Our roundup of the latest news from metro Detroit and Michigan businesses as well as announcements from government agencies, including updates about the COVID-19 pandemic. To share a business or nonprofit story, please send us a message.
Beaumont Hospital, Dearborn Named Donor Hospital of the Year
Gift of Life Michigan in Ann Arbor has named Beaumont Hospital, Dearborn as its Donor Hospital of the Year. It is the nonprofit organization’s highest honor.
“We can absolutely count on this hospital as a true, collaborative partner that works closely with Gift of Life no matter the circumstances to save and improve lives,” says Dorrie Dils, president and CEO of Gift of Life Michigan.
David Claeys, interim co-chief operating officer of Beaumont Health and president of the Dearborn and Farmington Hills hospitals, says, “This team not only goes above and beyond to help families before, during, and after the donation process, they exemplify this compassion every day at Beaumont Hospital, Dearborn. We are very honored to provide this care and appreciate the recognition.”
The lab at Beaumont Hospital, Royal Oak also received the organization’s Innovation Award for testing potential organ donors for COVID-19, the first hospital to do so when the pandemic hit.
The Donate Champion Award winners were honored at a gala April 1, bringing together donors’ families, organ recipients, and their families, and those who work to support organ donation.
Gift of Life Michigan’s Hospital Donation Advocate at Beaumont Hospital, Dearborn, Rebecca Williams, nominated the hospital for the highest honor, calling the team “a ceaseless champion for donation.”
Beaumont quality manager and registered nurse Mariea Nash helps lead the efforts at Beaumont Hospital, Dearborn. She says the team at Dearborn works with the recognition they are handling a sacred gift.
“Our work brings something positive and affirming to heartbreaking situations,” Nash says. “To be the people these families rely on during this time is an honor and tremendous responsibility. The team here at Dearborn is a like a family, and we extend that feeling to patients and their families. That’s the least we can do when making the decision to donate is so big.”
Concerning the Royal Oak lab’s pandemic testing efforts, GOLM Laboratory Administrative Director Walt Herczyk says, “During the initial height of the pandemic, Beaumont managed to integrate our samples and would have results back to GOLM within 6 to 12 hours, even though their turn-around-time for results was typically 24 hours. And they still give Gift of Life samples priority to make donation possible.”
FirstNet and AT&T Connecting More First Responders Across Michigan
In the nearly five years since AT&T was selected by the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet Authority) to build and operate FirstNet, the company reports it has moved quickly to bring more coverage, boost capacity, and drive new capabilities for Michigan first responders and the communities they serve — rural, urban, and tribal.
FirstNet, Built with AT&T covers nearly all of the state helping to connect public safety agencies and organizations in more than 240 communities across Michigan.
“We worked hand-in-hand with the Michigan public safety community to understand their needs for the network,” says Edward Parkinson, CEO of FirstNet Authority. “And this new infrastructure is a prime example of how that input and feedback is becoming reality. We look forward to supporting Michigan first responders’ use of FirstNet to help them save lives and protect our communities.”
Now, the company says, it’s focused on increasing network capacity for Michigan public safety by deploying Band 14 spectrum — nationwide, high-quality spectrum set aside by the federal government specifically for FirstNet. The company has rolled out Band 14 across Michigan to provide public safety with dedicated coverage and capacity when needed.
Areas currently benefitting from Band 14 include Allegan County, Battle Creek, Benton Harbor, Cass County, Detroit, Flint, Grand Rapids, Jackson, Kalamazoo County, Lansing, Muskegon County, Saginaw County-Bay County-Midland County, and Tuscola County.
More Michigan first responders also are gaining access to a one-of-a-kind 5G experience on FirstNet. 5G FirstNet connectivity now is available in Lansing. Public safety also has access to 5G+ (mmWave) spectrum in Detroit. And the company says it is continuing to roll out additional 5G connectivity for FirstNet in more communities nationwide.
FirstNet is collaborating with Safer Building Coalition, the nation’s leading industry advocacy group focused on advancing effective in-building communications capabilities for public safety personnel and the people they serve, to improve connectivity.
For more information, visit FirstNet.com.
Aspen Surgical Receives Additional Investment from Private Equity Firm
Aspen Surgical Products in Caledonia (southeast of Grand Rapids) has received an undisclosed additional investment from Audax Private Equity, which has offices in Boston and San Francisco.
Since Audax’s original investment in 2019, Aspen has tripled the scale of the company by acquiring five complementary businesses, further developing and diversifying its sales channel, and accelerating product line extensions.
This new investment will allow Audax to continue to support the Aspen executive leadership team as it pursues imminent organic growth and larger-scale acquisition opportunities in order to expand globally as a leading provider of single-use surgical products to the acute care and surgical settings.
