“One of the critical factors for this grant award was the fact that South Coast Medical Center serves a number of cities in Orange County,” Porterfield said.
“The fact that, in addition to Laguna Beach, the van will be picking up residents from Dana Point, San Juan Capistrano, Laguna Niguel, San Clemente and Aliso Viejo was very important to our employee grant-selection committee.”
South Coast Medical Center was founded in 1959 as a not-for-profit hospital.
Elizabeth Schneider, executive director of the center’s fundraising foundation, accepted the grant, which will benefit the hospital’s Healthcare Transportation Program.
The program has been in operation since 1984, funded in large part by the hospital foundation’s philanthropic efforts.
Considered a vital part of the center’s community outreach, the free service provides door-to-door, non-emergency transportation from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday on a first-come, first-served basis.
Two full-time drivers are employed by the hospital.
The goal is to ensure people can get to the center or their doctor for proper health care.
Although the program is open to anyone, a vast majority of participants are seniors, somewhere between 95% to 98%. The number of patients using the service is expected to increase as the aging Orange County population grows.
The program serves patients in Laguna Beach, Laguna Niguel, Dana Point, San Juan Capistrano, San Clemente, Aliso Viejo, Mission Viejo, Laguna Woods, Lake Forest, Laguna Hills and Rancho Santa Margarita.