ST. MARYS — A new non-emergency medical transportation (NEMT) business has arrived to serve western Ohio at a time when these services are in high demand.
Hometown Transportation, LLC recently began operations and is owned and operated by Janelle Magoto and Stephanie Miller. Magoto has been a physical therapist assistant for seven years and lives in Shelby County, and Miller has been a practicing certified occupational therapist assistant for 13 years with previous experience as a transport driver and lives in Auglaize County. Both have nursing home experience, so they have seen the challenges that nursing homes and their staff go through daily.
“Between the two of us, we have worked at multiple nursing homes, from Allen County down to Miami County, and we just saw the need for the residents and patients to get to their needed appointments,” Miller said.
Other qualifications between Magoto and Miller include being CPR and first aid certified, having driving training and practicing client confidentiality standards. Their vans must also pass daily safety checks and follow a periodic maintenance schedule.
Besides transportation for nursing homes, Hometown Transportation can provide rides to and from homes, and they cover nine counties from Allen to Montgomery. They will also travel to areas beyond their coverage by special request. Reasons for transportation can be anything from medical appointments to grocery shopping, and they will assist people of all ages and mobilities. They will even attend appointments with clients to act as an advocate or support professional if the client prefers.
On April 1, Integrity Ambulance, a private ambulance company that served western Ohio for years, went out of business, which left Spirit Medical Transport as the only larger private ambulance company that would serve most of western Ohio.
Miller cited the closing of Integrity Ambulance and COVID staff shortages as recent reasons why the need for transportation services in the area is on the rise.
“It was already bad before COVID, but during COVID it just made it worse – staffing at nursing homes and staffing with transportation companies – and recently Integrity went out of business, so we kind of went off of the needs in the different counties,” Miller said.
There has already been a large outreach of support and interest on Hometown Transportation, LLC’s Facebook page from people who could use the service to health care professionals who would recommend them to clients, and the page has over 1,000 followers.
Miller mentioned some highlights of their service that would keep clients returning to them over other private transportation companies.
“We advertise that we are friendly, and we will get you to your appointments on time. We do have a comfortable van. I would like to think that our customer service would be what would bring our customers back,” Miller said.