Coalition Convenes Transportation Summit
September 27, 2013

What: Transportation Summit - “Strengthening Our Community Transportation System to Improve Physical, Economic & Social Health,” open to the public and free of charge
Where: Lee/Pellon Center, 90 Main Street, Machias
When: Wednesday, November 6, 2013, 9:30am to 3:30pm

The Downeast Acadia Transportation Team is excited to host the first Downeast Acadia Transportation Summit, open to the public and free of charge, on November 6, 2013, from 9:30am to 3:30pm at the Lee/Pellon Center, 90 Main Street, in Machias. The Summit will focus on transportation issues and opportunities across Washington and Hancock County communities.

“Lack of transportation causes serious burdens for many of the individuals we serve – hindering their much needed access to health care and other services,” stated Barbara Vittum, Executive Director of the Cancer Support Center of Maine, based in Bucksport, which serves individuals throughout the state, including in Hancock and Washington Counties. “This summit is an important way to address the critical issues of transportation that so many of us face.”

The Transportation Summit provides an opportunity for community members, businesses, organizations, policy makers and others to come together to share information, resources, and opportunities to improve transportation access in Hancock and Washington Counties. Participants will learn more about successes and challenges in increasing access to transportation; they will share their efforts and ideas; they will connect with stakeholders; and they will take action. Participants will also have an opportunity to learn more about grant opportunities that will be available to launch or expand transportation initiatives.

“This Summit is for everyone with any interest in transportation issues,” said Angela Fochesato, Program Coordinator at Washington County: One Community, a community health coalition. “By gathering together, we can come up with new ideas, new partnerships, and new opportunities for action – which is so essential to move forward.”

The Keynote Speaker will be the Honorable Matthew Dunlap, Maine Secretary of State. The Summit will feature expert panels, group discussions & action planning on “Strengthening Our Volunteer Driver Systems,” “Strengthening Our Public Transportation Systems,” and “Exploring Creative Solutions.”
Lunch will be provided, and there is no charge for the event.

“As a provider of volunteer driver services, I am excited by the opportunity at the Summit to learn from others as well as to help others by sharing our organization’s efforts,” stated Jo Cooper, Executive Director of Friends in Action. “So many community members in our counties struggle to find adequate transportation, and expanding volunteer driver networks is one way great way to tackle the issue.”

The Downeast Acadia Transportation Team is a coalition of regional organizations and volunteers convened by Healthy Acadia to increase access to transportation for all people in Hancock and Washington Counties. This effort is supported by funding from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, through a Community Transformation Grant.

For more information or to register, contact Elsie Flemings at Healthy Acadia: 288-5331 or elsie@healthyacadia.org. The registration deadline is October 30, 2013. If anyone would like help with transportation to get to the Summit, please contact Elsie. The Transportation Team will be working to coordinate rides for those who are interested.