COVID-19 Update: Detroit Mobility Lab to Host Venture Capital Panel Discussion Oct. 7, U-D Mercy Announces New Campus Expansion in Novi, and More

Here is a roundup of the latest news concerning the COVID-19 pandemic in addition to announcements from local, state, and federal governments, as well as international channels. To share a business or nonprofit story, please send us a message.
graph of Michigan coronavirus cases
Courtesy of Bridge

Here is a roundup of the latest news concerning the COVID-19 pandemic in addition to announcements from local, state, and federal governments, as well as international channels. To share a business or nonprofit story, please send us a message.

Detroit Mobility Lab to Host Venture Capital Panel Discussion Oct. 7
The Detroit Mobility Lab Consortium is hosting an online panel discussion on venture capital activity on Oct. 7 at 9 a.m.

The session, moderated by Chris Thomas, co-founder and partner of Assembly Ventures, will focus on opportunities for VCs and startups in Michigan and Ontario, Canada.

Panelists include Patti Glaza, executive vice president and managing director of Invest Detroit Ventures; Karim Hirji, senior vice president and managing director of Intact Ventures; and Brenda Hogan, chief investment officer of the Ontario Capital Growth Corp.

To register for the discussion, visit here.

University of Detroit Mercy Announces New Campus Expansion in Novi
University of Detroit Mercy has acquired a new 40,000-square-foot facility in Novi will allow the institution to expand graduate and health education programs and provide space for future offerings.

Officials say the new campus comes at an important time for the University and the community as demand for health care graduates grows. With the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on business, industry, and education, Detroit Mercy’s newest location will provide access to the institution’s nationally ranked programs for students who wish to stay close to homes and their employers.

The campus is located in Novi at the intersection of 12 Mile and Meadowbrook roads. According to the university, Detroit Mercy will be able to expand its current graduate and health education programs while providing space for new educational offerings in health care and related fields.

Detroit Mercy also is in discussion with health care partners regarding prospective new graduate programs consistent with Detroit Mercy’s history of providing care and services in metropolitan Detroit. The university also expects to offer professional development programs, including continuing dental education, at the new campus.

Detroit Mercy President Antoine M. Garibaldi says he believes this new campus offers another example of the institution’s bright future as the state and country continue to emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Detroit Mercy’s acquisition of this new campus will allow the university to expand academic programs in the health professions and other fields in which we are strong and that are in demand,” he says. “In addition to this campus’s proximity to several medical centers, Detroit Mercy will now be able to expand its 14 decades-long and Detroit-based Jesuit and Mercy education to a larger population in the metropolitan area while simultaneously building on our three campuses in the city of Detroit.”

For more information, visit here.

Burns & Wilcox Launches Cybersecurity Product Line for Individuals
Burns & Wilcox, Farmington Hills-based personal insurance wholesale broker and underwriting manager, has launched Cyberman365, a new product line that mitigates personal cyber risks for individuals, families, and homes.

A collaboration between Burns & Wilcox and Node International in England, Cyberman365 provides personal cyber protection for the entire household, including individuals, children, and home network devices, through two digital wellbeing products: IDNotify and Homesafe. The products are now available to insureds exclusively through certified insurance brokers and agents appointed with Burns & Wilcox. Node now has a North American presence in Farmington Hills as part of the partnership.

According to the FBI’s Cyber Division, there has been a 300 percent increase in cybercrime activity since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, and in 2019, there was $3.5 billion reported as losses related to fraud recovery among adults and children. The threat of attacks on smart devices, like routers, cameras, and smart locks, also continues to increase as more are connected with in-home devices, resulting in a need for more preventive and protective options.

“Cyberman365 provides a holistic approach to cybersecurity by offering prevention, detection, and insurance,” says David Derigiotis, corporate senior vice president and national professional liability practice leader at Burns & Wilcox. “At Burns & Wilcox, we understand families need more solutions and efficiencies, especially in the current environment, which is why we leveraged the expertise of our Professional and Personal Insurance Practice Groups to create these options and bring value add for brokers and agents. As a result of the teams’ innovations, both practice groups have experienced significant growth over the past year, achieving an increase of more than 30 percent in new business.”

