Partnering for Rural Transportation with Alisa Druzba and Steve Workman
Date: April 5, 2022
Duration: 41 minutes
An interview with Alisa Druzba, director of the New
Hampshire Office of Rural Health and Primary Care, and Steve Workman, director
of Transport New Hampshire, discussing the development of the New
Hampshire Mobility Management Network and how it provides options for rural patients. They explain the
importance of collaboration with local, state, and federal agencies to ensure long-term sustainability
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Organizations and resources mentioned in this episode:
Andrew Nelson: Welcome to Exploring Rural Health, a podcast from the Rural Health Information
Hub. My name is Andrew Nelson, and in this podcast, we'll be talking with a variety of experts about providing
rural healthcare, problems they've encountered and ways in which those problems can be solved. This is part two
of a three part series about transportation in rural America. Today I'm talking to two people who are involved
in developing the New Hampshire Mobility Management Network, Alisa Druzba, a Director of New Hampshire Office of
Rural Health and Primary Care, and Steve Workman, Director of Transport, New Hampshire. Thank you both for
Alisa Druzba: Thank you.
Steve Workman: Thank you.
Andrew Nelson: Steve, I'll start off by asking you this. What problems was this Mobility
Management Network created in order to address?
Steve Workman: Sure. I think I'd start with what is mobility management? It's a term that's
been out there for quite a while. It's been implemented throughout the country, but it's really about
coordination of transportation options and it's supposed to be user centered. So in other words, let's create a
system for people that actually meets their needs and where they're at. So in New Hampshire, we separate our
state into transportation regions. And so what we decided would be effective was to assign a mobility manager to
each region who could focus on pulling together what we call community transportation services. And those
services in the transportation world are often referred to as 5310 funded services.
This serves older adults and it also serves people who are living with various disabilities. And so this creates
an opportunity to focus in on their needs and to build out the system. While we do that, it also incorporates
other modes. So when you think public transit, which might be buses or trains in other parts of the country,
that's part of the equation as well. Walking and biking facilities, those are part of the equation. So the idea
is to use whatever options will work for a consumer to help them live their best life, whether that's medical
appointments, whether that is social interactions, whether that's getting to a job or other services they
Andrew Nelson: Can you each tell us about your role in the process up to this point and going
Steve Workman: Sure. My capacity is statewide director. I work across all kinds of agencies,
transportation agencies, different providers. And then I also intersect with our state and federal government
components. And so my role for this project is I serve on our State Coordinating Council for Community
Transportation. And at that level, we are really focused on coordinating services. There's a federal model for
this that I think a lot of your folks may be familiar with and it's called CCAM. It's the Coordinating Council
on Access and Mobility. It was actually created by the federal government by executive order in 2004. But its
goal is to bring all the different federal agencies that fund in some way transportation. And it says, "We need
you all to work together." So we don't want to duplicate resources, we want to be innovative and we think we can
do this better.
So in New Hampshire, our state coordinating council is really a state model for CCAM. We've started a new level
with that. We were incorporated about 10 years ago, the SCC, and now we've got to a point we're actually able to
build out a more sophisticated network. So in my capacity I was asked to help facilitate that process. So we've
been working on that for just about two years, I think. It takes a lot of work to move these projects, to bring
everybody together, to get them to understand how we can work between sectors and things. And we're now at a
point where we have adopted our blueprint and we are moving finally into implementation.
Alisa Druzba: It's very unusual to talk about health systems and the health of communities and
not have transportation come up, whether it's directly related to patient access or to workforce, or generally
as an economic driver or related to social isolation issues and things. And I think that we saw that really come
to a head during the pandemic. A lot of us have been very aware of the gaps, but having those access issues
related to testing and mitigation and vaccine efforts really highlighted that. And so I had started
participating, really just listening, to those SCC meetings each month and really starting to sort of get a
sense of what was happening in New Hampshire, what the structure was and looking for opportunities.
