Care Van returns to service following vandalism

NOTE: The following is a press release issued by the Enumclaw Regional Healthcare Foundation

(Enumclaw, WA) The Care Van - It is a proven need on the Plateau!

Since March 5, 2012, the Care Van has traveled over 2500 miles transporting over 500 riders to and from nonemergency healthcare related appointments.

It was devastating to many who were affected when the Van was taken out of service Monday and Tuesday from result of vandalism over Memorial Day weekend while parked in a downtown public lot. Rene’ Popke, Executive Director of ERHF discovered Tuesday morning after the holiday weekend that the windshield had a large piece of concrete thrown at it while parked in a downtown public lot for the weekend.

Unfortunately, the destructive acts that the person or persons caused, directly affected Plateau residents that depend on the free service to access their healthcare appointments.  Twelve rides had to be cancelled due to the vandalism, majority of them not having other transportation options as most rely on the hydraulic lift for wheelchair access. Transportation is a hardship for many citizens in our communities; ERHF has successfully provided a service as an option for many to simple get to their appointments. It is a great example of how ERHF is touching lives and impacting the health of our community on a daily basis.

The act of vandalism truly provided an extremehardship for the scheduled riders. ERHF made it priority to bring the service back to our communities and pick up where services were left in August of 2010.

For the past 13 weeks, ERHF has operated the Care Van program servicing Enumclaw, Buckley, Black Diamond, Bonney Lake, Wilkeson and Carbonado. Most recently, for the past 6 weeks, the service has averaged 9 trips per each five-hour day of operation. Currently, the Care Vans busiest days are Thursdays andFridays, with Fridays the busiest.

The Care Van is a FREE service to anyone who demonstrated a transportation hardship for healthcare transporting needs. The service is not restricted to seniors and operatesMonday through Friday, 9AM-2PM

The hydraulic lift is an important feature that we offer with the Care Van service.  The hydraulic lift is used on an average of six times per day.

For scheduling a ride, please call 360-284-2444. The Care Van is solely operated from donations and grants.  Generous sponsors include: Muckleshoot Indian Tribe, Helac Corporation, Cornerstone Club of St. Elizabeth Hospital, and St. Elizabeth Franciscan Health System. Individuals may donate by visiting our website at and clicking on the “Donate” button, calling our office 360.802.3206 or by stopping by our office at 1174 Myrtle Street in downtown Enumclaw.

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