Community Connectors: Autumn Glover
Community Connectors is a monthly series highlighting Ohio State staff members who have shown leadership in partnering with our communities to make an impact.
Photo: The Wexner Medical Center distributed 46,000 Community Care Kits to target zip codes where populations made vulnerable live during COVID-19. Autumn Glover is pictured at left at one of the distribution events with City of Columbus Health Commissioner Dr. Mysheika Roberts.
Autumn Glover, MCRP, MPA
President, PACT (Partners Achieving Community Transformation)/Government Affairs and Community Relations Consultant
Wexner Medical Center
Autumn Glover is a founding staff member of PACT (Partners Achieving Community Transformation), currently serving as president of the nearly 10-year old "community quarterback." PACT is a nonprofit affiliate of Ohio State focused on the disruption of intergenerational poverty and the creation of a mixed-income community through strategic program and project investments, with an emphasis on housing, education, economic impact and health. She is responsible for the design and implementation of PACT's award-winning community engagement process and the development of the PACT Blueprint for Community Investment. This work resulted in more than $220 million of program and capital investments including $30 million in HUD Choice Neighborhoods Planning and Implementation grants.
She leads multiple civic and community engagement projects for the medical center, including the development of a prevention focused healthy community center and an enterprise-wide health equity and anti-racism strategy. She can often be found helping faculty and staff design community engaged projects, and offers support as an internal consultant on many projects across the institution.
Why is engaging the community important to you and your work?
Community engagement is essential to the success of my work. Ohio State has a responsibility to strengthen our communities, combining human and financial resources, and leveraging the intellectual capital of the university. We can only do that well by engaging in meaningful relationships and partnerships. Personally, the work of PACT and Wexner Medical Center resonates with me as an urban planner passionate about creating healthy communities. Importantly, I think I'm effective in this work because I grew up in the urban core of Toledo, Ohio and can relate to the experience of many of the people we serve and work alongside.
What lessons have you learned from the community that have helped you as a university staff member?
People in communities are experts. They are experts in their lived experiences. My work has benefitted by approaching the community with this as a principle. This has led me to sharing my technical knowledge with the community as a value add and not the source of all truth.
What has been your favorite moment from your community-engagement work?
I have so many favorite moments! I'm certain I will talk about PACT's work for the rest of my life and certainly the last 10 years have meant so much to me both personally and professionally. I am proud that the work we've done to engage the community and to create opportunities for health and well-being has resulted in tangible implementation. But, I am most proud that the people who live on the Near East Side can articulate the vision they helped to create and view it as our plan together they truly were the authors of this vision.
What advice do you have for other staff members who are interested in getting involved in community engagement?
Find your partners. There are many internal partners and trusted brokers in the community that can help you become connected. Community engagement is not short term or transactional work, so be clear that there is an equitable exchange and a goal for a relationship to be formed. Ohio State is a community and national leader in this work, start with the Office of Outreach and Engagement if you need help finding those partners.