Posts Tagged ‘Katherine Freund’

AARP Age Friendly Communities recognizes ITNAmerica as it delivers one million rides

May 3, 2018

Posted on 04/27/2018 by Jane Margesson | AARP Maine

“WESTBROOK, Maine — U.S. Senators Susan Collins and Angus King will join the Independent Transportation Network of America (ITN) next week as the nonprofit celebrates providing its 1 millionth ride to older and visually challenged people.

ITN, which was founded in Portland, Maine, more than two decades ago, has since grown into a nationwide network that gives hundreds of rides every day to seniors in a dozen states coast-to-coast. Comprised of 13 affiliates, the network taps into community-level social capital, with affiliates pairing older and visually challenged riders with drivers and volunteers operating private vehicles.”

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Senators Collins, King Present Maine Senior Transportation Nonprofit with Congressional Resolution Commemorating One Millionth Ride

May 1, 2018

“Westbrook, ME – At an event at Independent Transportation Network of America’s (ITNAmerica) headquarters today celebrating the organization’s one millionth ride for seniors, U.S. Senators Susan Collins and Angus King presented Katherine Freund, the founder and president of ITNAmerica, with the text of a congressional resolution they authored commemorating this significant milestone. Their resolution was unanimously passed by the Senate last week. ”

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Everyday Heroes

July 17, 2017

ITNAmerica founder and executive director Katherine Freund was featured on everydayheroesproject.com, a multimedia project that tells the stories of ordinary people transforming their communities.

From the Everyday Heroes website: “These unsung heroes work on the ground to raise their neighbors out of poverty and help the needy when public institutions fail. We share their stories in hopes that you too will hear the call to action and help those who need it most.”

That’s exactly what ITNAmerica does, and what Katherine has spent decades doing — working to support our neighbors. In ITNAmerica‘s case, it’s our older neighbors we’re focusing on, making sure they have access to safe, reliable transportation. Because mobility is part of a healthy fulfilling life.

We’re excited to see Katherine recognized as an everyday hero. Read the full story here.

Age-Friendly Maine News: ITNCountry and Age Friendly Communities in Maine

June 15, 2016

ITNCountry and Age Friendly Communities in MaineFor more than 20 years, the Independent Transportation Network has provided door-through-door and arm-through-arm transportation for older people and people with visual impairments in the Greater Portland area. Using both paid and volunteer drivers, ITN provides rides 24/7 in private automobiles, and it is does not rely on taxpayer dollars. Some ITN members have used the service from more than 18 years. Although 40 percent of rides are for healthcare, ITN takes people to work, to shopping and to the hairdresser. Members even use the service to take pets to the veterinarian or to go on dates.

Maine has almost 500 municipalities, so over the years, many communities have reached out to ITN to expand service to their older or visually impaired residents. Until now, ITN always had to say “sorry.” Now there may be a way to offer ITN’s innovative programs to communities of every size, in Maine and other states.

The new approach is called ITNCountry and ITN’s founder, Katherine Freund, is already working with several small and rural communities in Maine, as well as one each in Pennsylvania, Vermont and Arizona, to develop the new rural model.

There are several proposed differences between the original ITN and the rural model. The original is an entirely separate non-profit organization, but ITNCountry can be a program within another organization. The original ITN guarantees a ride 24/7 for any purpose, while ITNCountry service parameters will be established by the local communities. Because it is practically impossible to guarantee a ride 24/7 with no paid staff, the original ITN has both paid and volunteer drivers and staff. But small, rural communities often run on little or no paid staff, so ITNCountry will be designed to run with only volunteers, if that is what the community chooses to do. Another proposed difference will be how ITNCountry communities learn how to run the service. ITN will build a large on-line learning community where all of ITN’s innovative programs are taught and supported.

With all of these differences, what is proposed to stay the same? The important stuff—all of ITN’s award winning programs, like CarTrade, Transportation Social Security, Ride & Shop, Healthy Miles, Ride Services, and Personal Transportation Accounts. In these programs, older people may trade the cars they can no longer drive to cover the cost of their rides, or volunteers may earn credits for their volunteer effort and bank them to plan for their own future needs. An adult child may volunteer in Bowdoinham and send her volunteer credits to a parent who lives in Bethel, where an ITNCountry volunteer will drive her mother, father or grandparent. Merchants and healthcare providers can help pay for rides through Ride & Shop or Healthy Miles and everything, all of these programs, are built into the software. Best of all, the software will connect every participating community through one information system, across the State of Maine.

