network News & Accouncements
  • Getthere Contact Information
A Look in the Rearview Mirror as we Continue Driving Down the Highway
By Bill Wagner, Getthere Director

The world of mobility and transportation has and continues to undergo tremendous growth and change. We’re grappling with the concept of private space travel, space travel for the masses, and space tourism. Every day we inch closer to seeing autonomous vehicles and other transportation technologies on our streets and roads.

Getthere continues to grow and change, too. On June 30th, Jack Salo retired as Executive Director of the Rural Health Network. It’s important to recognize and thank Jack for his role in the development of Getthere. It was Jack’s vision and incredible talent for recognizing unmet needs, identifying resources, and collaborating with community partners that lead to the birth of the solution based Getthere Mobility Management Program.

I recently stumbled on a copy of the Rural Health Network’s 2011-2012 annual report, the first report Getthere was included in. The report gave me pause and filled me with appreciation for what Jack created and what Getthere has grown into. We are proud of the amazing growth in the number of people benefiting from improved health access. Jack’s innovative approach, lead to Connection to Care (CTC), the Transportation to Employment Program (TEP), and our new comprehensive Travel Training Program. I am not sure if Jack’s vision back in 2011 is what Getthere has become today, but the improved health access and quality of life for so many people in South Central New York is exactly what Jack worked toward. The staff at Getthere would like to thank Jack and wish him the best.

As Getthere continues down the road of growth and innovation, we would also like to welcome the new Rural Health Network Executive Director, Mark Bordeau. We are excited to tap into Mark’s energy, excitement, and experience to continue the work that we do. Welcome Mark - buckle up, I’m sure there are more changes and growth on the road to come.
Volunteer Drivers are the Heart of Getthere

An older gentleman contacted Getthere’s Call Center after his doctor referred him to a Syracuse hospital for surgery. The man, not unlike many of the individuals that reach out to the Call Center, can no longer drive, does not have friends or family in the area able to transport him, and lives on a fixed income, making costly, unexpected trips difficult to budget for. He spoke with Getthere Mobility and Transportation Advocate (MTA) Roz DeRensis who was able to arrange a ride with a volunteer driver through the Volunteer Transportation Center (VTC).

The man spoke with Roz after his surgery and raved that his volunteer driver was exceptional, wore a mask, and that we should be very proud of her! He’s not alone - many of our clients report that riding with a volunteer driver feels like they’re traveling with a friend.

For many, the stress and anxiety leading up to an appointment or procedure is amplified by a lack of transportation. Without Getthere, individuals would not be able to make it to checkups, chronic disease management appointments, or vital surgeries.

Getthere is currently recruiting volunteer drivers to help our clients get to health care, food, prescriptions, and work. If you or someone you know is interested in becoming a volunteer driver, sign up through the Volunteer Transportation Center today! Volunteers transport people in their own community, make their own hours, and are reimbursed for mileage!
Join Getthere's Growing Team
Transportation Employment Associate

Getthere's Transportation to Employment Program is looking for a Transportation Employment Associate (TEA). The TEA is a hard-working self-starter that is empathetic and committed to making an immediate difference in the lives of community members through transportation to employment assistance.

Click here for the position description and click here to apply!

Mobility and Transportation Advocate (MTA)

If you are dedicated to helping others and enjoy working in a team environment, the Mobility and Transportation Advocate (MTA) position is right up your ally! MTAs assists people contacting the Getthere Call Center by exploring available transportation options and providing transportation assistance, support, and education. MTAs help older adults, people with disabilities, and lower-income individuals get to health care appointments and access food and prescriptions.

Click here for the full position description and click here to apply!
Getthere 2021 Q1 & Q2 Impact
Transportation to Employment Program Awarded ARC Grant

What began as a fledgling pilot project in the City of Binghamton only three short years ago has grown to encompass a six county region in South Central New York thanks to funding from the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC). Getthere is proud to announce that our Transportation to Employment Program (TEP) was selected by the ARC to provide transportation assistance, education, and support to individuals in Broome, Chenango, Cortland, Delaware, Otsego, and Tioga Counties.

The Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) is an economic development partnership agency of the federal government and 13 state governments focusing on 420 counties across the Appalachian Region. ARC’s mission is to innovate, partner, and invest to build community capacity and strengthen economic growth in Appalachia. Click here to learn more about the ARC.

