Greg interviews Thom Olmstead, the Director of University Partner Collaborations at St. Vincent Charity Medical Center, as well as Orlando Howard, the Manager of Outpatient Treatment Services at Rosary Hall. The St. Vincent Charity Medical Center and Rosary Hall are currently running a pilot program that offers free Uber rides to those in Intensive Out Patient Program (IOP) Treatment.

Greg asks Thom and Orlando about the importance of free and private transportation for those in IOP treatment. Thom explains that while one of the largest deterrents for patients coming to treatment consistently is transportation, it goes beyond affordability.  “It’s not just the cost [of travel], it’s a method that would provide [patients] with direct transportation to and from Intensive Out Patient (IOP) in a way that would provide dignity and the opportunity to not just consider what they’re doing in terms of trying to overcome this disease, but also, in that kind of personal environment – what did they take away from the sessions they were in? Imagine going through IOP for three hours plus and then getting on a bus. It’s difficult to be able to focus on what you just came from and learned. But if you put them in an environment where it’s quiet and they can reflect, we think there’s real value in that.” Orlando furthers that the pilot program has shown a 100% success in patient returns, a number he’d like to see for everyone participating in Intensive Out Patient Programs. “When this pilot is eventually over, I see, providing Uber rides for all. Not just for all the ones in the pilot program or the sober houses, but every client having the same opportunity. Why? Because having a 100% success rate where the 15 people that started the program haven’t missed a single appointment, haven’t missed a day of IOP… that shows us – what if we offered this program to more people than just in the pilot program and sober houses, what do you think the outcome will be? It’s already here – we already know what the outcome is going to be.”

Listen to the podcast to discover how this program is directly affecting IOP treatment patient’s lives and how it helps keep those recovering from substance abuse disorder stay on track.