Press Release (ePRNews.com) - ROXBURY, Mass. - Oct 28, 2019 - Whittier Street Health Center is the latest expansion site for Bluebikes, Metro Boston’s public bike share system. The recent opening of a station at Whittier is part of the program’s effort to install 50 more stations (350) by the end of 2019, an 89 percent increase from 2018.
“Our patients battle many social determinants of health that having easy access to Bluebikes will address,” said Frederica Williams, President and CEO of Whittier Street Health Center. “Transportation barriers lead to rescheduled or missed appointments, delayed care, and missed or delayed medication use. These consequences may lead to poorer management of chronic illness and, thus, poorer health outcomes. Transportation is a basic but necessary step for ongoing health care and medication access, particularly for those with chronic diseases. The health benefits of exercise and access to transportation provided by Bluebikes can be a game-changer.”
The Bluebikes station opening, which was sponsored by the bike share system’s title-sponsor Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts, also brings an economically accessible opportunity for Whittier patients, 90% of whom live at or below the Federal Poverty Line. People who participate in public assistance programs, or who meet income-eligibility requirements, are able to purchase a 30-day pass for $5 or a year-long pass for $50.
“We are thrilled to help expand Bluebikes access to Whittier’s patients and nearby residents,” said Jeff Bellows, vice president of corporate citizenship and public affairs for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts. “By continuing to invest in the bike share program and build upon our partnerships with community health centers, we’re furthering our goal of expanding access to quality, affordable health care while also promoting a healthy, sustainable mode of transportation.”
According to the latest data from Whittier, more than 70 percent of the adult patients have a chronic disease, 56 percent of its patients reported receiving some form of government assistance (WIC, food stamps, Section 8, etc.), and 26 percent of Whittier’s patients are homeless or live in transitional housing.
The addition of a Bluebikes station to Whittier’s 1290 Tremont Street location builds upon the 86-year-old health center’s mission to increase access to care for some of Boston’s most economically disadvantaged. The bikes will join the health center’s Mobile Health Van service, which began in 2018 for community outreach, and a transportation shuttle that runs daily throughout Roxbury and Dorchester.
The mission of Whittier Street Health Center is to provide high-quality, reliable and accessible primary health care and support services for diverse populations to promote wellness and eliminate health and social disparities. The health center also provides community-based cancer care in partnership with Dana Farber Cancer Institute; dentistry; HIV services; laboratory; OB/GYN; pediatrics; eye care; mental health, and 40 social service initiatives. WSHC is a 501c3 charitable organization.
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Whittier Street Health Center