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.
Common Ground Launches Virtual Behavioral Health Urgent Care Service
Common Ground in Bloomfield Township has launched the area’s first Behavioral Health Urgent Care (BHUC) service, offering a cost-effective, timely alternative to emergency room care for those with less acute mental health conditions, such as depression, anxiety, or substance abuse.
Initially, BHUC is operating as a telehealth service staffed by licensed, masters-level mental health professionals working under the direction of a psychiatrist. The new service is accessible Monday through Friday from 11 a.m.-8 p.m.; and Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. through the Common Ground website.
It will expand to include a physical Behavioral Health Urgent Care Clinic in south Oakland County later this year.
Similar to urgent care for a physical illness, Behavioral Health Urgent Care provides timely assessment and treatment for urgent, but not emergency, mental health needs. It offers an alternative to seeking care in the emergency room, helping to de-escalate mental health symptoms before they become a life-or-death crisis. The BHUC service also will help those who can’t get in to see their doctor, providing another way to access prescriptions for bridge medications that help to stabilize a mental health condition.
Common Ground will seek insurance reimbursement for BHUC services through patients’ health insurers, when applicable. But all people, with and without insurance, are welcome to utilize the service which will be far less costly than an emergency room visit.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has put additional stress on people’s mental health, adding to the growing demand for behavioral health services,” says Heather Rae, president and CEO of Common Ground. “As a recognized leader in crisis and mental health care with 50 years of experience providing compassionate, professional, and comprehensive services, we were compelled to do more to meet community needs for timely, affordable access to care. Behavioral Health Urgent Care is an innovative approach that’s new to the Detroit area but has been successful in other areas of the state and country.”
Michigan Legacy Credit Union Partners with WSU Institute of Gerontology
Michigan Legacy Credit Union (MLCU), with branches in Wyandotte, Warren, Pontiac, Highland, and Flat Rock, has launched a pilot program with Wayne State University’s Institute of Gerontology to help protect its vulnerable members from financial exploitation.
In September of 2021, Michigan enacted the Financial Exploitation Prevention Act, requiring financial institutions to offer training and procedures to recognize financial exploitation and protect vulnerable clients from becoming victims.
“Older adult financial exploitation is at epidemic heights,” says Carma Peters, president and CEO of MLCU. “Sadly, these crimes are often swept under the rug because victims are too ashamed to report them. We never want to see a credit union member financially manipulated and victimized, and this pilot program provides resources to truly empower our staff and our members.”
New members of the credit union age 50 and up are automatically offered the Financial Vulnerability Survey, developed by Wayne State — and dozens have taken it thus far. Their scores are included in a database to help monitor these members’ accounts for abnormal financial activity. All MLCU credit union staff participated in multiple training sessions with WSU on the survey and learned how to identify and discuss cognitive risk factors before exploitation occurs. As a result of this training, staff members have already been able to address several cases of older financial exploitation.
The Financial Vulnerability Survey is one of several tools created by Peter Lichtenberg, director of the Institute of Gerontology for nearly two decades, to combat fraud and financial exploitation in older adults. Lichtenberg has done extensive research to develop and validate a variety of financial decision-making and vulnerability tools.
“The FVS is easy to understand and to complete,” Lichtenberg says. “It resonates with older people who are concerned about their financial decision making. Finances are often a taboo topic for discussion, yet people are hungry for information about their own financial vulnerability level.”
The FVS and other tools to assess financial decision making, plus resources for professionals, caregivers and older adults can be found at Lichtenberg’s website.
Michigan Department of Insurance and Financial Services Launches New Website
The Michigan Department of Insurance and Financial Services (DIFS) is unveiling a new website to provide easy to access and convenient government services online. DIFS’ new site — Michigan.gov/DIFS — features modern technology and an updated layout for all webpages.
“The department is committed to providing exceptional service to all Michiganders, including consumers and licensees in the insurance and financial services industries, and the new website is just one way we are working to enhance the information, resources, and services we offer,” says Anita Fox, director of DIFS. “The new website will continue to provide resources and assistance to consumers and licensees with easier navigation and an updated look.”
