ITNGreaterCincinnati™ is doing everything right. I’ve just returned from the Vital Signs Forum, sponsored by the Deaconess Associations Foundation, one of the key community stakeholders collaborating to bring ITN to the Cincinnati Metropolitan area.
I first met Pat Ward and Barbara Lohr of the Deaconess Associations Foundation, Amy Scrivner of the Cincinnati Eye Institute Foundation, Robin Usalis of Clovernook Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired, and John Mitchell of the Cincinnati Association for the Blind & Visually Impaired last June in Lexington, Kentucky, when I was there to speak at the University of Kentucky Summer Series on Aging. While I was “in the neighborhood” Gale Reece and Laura Dake of ITNBluegrass™ offered to host an introductory meeting for the group from Cincinnati, who were looking for a transportation solution for seniors and people with visual impairments.
It is a wonder how fast ideas can turn into solutions when people are ready to act. In less than six months, ITNGreaterCincinnati was launched, with plans to have rides for people by spring of 2010. It’s a combination of action-oriented citizens and a system that supports them with everything they need so they don’t reinvent the wheel.
Pat is a man with great charm and warmth—a real “people person” as one of his colleagues described him. He made sure I had fun in Cincinnati, touring me all over to see the architecture and the parks, as well as the Taft Museum and a play that was a fundraiser for his beautiful parks. He is a man who loves his city, so it made me feel very proud that it is ITN he wants to bring to town to serve people with special transportation needs. But the fun was so mixed with the work I felt I was on vacation as much as a business trip.
Pat and I also met with representatives from some of the many corporations headquartered in Cincinnati and spoke with them about the importance of sustainable transportation for the entire community. In the spirit of community collaboration and grassroots support, with leadership from a man named Pat, ITNGreaterCincinnati™ is off and running.