County Hospital Expands Transportation Service to Mecca
MECCA – A van that picks up Coachella Valley residents in Palm Springs and Indio and transports them to their appointments at the county hospital in Moreno Valley has added a new stop in Mecca.
The Riverside University Health System’s courtesy van will stop at the Mecca Library at 7 a.m. on weekdays, when there are scheduled appointments.
The van picked up its first patients in Mecca on Wednesday morning. The Mecca Library is located at 91-260 Avenue 66 in Mecca.
“I am extremely excited to work with our county health system to bring this vital service to the eastern Coachella Valley, and greatly help families who require serious medical attention,” said Supervisor John J. Benoit. “Many of our residents struggle with transportation and, at times, miss appointments. This will provide access to reliable transportation to the Riverside University Health System – Medical Center and help patients make their appointments for specialized medical care.”
There is no cost to residents to utilize the service. Residents need to have a hospital appointment and make an appointment for the courtesy van. To schedule transportation, call 800-794-3544 at least five days in advance. Services are available on a first-come, first served basis.
The van departs the hospital at 3 p.m.
The courtesy van service is funded by the county’s half-cent sales tax, Measure A, and the Riverside Transit Agency.
Supervisor Benoit has partnered with the county health system to find ways to improve health care delivery services in the eastern Coachella Valley, where residents face barriers, including transportation challenges, in accessing care and maintaining health. In addition to the courtesy van, recent successful efforts include providing MISP enrollment assistance in Mecca and bringing the county’s mobile health clinic to North Shore.
Since September 2015, enrollment for the county’s Medically Indigent Services Program (MISP) has been available on a monthly basis at Supervisor Benoit’s office in the Mecca Community Library building. MISP provides financial assistance for health care to Riverside County residents, ages 21 to 64, who lack health insurance or access to a health plan and who meet specific criteria. A health services assistant is available at Benoit’s Mecca office from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on the fourth Monday of each month to answer questions and help residents complete eligibility paperwork.
Starting this month, Riverside County’s mobile health clinic will be stationed in North Shore twice a month to provide health services to Riverside County residents. From 8 a.m. to noon on the second and fourth Fridays of each month, the mobile clinic will provide health services at the North Shore Beach & Yacht Club Community Center. Services include primary care, health screenings, well child checks, immunizations, vision and hearing testing and women’s health services.