Sun Health and Benevilla, a regional nonprofit social service agency, conducted a community needs assessment in 2013 to identify ways to help Northwest Valley seniors remain independent and age in place. Focus groups, community meetings and a survey mailed to 20,000 residents revealed that transportation was a major issue for many seniors.
To address the issue, Sun Health and Benevilla created Northwest Valley Connect (NVC) a non-profit mobility and transportation organization dedicated to serving older adults. Through a grant, NVC created an executive director position, which has been filled by Kathryn Chandler, a transportation executive with more than 10 years of experience in designing and operating transit and para-transit services. Previously, Kathryn was the mobility manager for the Northern Arizona Intergovernmental Public Transit Authority.
Later this summer, NVC will launch a Mobility Management Center, a one-stop transportation resource to help residents access available public, private and volunteer transportation. Assistance will be available online and by phone. “We are excited about the opportunity to work with Benevilla to support and launch Northwest Valley Connect,” said Jennifer Drago, Sun Health executive vice president of Population Health and board chair of NVC. “Kathryn will partner with local transportation providers to increase awareness of available transportation resources, while helping fill identified gaps in service through a new volunteer-based transportation service and advocacy efforts.”
For more information on Northwest Valley Connect, call Kathryn Chandler, executive director/mobility manager at (623) 282-9300.