logo-heart-soul-convertedJASON BRABSON IS CHANGING THE FACE of non-emergency medical transportation (NEMT) in Fort Collins.

You might remember that I wrote about Heart and Soul Paratransit last year, and the progress he’s made has been amazing.  If you recall, this business is dedicated to transporting infirm and disabled for medical treatment.

That’s what taxi services, Dial-A-Ride and Dial-A-Taxi supposed to do, of course, but the service is … unpredictable and unreliable.

I’m fascinated by the fact that Jason’s primary impediment to success isn’t acquiring customers.  Well, he needs more customers and visibility in northern Colorado, yes.

But the major impediment is the system we’ve set up for transportation in our government.  At the city, county, state, and even federal level.

vanI’m no expert in this industry, but let’s just say that, at the end of the day, those people in need don’t end up having access to adequate transportation.

They can’t get to treatment on time.

They’re stuck waiting for a taxi to take them back home, for hours or even overnight.

And this message isn’t being heard by our representatives.  Many believe that the problem’s been solved by handing out vouchers and looking at statistics provided by the vendors themselves.

Meanwhile, Jason is out there serving people with his rapidly growing fleet of vehicles, and hears all the stories first hand.  When someone has to show up late for their treatment, or ends up sitting around for an extra six hours, it just tears his heart out.

hasp-jung-miNow his job is advocacy.

He’s part of a new group called the Northern Colorado Medical Transport Action Committee, focused on changing state regulations to support better NEMT.  He’s working with city, county, and state representatives – and this week added federal to the list.

Putting together a group like this isn’t easy, but it’s necessary to provide the support that his customers deserve.  They’re underserved, even abused, by our current system.

We talked a bit about the approach of doing this as a for-profit business rather than non-profit.  Jason’s found that non-profit doesn’t always correlate to selfless altruism.  So he’s preferred the freedom of a for-profit, partnering up with non-profits where it makes sense.  He’s absolutely clear that his company’s mission is about improving lives, and he’s not going to damage that by putting profit at the top of the list.  The money is just a tool to change the world for the better.

What’s next for Jason?  It’s actually pretty simple:

  • Hire and train drivers with the right attitude
  • Build up his clientele and partnerships
  • And, of course, fix the entire regulatory system to support radically better care.

Focused and powerful.  But not easy.