COVID-19 Update: Federal Government Invests $7.6M in Rapid Testing, Army Selects Deloitte to Support Emergency Telecare Deployment, 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.
map of Michigan coronavirus cases
Courtesy of Bridge, as of July 26

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.

Federal Government: HHS and DOD Invest $7.6M to Expand COVID-19 Testing
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Defense have awarded a contract with a ceiling of $7.6 million to Hologic Inc. in Massachusetts to expand production of custom sample collection and processing consumables for COVID-19 testing.

The tube, cap, and multi-tube unit consumables are critical for performing molecular diagnostic tests on the Panther and Panther Fusion systems. This investment will increase Hologic’s production from 4.8 million COVID-19 tests per month to 6.8 million tests per month. Hologic is expected to deliver the increased volume of consumables to market by January.

“Hologic’s platform is in high demand, and with this investment, we will be able to improve the supply to laboratories across the country,” says Dr. Brett Giroir, assistant secretary for health of HHS.

With this investment, Hologic now is positioned to support the demand for COVID-19 testing in the U.S. due to the installed base of more than 1,100 fully automated, high-throughput Panther and Panther Fusion systems. These Panther systems each are capable of performing more than 1,000 tests in a 24-hour period. Hologic has received ongoing support to develop the COVID-19 test for these systems from the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority, part of the HHS Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response.

Army Selects Deloitte to Support Rapid Telecare Deployment
Deloitte, a global advisory firm with a large office in Detroit, is one of six clinical and technical teams selected by the U.S. Army to advance to Task 2 of the rapid development, deployment, and testing of the National Emergency Tele-Critical Care Network.

Operated by the U.S. Army Medical Research and Development Command’s Telemedicine and Advanced Technology Research Center, NETCCN is a cloud-based, low-resource, stand-alone health information management system for the creation and coordination of flexible and extendable “virtual critical care wards.”

Based on cellular communication networks, mobile technologies, and cloud computing, the NETCCN will support the extension of high-quality intensive care to locations that lack adequate critical care expertise and resources necessary for care of COVID-19-related illnesses.

“The COVID pandemic is stressing our nation’s critical-care capacity and available clinical expertise,” says Col. Jeremy Pamplin, director of TATRC. “The six teams that completed Task 1 of the NETCCN project successfully demonstrated the ability to extend critical care expertise from anywhere to anywhere leveraging existing mobile networks. As we embark on Task 2, we’re one step closer to bringing NETCCN into the fight against COVID.”

Task 2 of the NETCCN project will include 30-days of rapid development and beta testing of the platforms as the function for multiple patients and multiple care teams. The teams’ solutions then will undergo another round of evaluation, clinical simulation testing, and down-selection of at least three additional teams. The remaining teams then will move to Task 3, in which those teams will field their platforms for real-world use at scale.

National Kidney Foundation Walk Goes Virtual
The National Kidney Foundation of Michigan’s annual Kidney Walk at the Detroit Zoo will be a live virtual interactive event presented on Sunday, Aug. 16 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The event will begin at 10 a.m. on both the foundation’s Facebook page and its YouTube channel.

“It’s a new way to hold a kidney walk,” says Linda Smith-Wheelock, president of NKFM. “All the elements will be there: generous sponsors, walkers, and other supporters who raise substantial funds for the NKFM’s vital programs and services. The good news is that many of our team members have already been raising funds! We appreciate this as we try to stay true to our mission to prevent kidney disease and improve the quality of life for those living with it.”

To register or for more information, visit here or call the National Kidney Foundation of Michigan at 800-482-1455.

Judson Center Amplifies Golf Outing with Virtual Activities
The Judson Center is offering additional virtual options for people to participate in its annual Corporate Golf Challenge on Monday, Aug. 24, at the Birmingham Country Club.

The inaugural eGolf Challenge, in collaboration with the Becker College eSports program, will take place on Monday, Aug. 17. Tickets can be purchased for $75 here by Monday, Aug. 10.  The ticket includes entry into the virtual tournament with a chance to win a $150 Visa gift card.

“Judson Center is excited to partner with Becker College, which is nationally recognized for its game design program, to enhance our annual golf event with a fun and engaging virtual experience for golfers and non-golfers to participate and show their support,” says Lenora Hardy-Foster, president and CEO of the Judson Center. “This is a very challenging time for the non-profit community and Judson Center needs not only continued support from our longstanding partners, but an additional network of individuals and corporations who are inspired by the work we’ve done with children and families since 1924.”

Here’s how the Judson Center eGolf Challenge works:

  • Download the WGT Golf App to your phone.
  • Login and set up your personalized Avatar.
  • Once your reservation is received, you will receive a YouTube instructional video explaining how to join the Judson Center Golf Club.
  • The Judson Center eGolf Challenge launches on Monday, Aug. 17; you will have 48 hours to complete play (generally will not take more than 30-45 minutes).
  • When the tournament concludes, a leaderboard will be displayed and the winner will be contacted to receive the prize.

Sponsorships for the in-person Corporate Golf Challenge – including the mask sponsorship at $5,000 – still are available. For questions about either event, please contact Katie Groves at 248-554-6435 or at

Center for Design + Technology Hosts Online Climate Change Event July 29
As part of its ongoing series of online climate change events, the Center for Design + Technology in Detroit is hosting a symposium titled “We CAN Build a Carbon-Neutral World – Here’s How …” on Wednesday, July 29 at 11:30 a.m.

This livestream event will cover renovating existing structures and creating new communities and developing policies, plans, and projects that help future-proof cities and achieve climate change-related goals.

The discussion will be led by Evelyn Dougherty, operations and events director at AIA Michigan. Panelists include: Jan Culbertson, senior principal of A3C Collaborative Architecture and Architecture and chair of Ann Arbor 2030 District; Doug Selby, co-founder of Meadowlark Design + Build; Matthew Grocoff, principal of THRIVE Collaborative; and Katrina Kelly-Pitou, economist and energy systems strategist at SmithGroup.

Visit here to register.

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