And every project I've ever done in my work with the Office of Rural Health has been through partnerships and
collaboration. And we really try as an office to respond to the needs of the community, not tell them what to
do. So we often look at our funding sources and try and say, is there something that we could bring as a
resource, either through staff expertise, data or actual funding that would help this program launch? And so as
the mobility manager network developed and I followed along in April of 2021, the state of New Hampshire and
every state in the country was sent CDC funds for COVID disparity with a carve out for rural.
And so this project really seemed to align with that carve out. And so we decided to work together to figure out
if it made sense, if it made sense timing wise and expansion wise and expectations on these regions as they
launched. And so our opportunity initially was with the mobility manager position itself. The federal
transportation funds and state funds were funding the project position at a halftime level. And so the first
thing we talked about was whether it would be helpful to fund that as a full benefited position to really be
able to have one full FTE devoted to launching this idea of a mobility manager. Everyone agreed that was a great
idea, so we started with that.
And along the way, we also developed some project funding for each of the regions, but also some state level
capacity. So there'll be one statewide contract in addition to the five regional contracts that we will put out
that will be very focused on coordinating and supporting those regions, coordinating the network as it comes
together, and really focusing on assessing transportation needs and also perception by the public. We really
want to understand what's happening in the regions and what people who are either consuming transportation or
aren't even aware and could possibly take advantage of those resources, think about that so that we can focus on
doing some education around that.
And we have a number of other, we think, sustainable projects around making sure that people know how to access
resources and what's available by region. And so we'll be building up some of that work as well. So it really,
like I said, it dovetailed beautifully with this grant opportunity. We don't often get to be really creative
with the work that we do. We focus a lot of energy on health systems, which is completely appropriate, but
everyone knows that social determinants are very, very critical and transportation is a huge one that also then
aligns with some of those other determinants. And so we were really excited to be able to make an investment in
transportation in a very well thought out project with incredibly passionate, committed partners. So it was
really sort of a perfect storm for us as far as the project goes.
Andrew Nelson: Sure. Doubling back a little bit, were there any specific things you saw, Steve,
that made you aware of the importance of developing a network like this?
Steve Workman: Yes, there were. One of the things, and this is reflected nationally, so it's
not just about New Hampshire, is all of the different sectors that have any intersection with transportation
started doing needs assessment. And often the number one issue or within let's say the top five was
transportation. Typically what it showed was there were great many barriers, and I think more so our rural
agencies had more substantial barriers as well. And so we saw that there was a need to start addressing this,
and it doesn't make sense to solve a problem when half the players aren't talking to each other.
So as each agency in New Hampshire, for example, each state agency started to realize that transportation was a
big issue and they had a small piece of it, or perhaps they actually had no idea sort of how it operated in our
world, they started to see the need to reach out. At the same time, we positioned ourself to try to be more
open, to understand the needs of the different providers out there who rely on transportation services that our
providers handle. So again, I think that's reflected nationwide. You hear those stories, but what you need to
have is a deliberate system put together to actually start doing this.
Andrew Nelson: Can you just share with us how a mobility management approach can be useful in
meeting the transportation needs of rural folks in your state?
Steve Workman: Sure. I also want to talk about another one of our federal partners that has
contributed significantly to our own development work in Hampshire, and that's the National Center for Mobility
Management. Our state has worked extensively with Judy Shanley to learn about mobility management. They are
funded through FTA and they are sort of an authority on what works for mobility management across the country.
So in working with them, we were able to start to understand and explore the fundamentals of it.
And then as our plan took shape, we started to see the areas that were deficient in planning. So we're actually
working with NCMM right now to address things like long term sustainability of mobility management, and also
performance indicators. As we all know, funding and policy decisions are driven by data. If we do not have
meaningful data, we are not going to be able to make the case for changes in funding or policy. So I think
mobility management has an eye toward that, but at the end of the day, it's really about coming together in
coordination. So I talk about it as being completely human centered.
I told you I'll talk about process. I think we have to understand that when you ask people to come together to
work together from different sectors, we have to get through a lot of sort of human stuff. We have to understand
what the other party is talking about, what's going to be asked of us, and we have to develop a level of trust
and a working relationship, and mobility management really is about that. It convenes people, it talks about the
issues and it shows us a path forward for how we could coordinate while still retaining our individuality, if
you will. So how we're delivering our different services.
