COVID-19 Update: Metro Detroit’s Air Quality to Benefit from EVs, New State Campaign Urges Citizens to Join Together to Stop Pandemic, 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 Sept. 15

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.

Report: Metro Detroit’s Air to Benefit from Transition to Electric Vehicles
American Lung Association has released a new report titled The Road to Clean Air says a transition to electric cars, buses, and trucks by mid-century would both improve air quality and address climate change, benefiting the lives and health of Americans and Detroit residents, and would result in significant local benefits.

In the report, Detroit was listed as one of the top 15 metro areas that would see the greatest benefit from a transition to electric vehicles. The Road to Clean Air outlines the broad benefits of the transition to an electric transportation sector over the coming decades.

Benefits in Detroit per year based on emission reductions in 2050:

  • Avoiding approximately 100 premature deaths.
  • Preventing more than 1,220 asthma attacks.
  • Preventing 5,625 lost workdays per year.
  • $1.1 billion in public health benefits.

National benefits per year based on emission reductions in 2050:

  • Avoiding approximately 6,300 premature deaths.
  • Preventing more than 93,000 asthma attacks.
  • Preventing 416,000 lost workdays.
  • $72 Billion in public health benefits.
  • $113 Billion in climate impacts avoided.

“The transportation sector is a leading contributor to air pollution and climate change,” says Ken Fletcher, director of advocacy for the American Lung Association. “We have the technology to transition to cleaner cars, trucks, and buses, and by taking that step we can prepare Detroit for the future while also seeing the health and economic benefits forecasted in The Road to Clean Air. Especially as our state faces the impacts of climate change such as extreme storms and wildfires, this is a powerful and practical opportunity to take action to improve our air, our health and our future.”

For more information about the report, visit here. The full report on Michigan’s air quality can be found here.

New Campaign Urges All Michiganders to Join Together to Safely Reopen the State
A new public education campaign launched this week by Michigan public health officials and a coalition whose members touch the lives of millions of citizens urges all Michiganders to unite to contain the spread of COVID-19 so the state’s economy, schools, and communities can safely reopen – and stay open.

The Spread Hope, Not COVID campaign includes 50 of Michigan’s leading health care, business, education, community, manufacturing, tourism, senior citizen, labor, faith-based, and public safety organizations, and is led by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services. The campaign calls on all Michiganders to take actions that will significantly reduce the spread of the virus including wearing masks, washing and sanitizing hands, practicing physical distancing, and more.

The campaign will communicate with residents through broadcast, outdoor, social and digital media, and the news media. The campaign is also sharing information through state and local associations, business organizations, K-12, college and university organizations and institutions, health care provider groups, communities of color, and other stakeholder groups that represent or reach millions of Michigan residents.

The campaign’s messaging is based on a survey of 2,047 Michigan residents ages 18 an older conducted July 8-13. The survey’s goal was to identify and quantify behaviors and attitudes related to wearing masks and other types of facial coverings.

The survey found that 72 percent of Michigan residents say they always wear a mask in public, with Black Michiganders significantly more likely to wear a mask than all other respondent groups, and women more likely than men to wear a mask.

Outside metro Detroit, there are no significant differences in mask-wearing among Michigan’s various geographic regions. Mask-wearing tends to be higher in metro Detroit. Among age groups, Boomers are significantly more likely to wear masks, while Generation Xers are significantly less likely.

Auction to Raise Funds for Child Abuse Prevention
Child abuse and neglect prevention programs statewide will benefit from the 18th annual Children’s Trust Fund Pam Posthumus Signature Auction Event that is taking place virtually until 9 p.m. tonight. A live event will be broadcast online between 7-8 p.m. this evening.

Available auction items include a Detroit Entertainment Package including Detroit Tiger, Red Wings, Fox Theatre, and Motor City Casino experiences; a week–long trip to Maui, Hawaii, and original art from Michigan artist Elizabeth Schwartz and Peter Max.

To bid on items and to view the live event, visit here.

Created by the Michigan Legislature in 1982, the Children’s Trust Fund is Michigan’s only statewide nonprofit organization solely dedicated to the prevention of child abuse and neglect.

For more information on the Children’s Trust Fund, visit here.

LTU to Host Virtual Michigan Academy of Science, Arts, and Letters Conference Sept. 26
Lawrence Technological University in Southfield will host the Michigan Academy of Science, Arts and Letters Annual Conference virtually on Sept. 26.

Originally planned as an in-person event in March and later as an in-person event this month, the event has been made virtual due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

MASAL is a professional academic organization to support research and disseminate knowledge through annual conferences and the publication of a quarterly peer-reviewed journal, the Michigan Academician. It also awards an annual prize for outstanding undergraduate research. Most of its members are faculty or students at colleges and universities in Michigan, along with independent scholars and researchers.

“The academy is grateful to LTU for taking the lead to efficiently transition the annual conference to a virtual format,” says Shannon Timmons, president of MASAL and director of the honors and quest programs in the LTU Department of Natural Sciences. “Our current Zoom, Canvas, and Google Drive capabilities, along with the expert assistance of our eLearning staff, have facilitated an excellent platform for a virtual conference. More than two dozen LTU faculty and staff members have also generously donated their time to assist in hosting Zoom sessions on the day of the conference to ensure a fulfilling experience for all attendees.”

