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 Health and Spectrum Health Sign Formal Integration Agreement
Beaumont Health and Spectrum Health have signed a formal integration agreement, the next step in the process to create a new health system that is For Michigan, By Michigan. The two hospital groups state the integration agreement signals ongoing momentum and commitment toward the organizations’ shared vision to provide more accessible, affordable, equitable and exceptional health care and coverage for people across the state.
In June 2021, Beaumont Health and Spectrum Health signed a Letter of Intent to join together to create a new health system, and began the process of state and federal regulatory review. After the regulatory review process is complete, the two organizations hope to launch the new health system, temporarily named BHSH System, this fall.
“We have worked together to develop a deeper understanding of each organization. I greatly appreciate the efforts of our teams, and I remain confident that together we will create an optimal health system For Michigan, By Michigan,” says Tina Freese Decker, president and CEO of Spectrum Health in Grand Rapids, and the potential future BHSH System President and CEO.
“Both Spectrum Health and Beaumont Health have rich histories with compassionate, high-quality and dedicated health care professionals. As COVID-19 and the delta variant increase, I am grateful for the care provided to our communities by our team members. I look forward to working with our teams to make health care and coverage more accessible, affordable, equitable and exceptional for Michiganders.”
Beaumont Health Board Chair Julie Fream added, “We are very pleased to be making important progress toward launching our new health system. Beaumont Health and Spectrum Health each have strong legacies of service.” If the new health group is formed, Fream would be chairman of the board.
Beaumont Health and Spectrum Health state they remain committed to the goals and commitments defined in the LOI, which are also incorporated into the integration agreement, including:
- Improving health and health equity: Providing exceptional, equitable care and service to all patients and health plan members will always be at the center of the new system’s work.
- Enhancing the consumer experience: Making the experience easier for patients and members will include investing in new digital technologies and providing services in more convenient ways such as virtual and in-home care.
- Improving health care quality, value and outcomes: Creating a new health system, which includes Priority Health, will allow for the development of and investment in innovative solutions that improve health care and coverage for all Michiganders.
- Making health care more affordable for the communities we serve: Bringing together the strengths of Spectrum Health and Beaumont Health will improve efficiency and deliver affordable, high-quality care and coverage across the state.
- Ensuring the voices of team members and physicians are heard: Gathering the input of physicians, nurses and other team members who are closest to patients will be critical to realizing the mission and vision of the new organization. The new organization will also foster a culture that attracts and retains top health professionals to live and work in Michigan.
“This is an important step forward to bring together our organizations to create a new system that improves the health of individuals throughout the state,” says John Fox, president and CEO of Beaumont Health in Southfield. We continue to receive positive feedback about what our teams can do together, and we are excited about the future.”
For updates and more information, visit www.formichiganbymichigan.org.
Oakland University Operations Continue During Faculty Strike
Officials at Oakland University in Rochester Hills say all classes, support services, extracurricular activities, and other operations will proceed on their normal schedules while negotiations with striking faculty continue.
In a statement released this morning, the university said it hopes to resolve remaining contract issues as soon as possible and with minimal disruption to fall classes, which will not be canceled.
Students are advised to report to classes as scheduled and wait at least 15 minutes to determine whether their instructor will be teaching. Students also may contact their instructors in advance to determine whether classes will be taking place. Students will be responsible for all course content and assignments delivered during, and subsequent to, the negotiation period.
Detroit’s Integrated Operations Helps Businesses as They Reopen to the Public
Integrated Operations, a Detroit-based germ and virus mitigation systems company, says it is seeing a greater demand for more effective disinfection while lowering costs, as well as an increase in the use of better, more protective face masks.
In large part due to the pandemic, businesses have increased onsite disinfection protocols in an effort to mitigate infections and reduce public concern about being in areas that are deemed unsafe. These new disinfection protocols increase the costs of doing business in labor and materials, which may not be highly effective at inactivating viruses and killing harmful bacteria.
Additionally, it’s generally known that using proper face masks helps to decrease risk, and increasingly it’s becoming mandatory in many venues, especially those that are travel related.
“We know that thorough disinfection and proper use of face masks are effective in preventing illness due to harmful viruses and bacteria, including COVID-19,” says Nick Jaksa, founder and president of Integrated Operations. “Several industries such as health care, travel, entertainment, and hospitality realize that disinfection is here to stay and are seeking ways to keep their environments safe in a cost-effective way.
“Consumers, patients, and travelers are expecting the highest level of cleanliness and caution from service providers, and individuals are also taking responsibility for educating themselves on what is the most effective face mask.”
According to Jaksa, the best way to deactivate viruses and kill germs is by using a misting/fogging system from Viral Defense, a brand launched by Integrated Operations, that covers all surfaces quickly and at a fraction of the cost of other methods with similar levels of effectiveness.
