Our community recently received two new vans from the Kansas Department of Transportation (KDOT) after applying for them through a grant application.
“The vans we have been using have become pretty old and the lifts particularly caused the staff quite a bit of trouble. Mike Rajewski passed on the news about the KDOT grants, and it seemed to be the perfect answer for how we would solve our problem,” said Desi Flerlage, executive director at Salina Presbyterian Manor.
The two new vans sit lower to the ground than the current vans, which will make it easier to load and unload from them. They are both side loaders, which will also make them user friendly.
“The new vans are, obviously, in much better condition mechanically and looks, so that is a plus. Also, the new vans do not have the hydraulic doors or ramps so we will not have the issues with the hydraulics like we have had in the past, which has taken one of the vans out of commission from time to time. We are very excited about the new vans!” said Amy Thompson, assisted living director.
The transportation team, which consists of five assisted living staff members, will use the vans to transport residents to family functions, doctor appointments or the hospital and take labs to the clinics.
They do an amazing job getting our residents to and from appointments and picking up the new admissions for our PATH program from the hospitals, said Amy. They are all so friendly. They get to spend time with the residents outside of Presbyterian Manor, so they get to build a great trust relationship with the residents. They are all appreciated by the residents and staff. They are really excited to use the new vans.
“These vans mean we can continue to provide all of our residents with any transportation needs they may have safely and comfortably,” said Desi. “These vans mean staff can load and unload wheelchairs more quickly without causing additional strain to their own bodies, and since they were received through a grant, they mean that we get to spend the money we saved in other ways to help us continually improve the quality of care we provide.”
PHOTO: Left to right: Mary Kersey, Kathi Blouch, Shelly Korte, Janet Beemer and Mary McElrafth, all Certified Medication Assistants, make up the transportation team.