The Sept. 26 conference will feature 31 interdisciplinary sessions and 296 oral presentations — 99 undergraduate students, 73 graduate students, 110 faculty members, and 14 retired faculty or independent scholars — representing 73 colleges and universities. More than 300 people have registered to attend. Sibrina Collins, executive director of LTU’s Marburger STEM Center, will serve as the keynote speaker; her presentation will highlight a documentary film produced by LTU students, “Women Untold,” which celebrates inclusion in STEM.

For more information, visit here.

Judson Center Partners with Salvation Army for Targeted Mental Health Services
Judson Center, a multi-county human service agency and newly designated Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinic, is partnering with The Salvation Army to provide behavioral health and drug addiction treatment and post-treatment services and onsite primary care to individuals at The Salvation Army Harbor Light Macomb facility in Clinton Township.

A memorandum of understanding signed by The Salvation Army Eastern Michigan Division and Judson Center cites the primary goals of the partnership for Harbor Light as reducing hospital and out-of-home placement readmissions for individuals who have been treated for mental health or substance use disorder, delivering outpatient mental health services to those who have not received treatment in the prior six months, reducing critical events such as hospitalizations, suicide, and overdoses, and tracking health effectiveness data and information set (HEDIS) measures on a quarterly basis for clients served.

“This partnership will be a different approach to caring for Salvation Army clients through a coordinated and focused effort on each person’s mind, body and soul which will ultimately improve their recovery process,” says Capt. Jamie Winkler, executive director of the Salvation Army Eastern Michigan Harbor Light System. “Providing onsite primary care and mental health services has been a long-term strategic goal and we’re proud to join forces with the Judson Center to make this a reality.”

Brushes with Cancer Program at GM Design Center Slated for Sept. 25
Twist Out Cancer will host its 2020 Brushes with Cancer program at GM’s Design Center in Warren beginning with a virtual art exhibition on Friday, Sept. 25.

Twist Out Cancer is an is an international nonprofit charitable organization that provides psychosocial support to individuals touched by cancer through creative arts programming. After conducting 14 programs in seven cities over the past eight years, this is the first time a Brushes with Cancer program will take place for employees of one company.

The work of 23 artists is inspired by the personal stories of 25 previvors, survivors, fighters, and caregivers affected by cancer, all employees of the GM Design Center.

Their artwork and the stories behind them will be available for everyone to view during the Sept. 25 virtual exhibition. Tickets are available here.

AIA to Host Virtual Celebration of Architecture Sept. 24
The annual American Institute of Architects, Detroit Chapter Celebration of Architecture will go virtual for 2020 on Thursday, Sept. 24 from 8-9:30 p.m.

The event has grown over the years into a main attraction of the Detroit Month of Design’s Eastern Market After Dark night.

This year’s broadcast will feature the institute’s 2020 Architectural and Recognition Award winners and the 10th anniversary of the Detroit Month of Design, as well as interactive content from architects across metro Detroit.

In lieu of ticket sales, AIA Detroit is asking viewers to make a donation to Gleaners Community Food Bank. For more information, visit here.

Local Universities Appear in National Magazine Rankings
The University of Michigan in Ann Arbor and Michigan State University in East Lansing are ranked in the top 100 national universities by U.S. News & World Report.

U-M is ranked 24th and MSU is ranked 80th on the list.

The University of Detroit Mercy is ranked 187th, Wayne State University and Central Michigan University tied at 249, Western Michigan University checked in at 258, and Eastern Michigan University cracked the top 300 at 298.

UDM ranked 34th among the Best Value Schools. Lawrence Technological University in Southfield ranked 37th among the top regional colleges in the Midwest.

To explore the full rankings report, visit here.

$15M in Grants to Expand Research on Aging at U-M
New grants totaling more than $15 million will amplify the University of Michigan’s ability to conduct research on aging and to help identify and address issues facing older adults today and into the future.

U-M is now home to six aging research centers funded by the National Institute on Aging, part of the National Institutes of Health. Two of its existing centers have received renewed funding and a newly funded center has joined the campus.

The new funding supports:

  • The Michigan Center on the Demography of Aging, now entering its 26th year, which was renewed for an additional five years. MiCDA is an interdisciplinary community of scholars from across U-M that advances social and behavioral research on the aging of the population.
  • The University of Michigan Claude D. Pepper Older Americans Independence Center, continuously funded since 1989, which was renewed for five more years of funding. The Pepper Center advances research on the clinical health of older adults and trains future academic leaders in aging research.

U-M also was awarded a new grant to host the coordinating center for more than a dozen demography of aging centers nationwide funded by NIA.

“The UMAging centers share a commitment to advancing research on the most pressing health-related issues for older adults and together strengthen our ability to more fully understand the implications of our aging society,” says Vicki Freedman, director of the Michigan Center on the Demography of Aging and a research professor at the U-M Institute for Social Research.

All of the centers offer faculty development opportunities such as seed funding for pilot projects and mentorship or training programs. Some centers also support scientific networks to address emerging multidisciplinary topics, focus on recruitment of research participants, or offer data-related services.

“The current COVID-19 crisis further highlights the vulnerability of the older population and the need for high-quality research focusing on older adults,” says Raymund Yung, chief of geriatric and palliative medicine at Michigan Medicine and leader of the Pepper Center. “The breadth of aging research at the University of Michigan will position us well for the challenges ahead.”