MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. -- The eight-passenger patient shuttle, available at the Camp Lejeune Naval Hospital to assist patients get from their cars to the building, has been a great success since its debut April 18.
“Early on we recognized a need for some assistance in helping our patients avoid that sometimes long walk from the parking lot,” said Linda Mabry, the customer relations coordinator of the hospital. “They’re not always that far away, but sometimes they are and the walk can be difficult for patients who have trouble walking in the first place.”
The amount of people being transported to and from the hospital during a one-week period has increased greatly since the first week.
The shuttle assisted 1,015 people in the facility’s parking lot during the first two weeks of operation. An additional 2,689 people transported, the accumulative total since it began is 3,704. Nearly 140 people use the shuttle on average per day.
These 3,704 passengers have commented very positively, according to Mabry. The customers will send comments via the Interactive Customer Evaluation System, which can be reached at www.lejeune.usmc.mil.
“Customers say they love the convenience as well as the friendly, helpful attitude of our shuttle drivers,” said Mabry. “Our shuttle drivers also enjoy the interaction with the customers as well providing a helpful, much needed service.”
The hospital plans to install call boxes in their parking lot, within the very near future, to enable patients to directly request the shuttle services.
Their long-term goal is to obtain another shuttle, hopefully by the end of this year, according to Mabry.
“We’re all about trying to help our patients because they’re in the forefront and we’re doing this to make the experience better for them,” said Mabry.
The hospital currently has 12 shuttle drivers transporting patients, but the hospital is still looking for more volunteers to help out.
Volunteer drivers must be at least 21 years of age and sustain a valid driver’s license. The hospital also asks the volunteers to attend the proper training to become a Red Cross Volunteer. Each volunteer would be asked to commit four hours a week between their hours of operation from 8 a.m. and 4 p.m., according to Mabry.
If anyone is interested in becoming a volunteer driver for the new shuttle or to learn more information, they may call the Red Cross Office at the hospital at 450-4596.
“Something so simple as a ride to and from the parking lot can make a big difference to those who have difficulty walking,” said Mabry. “It's another way of showing our patients how important they are to us.”