Patients Get Help Making It to Appointments

Reporter: Shannon Samson

Web Producer: Amber Griswold

Seniors and Medicaid patients may have several doctor's appointments a week, and few options to get to them.
One Evansville woman saw a need, and began her new business, "Need a Ride?"
Carmen Mazick can call herself a lot of things, a retiree, a widow, a grandmother, and now, an entrepreneur. It all started when she saw a Wall Street Journal story about a business that chauffeured kids to and from after school programs.
Carmen Mazick explained, "I saw this article and I thought, 'boy, there's bound to be a huge need in Evansville'. And indeed, there has been, only the need has been in a different place."
The need in Evansville turned out to be seniors and Medicaid patients who need to get to the doctor, and "Need a Ride?" was born.
That was a year ago, about the time Carmen started picking up patient, Don Lahay, who says he's had to cancel doctor's appointments in the past, after waiting around for taxis.
Lahay explained how "Need a Ride?" is different, "They tell you they're going to pick you up at a certain time. They'll be there, and they're there when they say they're going to be there."
Carmen described her business, "Our goal from the very first time I stepped into this van, was to be sure that everyone got to their appointment on time."
It takes a lot of planning, but she's managing to do just that with the help of two other drivers. She had to hire them, now that her business has taken off. It's paying off too, but not just in dollars.

Carmen says her passengers offer her overwhelming gratitude. And she gives them, "a little dignity and a little respect and a little friendliness. That's all people want is someone to care about them and someone to help them out."

Lahay said, "Without 'Need a Ride?' I don't know what I would do."
You need to call "Need a Ride?" 24 hours in advance. Medicaid will pay for the trip if you qualify. Otherwise, it's $21 round trip and unlike the city's Mets Mobility Service, this one will go to the Deaconess Gateway Campus in Warrick County.