Making an Impact

In the Making an Impact series, clients and services are featured to expand awareness of the wide array of help available at JFS and to ensure donors understand exactly what their dollars do: the lives they touch, and the difference they make throughout the community. Client names have been changed to protect their confidentiality.

Earl is a client through JFS’s UCare program. Earl has end stage renal disease, which means his kidneys are barely functioning and he needs to go to outpatient dialysis every other day. Earl was using a free transportation service that UCare provides specifically for clients attending medical appointments. UCare contracts this service with the local taxi companies, which means that there is no guarantee for which driver you’ll get or what type of vehicle. Earl needed wheelchair accessible rides and assistance with getting in and out of the car due to his limited mobility and the weakness he experienced after his dialysis, which the transportation service was not able to provide. Earl and his family grew frustrated by these limitations, and by the unprofessional, often late, service. Occasionally, the taxi simply didn’t show up. All too many times the family would have to drop what they were doing and physically lift Earl into their own inaccessible vehicle to ensure he got this crucial treatment every other day.

After many conversations with UCare and the transportation department, Miley, Earl’s JFS UCare Care Coordinator, learned that they could potentially authorize the client to receive his own modified vehicle. This would be ideal since his family was already bringing him to dialysis most of the time.

However, getting a modified vehicle for the client turned out to be a more difficult process than expected. Miley reached out to multiple people at UCare, but no one could say just how to get it approved through the Elderly Waiver – none of the people she spoke with had ever authorized this type of request before and didn’t know who the correct person to refer her to would be.

In the meantime, Earl’s son was reaching out to mobility companies and found a used modified vehicle that would be perfect for them. He got a quote and called Miley to discuss the next steps. Ultimately, Miley and the family decided to send the request and the quote into UCare to see what would happen. Perhaps the request would be denied, but at least they would have a contact person to start discussing the process with.

Three weeks later Miley received Earl’s daily authorization report, which marked the request as “approved”. Earl and his family were elated when they heard the news and are now working with the company to bring it home. This was an enormous success for Earl and his family, who now have a consistent way to get Earl to and from his vital treatments.