CDC guidelines require mask wearing while using public transit, including air, rail, buses, and while in the transit stations. “For shorter trips, travelers are tolerating a range of masks; however, for long-haul trips where effectiveness and comfort are important considerations, travelers are seeking and educating themselves on the best types of masks for the situation,” says Jaksa.
For example, when selecting a mask for air travel, multi-layer masks with antiviral inner layers are highly effective and preferred by Viral Defense customers. The Viral Defense/BeeActive, BeeSafe, and BeeLif masks feature three- and four-layer designs with middle layers of colloidal silver-embedded polyamide fabric to deactivate viruses and destroy other germs. These masks provide the highest level of protection and are competitively priced, according to Jaska.
Ann Arbor AI Firm Picked to Provide Online Learning for Michigan Works! Southeast
Amesite Inc., an Ann Arbor artificial intelligence software company providing advanced A.I. powered online learning ecosystems for business and higher education, has been selected by Michigan Works! Southeast to provide workforce training to its team members.
“Workforce upskilling and reskilling is needed more urgently now than ever, given the evolution of the work world,” says Shamar Herron, executive director for Michigan Works! Southeast. “We chose Amesite to support our own workforce in their professional development journey because we believe in the power of their platform to support the engagement, and ultimately the success of our teams.
“In fact, our careful review of their offerings revealed that their platform is more comprehensive and easier to use and implement than other ed-tech solutions we considered. We are excited for this partnership and believe wholeheartedly that a SaaS (Software as a Service) company with industry-leading technology such as Amesite is the best fit that ties into our organization’s value of lifelong learning, leading to the development of a sustainable workforce.”
Michigan Works! Southeast is part of a 16-agency system that “influences, educates, and inspires actions that keeps Michigan working,” according to Herron.
The members of the association offer training, education, business development, and access to employment opportunities. Michigan Works! Southeast serves nearly 18,000 community members in Hillsdale, Jackson, Lenawee, Livingston, and Washtenaw Counties through one-on-one career guidance, and upskilling job seekers for current labor trends.
Restaurant Association Promotes National Food Safety Month
The Lansing-based Michigan Restaurant and Lodging Association and ServSafe have announced this year’s restaurant resources for National Food Safety Month, which is recognized in September. The theme for NFSM is Know Safe & Show Safe.
The rules for food safety haven’t changed. The way employees clean and keep restaurants safe is the same, but it’s become more important that their guests know that they know, and that their safety will be held to the highest standard. People are eager to return and understand the value restaurants bring to the community. NFSM reassures guests and shows their safety is always the top priority.
“National Food Safety Month is a great tradition that we welcome each fall to educate our industry beyond the standard and improve current food safety procedures overall,” says Justin Winslow, president and CEO of the MRLA. “We are committed to helping the entire hospitality industry by providing essential free resources and information to ensure the health and safety of operators, employees, and guests.”
Over the course of five weeks, MRLA and ServSafe are offering restaurant owners and managers resources to advance the mission of keeping all Michigan restaurants and diners safe and healthy. Each week of National Food Safety Month is designated to a specific topic and offers free posters, worksheets, quizzes, and other materials to coincide with the topic.
- Week 1 (8/30): Cleaning vs Sanitizing vs Disinfecting
- Week 2 (9/6): Cleaning and Sanitizing Your Equipment
- Week 3 (9/13): Cleaning and Sanitizing Dishes
- Week 4 (9/20): Cleaning and Sanitizing Your Operation
- Week 5 (9/27): Develop and Implement a Cleaning Program
To access the weekly resources, visit michiganfoodsafety.com.
ACC Receives State Grant for Refugee Medical Screening
Troy-based human service organization ACC has received a grant from the Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity (LEO) to provide comprehensive medical screenings to newly arrived refugees to the United States.
ACC’s Refugee Health Assessment Program provides the initial health assessment for newly arrived refugees in Macomb, Oakland, and Wayne counties. Those eligible include all newly arrived refugees/SIV’s/asylees within 90 days of arrival to the U.S. and those on Refugee Medical Assistance (RMA) within eight months of their arrival. Under the grant, ACC will administer immunizations as necessary and make referrals to local health care providers for follow-up. Medical screenings must be initiated within 30 days and be completed no more than 90 days after the refugee’s U.S. arrival.
“ACC is grateful to receive grant funding from the Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity as we continue this important work for those arriving in the U.S.,” says Haifa Fakhouri, president and CEO of ACC. “ACC’s licensed medical personnel provide comprehensive health assessments and medical screenings. Especially now, as the pandemic lingers on, it is vital to ensure these newly arrived individuals have proper medical care.”
Each new patient receives age-appropriate exams, which includes the review of written medical history and head-to-toe review of body systems, as well as an evaluation of vision, hearing, and dental screen.
Clients also receive age-appropriate immunizations, laboratory exam services to check for health concerns such as diabetes and anemia, hepatitis B, and tuberculosis (TB) testing.
With its multi-lingual staff, ACC has the ability to provide cultural and linguistically appropriate methods for refugee medical screening.