Skip to Content

Published on September 19, 2016

Getting there: A conference on bridging the transportation & healthcare gap


Save the date!

The conference is on October 26, 2016 from 7:45 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. at the Binghamton Double Tree Hotel.

Register here

Access to transportation is a cornerstone of health, aging in place and community life. Distances to employment, healthcare services and essential needs can require up to an hour or more of travel for many residents of the region. Transportation expenses are often the second highest expense to individuals and families after housing.

This conference is designed for health practitioners, transportation providers and community leaders. In addition, the conference will have relevance for philanthropic organizations, elected officials, governmental service providers and health insurance companies. The targeted counties include Broome, Chemung, Chenango, Cortland, Delaware, Herkimer, Schuyler, Madison, Otsego, Schoharie, Steuben, Tioga and Tompkins; however, participants from other New York communities are welcome. The conference will include keynote speakers, panel presentations, opportunities to share challenges and best practices and to provide input on a Transportation Resource Guide which will be developed and made available to conference attendees and healthcare providers in 2017.

Download the brochure

Conference details

Registration information

  • Register at:
  • Registration Fee: $40
  • Registration Deadline: Wednesday, October 19, 2016
  • Continuing Education
    • Applications to offer Continuing Education Credits have been submitted to several professional organizations. This activity has been submitted to Northeast Multi-State Division (NE-MSD) for approval to award contact hours. Northeast Multistate Division (NE-MSD) is accredited as an approver of continuing nursing education by the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s Commission on Accreditation. Binghamton University - SUNY, Social Work Department SW CPE is recognized by the New York State Education Department’s State Board for Social Work as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed social workers #0143. If you are interested in receiving credit for Certified in Public Health (CPH), American Nursing Association (CNE) or Social Work Continuing Contact Hours, please indicate such when registering. There may be an additional fee for CEU’s. Details will be included in follow-up correspondence.
  • Refund Policy
    • Refunds, less a 10% processing fee, will be given for cancellations made at least one week in advance. You may transfer your registration to another person at no cost. Refunds cannot be given for cancellations made less than one week prior to the event or for no-shows. In the event you need to cancel or transfer your registration, please contact Rural Health Network SCNY at. (607) 692-7669 or email

Conference Schedule

  • 7:45 a.m. - Registration & Continental Breakfast
  • 8:30 a.m. - Opening Plenary Session
    • The plenary session for the Getting There Conference will include opening remarks and a warm up activity with Thomas Kowalik, EdD, Conference Facilitator, a brief review of conference purpose and goals with Jack Salo, Executive Director, Rural Health Network of SCNY and the premiere showing of a video produced by WSKG which tells the story of several rural residents in our region and their transportation challenges.
  • 9:30 a.m. - 10:45am n Workshop Series A (choose one)
  • 11:00 a.m. - 12:15pm n Workshop Series B (choose one)
  • 12:15 p.m. - Lunch (choose an Entrée)
    • Oven Roasted Pork Loin with Apricots, Basil & Gin (GF) Potato Gnocchi with Goat Cheese, Spinach, & Roasted Red Pepper Sauce (V) Spaghetti Squash with Vegetable Marinara (GF, VG)
  • 1:15 p.m. - Keynote Presentation: Reaching Out in the Fog
    • When the future of transportation is uncertain, when medical care incentives and business models are changing, this talk will supply guidance and examples of transportation and healthcare entities finding ways to work together to provide access to medical care. Sheryl Gross-Glaser, Assistant Director, National Center for Mobility Management, and Assistant Director, Community Transportation Association of America.
  • 2:15 p.m. - Small Group Interactive Sessions
    • Conference registrants will convene by county to consider scenarios of transportation need specific to that county. Each county session will be co-facilitated by a mobility management and healthcare team. Participants will work together to resolve the transportation needs presented and to illustrate solutions using the storyboarding technique. Part two of these sessions will have participants consider, discuss and recommend how a transportation tool-kit could be most effective for helping patients, healthcare workers and other intermediaries in bridging the transportation to healthcare gap. Please indicate your choice of county when registering.
  • 3:50 p.m. – 4:30pm n Conference Closing Plenary

Workshop Series A

A1 Health Action Priorities Network (HAPN) – Making Transportation HAPN

Presented by: Phillip Ginter, LMSW, HealthlinkNY; Emily Hotchkiss, MPH, Rural Health Network SCNY; Adam Hughes, MPH, Heathlink- NY; Jessica Krohn, LMSW, HealthlinkNY; Mary Maruscak, MPA, Rural Health Network of SCNY; John Mazello, MPA, Human Services Coalition of Tompkins County.

