The VetsDriveVets Project
Living in a mobility desert can have serious negative consequences, limiting residents' access to health care facilities, places of work, education facilities and community spaces. Mobility deserts are not only geographic but can afflict communities of all types. The GW Institute for Corporate Responsibility (ICR) is working with partners to develop and help implement a business model that uses smart mobility networks to identify the needs and provide services to veterans living in community deserts in the Washington, D.C. area. The project, VetsDriveVets, will fund a "by-vets, for-vets" start-up — funded by impact investors — to provide health care and related services to veterans which are more responsive to their needs and at a lower cost. The research is being conducted at ICR by GW School of Business student veterans. Once launched in the D.C. area, VetsDriveVets will be expanded to other cities and other communities living in mobility deserts.
A demonstration project is being organized for later in 2020 in the D.C. area that will show how mobility services, technology, and access to affordable heath care services and support can be integrated and operated as a viable business. The demonstration project will be operated as collaboration with local and national partners and guided by a steering group, co-chaired by Professor John J. Forrer, director of the GW Institute for Corporate Responsibility, and Peggy Tadej, director of Military Affairs at the No. VA Regional Council, as well as our advocates. Please contact Professor Forrer at [email protected] to learn more.
The steering group provides guidance and support for the VetsDriveVets demonstration project and its members are direct participants in its design, funding, and implementation. Our advocates are distinguished military personnel and strong supporters of veterans’ issues and offer independent support to the steering group and helps promote the VDV demonstration project to a wider audience of interested parties. All those engaged and participating as members of the steering group (see below) or as advocates are volunteers and receive no compensation from the George Washington University.
We recognize that our VetsDriveVets demonstration project will be conducted at a time when the coronavirus is still a public health threat, especially for at-risk populations. First, we believe that a project involving veterans to serve other veterans will be conscientious about the potential health risks involved and incorporate solutions into their business model. Second, now more than ever, veterans need access to health care services and support in spite of, and because of, the disruptions being caused by the coronavirus. Third, the scope of the demonstration will be curated to align with circumstances to ensure the safety and well-being of all involved.
VetsDriveVets Demonstration Project Steering Group
The steering group supports the demonstration project by contributing to its design and implementation, fundraising, identifying and recruiting partners, and engaging key stakeholders. Current members are:
- John Forrer, Director, GW ICR (Co-Chair)
- Seth Miller Gabriel, GW Alumni Partner
- Peggy Tadej, Director of Military Affairs, No. VA Regional Council (Co-Chair)
- Jeremy Ebie, Founder and CEO, Phoenix Infrastructure Group
- Kathleen Harrington, GW Alumni Partner
- Thomas Niemann, Former Global Social Sustainability Manager, Ford Motor Co.
- Louis Tharp, Co-founder and Executive Director, Global Healthy Living Foundation
- Charlene Consolacion, CEO, Biig
- Gabriella Malek, GW Alumni Partner