SMITHFIELD – UNC Health Johnston is contracting with a ridesharing company to save expense on transportation needs largely filled by ambulances. The hospital is using WEMOVV, a startup based in Smithfield, to run lab specimens and transport pre-approved patients.
Until now, Johnston relied on ambulances for such tasks, says Tracey Carson, vice president of patient care services. “We’re now able to free up those ambulances for transporting patients between our hospitals in Smithfield and Clayton,” she says.
Dante Evans, owner of WEMOVV, thinks his company is a good fit for health care because the service operates 24/7, has short lead times, and can accommodate patients using wheelchairs. Unlike other ridesharing companies, his drivers wait for patients during their medical appointments, he adds.
“Our personalized service includes going inside hospitals, clinics or medical offices to assist patients to and from appointments,” he says. “We also help them get settled when we take them home. And on the way, we’re glad to stop and pick up prescriptions, groceries or dry-cleaning–whatever the patient needs.”
Carson says the hospital is offering WEMOVV as an option to patients paying their own way. “This gives them an alternative to waiting for hours if they don’t have friends or loved ones available to pick them up,” she adds. “Or if it’s late at night when taxis or other ridesharing companies aren’t running.”
The company accepts all forms of payment except cash and checks.
Evans, who has more than 30 years of transportation business experience, grew up in Baltimore where he started a bicycle courier service in the early 1990s. On a delivery to a law firm one day, someone asked if he could transport clients. It piqued his interest in combining logistics and technology to move people and things economically.
WEMOVV is a certified Historically Underutilized Business or HUB.
(UNC Health Press Release)