“Lyfting” barriers to care

lyftEven with generous providers donating everything from oncology visits and surgeries, to radiation and chemotherapy, a cancer diagnosis will still mean a surge of new expenses for Arlington Free Clinic’s low-income patients and their families.

AFC recently hosted a series of focus groups with our breast cancer survivors to better understand their needs during cancer treatment—consistently, transportation topped their lists. It’s not uncommon to have multiple medical visits a week while undergoing treatment, and if you have to pay parking fees, don’t have a car, or aren’t able to drive after treatment—costs quickly add up.

Free, comprehensive healthcare is of no use to patients who can’t afford to get to it —enter rideshare company Lyft, which began partnering with AFC last year. Currently, Lyft is providing rides at no cost for patients such as 72-year-old Marta, whose breast cancer recently returned.

Marta’s treatment requires radiation twice a week for the next five weeks, but Lyft rides to the hospital on her radiation days ensure that she doesn’t miss appointments with doctors who generously donate their valuable time and expertise. Moreover, reliable transportation has removed Marta’s biggest barrier to accessing life-saving treatment.

Marta can’t afford to stop working during treatment and is continuing her job as a childcare provider. Lyft rides after radiation transport her safely back to work and make it possible for her to continue supporting herself.

“We are proud to partner with AFC to help provide reliable rides for people who need them most. Improving people’s lives is at the core of what we do at Lyft, and we hope to give patients one less thing to worry about during their journey to recovery.”

Read our entire 2018 Annual Report here.

Patient Story: Gabriel & Diego—Brotherly Love
Message from our Medical Director: Caring For Very Seriously Ill Patients
Message from our President: What Our Dental Expansion Will Mean
AFC Highlights, July 1, 2017 – June 30, 2018
Why I Volunteer: Margot Wheeler, MD
Practice Spotlight: Virginia Hospital Center Physician Group Cardiology
Message from our Board Chair