Katherine’s Walk: Day 11, April 15

I’m in Massachusetts for two days, presenting to the Tufts Health Plan Foundation, the MetroWest Community Healthcare Foundation, and meeting Adam Marx from Representative Mariano’s office, at the Rappaport Center for Law and Public Service at Suffolk University Law School. There has been a spate of tragic older driver crashes in Massachusetts this past year and both of these foundations and this state legislator are seeking a positive approach to the transportation needs of older people who limit or stop driving. People outlive the decision to stop driving by as much as a decade, and even in a transportation-rich community, such as Greater Boston, there is a need for the kind of door-through-door and arm-through-arm senior transportation that ITN provides. I probably don’t need to say this, but I never get tired of presenting ITN to community-oriented folks. It is so energizing to talk about solutions.

I connected with Tufts Health Plan Foundation and MetroWest through David Abelman, Executive Director for Tufts HP Foundation. My phone rang.
“Is this Katherine Freund?” he said. “I just heard you on the radio, the Jim and Margery Show. I’ve been hearing about your organization for a year, now. I think it’s time for us to talk.” David and a few of his staff came to see us in Maine at our office in the old Dana Warp Mill, and the next thing I knew, I was invited to Boston to present to the Board.

If I were a legislator, Adam Marx would be the kind of aide I would want. He contacted us on behalf of Representative Mariano because he was trying to think creatively about solving the senior transportation problem. But the reason he met me in Boston was to help me describe an important public policy project to Mia Friedman, Director of Public Interest and Pro bono Programs at the Rappaport Center. Creating Incentives and Removing Barriers to the Use of Private Resources for Sustainable Senior Transportation: A 50 State Analyses and Policy Plan is funded by the Silver Century Foundation, and it is one of the most exciting policy projects we have ever done. But we need help with the legal research, and Adam offered to introduce me to the Rappaport Center.

I spent the night with family in Natick, and walked a mile with my cousin, Jeffrey, and his incredibly intelligent Labrador, Fenway. Here’s the village green, in Natick, on as pretty a spring day as I could wish. (1 mile, 24 miles total)