For more information, visit here.

Butzel Long joins Detroit Regional Chamber Talent Initiative
Detroit law firm Butzel Long is joining the Detroit Regional Talent Compact, a group of 37 organizations preparing a 10-year roadmap intended to enhance the workforce-talent pipeline in southeast Michigan and reduce educational racial inequality.

“The business community should fully embrace and support the compact and its goals to enhance regional competitiveness and meet the need for a higher-skilled workforce,” says Richard E. Rassel, chairman of Butzel Long. “Butzel Long, in addition to our support of numerous regional educational efforts, is introducing a tuition-assistance program to enable our staff to upskill and earn added degrees and certificates.”

The chamber and its collective-impact initiative to improve the pipeline of talent, referred to as Detroit Drives Degrees, have set a goal to increase post-secondary credential attainment to 60 percent and cut the racial-equity gap in half by 2030. According to the chamber, per-capita income grows by $1,250 when bachelor’s degree attainment increases by only 1 percentage point. If the 2030 goal is achieved, more than 265,00 new degrees and credentials would be achieved in the Detroit area – boasting an estimated return on investment of $42 billion for the region.

For more information, visit here.

Study: Antibiotics May be Viable Option for Appendicitis Instead of Surgery
Researchers from Henry Ford Health System in Detroit and 24 other sites around the U.S. report that seven in 10 patients who received antibiotics avoided surgery for appendicitis and that patients who took antibiotics for symptom relief fared no worse in the short term than those who underwent surgery.

Still, researchers cautioned that taking antibiotics for appendicitis is not for everyone and advised patients to consult with their physician.

“The significance of this study means that surgeons and patients now have more options for the treatment of appendicitis,” says Dr. J.H. “Pat” Patton, medical director of surgical services for Henry Ford Health System and a study co-investigator. “We now know that we can safely and effectively treat a significant number of patients with antibiotics alone and avoid surgery. We encourage patients to weigh their options based on their individual circumstances before deciding which treatment is best for them.”

Henry Ford was among 25 U.S. sites in 14 states that participated in the study, Comparing Outcomes of Antibiotic Drugs and Appendectomy (CODA). With 1,552 patients studied between May 3, 2016 and Feb. 2, 2020, CODA represents the largest study comparing surgery and antibiotics in adults with appendicitis and is roughly three times larger than the previous one. The study was funded by the Patient-Centered Outcome Research Institute.

Of the 1,552 patients, 172 were enrolled at Henry Ford Hospital, the health system’s hospital in Detroit.

Horiba Receives Patent for Torque Matching Emissions Test
The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has issued a patent for the Torque-Matching RDE+ laboratory test method developed by Ann Arbor’s Horiba. The test is part of Horiba’s “road to rig” solution that brings real-world vehicle emissions testing into the laboratory.

The torque-matching method is part of the Horiba RDE+ application offering. It links road based real-world tests to the chassis, engine, or powertrain dynamometer, making it possible to conduct accurate whole-vehicle RDE and real-world emissions testing in the laboratory with superior accuracy and repeatability.

Drawing upon the company’s expertise in emissions measurement development, this application offers a number of cost and operational benefits including:

  • No need to take complex vehicle measurements over an RDE test.
  • Lower cost, efficient replication of any RDE or other real-world test that includes changing environmental conditions, variable road grades, and road surfaces.
  • Easy RDE emulation after changes are made to the powertrain or emissions control system.

“The patent shows how to conduct real-world emissions and fuel economy testing in the real world for later replication,” says Leo Breton, technical director at Horiba Automotive Test Systems. “It then shows how to replicate the same test in a precision laboratory environment, and how to conduct similar testing, but at different test conditions, or after modifications are made to a vehicle. This makes the method valuable for measuring the effects of alternative powertrain calibrations or component changes.”

Community Colleges in Michigan Implementing Reforms Despite Pandemic
Michigan’s community colleges have made progress in implementing a comprehensive reform effort as well supporting student learning during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to two new publications from the Michigan Center for Student Success in Lansing.

