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PALMER — Baystate Wing Hospital and Quaboag Valley Community Development Corp. (QVCDC) announced the funding of a new Quaboag Connector van dedicated to providing transportation to convenient-care and primary-care services for residents living in the towns currently served by the Quaboag Connector. The curb-to-curb service will provide non-emergency medical transportation, allowing patients to request rides to and from medical appointments at Baystate Wing Hospital facilities.

“We are proud to continue to partner with the QVCDC and transportation experts in our region to create solutions that address transportation barriers to healthcare for our community members served by Baystate Wing Hospital,” said Molly Gray, president and chief administrative officer of Baystate Wing Hospital. “Transportation issues are not unique to our region, but our collaborative work to find solutions to help meet these needs has led to creative and successful local solutions.”

Transportation challenges affect both rural and urban communities. According to the American Hospital Assoc., each year, 3.6 million people in the U.S. do not obtain medical care due to transportation issues.

Since 2017, Baystate Wing Hospital and medical staff have invested $210,000 in the Quaboag Connector in response to regional needs for safe and reliable transportation services in the Quaboag Hills region. This service provides community members transportation to employment, education, healthcare, workforce training, shopping, and benefit services within and outside the region. This newest addition to the connector fleet reflects Baystate Wing Hospital’s investment of $65,000 for the purchase of the Convenient Care van, and an additional $155,000 annually to cover operational costs of the new van service, all with a focus on access to healthcare in the region.

Convenient Care, an extension of Baystate Primary Care in Palmer, is dedicated to meeting the same-day urgent-care needs of community members through a collaboration with primary-care, specialty-care, and ancillary providers.

The Quaboag Connector Convenient Care van will serve the communities of Ware and Warren; additionally, services will be made available to patients living in the communities of the Quaboag region, which include Belchertown, Hardwick, Palmer, Monson, West Brookfield, Brookfield, and East Brookfield. The Quaboag Connector Convenient Care van will operate Monday through Saturday. All ride requests must to be made by calling (413) 544-3401. For more information, visit www.rideconnector.org.

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