In addition to design updates, the new website’s layout and updated search function is designed to make commonly accessed information easier to find. DIFS’ new website is part of the statewide website modernization project.
Rocket Mortgage Classic Opens 2022 Birdies for Charity Registration
The Rocket Mortgage Classic today announced that registration is open to participants for its Birdies for Charity program, giving verified 501(c)(3) organizations the ability to use Detroit’s PGA Tour event as a platform to support their fundraising missions. The event returns to Detroit Golf Club for the fourth consecutive year from July 26-31.
The Birdies for Charity program is free, with no administrative fees, and 100 percent of the proceeds generated are directed toward participating nonprofits. New and returning nonprofit organizations in good standing can register by visiting RocketMortgageClassic.com, clicking “Charity” and then choosing “Birdies for Charity.” Applications will be accepted through July 22.
Serving as a launchpad for long-term positive impact, the Rocket Mortgage Classic’s interactive Birdies for Charity program is designed to help raise funds and awareness for local nonprofits and increase the amount of positive change generated by the tournament.
“The Rocket Mortgage Classic’s Birdies for Charity program has been a staple of success for local fundraising since our tournament’s inception in 2019,” says Jason Langwell, executive director of the Rocket Mortgage Classic. “The program’s proven track record of generating significant fundraising dollars for participating organizations means it truly is a win-win scenario for these nonprofits and the greater Detroit community.”
All nonprofit organizations registered with the Birdies for Charity program can benefit from two types of charitable contributions — per-birdie donations (accepted through July 27) relative to the total number of birdies made by PGA Tour pros during the four rounds of tournament play July 28-31, and flat-rate donations (accepted through July 31). The lower the pros go on their scorecards — by making birdies — the higher the Birdies for Charity donation scoreboard goes, and the greater the community impact for local nonprofits.
Additionally, the three charitable organizations that raise the most money by July 13 each will be awarded two honorary observer spots for one competition round during the 2022 Rocket Mortgage Classic. Honorary observers are granted access to walk inside the ropes with select PGA Tour player groups during tournament play.
Birdies for Charity raised $119,723 for nonprofits during the 2021 Rocket Mortgage Classic. Since 2019, the event has invested more than $5.25 million into nonprofits, including $3.2 million through the Changing the Course initiative launched in 2020.
To inquire about sponsorship opportunities related to the Birdies for Charity program, please email email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Northwood University Honors 2022 Class of Outstanding Business Leaders
Northwood University in Midland honored this year’s class of Outstanding Business Leaders and the Richard DeVos Young Entrepreneur Award winner during a weekend that included a gala at the Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation in Dearborn.
“The Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation is a perfect venue to celebrate these industry leaders, as this historical museum celebrates American ingenuity, resourcefulness and innovation,” says Kent MacDonald, president of Northwood. “Like those innovative business leaders who have come before us, we honored this weekend contemporary business leaders who have also contributed to the free-enterprise system Northwood University holds so dear.”
The Outstanding Business Leader award celebrates men and women from around the world who have made a difference in their business and community. The 2022 Class of honorees includes:
- Jim Fitterling, chairman and CEO, Dow
- Michael LaFontaine Sr., president, LaFontaine Automotive Group
- Bill Long, president and CEO, Motor & Equipment Manufacturers Association (MEMA)
- Ben Manthei, founder and board member, Redi-Rock International
- Lisa McClain, representing Michigan’s Congressional 10th District
- Andra Rush, CEO, Dakkota Systems
- Angela Steele, Publicis Groupe
In addition, Manik Thapar, owner of Eco Wise Waste Management in Uttar Pradesh, India, was honored with the Richard M. DeVos Young Entrepreneur Award.
Northwood currently is accepting nominations for the 2023 Class of Outstanding Business Leaders. To make a nomination, visit here.
Grand Valley, Alabama State Sign Articulation Agreement
Leaders from Grand Valley State University in Allendale near Grand Rapids and Alabama State University have signed an articulation agreement that establishes pathways for degree completion for ASU students who are interested in pursuing master’s degrees at GVSU.