For the past six years, supported by funding from The Kresge Foundation, Michigan community colleges have been engaged in implementing Guided Pathways, a comprehensive reform effort aimed at increasing the efficiency with which students access and complete programs of study that lead either directly into the workforce or to transfer to a bachelor’s degree program. As one of the first states to take a statewide approach to implementing Guided Pathways, Michigan has emerged as a national leader, and students are benefitting from the work the colleges have undertaken.

“Organizing, Supporting, and Continuing Guided Pathways in Michigan” describes findings from a qualitative study of 13 of the participating colleges to determine how the colleges have organized the work of implementing Guided Pathways and how they plan to sustain and build on their progress.

“Following Where #MIFacultyLead” describes the evolution of MCSS’s efforts to engage faculty in student success-focused reform efforts over the past 10 years. With the disruption of COVID-19, MCSS has stepped up its faculty engagement efforts, leveraging its social media presence and convening a series of virtual roundtable discussions attended by more than 350 faculty members to create space for faculty to share ideas and reflect together on the challenges facing not only their students, but their institutions, disciplines and professions.

“With leadership from the MCSS, Michigan’s community colleges continue to make impressive progress in redesigning their programs and support services to help students complete programs more efficiently and affordably,” says Davis Jenkins, senior research scholar at the Community College Research Center at Columbia University and co-author of “Redesigning America’s Community Colleges.”

Community Foundation Announces $17M in 3Q Grants
The Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan announced more than $17 million in grants to organizations and initiatives in areas including arts, education, health, human services, and youth development.

“During a year of tremendous uncertainty, the Community Foundation continues to focus on making permanent, positive change in our region,” says Mariam C. Noland, president of the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan. “We are proud to support organizations in all the areas we serve as they continue to rise and meet the challenges of COVID-19.”

Grants announced during the third quarter include:

For the arts:

  • $75,000 to the Arab American National Museum to hire staff experts to create high quality digital formats for museum accessibility.
  • $70,362 to the Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum to support District Wide Discovery, a STEM program for 4th graders in three counties and school districts.
  • $35,000 to Downriver Council for the Arts to support technology upgrades for strategic plan implementation during and beyond the COVID-19 crisis.

For civic life:

  • $34,348 to Count MI Vote Education Fund for support to educate southeast Michigan residents about safe voting practices in the wake of COVID-19.
  • $30,000 to Streetwise Partners, Inc. for support to scale the workforce development mentoring program for unemployed and underemployed adults.

For education:

  • $65,000 to St. Louis Center for Exceptional Children and Adults for support for infrastructure upgrades and on-site educational support services for children with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
  • $25,000 to Mercy Education Project for support to develop infrastructure, action plans, and training required to implement remote learning.

For the environment:

  • $75,000 to Huron River Watershed Council to support diversity, equity, and inclusion planning and integration, in partnership with Friends of the Rouge and the Clinton River Watershed Council.

For health:

  • $35,000 to Hegira Health, Inc. to support a coordinated community response between law enforcement officers and mental health professionals for individuals in crisis.
  • $30,000 to Hospice of Michigan to support additional telehealth training and virtual technology equipment due to COVID-19.

For human services:

  • $63,600 to Cass Community Social Services, Inc. to support a mental health staff position to address COVID-19-related difficulties among individuals and families experiencing homelessness and housing insecurity.
  • $50,000 to Community Housing Network, Inc. for support to expand homelessness prevention, rental assistance program and emergency housing programs in anticipation of increased need due to COVID-19.
  • $48,200 to Mai Family Services for support over two years to provide culturally sensitive, victim-centered and trauma-informed services to South Asian women who have experienced domestic violence.

For youth development:

  • $40,000 to Girls Group for support to provide social-emotional support and academic resilience programming for young women in Washtenaw County.
  • $38,000 to Michigan Organization on Adolescent Sexual Health to establish a virtual transgender youth advisory council to cultivate support, leadership, and personal advocacy among members.

Grants also were approved for the Michigan Justice Fund, the Pontiac Funders Collaborative, and other programs.