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.
Oakland County Has Administered 99%+ of Allotted COVID-19 Vaccines
Oakland County Health Division reports that it has administered more than 99 percent of the 41,350 COVID-19 vaccines distributed to it by the state of Michigan since Dec. 17, 2020.
To maintain its ability to vaccinate residents when adequate supply is available, the health division has launched a network of COVID-19 vaccine provider partnerships to whom they will distribute vaccine.
“We’ve already vaccinated more than 41,000 people and have administered 99.9 percent of the doses that the state has allocated to us,” says Dave Coulter, county executive. “But we’re ready and anxious for the time when that number jumps dramatically.”
Honor Community Health, Henry Ford West Bloomfield Hospital, and Meijer are Oakland County’s current COVID-19 vaccine provider partners. Oakland County Health Division says it is working to expand the number of partners.
Partner requirements include an agreement to administer at least 90 percent of the vaccine the county distributes to them within a week. During the past couple of weeks, Oakland County has distributed 1,950 doses to Henry Ford West Bloomfield Hospital, 975 doses to Meijer, and 300 doses to Honor Community Health.
The county also released other COVID vaccine performance indicators:
- The county’s Save Your Spot list has nearly a half-million registrations so far.
- Oakland County has more than 70 long-term care facilities that were not covered by the federal contract with CVS and Walgreens pharmacies to vaccinate long-term care staff and residents. Oakland County Health Division has vaccinated staff and residents at 20 long-term care facilities utilizing its limited supply of vaccine.
- The Health Division has offered appointments to more than 14,000 Oakland County teachers out of about 23,000 who have signed up for the Save Your Spot list.
- There are still thousands of Phase 1A individuals who still need to be vaccinated.
In addition, Coulter unveiled a project by the county to produce video shorts to help increase confidence for residents receiving the vaccine. Designed to be shared on social media, the videos feature Oakland County residents receiving their vaccines from the Health Division at one of several vaccination sites it operates around the county and their positive experiences.
In related news, Coulter introduced county health officer Leigh-Anne Stafford as the county’s next director of the Health and Human Services Department. Stafford replaces Kathy Forzley, who retired last week.
For more information about Oakland County’s COVID-19 vaccine program, visit here.
Hydro Technology in Dundee Acquired by Ohio Company
Hydro Technology, a provider of industrial and environmental cleaning services in Dundee, northwest of Monroe, has been acquired by Superior Environmental Solutions in Cincinnati, Ohio.
Hydro Technology does water blasting, abrasive cleaning, emergency response, and waste management out of five facilities in Michigan and Ohio.
SES is a supplier of industrial cleaning, environmental emergency response, waste transportation, disposal, and recycling services across a range of end markets including heavy industrial, food and beverage, manufacturing, power and utility, and chemicals. It employs approximately 450 people across 15 branch facilities in the Midwest and southeastern U.S.
“Hydro Technology brings us an outstanding combination of talented people and valuable assets that substantially expand our capabilities in both environmental and industrial services,” says Dean Wallace, CEO of SES. “Our shared mission, values, and commitment to customer service and safety will position us for continued success and growth in the future.”
Kelley Cawthorne and Brown Consulting Group Lobbying Firms Merge
Lobbying firms Kelley Cawthorne and Brown Consulting Group have merged and formed a new initiative called Kelley Cawthorne Empower.
The combined firm will retain the Kelley Cawthorne name and maintain offices in Lansing and Detroit.
Kelley Cawthorne Empower is led by Berton Brown and will focus on diversity and inclusion, community engagement, and traditionally under-represented entities, in addition to in micro-business licensing for the cannabis.
“This merger combines the best of both companies and will allow us to scale our resources to better serve our clients,” says Brown, majority owner and practice partner with Kelley Cawthorne Empower at Kelley Cawthorne. “I’m looking forward to reaching new horizons with some of the best professionals in the field.”
Robert Elhenicky, a partner at Kelley Cawthorne, says, “We’re thrilled to have Berton join our growing team. His insight, relationships, and experience are going to be a great asset to our combined clients.”
