FREMONT COUNTY, Colo. (KRDO) -- The only dialysis center in Fremont County closes Nov. 4, forcing patients who live in the area to make the commute to Pueblo West for treatment.
Senior Services Solutions is a nonprofit in Canon City working to address the growing need for patient transportation. At this time, the nonprofit has 13 drivers that take seniors in Fremont County to medical appointments throughout Southern Colorado.
However, only three of the 13 drive dialysis patients. Due to the long appointments, the logistics of transportation are tricky and the drivers are concerned with the looming closure that they don't have enough resources to help everyone.
"Most of who we deal with, they don't have state Medicaid," said Bill Hancock, a driver for the nonprofit. "They don't qualify for one reason or another, and we are pretty much the only option. We've had to turn a few away right now because we're short on drivers."
Though the organization is a nonprofit and drivers are only paid with small stipends, they still have to charge patients $30 a trip. Even then, drivers have taken cuts to their stipends so they can take on more patients.
Right now, the nonprofit is applying for grants to help cover portions of the cost, but they need manpower in the form of more drivers as well.