Volunteer Group Provides Transportation to Medical Appointments
In a weekend feature story, the Los Angeles Times profiles Friends in Service Here, or FISH, a "loosely organized international" charity that pairs volunteer drivers with those requiring transportation "almost exclusively for medical treatment." Staffed mostly by volunteers, each local chapter operates independently and on a "shoestring budget," the Times reports. The Fullerton, Calif., chapter featured in the Times began in 1972, has an annual budget of $12,000 and employs one part-time worker to coordinate the driving schedule. To arrange a ride, clients, who for "reasons of age or infirmity" cannot drive, call a central number and place a request. Volunteer dispatchers then match the requests against a list of about 60 available volunteer drivers and make an assignment. Jim Patrick, president of the Fullerton chapter, said, "There are about 50 people on our list right now that we consider active clients. It varies during the course of the year. We may serve on the order of 200 different people" (Martelle, Los Angeles Times, 7/29).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.