Announcement of long-sought transportation service highlights Northern Dauphin Human Services Center's 10th anniversary

ELIZABETHVILLE, PA (January 14, 2019) A long-awaited van service to take residents in need to medical appointments and other necessary trips was announced by the Dauphin County Commissioners today as part of the Northern Dauphin Human Services Center’s (NDHSC) 10th anniversary celebration.

The new Northern Dauphin Transportation Service – expected to be running within the next several months – is just the latest example of the critical role the Washington Township-based center plays in the lives of northern Dauphin County residents. Additional anniversary events will be announced throughout the year.

“Opening the Northern Dauphin Human Services Center has been one of the most impactful decisions we ever made,” said George P. Hartwick, III, who has oversight of the county’s human services departments. “It’s crucial that our residents living in rural communities have the same access to programs and services as those in more urbanized areas, which is why our new transportation service is so important.’’

A Community Health Needs Assessment found lack of transportation stopped many residents from accessing primary medical and dental care. Compounding the problem is that only one physician’s office excepts patients with Medical Assistance and there are more than 6,000 northern county residents with MA coverage, meaning many have to travel outside the area to see a doctor.

Last year the commissioners approved a $30,000 gaming grant to purchase a seven-passenger van for the transportation service, which is a joint effort between the county and the Tri-County Community Action. The service will assist disadvantaged residents 59 and younger who do not have disabilities. Transportation assistance is already available for those with disabilities and those 60 and older.

“From working with veterans to get the benefits they deserve and aiding families going through hard times to helping those struggling to break the cycle of addiction, this center literally saves lives,’’ Board Chairman Jeff Haste said. “The ‘Valley Strong’ philosophy of neighbors helping neighbors is at the heart of NDHSC.’’