JewelRide Adds 10 New Vans

JewelRide in Edwardsville is doing its part to improve access to healthcare in the community.

JewelRide, located at 2110 Troy Road, offers non-emergency medical transportation. It just added 10 new wheelchair accessible medically compliant vans to its fleet as part of a broader effort to increase access to healthcare in the community in a more efficient, reliable, and out of the ordinary manner.

Services offered by JewelRide include taking people to medical and hospital appointments, dialysis visits, seniors transportation, picking up prescriptions from pharmacies and drugstores and assisted living transfers.

“We are a healthcare company, and we specialize in medical transportation and giving people rides to go to their medical appointments,” JewelRide co-founder and CEO Tapiwa Mupereki said. “Many people can’t get to their medical appointments and there are a lot of reasons for that. It may be their age, it may be limited mobility or a disability, or it may be because owning and operating a vehicle is expensive.

“That creates a huge gap in the community, and it’s that gap that we’re trying to close. Coming from a heath professional background as a pharmacist and with my wife being a physician, we understand what it means when people don’t have access to healthcare.”

Edwardsville Mayor Art Risavy was at JewelRide on Monday to look at the new vans and to discuss the company’s role in the community.

Risavy, who was accompanied by Edwardsville’s Economic and Community Development Coordinator, James Arnold, was impressed by what he saw.

“Non-emergency medical transportation is one more service that we can offer to our citizens,” Risavy said. “Many people miss their appointments to doctors or rehabilitation services because they have no way to get there, and it’s nice to know that we can offer this service.

“The mission of JewelRide is very special to me. To be able to empower individuals and communities by providing access to quality medical care, that’s important. They’re a great community partner and it’s a great service that we can offer to people as they age and grow in our community. It’s an added benefit to have a company in town that caters to the needs of those people.”

JewelRide covers all of Madison County and St. Clair County and regularly makes trips to St. Louis, but it expands its reach into other Illinois counties as needed.

“For instance, we go into Jersey County, Macoupin and Clinton counties as well as other counties in the metro east area,” Mupereki said. “We go as far as Springfield, Illinois, and once in a while all the way to Chicago.

“We serve people that come through the Medicaid system, and we also have private paying customers. “We also work with institutions such as nursing homes, but we want to grow more into the private market sector. We feel that’s a huge opportunity for us.”

Mupereki’s wife, Dr. Rutendo Faith Nkomo, is the co-founder and Chief Medical Advisor of JewelRide and provides medical guidance for the company and its customers.

Nkomo is also a full-time pediatrician working for a safety net healthcare system with several clinics in the metro east area.

“I’ve always had this passion for working with vulnerable patients,” Nkomo said. “With JewelRide, more than 90% of our customers are in that underserved population.”

Nkomo notes that the inability for people to get to their medical appointments can be detrimental to doctors as well as their patients.

“From a physician’s viewpoint, if you have patients that don’t show up for their appointments, that’s a major issue,” Nkomo said. “It’s frustrating to have a full schedule of patients and at the end of the day, half of them don’t get there.

“Some places pay their physicians by the number of patients they see, and they give bonuses based on that. If you look at the St. Louis area, we have some of the best hospitals in the world, but if our community members are unable to access that kind of care, that’s a problem, and JewelRide is trying to help solve that problem.”

For Mupereki, the 10 new vans will give JewelRide higher visibility in the area, while increasing the dependability of its fleet.

“There are other companies that attempt to do what we are doing, and they have vehicles that are 20 to 25 years old,” Mupereki said. “When people see the new vans like we have now, people feel secure about us getting them to their medical appointments.

“That’s the kind of image we want to create. We want to be the go-to place for medical transportation.”

Mupereki added that JewelRide can also ease the medical transportation burden on other family members in addition to the patients themselves.

“Some people take a day off to take their loved ones to their medical appointments and they don’t have to do that when we are here,” Mupereki said. “Their loved ones can safely and reliably go to their medical appointments while they go about with their daily work routines and other commitments with peace of mind.

“We want JewelRide to be known in the community, and our customers are like jewels to us. We want to walk the walk and talk the talk.”

Mupereki has plans to scale JewelRide into a big brand. He is also a firm believer that a community with good healthcare is a stronger community.

“If you take a microscope and look into history, you realize that societies which have always prioritized healthcare access for their citizens are generally the most advanced and innovative societies,” Mupereki said. “They are the ones who set the pace in moving the human race forward in the development agenda across all sectors.

“We want Madison County, St. Clair County, the Metro East region, and the St. Louis area to play that pacesetter role. That means making sure that people have access to healthcare and that their health is prioritized.”

JewelRide is open from 6 p.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday.

For more information, visit or call 618-250-4771.


Marion, Scott. “JewelRide adds 10 new vans” The Intelligencer, Accessed June 14th, 2024.