Thank you to Southern Tier 8 for their guidance and support throughout the application process!
Transportation Assistance Goes Beyond Funding

Transportation to employment assistance doesn’t necessarily require a transit pass, taxi ride, or fuel card. Case in point: We were recently able to work with Mirabito to transfer one of our program participants who is employed at a Mirabito Convenience Store closer to their home. The move means that our participant will be close enough to bike to work without having to pay transportation costs, which will save hundreds of dollars each year.

Mobility management requires creative solutions to tricky transportation situations. Those solutions might mean transferring stores to work closer to home, as mentioned, or shifting schedules to accommodate transit riders or carpool arrangements.

Both employees and employers benefit when staff is able to safely, conveniently, and consistently get to work on time. Transportation to work costs can prevent quality job candidates from connecting with businesses in need of talent. Getthere’s Transportation to Employment Program (TEP) is committed to exploring and offering out of the box options through our transportation assistance, backup ride, carpool, and vanpool initiatives.
Transportation to Employment Program
Q1 & Q2 Key Performance Indicators

The Transportation to Employment Program (TEP) saw significance growth in the number of referrals and subsequently the number of people that received transportation assitance during quarter two of 2021. The chart below outlines TEP's key performance indicators, which include the number of referrals, the number of people receiving transportation assistance, and the number of people reaching 90-days of employment.
Our referral sources consist of human service and workforce development agencies, court and hospital systems, and employers and staffing agencies. TEP's goal is to help program participants build funds so that they are able to pay for the cost of their own transportation long-term in order to maintain their job and move towards financial stability.

Many people that want to work find themselves caught between a rock and a hard place when they're unable to accept or hold onto a job because they can't pay for the cost of transportation to get to work. In order to pay for transportation to work, people have to wait to receive a paycheck. TEP helps to close that gap through short-term transportation assitance. Asssistance is provided in the form of transit passes, private rides, a network of volunteer drivers, or fuel cards - used for a personal vehicle or carpool arrangement.
Getthere and ICF Partner to Bring the 511NY Kiosk to Chobani

Getthere and ICF, a consultant for the NYS Department of Transportation (DOT), delivered the 511NY Rideshare Kiosk to Chobani on July 28th. The kiosk allows Chobani employees to create a 511NY Rideshare account in order to search for carpool partners. Getthere can provide short-term transportation assistance to help ease the initial cost of fuel to-and-from work.

Click here to learn more about 511NY and create your own rideshare account.
Katie Blaine and Bill Wagner pose with the kiosk.
A Chobani employee tests the 511NY Kiosk.
How Do I Getthere?
Travel Training Program Update
By Kara Fisher, Mobility and Transportation Advocate

The past few months have seen a lot of progress for the “How Do I Getthere” Travel Training Program. It has been exciting to see each piece of the puzzle come together and start seeing the tools I have developed come to life.

In June, the first edition of the “How Do I Getthere” Guidebook was finalized and printed. After looking at the guidebook on screen for so long, it was nice to have the hard copy! This allowed me to complete training for the travel trainers who are now ready to begin training people in the community. The guidebook is one of the tools that will provide the eight travel trainers with the resources they need to train individuals with disabilities on transportation options in their area. This was made possible through the continued support of the Travel Training Advisory Council and funding from the New York State Developmental Disabilities Planning Council. 

We are in the process of developing videos for the trainers to use to supplement the material in the guidebook. Seeing the process from the beginning of writing the scripts to starting to film was both challenging and rewarding. It’s so motivating to know that the guidebook and videos will help trainees gain independence and become active members of their communities.
Kara Fisher and Bill Wagner chat with Brian Frey, of Brian Frey Productions, who is working with Getthere to create the "How Do I Getthere?" video series.

Special thanks to HTM MedTrans for allowing
Getthere to utilize their staff and vehicles for filming.
How COVID-19 Impacted Efforts to Provide Transportation to Healthcare

On July 23rd, Getthere Director Bill Wagner moderated Care Compass Network’s panel discussion 'How COVID-19 Impacted Efforts to Provide Transportation to Healthcare,’ which was introduced by Georgia Entwisle of Care Compass Network. Panelists included LeslieAnn Regan of Medical Answering Services, Ryan Tichenor of HTM MedTrans, Amber Simmons of Move Together NY, and Getthere’s own Julie Feheley. Panelists were asked to discuss how their organizations pivoted to meet the needs of their clients and customers during the pandemic, specifically highlighting changes in services.