The NYS Department of Health Population Health Improvement Program (PHIP) is organized regionally and has been engaged for the past two years in collecting health information and identifying health disparities. The Health Action Priorities Network (HAPN) is a PHIP project in the Southern Tier that has identified transportation as a priority need and health disparity. The HAPN team will describe the data collection and prioritization process that resulted in transportation being identified as a priority. The team will share transportation mapping tools available through Community Commons that they are using in their work. The workshop will provide a Healthy Communities Institute dashboard demonstration that will show providers, mobility managers, etc. across all 13 counties that there are resources they can use to collect transportation related data in their regions. The HAPN team will also discuss the transportation pilot project they are working on to improve collection of patient transportation information through primary care practices in each of the five HAPN counties.

Suggested Audience: Health care and public health agencies; health planning organizations, philanthropic organizations, others interested in transportation needs assessment information.

A2 Innovative & Cost Effective Community Responses to Meeting Health Related Transportation Needs

Panelists: Clare Parde, Executive Director, Columbia County Community Healthcare Consortium; Dorothy Richter, MPA, Executive Director, Community Care Network of Nichols; Kristin Wells, Executive Director, Gadabout Transportation

This workshop will provide an opportunity to learn about three innovative and cost-effective programs organized at the county (2) and community (1) levels. Community Care Network of Nichols, serves a small rural community in Tioga County with a high level of volunteer transportation service, primarily to health care. The Medical Transportation Program of the Community Healthcare Consortium provides both Medicaid and non-Medicaid transportation to health care for residents of Columbia County. Gadabout utilizes a mix of volunteer and paid drivers to provide both Medicaid and non-Medicaid transportation to residents of
Tompkins County.

Suggested Audience: Those interested in effective county and local programs providing transportation services to both Medicaid and non-Medicaid individuals to access health care. Much of the service presented in this workshop targets rural populations.

A3 The Role of Philanthropy in supporting Transportation to Health Care, Food Access, and Other Destinations Essential for Health

Panelists: Diane Brown, Executive Director, Community Foundation for South Central New York; Brian Byrd, MPA, Program Officer, New York State Health Foundation

Many of the transportation disadvantaged residents in our region are not enrolled in Medicaid, some do not drive and they may not have the resources to pay for transportation to health care. Medicaid recipients are entitled to transportation to healthcare services but transportation to meet other needs essential to health are not eligible, including transportation to pick up prescription medication, food, or renewal of essential services (SNAP, WIC, etc.). Public transportation is generally limited to population centers or provides very limited rural services. This workshop will explore the role of philanthropy and other non-traditional funders in helping to meet the mobility needs of those not served through Medicaid, aging rural populations and other transportation disadvantaged individuals.

Suggested Audience: Foundation staff and board members; community leaders, elected officials and governmental service providers, transportation providers.

A4 Medical Answering Service – A How To Guide

(This workshop is repeated in Workshop Series B)

Presented by: Russ Maxwell, President, Medical Answering Service (MAS); Wayne Freeman, Vice President, MAS; Chas McCarthy, Assistant General Manager, MAS; Jennifer DeLucia, RN, Chief Compliance Officer, MAS

Responsibility for administration of Medicaid transportation was transitioned from counties to New York State in 2013 - 2014. Medical Answering Services has been contracted by NYS to provide Medicaid transportation scheduling services and is responsible for scheduling rides to healthcare for Medicaid recipients throughout the region. This workshop will provide an overview of Medical Answering Services and be of particular interest to those who assist Medicaid patients. The workshop will provide information on how the call and reservation process works, tips for assisting patients when they call to schedule a ride and, suggestions on how Medical Answering Services, healthcare providers and mobility managers can work together to best serve those in need.

Suggested Audience: Healthcare workers that assist patients who access Medicaid funded transportation services, mobility managers and others who are in a position to support the transportation needs of individuals enrolled in Medicaid.

A5 Transportation Innovation in the Health Insurance Sector

Presented by: Flora Castillo , C.H.I.E., myConnections, UnitedHealthCare Community & State

This workshop will provide information on the innovative myConnections™ pilot program, being implemented by UnitedHealthcare. The myConnections™ pilot “ is a program designed to improve access to essential community and social support services for low-income individuals.” myConnections™ includes a transportation component which will be the focus of the workshop. Other UnitedHealthcare access to healthcare strategies will also be included in the presentation.

Suggested Audience: Those interested in addressing transportation barriers to healthcare for low-income individuals, healthcare administrators, mobility managers and transportation service providers. Those interested in positioning transportation services for the value based payment environment.

Workshop Series B

B1 Rural Public Transportation, Mobility Management and Access to Healthcare in New York State: Where Have We Been and Where Are We Going?

