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2002 Press Releases
Morton Plant Hospital's CareVan Expands Service Area

CLEARWATER, Fla. (October 2, 2002)---Patients and visitors now have more access to CareVan, Morton Plant Hospital's free van transportation service. Recently CareVan expanded its service area for ambulatory patients and visitors needing a ride to or from Morton Plant Hospital and the Turley Family Health Center. Van service now extends to 8th Ave. S.W. in Harbor Bluffs (including Pinecrest Place), east to Starkey Rd., and then along East Bay Blvd to U.S. 19.

Since 2000, the Morton Plant Auxiliary has operated two vans providing an average of 400 transports per month. Patients may ride alone or can be accompanied by a family member. To be eligible for the service riders need to be able to enter and exit the van without assistance, live within the defined boundaries for the service and be destined to one of the designated drop-off points. Operating Monday through Friday, from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., CareVan is 100 percent staffed with specially trained volunteers and funded by the Auxiliary.

"Transportation services can literally be a lifeline for patients who might not otherwise follow through with medical appointments and therapy treatments," said Bill Clarke, president, Morton Plant Hospital Auxiliary. "Before the van transportation was offered, riders were forced to use taxis, averaging $12 to18 per trip."Also CareVan service now extends to communities east of U.S. Highway 19 between Seville Blvd. and Haines Bayshore Rd. This includes residents of CoveCay, Bay Aristocrat Village, Imperial Cove, Bayside Apartments, Japanese Gardens, Seville Apartments and BayCove.

For information about this free service or to offer assistance as a volunteer driver, aide or dispatcher, call 727/461-8548.

Established in 1916, Morton Plant Hospital is a 687-bed facility dedicated to improving the health of all it serves through community-owned health services that set the standard for high quality, compassionate care. In the May/June 2002 issue of AARP Modern Maturity, Morton Plant Hospital was named one of America's 50 Top Hospitals and a Solucient Top 100 Cardiovascular Hospital for the fourth consecutive year in 2001. Morton Plant Hospital has more than 50 specialty areas of service including cancer treatment, cardiovascular medicine, behavioral health, neurosciences, emergency care, surgery services, women's health, rehabilitation and orthopaedics. Morton Plant Hospital is located at 300 Pinellas Street, Clearwater, Fla., (727) 462-7000.

Contact: Phoebe Ochman/Beth Hardy

MPMHC News Bureau

727 / 461-8117 Phone

727 / 468-7586 Pager