- St. Luke's is one of 11 organizations receiving a van thanks to a Spokane Transit Authority (STA) Surplus Van Grant. The STA vans, which have been retired from the Paratransit and Vanpool programs, are awarded to qualified human service organizations serving Spokane County residents with disabilities, advanced age and/or low income.
St. Luke's plans to use the van on outings to assist patients with their integration back into the community after an illness or injury. The van will also be used for St. Luke's adaptive sports program, Team St. Luke's.
"Receiving transportation like the Spokane Transit vans enables our therapists and caregivers the ability to give more of our patients and Team St. Luke's participants access to the best care and opportunities possible," said Nancy Webster, St. Luke's hospital administrator. "Part of rehabilitation is preparing for what everyday life is like after an injury or illness. We work in a multitude of ways to expose patients to activities simulating what they may face after leaving St. Luke's."
STA takes applications once a year for vans that would otherwise be retired. Applications are ranked based on the number of trips proposed, the population of groups served, how many trips begin or end in the Spokane Transit Authority Public Transportation Benefit Area and other criteria. Twenty-nine organizations applied for surplus vans in 2016, making it the highest number of applicants ever. The recipient assumes ownership of the vehicle and is responsible for all related expenses. With the 11 vans granted this year, STA has distributed 53 vans that have been providing service in the community since the program's inception.
Currently, St. Luke's has two wheelchair accessible vans with lifts dedicated to client/patient transportation that are equipped to transport a maximum of two patients. With the additional STA Paratransit van, St. Luke's can now transport up to 15 patients in wheelchairs at a time.
"Organizations like St. Luke's make great use of STA's retired surplus vans, and we are happy to make these available," said Susan Meyer, Spokane Transit chief executive officer. "We strive to ensure our residents can get where they need with reliable, practical transportation."
The Surplus Van Grant was made in partnership with Spokane Transit, Providence Health Care Foundation, Eastern Washington, Team St. Luke's and St. Luke's Rehabilitation Institute.
About St. Luke's Rehabilitation Institute
The region's largest, free-standing Level I Trauma Rehabilitation hospital, St. Luke's provides comprehensive medical rehabilitation services for people of all ages who have experienced a stroke, spinal cord injury, brain injury, amputation or other injury or illness requiring rehabilitative care. St. Luke's is accredited by The Joint Commission and Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities International. Thousands of patients choose St. Luke's for inpatient rehabilitation services at the main campus and outpatient therapy services at nine locations throughout Spokane. For more information on St. Luke's visit:
About Spokane Transit
STA provides public transportation services through fixed route (bus) operations, paratransit operations and vanpool to the cities of Airway Heights, Cheney, Liberty Lake, Medical Lake, Millwood, Spokane and Spokane Valley, and parts of the unincorporated County. The organization employs more than 500 people and is overseen by a 12 member regional board: nine voting elected officials from Spokane County and cities in the Public Transportation Benefit Area, two non-voting elected officials from area small cities, and a non-voting labor member. For more information about STA, please visit