Julie discussed Getthere’s commitment to ensuring clients felt safe while finding the most appropriate and equitable transportation solutions throughout the pandemic. Julie and other Mobility and Transportation Advocates (MTAs) helped manage expectations and ease the fears of callers by communicating the safety, cleaning, and social distancing protocols and guidelines of Getthere transportation partners.
Getthere was able to respond to the growing need for food and prescription delivery to individuals and families in quarantine, isolation, and those most at risk for COVID-19. This is a service that has continued and will remain a staple of CTC.

Shortly after the vaccine became available, Getthere began offering free transportation to vaccine sites throughout our five county region. Julie explained that Getthere was even able to partner with Tompkins County to transport their residents to a state-run Broome County vaccine site before local locations were made available.

Ciick here to watch a recording of the panel discussion.
Clockwise from the top left: LeslieAnn Regan, Medicaid Field Liaison, Medical Answering Services (MAS); Bill Wagner, Getthere Director, Rural Health Network; Amber Simmons, Regional Transportation Coordinator, Move Together NY; Georgia Entwistle, Manager of Workforce Development, Care Compass Network; Julie Feheley, Getthere Mobility and Transportation Advocate, Rural Health Network, and Ryan Tichenor, Partner, HTM MedTrans.
Getthere Announcements

  • If you are interested in mobility management, consider joining the Getthere/BMTS Bimonthly Advisory Board meeting on August 19th from 12noon until 1:30pm. The meeting will be help via Zoom using this link.

  • Listen to Getthere Director Bill Wagner on the Chenango Voice podcast here!

  • Referrals to Getthere's Transportation to Employment Program can be sumitted online! Click here to access the link.

  • Click here to see Getthere's flyer, which outlines each of our programs! If you would like flyers or rack cards mailed to your organization, please email Katie at kblaine@rhnscny.org.
Mobility Management & Transportation News

  • Bill Wagner, pictured to the right, presented to the Association for Commuter Transportation (ACT) International Conference's COVID Impacts to Healthcare Employer Commute on Tuesday, August 3rd.

  • The U.S. Department of Transportation's Federal Transit Administration (FTA) recently reported that transit rideship is rebounding in communities across the nation. To learn more click here.

  • New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo announced the availability of funds to support community-based investments designed to strengthen the cultural, aesthetic, and environmental aspects of local and regional transportation systems, while promoting safety and mobility. Click here for more information.
Rural Health Network News & Announcements

Getthere is a program of the Rural Health Network of South Central New York. The Network works to eliminate barriers between rural residents and the health care they need through a number of person centered programs.

  • Northern Broome CARES provides case management services to individuals 60 years and older in the Village of Whitney Point, and Towns of Lisle, Triangle, Barker and Nanticoke.  In partnership with Getthere, they offer free taxi rides in and around the Village of Whitney Point on Fridays after 12 noon. Staff is also available to help people register for COVID-19 vaccine appointments. Call (607) 352-4681 for more information!

  • 2021 marks the fifth year of the Food and Health Network's (FaHN) Fruit & Vegetable Prescription Program (FVRx)! The FVRx program allows health care providers to prescribe fruit and vegetables to patients experiencing diet-related chronic illnesses, and offers wrap-around support for transportation and education. Earlier this summer FaHN kicked off another season in collaboration with their health care and community partners, and a wide-range of local food retail partners across the region. This year FaHN is thrilled to work with over 400 individuals across four counties! For more information click here.

  • The Rural Health Service Corps has opened applications for the 2021 - 2022 AmeriCorps term. Part- and full-time positions are available with host site partners such as CHOW, Cortland Communities That Care, the Food and Health Network, Healthy Lifestyles Coalition, and more! Click here to learn about the opportunities and apply!

  • Read the latest edition of RHN's newsletter, Rural Matters here.
Getthere Contact Information

Getthere Call Center: (855) 373-4040
  • Available Monday through Friday from 7am until 7pm
Getthere Email: getthere@rhnscny.org
Getthere Website: https://gettherescny.org/
Getthere Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/GetthereMM/
Getthere is a program of the Rural Health Network of SCNY, Inc.