The new Blythe Wellness Express service was selected for grant funding through the FTA’s Rides to Wellness Program. This service will increase access to preventative healthcare for Blythe area residents by providing transportation over 85 miles from Blythe, CA. to The Coachella Valley three times a week for medical appointments. The Blythe Wellness Express is one of two projects selected for funding in California and one of 19 nationwide.
Riverside County Transportation Commission applied for the grant in partnership with Palo Verde Valley Transit Agency for $185,753 to implement the Blythe Wellness Express. This travel navigator/mobility management coordination project will address access to services in an underserved area and involve staff from the public transit agency, healthcare providers and community volunteers. This project will provide an evaluation piece will document health-related outcomes.
Read more about the Blythe Wellness Express service here.
Additional funding partners are Palo Verde Hospital, Community Improvement Fund, 4th District Riverside County Supervisor John Benoit, and the Independent Living Partnership. Support of this project also includes; US Congressman Raul Ruiz, CA State Senator Jeff Stone, the City of Blythe, Blythe Police Department, Blythe Chamber of Commerce, Riverside University Healthcare System, Sheltering Wings, Escuela De La Raza Unida, First Southern Baptist Church of Blythe, Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG), Coachella Valley Association of Governments (CVAG), Sunline Transit Agency and the RCTC Citizen Advisory Committee.
This grant is part of the FTA’s Rides to Wellness Demonstration and Innovative Coordinated Access and Mobility Grants program. This program emphasizes public transportation as a strategy for people to access non-emergency healthcare, resulting in better health, fewer hospital visits and lower costs. The initiative focuses on improving the health of those with chronic conditions and ensuring that at-risk populations can get to wellness appointments, healthy food, and community services.