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RSVP christens new handicapped van
New RSVP Larned office up and running
rsvp handicapped van
RSVP non-emergency medical transportation drivers had their chance to inspect and train on the new RSVP wheelchair lift van purchased through funds from the Dorothy Morrison Foundation. Pictured from left to right are Ruby Coleman, Vernon Hayes, Don Gaeddert, Stan Jantz, Sr. Annette Winter, Marie Gaeddert, Jean Harrison and RSVP administrative assistant Victoria Garza-Reyes. - photo by COURTESY PHOTO

Access to medical appointments can be very difficult for people but those in a wheelchair find it overwhelming. RSVP of Central Kansas can now offer this service due to a purchase of an E-250 Super Duty Van equipped with a wheelchair lift.

The purchase was made possible, in part, through a $10,000 grant from the Dorothy Morrison Foundation. The van will be available to Barton and Pawnee county residents who cannot utilize regular transportation, yet need to keep out of town non-emergency medical appointments. There is no cost for the service, however, donations are welcomed.

“RSVP has offered this service in the past,” said Linn Hogg, RSVP of Central Kansas director. “However, the previous vehicle was too old and difficult for our volunteers to drive so we sold it. We have 35 plus requests a year for this service and are very excited to not only offer it to the community again, but in a vehicle that is updated and very comfortable for everyone utilizing it.” 

Hogg is also excited to announce the satellite office in Larned that has been opened to coordinate out-of-town non-emergency transportation. The office space was donated by Country Living of Larned to help give the program local access to community members.

“The program is just getting off the ground and of course we are looking for volunteers to help with drives,” said Hogg

“The Larned Welcome Inn handles all in town appointments and some out of town appointments, however, the need is becoming great and call have been coming in to our Great Bend office,” she said. “That is why we want to get this started in Larned.”

The Larned satellite office, located at 714 W Ninth St.,  will be celebrating a ribbon cutting at 9:30 a.m. Thursday, Aug. 29, with the Larned Chamber of Commerce. 

RSVP of Central Kansas, a Senior Corp program under the umbrella of the Corporation for National and Community Service, focuses much of its efforts on Healthy Futures, which includes access to care. This focus also answers one of the top three priorities many hospitals and area agencies on aging have identified as a need in Kansas. 

The local grant is sponsored by Barton Community College who will maintain, insure and handle other needs for the van. The RSVP program is funded in part by Barton County, Barton County Emergency Aid, Great Bend Commission on Aging and United Way of Central Kansas.

Hogg added a big thank you to Coleen Cape and the BCC Foundation for connecting RSVP of Central Kansas to the Dorothy Morrison Foundation. 

“There is so much collaboration that occurs in our community,” said Hogg.

“It never ceases to amaze me the things that can be accomplished if we make the effort to ask questions and pursue the answers for the betterment of ourselves and those we are trying to help,” Hogg said.

To make an appointment for a ride to a medical appointment, call 620-792-1614. Appointments should be made one to two weeks in advance. RSVP of Central Kansas is also seeking volunteers to help with transportation.