The Ralph H. Johnson VA Medical Center is in need of volunteer drivers in Charleston, Myrtle Beach, Beaufort, and Savannah and Hinesville, Georgia, to help transport Veteran patients to and from their medical appointments.
Many Veterans served by Charleston VAMC have difficulty securing rides to the medical center for scheduled appointments. The Volunteer Transportation Network (VTN) tries to fill that gap by providing Veterans with free transportation to VA medical care. The service, staffed by volunteer drivers, is now in immediate need of more drivers.
“Our Veterans who live far from the medical center, who have a medical condition that prevents them from driving, or who simply do not have the means to secure a ride, depend on the generosity of our communities and the volunteers who drive our VTN vans,” said Community Engagement and Veteran Experience Service Chief Fred Lesinski. “These volunteer drivers make it possible for Veterans to maintain critical appointments that contribute to their overall health care goals.”
The volunteers drive vans donated to the medical center by the Disabled American Veterans (DAV) and other organizations, and then they transport the Veterans from their homes or pickup points to the VAMC or surrounding clinics. The service covers the entire catchment area of Charleston VAMC, from Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, down the coast all the way to Hinesville, Georgia. On average, Charleston VA’s transportation network assists more than 800 Veterans per month.
To drive, volunteers must meet some criteria that includes a general health screening and physical, a volunteer application, driver training and a clean driving record.
Anyone who would like to volunteer should contact the Ralph H. Johnson VAMC Voluntary Service Department at (843) 789-723 or visit https://www.charleston.va.gov/giving/volunteer.asp for more information.