New Partnership Addresses Health Equity Gaps

Superior Ambulance, Sinai Chicago Team Up to Address Health Equity

New medical transportation program provides free rides to patients in Sinai Chicago's surrounding communities.

CHICAGO, IL – Sinai Chicago has joined forces with Superior Ambulance Service to launch a groundbreaking non-emergency medical transportation program starting today, September 15th. The service is available free of charge to any patient coming from the surrounding community to any of Sinai Chicago’s locations.

“Lack of transportation is one of the key barriers impacting health equity for communities of color on Chicago’s West and Southwest sides,” said Dr. Airica Steed, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer for Sinai Chicago. “It is one of the most common root causes of unnecessary emergency room department visits and preventable hospitalizations. It’s also one of the primary drivers of not addressing the basic primary needs of the community. For us, it’s a long-overdue awakening. This is our pivotal stance in not just putting a dent in healthcare disparities but eradicating them. It means so much to us at Sinai and to the communities we serve.”

Driving can be challenging, and economic barriers are also factors that can impact a person’s ability to access healthcare. This innovative transportation program addresses these challenges and more by providing free rides for outpatient appointments and inpatient discharges. This includes door-to-door pick-up and drop-off for appointments. The program is designed to be easy, reliable, and stress-free for those with limited public transit options and health conditions.

“Our partnership with Superior on this landmark transportation program provides the community members and patients with a simple and effective solution that will radically improve access to care and actually taking a substantial step toward eradicating inequity,” said Steed.

“This service is groundbreaking because transportation issues can affect a person’s access to healthcare services. These issues may result in missed or delayed healthcare appointments, increased health expenditures, and overall poorer health outcomes,” said Denise Walker, Vice President of Ambulatory and Hospitality Services at Sinai Chicago. “When you consider health equity across the underserved communities that we serve, transportation is really a vehicle for wellness and timely access to healthcare services.”

Superior Ambulance Service has been serving Sinai Chicago for the last two decades. “This is such an amazing project that the health system is taking on. I think this is going to be a game-changer for people in the surrounding communities to have access to free transportation that Sinai Chicago will now provide,” said Mary Franco, Vice President of Superior Air-Ground Ambulance Service. “This program features a fleet of dedicated vehicles and dedicated drivers specifically meant to pick up patients at home addresses coming in for diagnostic testing, outpatient, doctor appointments, any sort of visits that they have historically had difficulty in arranging for transportation.”

“Superior has been a long-standing partner with Sinai Chicago, providing emergency transportation services for our communities. We see them as family and that’s what makes this partnership so amazing. We get to work together in truly addressing the needs and exceeding the expectations of those we serve,” adds Steed.

All riders must be 18 years of age unless accompanied by an adult. The program will assist those in designated zip codes for boundaries in Chicago’s South and West sides. To book a ride, call 630-903-2949.

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