Enumclaw Regional Healthcare Foundation Programs
In direct response to the community's health summit request, in 2008, ERHF launched its AskFLIN website, www.askflin.com
, a comprehesive online reference guide for services in the Rainier Foothills area. Each year, volunteers update the site with current information. Today, the website receives 150 new looks a month.
In 2010, the Foundation partnered with Enumclaw Youth and Family Services, local dentists and Medical Teams International to bring a monthly dental van to the community. Each month uninsured and homeless area residents can receive free dental care.
The community stepped up with start-up costs including a $10,000 donation from Mutual of Enumclaw and more than $20,000 in donations as the fund-a-cause item at the Foundation's annual dinner and auction fundraiser for two-straight years. The key to the dental van's success are the six local dentists who rotate through a schedule to see patients in the van each month.
In March 2011, the Foundation brought free healthcare transporation back to the area through its Care Van service. Also in 2011, the Foundation partnered with the Enumclaw School District and community leaders to launch a Rachel's Challenge program to help curb bullying. The Foundation also provided a $10,000 grant to the White River School District to continue its prevention and intervention programs after county funding was slashed.
Recent Successes and Current Challenges
At a time of record gas prices and strained economics, the Enumclaw Regional Healthcare Foundation brought the area's Care Van back into service in March 2012. Since 1987, Enumclaw Regional Healthcare Foundation provided support for the Care Van, which was run through the Enumclaw hospital. When the hospital changed ownership in 2010, the Care Van was taken out of service. Working with hospital leadership, the Foundation was able to retain ownership of the Care Van and put it back on the road. The Care Van provides free transportation to and from health-related appointments for anyone in the area. Health-related appointments include physical therapy, eye exams, dental appointments, doctor visits and lab work.
We knew it was a welcome service to our community. With limited service, five hours a day, five days a week, we are averaging two to five riders a day. When service ceased in 2010, ridership was between 250 and 300.
The Care Van's success is also our current need. To continue service is estimated at $51,000 a year. That projection includes employee wages, gas, insurance and maintenance costs. The Foundation received $21,000 in grants from the hospital and its employees as start-up money. Through an aggressive community education campaign, the Foundation has applied for several other grants.
In the community, we have started a "Buy a Gallon of Gas" campaign, where residents can donate $5 to purchase a gallon of gas for the Care Van. In its first month, we have raised more than $400 through this campaign.
Increases in ridership could bump up service and may involve extended hours or even an additional driver or van, which would stretch current resources.