Then on a more logistical level, mobility management really starts to delve into things about opportunities for
braided funding, and this is why this project with Alisa's is so key because it's a perfect example of it. We
have a federal state funding pots that are supporting this project in coming together. That's an example of
braided funding. Those opportunities exist. And I think it's important, again getting back to the trust and the
human element, you have to have a serious conversation around how braiding these fundings is actually increasing
your capacity and not taking something away from your organization. And I think it's fair to say we need to work
carefully through those type of issues, because this is really about getting people to rides.
I mean, folks like us really get caught up in how we're going to build the system and the policies to support
it. But at the end of the day, our users, it's about living their life. So we try to make it easy for them. Many
of our most vulnerable users are already dealing with significant life issues. They don't need to suddenly be
tasked with figuring out a complete maze of transportation services out there. So a good mobility management
program is going to have a searchable database where you have all these options and will have already worked out
how those agencies work together to deliver for the consumer.
Alisa Druzba: Yeah. No, I mean, how often do you come across a project that just really is
built the way that you would hope it would be built, the way that you would build it if it was your project as
well? And I think to Steve's point, like the level of trust. So when I came in, everybody was really, really
open. They didn't know me, but they were very open to hearing what I had to talk about. And I think that over
months of conversations with both the SCC members and the leadership, we really understood that we were all
about the people and we were all very passionate about the ultimate goal, but that, yeah, we also understood the
importance of clarity with all of the process, understanding process, understanding scope, understanding
responsibility and roles.
And so they already had that open culture of communication established before I got there. So it was really easy
for me to sort of like show up and talk and then ask them for feedback and then to try and incorporate that
feedback and to show them I heard you, we've adjusted in this way, we are able to be flexible in this way, we
can't be flexible in that way. That's what I was really there for was to really support the work that they had
Steve Workman: I want to add too that, to actually stress how valuable it was, Alisa brought a
knowledge and skillset to this project that we quite frankly didn't have at that point. I know for me as I was
sort of navigating the transportation side and the mechanics of the plan, I couldn't necessarily think... I knew
that we had to connect with these other agencies, but I couldn't necessarily think through how we had to do
that. So it really is essential, for this to be effective, is to have key partners who do have expertise and
then they can operate and we can really work together for that. That's what's made this project so incredibly
exciting and enjoyable for me.
Andrew Nelson: Yeah. It's great to have kind of complementary people on your team. What
opportunities do you think the New Hampshire Mobility Management Network is going to offer specifically to sort
of improve healthcare access in population health? What's that going to look like?
Alisa Druzba: That's a great question. I think that what we want to do is we want to create
awareness of what exists and we want to also help people understand how that system currently operates and how
it's funded. And I think what that does is it sets the foundation for having conversations about gaps and what
can be done to ameliorate that. I think that from a health perspective, we have a tremendous amount of different
social and health service agencies operating in rural New Hampshire who are all solving this problem themselves.
And I don't think it's because they're not trying to collaborate, but I think it's very difficult sometimes.
When you have a person in need immediately in front of you, in many, many cases, you want to spend a lot of
energy meeting that person's needs and often you don't have the resources or capacity to talk about being
proactive in meeting many needs in one coordinated fashion.
And so I think that this project really sets a model for that. It creates some partnerships and some
relationships that I think exist beyond this project but also will allow us to have those additional
conversations. I think that sometimes having people in different agencies that are aware of what's happening. I
know this happens a lot for me as a state office person, I will hear about a hospital considering something and
then a different hospital considering something, and I'll bring them together so they don't have to reinvent the
wheel. And so sometimes people just need those dedicated staff to have the conversations, to write the things
down, to send them out an email, to set up the next meeting, like all of that nuts and bolts logistical kind of
stuff, and to really help facilitate those conversations. So I see a lot on the health side of lasting
The other thing that we've asked in these regions is that each of them participate in at least one project that
collaborates with their local public health network. We have centralized public health here in New Hampshire. So
it's all happening mostly in the building I'm sitting in. And then we have these community level agencies who
are our funded public health networks. And so this will help strengthen partnerships that exist or perhaps
create ones that don't to really think about it.
