New program provides free rides to medical appointments

ATLANTA — CVS and Uber have partnered for a new health initiative to help people who live in the 30318 ZIP code in northwest Atlanta.

Channel 2′s Kristen Holloway spoke to a resident who has been using the transportation service and calls it a life-saver.

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Deslin Pandolph typically goes Good Samaritan Health Center for her medical and dental needs, but after a recent car accident she lost her car and is still in a lot of pain. She said the health zone initiative allows her to continue her treatment.

“Prior to this I wouldn’t get out at all. I was really sick at one point,” she said.

Pandolph said she is grateful that CVS Heath and Uber Health collaborated this month to give free rides to Atlanta residents in need.

“This makes this a very invaluable service. I love it and I’m absolutely grateful for it,” she said.

Pandolph told Holloway that having free transportation to and from Good Samaritan twice a month for her medical and dental appointments makes a huge difference.

“Without the rides, I think I’ll be home and really sick and not have medical attention without the rides coming to pick me up and bring me here,” she said.

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Eileen Boone, senior VP for corporate social responsibility and philanthropy at CVS, said this is a five-year initiative, and the goal is to give residents like Pandolph a ride to take care of more than just their heath care needs.

“Primarily, we’re talking about housing education, access to food, transportation, access to healthcare services, and in Atlanta, we’re focusing on an a predominantly African-American population over the age 60 in the ZIP code 30318,” Boone said.

Boone said there’s a reason they chose to partner with Uber Health.

“Transportation was the number one issue, so with our partners with Good Samaritan and others, we are using Uber Health to help our patients get to important medical appointments and screenings,” she said.

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Holloway was told the goal in the first year is to give 6,000 rides to residents. If you live in the 30318 ZIP code, call 404-523-6571 for assistance.

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