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Returning Home to Care for Her Community

What would you do after working for 40 years in the hospitality industry, followed by helping to care for a parent with Alzheimer’s? For Zackie Fox, the answer was to volunteer to provide more help to others. Not long after moving to Grants Pass to help her mother, she joined us as a volunteer care attendant, and offered training to others supporting loved ones with Alzheimer’s.

When she felt she needed a “rest” from this work, Zackie volunteered to be a driver for our non-emergency medical transportation program. Our volunteer drivers make sure that qualifying individuals in need of transportation get to medical and dental appointments, even to pharmacies and other health-related locations. We cover mileage costs, but volunteers otherwise donate their time and energy.

In 2018, we hired Zackie to work as a dispatcher for the program. As a dispatcher, Zackie ensured drivers completed their routes, even when emergencies like severe weather potentially interfered with service. She excelled at this work, but she didn’t know that a health emergency would soon change UCAN and her work.

That emergency was COVID. During some of the worst days of the pandemic, her supervisor passed away from the virus. We turned to Zackie and asked if she was willing to try managing the program. Despite having no experience overseeing a transportation program, Zackie agreed. She knew the service provided a critical link connecting low-income residents to their desperately needed medical care, and she was going to do everything in her power to keep that service operating.

As she says, “the first six months were really tough.” Not only did she have to learn on the fly, she had to do so as COVID both reduced the number of volunteer drivers and changed how we provided the service. But she persevered to keep the program going.

Having made it through those first difficult months, Zackie is now rebuilding the number of available drivers. In doing so, she has ensured that residents from Coos, Josephine and Douglas County lacking reliable transportation can still make it to healthcare appointments. Asked how she’s feeling having taken on a huge task, she responds: “I’m just peachy.”

You too can feel peachy by joining our team of volunteer drivers! Contact us at and include Medicaid Transportation in the subject line.


Shaun Pritchard

Letter from the Executive Director – Fall 2023

Non-profit newsletters, including our own, often feature stories about their successes. Though my staff do an incredible job day in and day out serving hundreds of clients, staff alone cannot guarantee that clients will succeed. It takes a team, including not only staff, but also community partners and clients themselves, to successfully move past challenging issues. You can learn more here about how we all work together to change lives and improve our community.

Anne Kubisch

Beloved Community Member Retiring

UCAN regularly receives support from many wonderful local foundations and advised funds. But perhaps no other single foundation has had a greater impact on the programming we are able to offer than The Ford Family Foundation (TFFF). With their President and Chief Executive Officer Anne Kubisch retiring, we wanted to take this opportunity to thank both her and the Foundation for their support of our work in Douglas County. You can learn more about Anne and her wonderful support for rural Oregon here.

Working Together on the Road to Recovery

Working Together on the Road to Recovery

Oftentimes we have clients who just need a little help to get back on track. Maybe they need a utility bill paid for a couple of months. Sometimes though, folks need the benefit of many of our services before their lives are stable. The following story is about such a client, how we were able to help her with several UCAN services, and how she herself put in a lot of hard work to get her life back on track. Read about her terrific story of recovery here.