Panelists: Shawn Yetter, Commissioner, Tioga County Department of Social Services; Thomas Vaughan, Acting Director, Public Transportation Bureau, Office of Integrated Modal Services, Policy & Planning Division, NYS Department of Transportation (pending availability)

The New York State Department of Transportation and the Federal Transit Administration provide primary and essential support to both public transportation and mobility management services in the predominantly rural region of south central New York State. This workshop will look at the history of rural public transportation, including the impact of the NYS takeover of Medicaid transportation on rural systems. The workshop will provide information on how the NYS Department of Transportation and the Federal Transit Administration are supporting access to health related services for all through their support of both rural public transportation and mobility management.

Suggested Audience: Policy makers and elected officials, public and community health agencies, healthcare and rural planners, philanthropic organizations (Federal transit administration programs require non-federal match. Learn how your private investment can help leverage federal funding).

B2 Innovative and Cost Effective Regional Approaches to Meeting Health Related Transportation Needs

Moderator: Dwight Mengel, Chief Transportation Planner, Tompkins County Department of Social Services Panelists: Allison Pierce, Director of IHS Coordinated Transportation Services, Institute for Human Services; William Wagner, Director, Mobility Management of South Central NY This workshop will introduce those interested in cost-effective regional models of providing transportation to health care that includes a high level of service to rural counties and communities. Connection to Care (CTC) is a five county program that provides transportation to health care appointments using all available transportation options. The target population is primarily rural elderly individuals that are not enrolled in Medicaid. CTC utilizes private funding, including passenger donations, foundation & United Way support and fund raising to cover transportation expenses. Workshop participants will learn about the history, services and operation of CTC. The Institute for Human Services Volunteer Driver Program provides transportation for nonemergency health care services or other critical needs. This regional program provides transportation for both Medicaid and non-Medicaid residents. Workshop participants will learn about the development, services and operation of the Institute for Human Services Volunteer Driver Program.

Suggested Audience: Philanthropic organizations interested in support-ing mobility and access to health care, health care, governmental and community leaders interested in learning more about cost effective, regional models for providing transportation service to health care, especially in rural communities.

B3 The Shift in Health Care Reimbursement from Fee for Service to Value Based Payment: Making the Case for Including Support for Transportation & Mobility Services

Moderator: Greg Rittenhouse, MPA, Care Compass Network

Panelists: Laura Gustin, Director of Systems Integration, United Way of Greater Rochester; Douglas Ruderman, LCSW-R, Behavioral Health and Managed Care Technical Assistance Specialist, NYS Office of Mental Health The Medicaid and Medicare Programs are in the process of moving from fee for service based payments for health care services to what is referred to as “value based payment”. This workshop will provide an introduction to what value based payment is and consider the role transportation and mobility services could have in this new payment model. Presenters will discuss how value based payment systems are evolving in both physical and behavioral/mental health systems and how transportation can help improve patient access and potentially be included in the mix of support services funded through the value based payment system. Other access strategies being developed, including mobile behavioral health services will also be discussed.

Suggested Audience: Transportation and mobility management, health care, care coordination and managed care providers, behavioral health providers, governmental and community leaders.

B4 Medical Answering Service – A How To Guide

(This workshop is also offered in Workshop Series A; please register for only one time slot)

See A4 for presenters, program description, and suggested audience.

B5 Patient Transportation Needs: Staff Time and Cost Impacts on Health Care Providers

Moderator: Kara Travis, Senior Director of Patient and Partner Engagement, Bassett Healthcare Network

Panelist: Annie DePugh, RN, BSN, System Director of Population Health, UHS Hospitals; Julie Hall, RN, BSN, Team Leader-Care Manager, Bassett Health Plan, Bassett Healthcare Network- Bassett Medical Center; Peggy Steinberg, ACSW, LSW Director of Social Work, Lourdes Hospital; Thomas Parrotti, Care Coordination Specialist, Case Management, Bassett Healthcare Network- Bassett Medical Center

Patient transportation needs can require healthcare staff attention and time in multiple ways. Examples include: When patients are discharged from a hospital stay or the emergency department; when patients require frequent appointments for treatment and may not drive or have sufficient resources to cover transportation costs, and when Medicaid patients may need assistance in arranging transportation through Medical Answering Services. This workshop will identify the many ways that healthcare providers get involved in patient transportation needs, the staff time and financial impact of providing this support and also current and emerging strategies for working cooperatively with mobility managers, care coordinators, etc. to reduce the time and cost burden on healthcare providers.

Suggested Audience: Healthcare and DSRIP administrators and staff, mobility managers, transportation providers, others interested in how patient transportation needs impact healthcare staff time.

What's New

  • Getting there: A conference on bridging the transportation & healthcare gap