I just think that transportation and health, any version of health that you use, any definition of health, they
have so much in common and there's so much that could be gained by them leveraging their expertise and their
funding. And so bringing these people to the same table, even if it's for one specific project with a specific
timeline, I think really will set the tone and foundation for future conversations. I can't think of a single
place that this doesn't touch. Throughout our agencies, if we really want to think about advancing the health
and wellbeing of our residents, then that's the level of conversation that we really need to be at.
Steve Workman: I think a lot of your folks, Andrew, are going to appreciate something even more
basic about this. Think about the cost of missed healthcare appointments. So there's a vested interest right
there within the medical provider world and the transportation provider world. We have an opportunity to
decrease that. That's just one small piece and that makes economic sense for everybody, so a better delivery of
The other thing that excites me about this is I told you that from our transportation perspective, we are sort
of in that 5310 community transportation services, so older adults and other vulnerable populations. But I very
much believe in a rising tide concept. So if we are tightening up the system, expanding conversations, working
better across government sectors, we are going to create a transportation system that is going to be more
effective and is then going to be more accessible down the road to what I would call folks that have a
They don't need to be car dependent. They can drive if they want to, but they would opt for using these services
more. You have more folks using the service, the service is going to be more sustainable. So you can see how
even though we're focused right here for this period of time on public health disparities and how to get this
off the ground, it has far reaching implications.
I also think I'd be remiss if I didn't go way back to how we even took these steps. So as I've had a chance to
talk with my peers around the country, they're very interested in what New Hampshire is do. And it really
becomes like, I don't know where to begin. So let me address that a little bit. The first thing is that New
Hampshire had a good system in place, and that was our statewide coordinating council. So that was our state
CCAM effort. So we were already trying to have those conversations with varying degrees of success up to this
But as part of our work with New Hampshire DOT, and then something in our state, which is our 10 year
transportation plan, that plan gets reapproved every two years. So there's this comprehensive process that
involves the Governor of New Hampshire, the New Hampshire Executive Council, New Hampshire DOT, and the
legislature, and it goes through that. So during that process, in the last cycle, we came together as providers
and said we have some serious funding problems and a whole load of unmet needs. We know what the needs are but
we don't have the capacity to actually address them. Coordination became one of the key issues.
Well, New Hampshire DOT heard that message and they found a way. Through Federal Funding Streams, there are
provisions that allow a transfer of funds amongst projects. They're highly regulated, but there was an
opportunity for us to transfer $2.2 million roughly per year to support some expanded community transportation
and public transit services. So that ultimately was the seed money that Alisa talked about earlier, which was
funding halftime positions and a statewide mobility manager housed at New Hampshire DOT. So that's the first
thing, because the reality is you do need to have a little bit of money to support this. I think that incentive
is required to bring folks to the table, but it's really hard to talk year after year about potential unless
you're able to translate that into some concrete action.
So once that got moving, it's sort of the snowball and then enter Alisa and it just, it got larger and larger.
So that would be the takeaway for other folks trying to figure out how to do this is first you have to convene
and start having the process conversations, but then try to figure out how you can get some seed money. And then
I think you're much better positioned to launch and then consider things about long term sustainability, because
Alisa and I are really focused on, we've got some really good performance measures that we've outlined both for
the CDC side of the funding but also on the transportation side. We expect to have rich data that will help us
make the case for why this is an effort that should be sustained long term.
Andrew Nelson: Are there any other organizations you've been working with since you kind of
started developing the mobility management network?
Steve Workman: There are. So it has increased participation, especially within the Department
of Health and Human Services in New Hampshire in general. So we've done separate but related work. For example,
we worked with TANF counselors. Their task is to get a lot of their users who are transitioning off public
assistance to get them to jobs, and often they don't have the capacity to own a car. So we started having
conversations about that. Then enter the division of public health, where this funding, and we're able to do
that. So that has definitely expanded.
