PCH Adds new Van to Fleet

Thursday, January 3, 2013
Members of the Social Services Department staff at PCH with the new van. The group includes, from left -- Carl Lovelady, Director Gail Murrell, Gloria Smith, Jerry Nettles and Frank Green.

Piggott Community Hospital has received delivery of a new van dedicated to patient transportation. For years, the local hospital has offered the service to patients who lack transportation when they need to visit the doctor or a medical treatment facility. "Transportation services are not typically covered by insurance, Medicare, or Medicaid," said James Magee, PCH executive director. "It is a striking need. On a daily basis, we are called on to help someone who must rely on us to get them to treatment."

The service is scheduled and provided by the social work department at the hospital. Gail Murrell, director, explained that many of those who need the help are handicapped or limited in mobility requiring a specialized van for movement. Murrell emphasized that citizens of the community are quick to help those in need, but sometimes a wheelchair or other adaptive device is easier to move with a lift and custom safety gear.

She added that drivers are often asked to make other stops or run errands for those they transport. However, she noted that the service provided by PCH must be limited to taking patients to and from the hospital, clinics, therapy and other medical facilities.

The new van features advanced safety mechanisms and easily transports two wheelchair patients at the same time. In addition, it can be set up for moving as many as three wheelchairs, a passenger and driver as well.

"We provide this service to help patients," said Murrell. It's as simple as that."

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