The Medical Assistance Program (MAP) was conceived in the summer of 2016 when yet another community member was blindsided with a cancer diagnosis. It became increasingly apparent that many people in our area face unanticipated expenses for medical travel. Many need to travel long distances over an extended period of time in our rural area where public transportation is not widely available. MAP is an independent program of the Community Cares Project, within the Westport Federated Church in Westport, NY which has been a strong community presence since the 19th century. In the early diagnostic and treatment phase, stunned people face immediate significant out- of-pocket travel costs.

As they learn to navigate the medical system, long-term financial assistance may be available, but we perceived a critical short-term need, and so we developed the Medical Assistance Program Gas Card Project. MAP is intended to get folks where they need to go. We provide gas cards in $50.00 denominations for three months upon request from residents of the townships of Westport, Elizabethtown, Lewis, Essex, Willsboro and Moriah.

We are rapid responders within ten days of receipt of applications. We also act as a bridge, providing referral information toward sources of long-term financial aid. We do not proselytize or inquire about applicants’ beliefs. No means testing or confidential information is required. We expect nothing in return. We chose to purchase $50.00 gas cards from Stewarts Shop in Elizabethtown, NY, which is central to our service area.

Requests for assistance may be made directly by persons undergoing treatment, their drivers, pastors of local churches, health professionals and medical facilities.

An application form is required and may be obtained by contacting the Westport Federated Church office at 518-962-8293, Pastor Tom at 518-524-1117 or by contacting any member of the MAP Review Team. The program was implemented in September 2016; by February 2018  we have served over 40 people. Over 90% of MAP’s expense is the purchase of gas cards; our administrative work is volunteered.


Pastor Tom Smith

Shirley Bullard

Lisa Smith

Alta LaPine

Westport Federated Church P.O. Box 386 Westport, NY 12993