I could say more about other statewide agencies that are helping to feed the process and getting interested in
this. But I also want to talk about the federal level. FTA or the Federal Transit Authority is watching what
we're doing in New Hampshire and they are very much excited by that, as well as our regional DHHS. They're
looking at this as a test project and a model that may work for other parts of the country. And we are actually,
on the ground level we are starting to do the work that those folks have been trying to get us to do for quite a
long time. So they're constantly getting updates on this and meeting with us. So we get their expertise, we get
their insight about funding and potential flexibility around funding streams. And as I already said, we're
working with the National Center for Mobility Management.
I went from being this standalone director of transport in New Hampshire to working with this network of people
with expertise that blow me away. I've learned more in this process than perhaps I've even contributed to it I
think. So it's out there and the folks at the federal level, I have seen nothing but a willingness to work with
us. And I think that's important because transportation has been very mechanical.
Alisa Druzba: The way the CDC funding worked was sort of different than normal grants. Normally
you would get some sort of funding opportunity announcement, you would respond to it, you would have this fully
fleshed out plan or pretty close, and evaluation and measures and things like that. And then you would submit
and hear back and get your notice of award. Well, the CDC needed to get this funding out as soon as possible. So
instead they told the states, "Here's how much you're getting. We need a work plan and a budget. We'll figure
out performance measures and things like that later on."
So we sort of had to, as a division, tee everything up and submit it. So I had just enough to kind of like lay
out a basic framework for this particular project. But after we got the funding, we ended up having a zoom call
with them and the SCC leadership to sort of tell them about our project and just get their thoughts on the
project. And then any ideas they had about resources, existing performance measures or things that we could kind
of look into. And so that's been really helpful.
As Steve was saying, they were just really interested in the fact that we were going to try and do this and
really supportive of it. They weren't prescriptive about it in any way. They're curious and they want to keep in
touch and hear how it sort of progresses out. So I think that has been exciting as well. I know working with
HRSA, particularly with the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy, which we are funded by as an entity and they
fund a tremendous amount of community work, they've always been super collaborative and very interested in
innovation and pilot and sustainability and things like that.
And so I think culturally I've been working under that for a really long time, but I recognize that many other
federal agencies are not like that. So it is great to hear that they're open to that and that we can develop
that kind of culture with other federal funding partners. There may be a point where we can bring HRSA in along
with the CDC to some of these other very high level transportation conversations so that we can continue to work
together and to literally be on the same page about strategic priorities and how those are going to align with
what everyone's doing and how those are actually going to play out on a state and community level.
Andrew Nelson: Sure. Speaking of existing health disparities, how has the pandemic affected
Alisa Druzba: In every way you can think. Like I said earlier in this conversation, we know
that just generally, nevermind if you actually have any other kind of like social determinants issue, but just
accessing care during the pandemic, whether it was specific to COVID symptoms testing or vaccine, or whether
just regular care, that was incredibly challenging. Did telehealth stand up? Yes, it did. Do we all just realize
how few broadband coverage areas we all have in our states? Some of us already knew, but yes, it became
incredibly clear both from an educational standpoint and a health standpoint.
Telehealth is a wonderful tool, don't get me wrong, but I think that what we want to do with healthcare is what
we want to do with transportation, which is we want to deliver options. And then we want the consumer or patient
and the provider or clinician to decide what is the quality interaction that needs to take place? How can that
be delivered? Okay. If there's a choice around that, let's make a choice. And so having telehealth does not
remove the need for people to travel and go and do things. It's helpful.
And then of course the outcomes for all of our folks who had chronic health complications layered on top of
mental health issues, layered on top of equity issues either around racial disparities or regional disparities
and geography, those just became magnified to a very, very high extent. And we definitely, as a public health
department, mobilized, and we tried to literally meet people where they were, bring them the things. But once
again, that is not the way that you address people's needs. Not everything can be addressed that way.
