VA transport available

Although the VA now operates clinics in Clewiston and Moore Haven, Veterans Service Officer Dave Abney wants LaBelle area veterans who get services from the Cape Coral Clinic and Bay Pines to know that there are no plans to set up a clinic in LaBelle due to the shorter distance between LaBelle and the Cape Coral Clinic.

However, the VA operates two vans that deliver veterans to their appropriate district clinic or medical center.

Service Areas & Pickup Points
Clewiston van goes to the West Palm Beach VAMC, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday

Pick up in Moore Haven: Old (IGA); Harlem: New Bethel AME Church; Clewiston: Behind McDonalds

LaBelle van goes to Lee County Clinic Monday, Wednesday and Friday Pick up at Hendry County Sheriff jail parking lot

Quick Facts:
• Vans operate various days of the week from Clewiston and LaBelle.
• Veterans must have a scheduled medical appointment between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and noon
• (Call the Veterans Transportation Coordinator to reserve a seat on the van at 863-675-5255.
• Call early as vans fill up quickly.

To ride the van a patient must:
Have a scheduled medical appointment (between the hours of 8:00 am and noon).

Live in Hendry County or Glades County, city of LaBelle, Clewiston and Moore Haven

Able to board and exit the van unassisted.

Reserve a seat by calling the Veterans Transportation Coordinator at 863-675-5255 and have your name added to the trip ticket. Calling when you know you need a ride is important. These schedules are made up several days in advance. There are days that several of the vans are full so the earlier you call the easier it is to get a seat on the van or to change your appointment to another day if necessary.

Government owned vehicles cannot be used to pick up and drop off personnel at a privately owned residence.

The van driver may refuse to transport any Veteran:
If they feel the Veteran is too ill to ride the van

Who is intoxicated, abusive or poses a threat to the driver or other passenger

Rules of conduct for van riders:
Passengers are not permitted to smoke, chew tobacco/snuff, drink alcohol, use foul language, bring weapons, or use or bring any illegal substance on the van.

Passengers must wear seat belts at all times.

Individuals other than the Veteran are not permitted to ride in the van except in rare instances when an escort is medically necessary. This escort must be requested by the doctor and arranged in advance.

Passengers should not engage in any activity that will distract the driver’s attention.

Quick Facts:
• Vans operate various days of the week from; Clewiston and LaBelle.
• Veterans must have a scheduled medical appointment between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and noon
• (Call the Veterans Transportation Coordinator to reserve a seat on the van at 863-675-5255.
• Call early as vans fill up quickly.
• Patients must be able to board and exit the van unassisted.
• Patients being discharged may ride the van only if space is available. The patient must be ready when the van is ready to depart. A patient with an AMA (Against Medical Advice) or irregular discharge will not be transported.
• Be at the pickup point 20 minutes before the scheduled departure time.
• The van will not make a trip if road conditions do not allow for safe travel in the opinion of the driver or federal holidays
• The van is not equipped nor are the drivers trained or qualified to handle medical emergencies.
• Passengers not adhering to the regulations will not be transported and may be asked to leave the van.

The Caloosa Belle is published every Thursday.

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