Stahls’ Creates Stahl Family Small Business Fund for to Entrepreneurs
Sterling Heights-based Stahls’, a custom garment decoration and equipment company, has created the Stahl Family Small Business Fund, a program to support budding garment decoration businesses nationwide through quarterly scholarships.
The Pure Imagination Scholarship will be given to 21 small business owners in 2021, providing them with coaching, materials, and equipment to start and grow a custom garment business.
The scholarship program started as a one-time award in 2020, but after overwhelming interest and many inspiring entries, the Stahl family said they wanted to help more entrepreneurs achieve their dreams.
“The pandemic has taught us many lessons, for starters, people are finding creative ways to make money at-home,” says Dan Stahl, president of the Stahl Family Business Fund. “Our company has grown and changed since my great grandparents started a business in their garage in the early 1900s, but one thing has remained the same — our commitment to supporting small businesses and entrepreneurs, whether they started their business five years or five months ago. If you dream it, you can do it.”
Five winners will be chosen each quarter of 2021, plus a bonus winner at the end of the year, totaling 21 awardees. Entrants are evaluated by their experience level, business plan, and vision.
First quarter 2021 winners include Danielle Mavrick and Whitney Alvis of The Collective in Culver, Ind.; Christina Washington of Peekywood in Peekskill, N.Y.; Rhonda Gierhan and students Kinzlee Wallace, Tanner Pfizenmaier, Ty Langvardt, and Clara Edwards of Clay Center Community High School in Clay Center, Kan.; Eddie Vargas Sr. and Eddie Vargas Jr. of Keep Kids Off the Street in Gardner, Mass.; and Joe and Jocelyn Kabacinski of 13 Flat in Olympia, Wash.
Anyone with an aspiring dream, current small business or hobby they want to turn into a profitable business is encouraged to apply for the scholarship. More information and the application can be found on the website.
The Pure Imagination Scholarship includes:
- One year of one-on-one personalized coaching from a team of experts at Stahls’.
- A2Z™ Swing Away heat press.
- Start-up materials.
- Marketing kit.
For more information, visit here.
Automation Alley Founder Ken Rogers Passes
Ken Rogers, founder and longtime executive director of Troy-based Automation Alley, died Tuesday at the age of 81.
Rogers, a former deputy Oakland County executive, was appointed to lead Automation Alley by the late county executive L. Brooks Patterson in 1999. He retired in 2014.
“Ken proved to be one of Michigan’s most influential leaders,” said Automation Alley in a statement. “His efforts resulted in the growth of Automation Alley from 42 original member companies to 1,000 technology and manufacturing businesses across the region. Ken was a charismatic and energetic leader whose business accomplishments were only outshined by how genuinely he cared for his staff and our members.”
Automation Alley was designed to stem the outflow of thousands of auto-related jobs from Oakland County while also creating better training for high-tech workers.
“I am deeply saddened by the death of Ken Rogers. He faithfully served Oakland County residents for 22 years as deputy county executive,” said Dave Coulter, Oakland County executive, in a statement. “I got to know him best when I was a county commissioner and he was leading Automation Alley. Ken’s legacy will be his unwavering commitment to ensuring our region remained competitive for technology jobs, including expanding Automation Alley’s presence outside Oakland County. I send my thoughts and prayers to the Rogers family and friends.”
Townsend Hotel to Host Job Fair Feb. 24
The Townsend Hotel in Birmingham will be hosting a job on Wednesday, Feb 24 from 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
The hotel will be offering on-the-spot interviews for the following positions:
- Rugby Grille servers, server assistants, and hosts.
- Front desk agents.
- Housekeeping team members.
- Culinary professionals.
- Evening engineer.
Dover Saddlery Coming to Green Oak Village Place in Brighton
Dover Saddlery, a retail outlet for equestrian products, will open at Green Oak Village Place in Brighton this spring. The opening will mark the chain’s first store in Michigan.
The new store will feature English apparel, tack, and products for horse health, meeting the needs of horses and riders of all levels and riding disciplines.
