Transportation Services at Eastern
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If travel is your main concern, let us reassure you. About two-thirds of CTCA patients (or about 70 percent) come from out of state. One reason is because we make it easy to get here. And, once here, we make your visit as comfortable and stress-free as possible.
Prior to your arrival at CTCA at Eastern Regional Medical Center (Eastern), our representatives will coordinate all of the details for you, including your air travel and lodging arrangements if needed. Then, from the minute you arrive, the Transportation Department is at your service.
The transportation team
“I don’t think there is another hospital that offers the amount of services we do. We go above and beyond for patients,” says Vaughn McKamey, Director of Transportation at Eastern.
McKamey leads a team of 24 friendly and reliable transportation representatives, including 20 drivers and four dispatchers. The transportation team is available from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. seven days a week. In addition, a dispatcher is on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Getting to the hospital
We understand you may be apprehensive about traveling. The transportation team is here to make you comfortable and relaxed. “Every patient is different. Many are scared. The drivers are so good at diffusing the situation and putting people at ease. It’s absolutely amazing,” says McKamey.
If you are coming to us by plane, a driver will greet you at the airport. They will check the status of your flight ahead of time and stay in close contact with you should any delays occur. When you arrive, they will typically be waiting at the bottom of the elevator near baggage claim, holding a sign with your name on it.
Your driver will load your luggage for you and drive you to the hospital, which is about 25 minutes away. Each day, the transportation team makes an average of 35 to 40 trips per day, with approximately 15 trips to the Philadelphia International Airport.
In addition, if you live locally and need transportation to the hospital, a driver can pick you up for your appointments and take you back home afterwards. Our home patient transportation service includes up to a 50-mile radius of our hospital.
Our team can also pick you up at the train station (30th Street Station). Upon your arrival into Philadelphia, a driver will typically greet you at the 29th Street side of the station.
At the hospital
At Eastern, you will receive specialized, patient-centered cancer care in a hopeful environment. While you’re here, we understand and value your independence. If you use a wheelchair or another assistive device, the hospital is designed for accessibility so you can more easily move about the facility.
Getting around town
If you are staying at one of the nearby hotels, you do not have to worry about getting to and from the hospital. Our transportation team is here to take you back and forth.
Beginning at 6:30 a.m., our shuttles make frequent, daily trips to and from the hospital and the Radisson and Korman Suites hotels. Our shuttle buses make a total of about 20 runs per day.
In addition, we are not just here to take you to and from the hospital. Our transportation team also makes frequent trips around the town. They collaborate with our Patient Relations and Outpatient Accommodations departments to take you and your caregivers to restaurants, malls, movies, hair and nail salons, food stores, and other local spots.
“If a patient needs to go somewhere, dispatch will set it up for them. If they need a return ride, they can take the dispatcher’s card and call. Whatever they want to do, we try to accommodate them,” says McKamey.
The team also offers a tour bus that goes through Center City one night a week, or on weekends by request.
To ensure you make your appointments in a safe and timely manner, the transportation team communicates regularly with several hospital departments. This includes travel, new patient coordinators, patient schedulers, and some of the clinical areas, such as the Department of Radiation Oncology.
“We want to make sure we schedule patients’ transit with enough time for them to make their appointment with the doctor,” says McKamey. The Transportation Department does everything possible to get you to your destination on time.
Friendly and dependable service
At CTCA at Eastern Regional Medical Center, you come first. The transportation team is at your service during your visit. “Our drivers are compassionate and hopeful towards each patient who gets into their car. They are part of the total team effort,” says McKamey.
The Transportation Department strives to provide you and your family with the support you need so you can focus on what matters most—healing.
“The Transportation staff really embodies the spirit of the whole place. They will think outside the box. They’ll do something different for somebody and it will make them feel welcome,” says Chief of Surgery Dr. Steven B. Standiford.