Livingston County is undertaking a collaborative partnership intended to increase access to healthcare services.

The Livingston Essential Transportation Service is planning on launching a new healthcare focused transportation service this fall following a multi-year commitment from three area health providers. The 3-year, $318,000 funding agreement comes from Ascension Providence Hospital, Michigan Medicine and Saint Joseph Mercy Health System. The proposed door-to-door transportation service will specifically focus on transportation to and from medical appointments, pharmacy visits and other health-related activities. Healthcare integration and transportation were rated as high-priority issues in the Health Department’s Community Health Improvement Plan.

The effort will allow LETS to add two new wheelchair-accessible, full-size vans and two full-time drivers to their fleet. The service is eligible for federal and state transportation grants that will be matched by $106,000 in annual contributions from Ascension, Michigan Medicine and St. Joe’s. That, in turn, is expected to leverage an additional $130,000 in operating grant revenue. Capital costs for the two vans will be funded entirely by state and federal grants in the amount of $150,000.

A resolution to accept funding for the transportation service will be presented to the county’s General Government and Health & Human Services Committee this Monday by LETS director Greg Kellogg. If given final approval by the Board of Commissioners, the service is expected to begin in October. Additional details are posted below. (JK)