A New Model Emerges in the Non-Emergency Medical Transportation Sector

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A unique model has emerged in the non-emergency medical transportation sector that has proven to be effective. Skilled nursing homes and housing facilities are opting to transport their Medicaid residents to doctor appointments rather than relying on transportation companies to provide this service. New Horizons, Inc. is the first 501(c)(3) non-profit organization to undertake this initiative in Connecticut.

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Sunshine Wheels has been a wonderful transition. I no longer have to worry about whether or not I am going to get to my medical appointments on time.

The non-emergency medical transportation (NEMT) sector has historically faced challenges. Most trips in Connecticut are handled by for-profit companies that focus solely on transportation. However, a unique, new model has emerged and it has proven to be effective. Skilled nursing homes and housing facilities are opting to transport their Medicaid residents to doctor appointments rather than relying on transportation companies to provide this service. New Horizons, Inc. is the first 501(c)(3) non-profit organization to undertake this initiative in Connecticut. Based in Farmington, New Horizons has over 200 residents between its New Horizons Village division in Unionville and its Cherry Brook Health Care Center location in Canton.

New Horizons’ transportation venture has been operating under its Sunshine Wheels brand and the organization will be expanding its service to other nursing homes and private clients in the near future. Since the launch of its pilot program in April, over 500 trips have been provided to the residents of New Horizons Village and Cherry Brook Health Care Center. “Our new venture supports our mission as we continue to serve seniors and adults with physical disabilities in a variety of ways,” emphasized CEO, Carol Fitzgerald.

New Horizons has a unique advantage because it is already familiar with the specific needs of its residents. Also, being a non-profit has allowed the organization to put the client first rather than the bottom line. Providing medical trips has been an easy transition especially since New Horizons has been supplying wheelchair accessible recreational transportation for over 30 years. The organization has received an outpouring of support from its clients who have enjoyed having consistent service from a trusted provider.

Sunshine Wheels has been a wonderful transition. I no longer have to worry about whether or not I am going to get to my medical appointments on time.” – Marissa

Veyo, the administrator of the state’s non-emergency medical transportation program, has been very accommodating of New Horizons. We were excited to help New Horizons expand their business model to include non-emergency medical transportation services for its clients,” said Veyo President Josh Komenda. “We value partnerships with organizations who, like Veyo, are focused on providing the best service for their clients and we’re happy to provide additional guidance to the team at New Horizons as they roll out their new enterprise.”

New Horizons will continue to work closely with Veyo as the organization pioneers a new approach to non-emergency medical transportation. “Veyo has been innovative in its method of solving problems and we are thrilled to be part of the solution”, stated New Horizons’ CEO, Carol Fitzgerald.

New Horizons credits much of Sunshine Wheels’ early success to the business planning support that the organization has received from Hartford Foundation for Public Giving’s Social Enterprise Accelerator Initiative, which is uniquely designed to help a select number of qualified nonprofits launch and grow an entrepreneurial venture that boosts their revenue and mission impact.

About New Horizons, Inc.:
New Horizons, Inc. is a non-profit organization founded in 1955. The mission of New Horizons, Inc. is to provide a continuum of care that includes housing and support services for people with physical disabilities as well as rehabilitation and inpatient nursing home care. For more information on the organization, the programs, or to make a donation, please visit http://newhorizonsinc.org or http://Sunshinewheels.org

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Stephanie Tetreault
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