NAFC Partners with Nonprofit Sostento to Eliminate Transportation Barriers to Healthcare

The National Association of Free and Charitable Clinics (NAFC) recently formalized a partnership agreement with national nonprofit Sostento to help patients access health services through an innovative transportation initiative with rideshare giant Uber.

The initiative–called Rides for Health Equity–allows patients to take free Sostento-sponsored Ubers to clinics, pharmacies, specialty appointments, and other places that help them live their healthiest lives. All rides are coordinated by free and charitable clinic staff and volunteers, and patients do not need a credit card, smartphone, or even their own Uber account to use the service.

“Our patients face a variety of complex challenges and barriers to health care access, one of which being lack of reliable transportation,” shared NAFC President & CEO, Nicole Lamoureux. “To provide whole-person healthcare and address health disparities, we have to ensure patients can make it to their appointments in the first place.”

Sostento’s initiative is currently delivering rides with 30 free and charitable clinics across the country, and NAFC is partnering with Sostento to meet a commitment to action through the Clinton Global Initiative to grow the initiative to 75 clinic locations by the end of 2025. Since its inception in 2022, the initiative has already proven to be a major game changer for patient health, having delivered over 29,000 rides to more than 6,000 unique patients.

“Working with Uber, we’ve developed an approach that breaks down transportation barriers for low-income Americans and addresses technology access issues that have held back the use of rideshare in the past. We’ve worked with clinic providers to develop an implementation model that makes it easy to mobilize rides with their patients,” said Sostento CEO Joe Agoada. “Clinics that adopt our approach express they can’t envision operating without it, and we have a responsibility to expand this intervention to those in need. NAFC will be a huge part of helping us grow our impact nationwide.”

“We believe every individual is entitled to quality, equitable, accessible healthcare,” Lamoureux said. “Whether patients need a cancer screening, blood pressure medication, or a trip to a treatment facility, these rides help patients get the individualized care they deserve.”

NAFC’s role in the partnership will be to amplify and champion the expansion of free and charitable clinic use of rideshare technology for health access and to assist Sostento in selecting new clinics for its Rides for Health Equity initiative. Sostento is responsible for mobilizing funding for the expansion, delivering necessary training for new clinics, and collecting critical data about the impact of the rides.

As NAFC and Sostento begin expanding the initiative in the months ahead, we will reach out to additional free and charitable clinic locations for inclusion, and further information will be forthcoming for all clinics that would like to join the initiative.