If you or your community would like to learn more or participate in ITNCountry, please contact Katherine at Katherine.Freund@ITNAmerica.org or call 207-591-6926.

Stakeholder Health: ITN volunteers drive seniors, visually impaired

August 17, 2015

In 1988, Katherine Freund was set on a new path. That’s when an 84-year-old driver, who should not have been behind the wheel, hit her 3-year old son. The son survived the life-threatening brain injury, is healthy and now in his thirties. But the event led Freund, then working on graduate studies in public policy, to explore this question: what options are to seniors as they lose their ability to drive?

It’s been said that when “I” is replaced with “we,” illness becomes wellness. This is certainly true for elderly people as they seek help getting to vital medical appointments. In the United States seniors typically outlive their ability drive—seven years for men and a decade for women. And this has a big impact on their health.

Read the full article online here

SFGate: ITNAmerica celebrating its 20th anniversary

June 19, 2015

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — A program founded in Maine that allows seniors to trade in their vehicles in exchange for rides is celebrating its 20th anniversary this week.

The concept of trading in cars for rides is aimed at getting elderly motorists off the road when they can no longer drive safely. The program was the brainchild of a mother, Katherine Freund, whose 3-year-old son was run over by an 84-year-old old man.

Freund created the Independent Transportation Network to provide a solution.

Read the full article online here

WMTW 8: Transportation organization celebrates 20 years

June 17, 2015

Katherine Freund Storybook Tour WMTW 8ITN provides rides for people who cannot drive

PORTLAND, Maine – A group celebrated two decades of providing transportation to the visually impaired and aging drivers.

The organization ITNAmerica launched a 60-day national road trip to commemorate the anniversary of the nonprofit organization.

Each year, thousands of Americans take advantage of the Independent Transportation Network, which allows people who cannot drive or choose to give up their keys a transportation alternative.

Watch the story online here

the Forecaster: Maine ride-service founder hits the road in search of stories

June 16, 2015

Katherine Freund Storybook TourPORTLAND — Millions of Americans drive every day, whether it’s commuting to work, making a trip to the store or just for fun.

But what happens when older drivers start to lose their ability to drive safely?

The most obvious solution is for that person to get a ride from someone else. And that’s where the nonprofit organization Independent Transportation Network comes in.

The organization, now entering its 20th year, was founded as a way for senior citizens to have access to volunteers willing to drive them where they need to go.

And to celebrate the anniversary of the first ride, ITN founder and President Katherine Freund is kicking off a rather unusual drive of her own.

Read the full article online here

Sun Journal: Elderly driving – tour calling attention to turning over keys

June 16, 2015

Katherine Freund Storybook TourWESTBROOK — Katherine Freund, an advocate who has called attention to the problem of seniors driving when it’s not safe, is about to hit the road.

On Tuesday, she’s launching a nationwide, 60-day cross-country trip to spotlight the need for seniors to hang up their keys when it’s time and have alternative transportation available.

Freund is president of Independent Transportation Network of America, a nonprofit organization that provides rides to seniors. She founded ITNAmerica 20 years ago, after her son was run over by an 84-year-old driver. Her son suffered a brain injury but recovered.

ITN is in 20 communities across the country, including the Portland area, but not in most parts of Maine. Transportation is lacking in many communities, Freund said, adding that needs to change.

Read the full article online here

MPBN: Transportation Network Helps Elderly Mainers Get Around and Stay Connected

June 15, 2015

ITN Founder and President Katherine Freund

PORTLAND, Maine – Spurred on by a traumatic personal experience, Katherine Freund of Portland has spent the last two decades helping the elderly and visually impaired access what she calls “dignified transportation.”

Next week she’ll be celebrating the 20th anniversary of the Independent Transportation Network that she created.

ITN provides rides to seniors who no longer feel safe behind the wheel. Over the years, the network has grown from a local operation to one that helps thousands of people in 21 states. But it’s not growing fast enough to meet the needs of a rapidly aging population.

It’s 1:30 on a weekday afternoon in Westbrook and 86-year-old Rose Novick is getting a ride home from the furniture store where she works.

Listen to the interview online here