LEBANON, PA - The Good Samaritan Health System has reduced costs for its home health services by leasing new cars from Frederick Chevrolet to replace an aging fleet of autos and SUVs, according to the organization. The decision reduces yearly travel expenses by $10,000 to $15,000 each year while providing hospice and visiting nurses with twice as many newer, fuel-efficient and safer vehicles.

"We were delighted when we discovered we could save money by replacing our old fleet of vehicles," said Constance Morrison, executive director of Home Health Services at the Good Samaritan Health System. "We were able to secure 20 new Chevy Cobalt sedans that will be replaced every four years. The arrangement allows us to save money by eliminating maintenance and fuel expenses of our old fleet by using more fuel-efficient vehicles."

The vehicles are used by both hospice and visiting nurses during patient visits, driving approximately 120,000 miles per year. "Not only are we looking at ways to save money, but we also have to consider the safety of our nurses," Morrison said. "The new vehicles are equipped with front and side airbags whereas the older models were not. We also have an agreement with Frederick Chevrolet to use all-wheel drive vehicles in the event of inclement weather so that we can ensure that our patients are still able to receive care while protecting our nurses."

Based on estimates provided by fueleconomy.gov, each vehicle in the retired fleet produced approximately 10.8 tons of carbon dioxide emissions per year while the newer vehicles produce 6.8 tons - saving 4 tons of pollution per replaced vehicle each year.

In addition to the cost savings and the beneficial impact on the environment, choosing a local dealership was a pre-requisite during the recommendations as provided by the home health organization. According to Morrison, "we felt very strongly about choosing an American model and even more so in choosing a local dealership. Lebanon is our community and we try to do as much as we can to benefit the community not only through providing health care, but in purchasing as much as we can locally."

For 120 years, the Good Samaritan Health System has served the health care needs of Lebanon County. The Good Samaritan Hospital is a modern, fully-equipped, fully-accredited 172-bed acute care facility that offers complete inpatient and outpatient care. Visit www.gshleb.org for more information.