“A little over two years ago we embarked on a journey to dramatically enhance our value with our hospital customers and channel partners,” says Jason Krieser, CEO of Aspen. “I couldn’t be happier with our success to date. This transaction represents an excellent return for our original investors, while empowering our Aspen Surgical organization to continue to progress in our mission of improving safety and efficiency for clinicians at an even faster rate.”
American Heart Association Reminds That Today is National Walking Day
Today, April 6, is National Walking Day, according to the American Heart Association in Southfield. The organization encourages everyone to use the day to walk, move, dance…do whatever works to get you moving and help you kick-off a commitment to a lifetime of healthy living.
Improved technology and the growing popularity of fitness applications, electronic wearables, and step counters have made counting steps an easy way to count health benefits, as noted through a growing body of scientific research.
A study presented at the American Heart Association’s Epidemiology, Prevention, Lifestyle, and Cardiometabolic Health Conference 2021 (EPI), found that study participants who took more steps in short spurts lived longer, regardless of how many steps they had in longer, uninterrupted bouts. The benefits leveled off at about 4,500 steps a day in short spurts.
Compared to no daily steps, each initial increase of 1,000 steps a day was associated with a 28 percent decrease in death during the follow-up period. A 32 percent decrease in death was noted in participants who took more than 2,000 steps daily in uninterrupted bouts.
“Walking is a great way to improve your health and your mental outlook, and it doesn’t take a lot of expensive sporting equipment to do it,” says Donna K. Arnett, a past president of the American Heart Association and the dean and a professor in the department of epidemiology of the University of Kentucky College of Public Health in Lexington. “Put on a good pair of shoes and grab a water bottle and you’re ready to go. It doesn’t matter how fast or how far you walk, the important thing is to get moving.
“Counting steps doesn’t have to be part of a structured exercise program. Increasing your everyday activity, like parking slightly further from your destination, doing some extra housework or yardwork and even walking your dog can all add up to more steps and better health.”
Detroit’s Rebel Nell Receives National Recognition as a Social Enterprise and Woman-owned Business
Detroit-based Rebel Nell, a business specializing in employment for women with barriers by creating one-of-a-kind jewelry from repurposed material, announced that it has been recognized by Society Profits as a certified USA Social Enterprise, as well as a women-owned business by the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC).
“We are honored to have earned these certifications as a social enterprise and as a woman-owned business,” says Amy Peterson, co-founder and CEO of Rebel Nell. “The work we are doing is incredibly important and it is only further validated by these certifications. We hope that it will open more doors to work with other companies that are truly to committed to diversifying their suppliers and making the world a more equitable place.”
Rebel Nell and Belle Detroit, a design and marketing firm, are the first Detroit businesses to receive the social enterprise certifications. Society Profits is the only third-party certification specifically for social enterprises in the USA. Social enterprises are businesses that use their profits to intentionally tackle social problems, improve communities, provide people access to employment and training, or help the environment. They combine the best of the for-profit and nonprofit sectors to improve society without the need for donations.
The WBENC standard of certification implemented by the Great Lakes Women’s Business Council is a meticulous process including an in-depth review of the business and a site inspection. The certification process is designed to confirm the business is at least 51 percent owned, operated, and controlled by a woman or women.
JA Study: Teens Unprepared for Financial Future
More than half (54 percent) of high school students say are worried about their financial futures, according to new research from Junior Achievement and Citizens.
The findings of the fifth annual JA Teens and Personal Finance Survey indicate wide-ranging concern among teens regarding financial anxiety and the future, highlighting the need for additional resources to assist them in making financial decisions that impact them over the long term.
More than two-thirds of teens (69 percent) say that rising education costs have affected their plans for additional education after high school.
While nearly a third of teens (31 percent) don’t expect their plans to be impacted, almost as many (28 percent) say they are now only considering in-state schools, while around a fifth (22 percent) plan to live at home and commute to college, and one-in-10 are considering getting a two-year degree versus a four-year degree.
“Empowering students and families financially can help them for the rest of their lives,” says Karen Minghine-Hagenian, retail banking director, Midwest for Citizens. “In order to ease uncertainly and ensure that teens have the confidence to make sound financial decisions, it’s critical to equip them with the skills and knowledge they need through increasing access to educational resources and providing hands on training.”
Teens say some of these concerns could be addressed with a better understanding of how student loans work (39 percent), knowing how education ties to jobs (38 percent), or having access to lower-cost alternatives (32 percent). A significant portion of respondents (41 percent) say they have had no financial literacy classes in school, further highlighting the need for educational resources that would address these concerns.