Alabama State is an Historically Black College/University (HBCU) in Montgomery. It is the third agreement Grand Valley has signed with an HBCU. GVSU President Philomena V. Mantella says these agreements serve multiple purposes.
“By inviting and then supporting students from Alabama State who want to pursue advanced degrees, Grand Valley is enriching and continuing to diversify our community,” Mantella says. “Public education must partner in new ways to expand opportunities for one and other and, ultimately, our students. We are so pleased to welcome our colleagues and, soon, their students to Grand Rapids.”
The agreement will begin in the Fall 2022 semester and, initially, supports Alabama State students who want to earn master’s degrees in cybersecurity or applied computer science from Grand Valley.
“These two institutions are dedicated to the success of the student no matter where they come from,” says Quinton T. Ross Jr., president of Alabama State, who recently toured the west Michigan campus. “It was so important for us to travel here. As lifelong learners, we will take back what we learned to make Alabama State stronger.”
Consumers Energy Foundation Provides $500K to Three Projects Protecting Michigan’s Environment
The Consumers Energy Foundation in Jackson recognized Earth Month by providing $500,000 for three projects designed to make an impact on Michigan’s environment — preserving freshwater resources, planting 1,000 trees, and protecting habitat for Michigan’s wildlife.
The Macomb County Department of Planning and Economic Development, Huron-Clinton Metropolitan Authority, and Oshtemo Charter Township are the recipients of the foundation’s third Planet Awards. The grants aim to preserve, restore, and protect Michigan’s natural resources.
“Consumers Energy is committed to ensuring Michigan has world-class natural resources,” says Brandon Hofmeister, president of the Consumers Energy Foundation. “Our Planet Awards represent that commitment in action. We’re excited to support these projects and confident they will significantly help preserve Michigan’s natural beauty.”
The three winning projects are:
Macomb County, $250,000 — The Green Macomb Urban Forest Partnership will enhance the county’s urban tree canopy and plant 1,000 trees, 1,500 native shrubs, and 40 acres of pollinator habitat on public land throughout communities that include Mount Clemens, Harrison Township, and Clinton Township. Additional planting opportunities will be offered to Shelby Township, Macomb Township, Roseville, Eastpointe, Warren, St. Clair Shores, Sterling Heights, Utica, and Center Line.
Oshtemo Township (Kalamazoo County), $150,000 — Oshtemo Charter Township and the Kalamazoo Nature Center will team up to restore the ecological health of a two-mile section of the historic Fruit Belt Rail Corridor and provide hands-on environmental education and stewardship opportunities focused on climate resilience.
Brighton, $100,000 — The Huron-Clinton Metropolitan Authority’s Healing the Huron River Headwaters project will restore the forested wetland and floodplain habitats that make up the headwater area of the Huron River. The two-year project will include planting native replacement trees in areas where ash and oak trees were killed by pests and disease. It will also include restoration and enhancement of native pollinator habitat in nearby prairies and meadows.
The Pierians Arts Nonprofit Presents ‘A TableScape-Seasons of Gratitude’ May 1
The Pierians Inc. Detroit Chapter, a nonprofit dedicated to promoting and encouraging the study and enjoyment of the fine arts, is presenting “A TableScape-Seasons of Gratitude” at 4 p.m. on May 1.
The fundraising event will be presented virtually in a webinar format. Register here.
The event will include an original film on the art of tablescape, photography of the tablescape designs, music, a moderator, judges of the tablescape designs, and panelists including Pierian Charlotte Jackson, a tablescape designer whose work has been seen across the region. Tablescape is an art form involving attractive, decorative, and themed arrangement of tableware and other objects on a table for culinary and esthetic enjoyment. The journey of developing a tablescape will be presented from selection, design, and final presentation.
The Pierians adds that there will be a competition for designers who engage in the art. Winning high school seniors will receive 2022-2023 academic scholarships. Metro Detroit community arts programs that work with youth.