The Missouri Rural Health Association’s Mobility Management Certificate Program

  • Author: Mary Gordon
  • Date: February 14, 2023

Many years ago, the Missouri Rural Health Association saw an unmet need for rural Missourians and took on the task of providing access to care. We had no idea of the challenges ahead. In the words of Sandra Morris, co-pilot of HealthTran, “For me, this was a Laurel and Hardy Moment. To quote Ollie, “Now look at this fine mess you have got us into,” I thought OMG what do we with this?”

MRHA received its first FTA grant, the Innovative Coordinated Access and Mobility (ICAM) grant, in 2019. MRHA had a dream to create a mobility management certificate for community health workers, nonprofits, community leaders, and everyone working to get people to where they needed to go. A group of over 20 people from across state agencies, education facilities, health facilities, and transportation providers brought pieces of the puzzle together to design a training that would provide a working toolkit to kickstart mobility management.

The first meeting hit the ground with enthusiasm, excitement, and ideas galore. The foundation modules were designed, resources were compiled, and goals were set. When COVID hit, meetings went virtual and participation dwindled. Thankfully, the University of Missouri’s School of Medicine and their University Extension offered guidance and the use of Canvas. Thanks to their assistance we forged forward and created the Mobility Management Certificate Program.

Each module in our Mobility Management Certificate Program is dedicated to exploring mobility management through multiple learning options including video, podcast, pdfs, and the exploration of websites and social media. By selecting your service area and identifying your customer base, you build a toolkit designed for local implementation. Students have up to 180 days to complete the self-directed course on Canvas. Students also have access to a live instructor 24/7 via email.  

The course is divided into eight modules:

·      Module One addresses emerging mobility management innovations, exploring your community through the eyes of the consumer using the “windshield survey” technique, connecting with the National Center for Mobility Management, and setting up an education account for now and a lifetime of learning opportunities.

·      Module Two talks about exploring your community through community health assessments, demographics, and health rankings. It connects the dots as to how access is related to every single determinant of health.

·      Module Three focuses on the individual customer, cultural competencies, facing bias, disability etiquette, and inclusive conversations. 

·      Module Four explores the transportation options available, building a transportation inventory, and gaining facts on transportation gaps and resources. 

·      Module Five addresses how to build community collaboration. It discusses who to invite to the table, creating a plan of action, and moving towards solution-based discussions.

·      Module Six is about learning to advocate for the transportation needs of your community. You will learn important advocacy skills and develop an elevator pitch.

·      Module Seven presents an understanding of the public transit world, basics of Medicaid and Medicare funding for transportation, funding sources,  and how to keep abreast of regulations and trends.

·      Module Eight wraps things up. It explores using the skills, knowledge, and resources you have worked on to help move people and assist organizations in improving access for all.

The Mobility Management Certificate program is offered to anyone free of charge.

Milo Kelly completed the course and is a volunteer Certified Mobility Manager for Dallas County, Missouri, where he helps the 17,071 people within the 542 square mile county. Milo has been invited to the Southwest Missouri Council of Governments planning efforts, was asked to lead a formal community transit network, and is spearheading transit and funding resources.  Milo states

“I would recommend anyone interested in or working in the area of transit to enroll in this course.  The detailed knowledge of mobility, mobility management, funding, and the connections will accelerate the speed with which you and your organization will reach your transit goals.”

Read more here. Go to MRHA’s website here.


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