“We are pleased to continue a trajectory of growth in our neighborhood town center with the emergence of an iconic 45-year-old industry leading brand like Dover Saddlery,” says Sean Valentino, director of retail operations at REDICO, which manages Green Oak Village Place. “Dover Saddlery brings a very unique line of products that further solidifies Green Oak Village Place as a destination shopping experience complete with common, and niche goods and services for the Brighton community and beyond.”
Located at 9700 Village Place Blvd., formerly Rally House, the new Dover Saddlery at Green Oak Village Place will occupy a 6,000-square-foot space for shoppers to explore a wide selection of equestrian products.
Researchers Use Data from H1N1 Pandemic to Model Drive-through Vaccination Clinics
New research published in the INFORMS Journal on Applied Analytics provides a simulated model for drive-through clinics that can be used for mass COVID-19 vaccinations based on the successful use of such a clinic to address H1N1.
The paper, titled “Lessons from Modeling and Running the World′s Largest Drive-Through, Mass Vaccination Clinic,” looks at data from The Louisville Metro Public Health and Wellness department during the H1N1 vaccinations. The authors are from Oklahoma State University and Vanderlande Industries, and note that a total of 19,318 residents were vaccinated via a drive-through and a walk-up clinic over 1.5 days — nearly two-thirds of whom specifically used the drive-through clinic. The authors found that people preferred the convenience of drive-through clinics because they perceived it was safer, more convenient, and less contagious.
“As policymakers address how to bolster mass vaccinations for COVID-19, drive-through vaccination sites offer a means to inoculate people faster and with less waiting and confusion as compared to other mass vaccination approaches,” said the authors. “This could readily be done in literally every single community, transforming the trajectory of the COVID-19 pandemic once and for all.”
Cardiologist Establishes Structural Heart Disease Research Fund at Henry Ford Health System
Dr. William O’Neill, director of the Center for Structural Heart Disease at Henry Ford Health System, has donated $1 million to establish the Carol S. O’Neill Structural Heart Disease Research Fund at Henry Ford Health System.
The fund, created in honor of O’Neill’s late wife, Carol, who passed away in 2019, will support and advance research efforts at Henry Ford Health System’s Heart & Vascular Institute.
“As a devoted wife and mother, Carol continuously exuded unconditional love for her family, and she often put the needs of others before her own,” says O’Neill. “She was a talented nurse, but set that aside to raise our children, Brian, Kate, Julie and Molly. When they were all grown, she returned to nursing, which she loved, as a research nurse in the Structural Heart Disease program at Henry Ford.”
The Heart & Vascular Institute at Henry Ford is a leader and innovator in comprehensive care, research and education, and one of the nation’s largest and most successful heart failure and transplant programs.
As director of the Center for Structural Heart Disease, which is within the Heart & Vascular Institute, O’Neill has been at the forefront of many major interventional cardiology advancements, including pioneering the use of angioplasty for the treatment of heart attacks, developing catheter-based treatments for structural heart disease, and leading the National Cardiogenic Shock Initiative to organize new protocols for treating cardiogenic shock, a deadly side-effect of massive heart attacks. Structural heart disease refers to defects or disorders of the heart’s structure that are present at birth or develop later, such as valves that do not open and close properly, narrowing of the passages in the heart, or a hole in the wall between the chambers of the heart.
The Center for Structural Heart Disease treats some of the most complicated cases of structural heart disease and plays a leading role testing new treatment devices and creating new techniques using catheters.
For more information about the Center for Structural Heart Disease at Henry Ford Health System, visit here.
Servpro in Dearborn Sponsoring Express Coat Drive Feb. 18-21
Servpro of Dearborn and Dearborn Heights SE is sponsoring an Express Coat Drive, Feb. 18-21 from 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
Drop off any winter coats to the Dearborn Area Chamber of Commerce’s parking lot, located at 22100 Michigan Ave. (next door to Buddy’s) and look for the green Servpro truck.
Once Servpro sanitizes the donated coats, they will be delivered to Zaman International – Hope for Humanity.
For more information, contact the Dearborn Area Chamber of Commerce at 313-584-6100.