And so I think that using transportation as a way to tell a story that is really something that everybody can
resonate with. I feel like everyone during this pandemic probably has a story about themselves or their family
or someone they care about where access and transportation were an issue for them, the same way that broadband
has been highlighted as a huge issue. Those stories, and now with data, are what are compelling policy makers
and funders to make these investments, to set aside this portion of funding, and then to allow the states and
then hopefully the communities to use that in a way, because we've been thinking about this for years.
I'm not saying we have all the answers, but we definitely had a lot of thoughts and ideas and we were just short
on resources. So I'm really excited about having this infusion of resources, somewhat overwhelming at times to
get out and to use, but to really be able to talk about what's happening, talk about what our approach is and
why we think that's our approach, and then to launch, evaluate, and continue those conversations.
Steve Workman: I agree. On the transportation side, the pandemic hit pretty hard. We were
essential services, but one of the ways, and I suspect your rural states are going to key into this right away,
in New Hampshire, our volunteer driver programs are part of this equation. Those are often small operations by
faith communities or hospitals or senior centers sometimes will do it. Those networks exist throughout most
states and they form this sort of patchwork.
Well, a volunteer driver program, most of the volunteer drivers are older adults who also in the case of a
pandemic turned out to be some of the highest vulnerable folks. Therefore you saw those programs shut down
almost completely. Then you saw ridership issues. So our public transit buses, all of those things scaled. I
think we lived it, so we all know how this all went. But that has significant impacts for the future. We're
fortunate that the federal government did pump out significant funds and a portion of those funds helped support
public transit and community transportation throughout the country, and that's great, but they were stopgap
measures. They were filling in gaps in revenues.
We fund transportation federally, state, local money, charitable money. All of that took a hit when our world
stopped working. So the agencies needed to be able to just maintain their existing capacity so that when we got
through the initial phases of the pandemic, we would be ready to come back out. But then it raised a serious
question. What about the folks that needed these services for lifesaving procedures? I think of kidney dialysis.
We couldn't stop. So what was great? I heard this throughout the country is our transportation providers stepped
up to the front lines and they started being innovative. And then they were left with understanding like, "Wow,
we weren't quite prepared for this."
So now New Hampshire and this project is going to help us do a better job of this. But in the transportation
side of things, we are also studying the impacts and lessons learned with future recommendations because the
next time we have a large, long term service interruption, I certainly hope it's not a pandemic again, but
either way a service interruption, we want to be better equipped to respond. I think that we're going to make
significant progress just with this project in figuring that out for New Hampshire.
Andrew Nelson: Yeah. I suppose COVID-19 might have been the biggest one, but what are some of
the other challenges that you will overcome in getting to the current stage of launching the network?
Steve Workman: So it definitely goes back to the processing, the human component. I think every
state, regardless of its size, and New Hampshire is relatively small, which has also helped us to attack this at
a state level. But I think that the... There are different approaches taken throughout the state. I think what
you first have to do is get people to listen to understand what you're talking about, why they're coming
forward, assure them that this is part of a shared dialogue and not something that's going to be imposed on them
sort of with a top down approach. And then bring them together to talk through this.
I know our chair, longtime chair of the SCC, Fred Roberge, I believe one of his best days chairing the SCC since
its inception was in the spring when we made a very difficult decision and it had to do with the initial DOT
funding. So that funding, we knew that we had 550,000 to distribute amongst the regions, but we had to find an
equitable thing. So we started with a typical funding appropriation formula for 5310. But what that did was that
left a number of our regions with barely any money at all to hire.
So everybody went back and we had to make a shift. We know that when you're representing an agency, your primary
job is to think about your agency; it's longevity, sustainability, all of the things connected to that. But
there's also a need for us to about the big picture. And so folks had to come to grips with that dynamic and
decide, okay, if I give up some money that I could claim if we just use this formula piece and allow that money
to fill in and make whole or partially whole one of these other regions, we're going to have a more effective
system. We are going to get better capacity across the board.
