Road to Recovery is an American Cancer Society service program that provides transportation for cancer patients to their treatments and home again. Transportation is provided according to the needs and available resources in the community. The American Cancer Society (ACS) is a nationwide, community-based voluntary health organization. Headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, the ACS has state divisions and more than 3,400 local offices.
American Cancer Society - Pittsburgh, PA
320 Bilmar Drive
Pittsburgh, PA 15205
Tel (412) 919-1116
Fax (412) 919-1101
Check out the American Cancer Society’s Allegheny County opportunities at VolunteerMatch.
Jean & Brian Schieman
When Jean Schieman arrived for her first day of work at the American Cancer Society, she was met with a disheveled stack of hand drawn maps and half-entered list of contact information.
For most of us in the nonprofit work, this would have been a cue to exit. But Schieman, undeterred, was out to make big changes in a program she felt could make a real difference in the lives of those with cancer – and she wasn't going to let anything stop her.
Jean and her husband Brian took over the Allegheny County (Pa.) branch of the American Cancer Society's Road to Recovery program, which organizes volunteer drivers to help transport cancer patients to and from important medical appointments.
In the two years since the Schiemans managed chapter's Road to Recovery program, a service that once consisted of just eight drivers (and zero coordinators) has blossomed into a success story with nearly triple the number of volunteers. Since then county has shown an 156% increase in rides over the previous year and nearly 20 more drivers have joined their ranks. That amounts to 229 more opportunities for people to get the lifesaving care they need.
"Our favorite part of working with The American Cancer Society is knowing that we are adding a little support to people who are in need of it," Jean said. "Anything we can do to remove some of the stresses of having cancer, we will do."
Like many who work on cancer-related causes, the Schieman's have been personally touched by the disease. Since Brian's uncle passed away from colon cancer, the couple have dedicated themselves to helping others cope with, and possibly avoid, the challenges it can bring.
One of the Schieman's key projects has been implementing MapPoint, a Microsoft program that maps out the locations of existing drivers and cancer centers. Now when a rider request is received, Jean simply enters the address and the system tells her who is the closest driver, as well as directions from the patient's home to and from their medical appointment. Previously, the process would have involved numerous phone calls and unreliable maps.
Those who have been affected by cancer know that the battle can be a long one, and one of the most vital components to recovery is receiving proper medical treatment.
"Even if friends and families provide support, treatments can last many months sometimes, leaving patients without transportation," said Jean. "Considering the current state of the national economy, financial resources are becoming scarce for everyone. So we are even more dependent on the generosity of volunteers who reach out and care for people in their own communities."
Volunteers are the key to the success of the American Cancer Society. With almost 300 volunteers to one staff person, the information and programs they provide would not be available without the help of people like Jean and Brian.
"VolunteerMatch has served as a crucial step in transforming our program from a small operation to an outstanding service," Jean said. "The challenge with Road to Recovery now is that it is growing and we need more volunteers in every corner of Allegheny County to keep up with the demand!"
At VolunteerMatch, we're proud to support Jean and Brian Schieman in their work with the American Cancer Society's Road to Recovery Program. And by welcoming over nearly 8 million volunteers to our network each year, we're doing our best to help the Schiemans find the great volunteers they need to succeed.
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