The digital divide became even more apparent at the outset of the pandemic, exacerbating digital literacy and technology equipment gaps. Of those teens planning to pursue a four-year degree, two-thirds (66 percent) expressed some level of concern about having the technology needed to complete a degree. Factors that contribute to this concern include the cost of devices (52 percent) and poor Wi-Fi access/connectivity (28 percent). This lack of access becomes an inhibitor to young people to learn, work and even go to college.
For more details on the survey results, visit here.
Police Athletic League CEO Robert Jamerson Announces Return to Pfizer
Detroit Police Athletic League CEO Robert Jamerson has announced that he is returning to his previous employer, Pfizer, in an executive role. Fred Hunter will be the interim CEO while PAL searches for a new CEO.
“We cannot thank Rob enough for helping PAL exceed its organizational goals during his tenure, all while navigating a path through the unprecedented global pandemic,” says Alan Huddy, chairperson of the PAL Board of Directors. “He leaves behind a very strong team and will always remain a valued member of the PAL family. We truly wish him well in his future endeavors and I’m highly confident in PAL’s present and future, given the foundation Rob put in place during his time here.”
Diversity in Design Collaborative Launches First Initiative in Detroit.
On March 18, the Diversity in Design (DID) Collaborative launched its inaugural youth design fest, entitled “Designed By” at the College for Creative Studies in Detroit.
Centered on five themes — form, space, identity, culture, and experience — “Designed By” highlighted the pervasive nature of design, making the case for design as a career path for youth. More than 200 Detroit students grades 9 through 12 had the chance to hear from noted speakers, participate in small group discussions, and view design work across different typologies.
Selected collaborative members such as Civilization, D-Ford, fuseproject, Ralph Appelbaum Associates, Studio O+A, Wolff Olins, and Work & Co. presented installations that illustrated different design disciplines.
The day kicked off with a keynote address by hip hop architect Michael Ford, whose years of research, writing, and lectures fuse his two passions, hip hop culture and architecture. His work focuses on social justice and the built environment, looking for ways to challenge the standard approaches to architecture and design, and to draw parallels between both.
“There was a teacher who told me, ‘Maybe you should think about architecture? You could design a building, and ideally that building will last much longer than you… people can experience your creation,’” says Ford.
The keynote was followed by a series of round table discussions led by 30 Black design leaders from the collaborative and the Detroit community from the fields of fashion, product design, furniture design, architecture, interior design, UX design, UI design, industrial design, urban design, graphic design, branding, and typography.
A panel discussion featured Estelle Bailey-Babenzian, founder of Dream Awake, an interior architecture and experiential design studio and co-founder of clothing brand NOAH, with Neala Muniz, a 15-year-old member of the Detroit Institute of Arts Teen Council and a designer herself.
Noted Tech Entrepreneur Josh Linkner to talk Innovation at Lawrence Tech Event
Renowned tech entrepreneur Josh Linkner and a panel of accomplished Lawrence Technological University alumni are the headliners at Innovate 2022, an event for innovators to take place at Lawrence Technological University’s Southfield campus April 26.
Doors open at 10:30 a.m. for the event, which runs from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. in the Lear Auditorium in LTU’s University Technology and Learning Center. Ample free parking is available in Lots A and G off LTU’s 10 Mile Road entrance.
The event also will feature resources for innovators, lunch, raffle prizes, and networking opportunities.
Tickets to the event are free, but pre-registration is required, and space is limited.
Salvation Army William Booth Legal Aid Clinic to Host Annual Walk for Justice
Registration is open for The Salvation Army William Booth Legal Aid Clinic’s 10th annual Walk for Justice at 8 a.m. on Saturday, May 14 at the Detroit Zoo in Royal Oak.
In addition to exploring the zoo while supporting the cause, Walk for Justice participants will enjoy family-friendly activities and the opportunity to bid on items and experiences during a silent auction. A special prize will be given to the walker with the highest pledge total.
Advanced registration is $40 for adults and $45 on the day of the walk. Children are admitted for free and law students can register for $30. The registration fee includes zoo admission, parking, an event t-shirt, refreshments, and entry into a door prize drawing.
All proceeds benefit The Salvation Army’s William Booth Legal Aid Clinic — the only Salvation Army free legal aid clinic in the world — which has helped resolve nearly 1,800 legal issues last year affecting low-income families, individuals, and U.S. military veterans. The clinic provides guidance and advocacy in a wide variety of areas involving homelessness, domestic violence, child abuse and neglect, and consumer advocacy.
For more information about the Walk for Justice, visit walkforjustice.org, email [email protected], or call 313-361-6340.
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