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Child Health Transportation Initiative

Child Health Transportation Initiative

Children’s Health Fund is working to help low-income families overcome a major obstacle to care – lack of transportation to doctors’ offices and hospitals. Leadership support for the Child Health Transportation Initiative is provided by the Kresge Foundation.

Lack of transportation is a serious challenge for many low-income families that need health care. A 2006 Child Health Transportation Survey, conducted in collaboration with The Marist College Institute for Public Opinion, found that:

  • 39% of US residents do not have public transportation in their community.
  • 75% of residents in rural communities do not have public transportation access.
  • Each year, nearly 3 million children miss at least one health care appointment because of transportation restrictions.
  • Most of these children miss two or more health appointments.
  • One-third of these children later require emergency room care.

The Child Health Transportation Initiative is working to overcome these barriers through research, public education and advocacy. The Mississippi Children’s Health Project conducted a successful child health care pilot transportation projects that yielded valuable knowledge. Children’s Health Fund has also developed software that allows medical staff to easily schedule transportation services during a medical visit.

In 2012 Children’s Health Fund published the Health Transportation Shortage Index, a pioneering tool that enables researchers and policymakers to identify areas of the country where transportation presents the greatest challenge. Children’s Health Fund has presented the Index at numerous scientific gatherings including the 2012 American Academy of Pediatrics national conference.

Leadership support for the Child Health Transportation Initiative is provided by the Kresge Foundation.