St John WA expands Community Transport Service with HIF sponsored car in Northam
- HIF and St John Giving, the charitable arm of St John WA, have once again teamed up to deliver rural residents equitable access to healthcare services through an expanded Community Transport Service (CTS) in Northam.
- HIF has funded a fully equipped Kia Carnival with automated external defibrillators and first aid kits to support Northam patients on their journey.
- The service is the second rural initiative brought to life through the HIF and St John Giving partnership, after Bunbury CTS launched in mid-2021.
St John Giving has launched a dedicated Community Transport Service (CTS) in Northam thanks to the donation of a specialty vehicle by not-for-profit health insurance provider HIF.
The fully equipped Kia Carnival has automated external defibrillators and first aid kits, with St John volunteers trained to safely drive Northam residents to vital healthcare services.
HIF’s partnership with St John Giving began two years ago with the launch of the Bunbury CTS in mid-2021. The service is now offered across Perth, Goldfields, Great Southern, Wheatbelt, the South West and Northam.
HIF CEO Justin James said he was pleased the health insurer could continue supporting the regional WA community.
“St John WA’s Community Transport Service (CTS) delivers reliable and affordable transportation to patients who need assistance travelling to and from hospital and specialist appointments and we are proud to be able to help expand this service,” he said.
By launching a dedicated service in Northam, with locally recruited volunteers, the lives of the elderly or residents living with a disability in and around Northam will be greatly improved by the safe, reliable, and affordable transport provided.
St John CTS currently undertakes about 20 to 40 jobs in Northam each month, with anyone wishing to volunteer as a CTS driver being encouraged to sign up here.
CTS volunteer Chuck Franz has been making the almost three-hour drive to Northam for more than a year and loves the opportunity to connect with people and ease their anxiety about any medical appointments.
“I realised that my journeys to Northam have touched several people, and clients in Perth also. Clients that have taught me a few new things in this journey of life,” Mr Franz said.
“I felt that it was my obligation to Northam and the clients I have come to know, to represent them in the professional manner that St John would expect.
“My best part is when they get out of the vehicle with a smile on their face. When I hear laughter from the back seat, I usually end up sleeping very well that night.”
St John WA Group CEO Kevin Brown welcomed the expanded dedicated CTS service as part of St John’s broader commitment to connect isolated members of the WA community to vital healthcare services.
“Many in our regional communities cannot use mainstream public transport systems or their usual form of transport to get their hospital and specialist appointments, which is where St John’s Community Transport Service steps in,” Mr Brown said.
“As well as servicing patients, CTS also provides an option to have a carer accompany patients at no extra cost, so partnerships between St John and HIF are important to ensure every West Australian is given equitable access to healthcare.”