LEXINGTON, Ky. (July 2, 2020) — Roughly one in seven Americans live with a disability that impacts daily mobility. The average cost of a wheelchair ranges from $500 to $2,000 without insurance, seriously curbing access to this essential equipment for patients who lack proper coverage. The University of Kentucky’s Center of Excellence in Rural Health (CERH) in Hazard is working to bridge this gap for Kentucky patients through a project that repairs and redistributes used medical equipment to communities in need.
Project CARAT—short for Coordinating and Assisting the Reuse of Assistive Technology— began in 2013 as a collaborative Health Resources and Services Administration grant with CERH, the UK Physical Therapy program, and the Kentucky Office of Vocational Rehabilitation where two CARAT sites opened—one in Hazard and the other in Thelma, Kentucky. Within the last seven years three additional sites in Lexington, Louisville and Paducah have been added.