We saw that happen in the spring during a vote. It was probably the most contentious vote that the SCC had had
to work through. But at the end of the day, we unanimously adopted an equitable distribution of that first pot
of money and that changed the game. People realized they were serious and people then had committed themselves
to working together.
Andrew Nelson: Yeah. What are some of your long term goals with the network?
Steve Workman: Long term is really about sustainability. This is a project I'm working on
directly with the National Center for Mobility Management is how to sustain these mobility management networks.
And right now we're working with FTA and several other partners to draft a sustainability tool. We're calling it
the Mobility Management Sustainability Self-Assessment tool. This is basically a tool that individual agencies
or regions or even statewide could take to assess where they're at long term.
The specific tasks that we've outlined in this project all have an eye toward long term sustainability. So the
sustainability tool, we've already incorporated that future tool that's not released yet, it's still being
developed, but we've incorporated that into our network planning and requirements is that we're going to use
that tool so that we can think through these issues. What it does is it breaks down our operation into different
dimensions and it allows us to grade ourselves, honestly, on where we feel we fit at any point in time. And it's
a simple level 1-4 grading system, four being the most sophisticated, if you will, one reflecting probably more
of a startup or emerging system.
So that will lead you through considering what challenges or outright threats may exist to your long term
sustainability. If we don't keep this sustainable, then we really do run the risk of having done a lot of great
work, spent a lot of money in two years and things start to drift back to normal or go back to fragmenting. We
are not prepared to do that. So that's one of the key long term things is finding out a way to sustain the
The other thing is to sort of change the conversation, to get policy makers and residents alike to understand
the role that these type of public transportation services can play in our communities, both our livability, our
overall health, our economic wellbeing, and to talk about it in a different way than perhaps we have approached
it in the past. So as we increase these partnerships, we're learning about the needs and the languages of
different sectors, and then we're trying to see where that intersects with our language and needs so that we can
continue to expand that overall capacity. Then there's just a ton of... You could go from there in terms of our
long term goals, but I think those are the broad ones.
Andrew Nelson: Are there any other things I haven't touched on that you want to talk about?
Steve Workman: No. I would just like to urge your listeners to take advantage of the resources
that are out there. Contact your regional FTA offices. That is a perfect place to start when you're thinking
about public transportation and community transportation systems. Engage them in a discussion. You may have
opportunities that you just simply aren't aware of, and they can help facilitate that.
The other thing, I've mentioned the National Center for Mobility Management. Judy Shanley and her peers, they
are all about helping. That is their purpose for existing is to help all of the different states do this and
they have resources that can help you think about how to get this started. And then of course, New Hampshire
remains willing to share our experiences if they can help anybody out in the state. So I'm certainly happy to
follow up with folks across the country to see whether we might have something that could help them, and I'm
always interested in learning what we could take back for New Hampshire. So that's my takeaway for
Alisa Druzba: And I would say the same thing from the rural health side, that if you are not
engaging with your Office of Rural Health and you're a transportation person or someone who is interested in a
transportation project, to engage with them. And I would say to the state offices, I'm a tiny state office and
we've figured it out. So I don't think you have to have a tremendous amount of capacity or funding to at least
dip your toe in. It's like so many other projects where you can be at the table with your voice and your
perspective for relatively little commitment and just encourage folks to sort of engage with this partnership.
I think that there are probably a lot of HRSA focused funding opportunities that could be used to advance these
projects as well. And having that relationship with your state offices who's very well versed in those funding
opportunities, they could at least get you started, get you some data and get you moving forward, connect you
with some partners on the health and social service side if you don't have that, and at least launch and get you
started. So I think at least developing a relationship between the transportation folks and the Office of Rural
Health folks would be the first step.
Andrew Nelson: You've been listening to Exploring Rural Health, a podcast from RHIhub. Today,
we talked to Steve Workman, Director of Transport, New Hampshire, and Alisa Druzba, the Director of the New
Hampshire Office of Rural Health and Primary Care. Look in our show notes for more information about their work
and visit ruralhealthinfo.org for all things pertaining to rural health. Join us next time for the final episode
in our three part series on transportation in rural America here on Exploring Rural Health.