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.
Ford’s Spin Brings E-scooters Back to MSU to Continue Research
Michigan Sate University in East Lansing has a new exclusive partnership with Spin, a San Francisco-based micromobility unit of Ford Motor Co. in Dearborn, that will bring hundreds of e-scooters to campus this fall.
The partnership is a continuation of the university’s effort to use the campus as a testbed to drive the future of human-centric mobility solutions.
On April 29, Spin will deliver its first fleet of 50 scooters to MSU’s campus. The fleet will increase to 600 scooters, based on demand.
“Spin has demonstrated itself to be an innovative leader in the micromobility space and we are excited to provide our campus with improved mobility while continuing to evolve MSU into a best-in-class first-mile last-mile research destination,” says Brice Nelson, senior director of corporate partnerships at Business Connect, a unit of the MSU Innovation Center.
Scooters can be found at various locations throughout campus as well as on East Grand River and Albert avenues. To unlock the scooters, riders must download the Spin app onto their Apple or Android device. The scooters cost $1 to unlock and 20 cents per minute to ride.
In the Spin app, riders can view a map of the Slow Zones (reduced speed zones) and the locations of the scooters. The scooters have a top speed of 15 mph on campus and are operational from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m.
With COVID-19 precautions, all scooters will be sanitized several times each week by Spin representatives. Riders are encouraged to sanitize their hands before and after riding to prevent the spread of germs.
“We look forward to giving students, staff and faculty a safe, sustainable and socially-distanced form of transportation to navigate MSU’s expansive campus,” says John Lankford, head of campus partnerships at Spin. “As the micromobility unit of Ford Motor Co., we’re excited to serve the MSU community in Ford’s home state of Michigan while driving research that will inform the future of the micromobility industry.”
Anonymized data from the scooters will be available to MSU mobility researchers to further understand how people use scooters and interact with other methods of transportation to get from point A to point B. This area of research is expected to expand as the popularity of micromobility options grows on campus.
Henry Ford Health Now Offering Radiation Therapy to Treat Heart Blockage
Interventional cardiologists at Henry Ford Health System have begun offering brachytherapy, the use of radiation to prevent recurrent blockage in a stent that has been implanted in the coronary arteries of the heart.
The health system’s first cases were performed by Dr. Khaldoon Alaswad, Dr. Mohammad Alqarqaz, and Dr. Babar Basir at Henry Ford Hospital in March.
The most common type of heart disease, coronary artery disease, is a condition in which arteries in the heart are blocked or narrowed by plaque, which is a buildup of cholesterol deposits and later calcification that accumulate over time.
Standard treatment options include minimally invasive, catheter-based procedures, such as the placement drug eluting stent in the coronary artery, or angioplasty, which uses a small balloon-tipped catheter to open a blocked or partially blocked artery. While drug-eluting stents slowly release a drug to prevent restenosis, which is recurrent blockage from cell growth, some patients may still experience recurrent blockage. This is where brachytherapy may be able to help.
“We are thrilled to begin offering brachytherapy as treatment option for our patients who are struggling with recurrent blockage,” says Dr. Khaldoon Alaswad, director of the Cardiac Catheterization Lab at Henry Ford Hospital. “This type of treatment has been shown to be effective for patients who have experienced recurrent blockage or narrowing of the artery after standard treatments, with a stent.”
For more information, visit here.
Deadline for Applications to Pitch Walmart is April 30
The deadline for Michigan entrepreneurs to apply for Walmart’s eighth annual Open Call for products made, grown, or assembled in the United States is Friday, April 30.
Entrepreneurs and small businesses with shelf-ready products can find the application and more information about the event, via Walmart-jump.com.
For the second consecutive year, Walmart will conduct its Open Call in a virtual format, and one-on-one opportunities to meet with company merchants remain available. So far, more than 2,900 businesses have applied for the chance to pitch their products, and more than 9,300 merchant meetings have been requested for the June 30 event.
On March 3, Walmart announced a new commitment to spend an additional $350 billion on items made, grown or assembled in the United States. It’s estimated that this spend will support more than 750,000 new American jobs. Walmart’s Open Call is one way in which the company supports this commitment.
“We learned last year that offering Open Call in a virtual format allows us to reach hundreds more businesses and discover more American-made products that might appeal to our customers,” says Laura Phillips, senior vice president for global sourcing and U.S. manufacturing at Walmart.
Open Call allows participants the opportunity to secure deals to reach customers through Walmart stores, Sam’s Clubs, and Walmart.com. In addition to one-on-one pitch meetings with Walmart and Sam’s Club merchants, participants will have an opportunity to hear directly from Walmart executives at the hour-long kickoff of the event. Smaller breakout sessions will be available throughout the day where suppliers can learn more on valuable topics and about resources available to them.
Restaurant Association Launches Classroom Food Safety SCRUB Club
The Michigan Restaurant & Lodging Association has launched SCRUB Club, a free online food safety education course developed for middle school-aged children and their families, available through Sept. 1.
The collection of resources encompasses core food safety principles: time and temperature, cross-contamination, basic sanitation, and most important, proper handwashing.
“Youth are spending more time in the kitchen cooking, and they need to know basic food safety for their health and well-being,” says Amanda Smith, executive vice president of education of the MRLA. “We want to share our extensive resources with the public in an informative, accessible way. The SCRUB Club will help ensure children and their families are consuming food that was properly prepared and stored, promoting good health.”
The MRLA regularly hosts ServSafe training for industry professionals in addition to producing food safety training aids for the foodservice industry and adult consumer. Designed for use in the classroom or as a family, the SCRUB Club was created by the MRLA and iTacit, and made possible with funds from the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, Michigan Food Law of 2000, Act No 92, Food Safety Education Fund.
There are four courses online at www.MichiganFoodSafety.com: Clean, Separate, Cook, and Chill. When creating a free login, families are encouraged to register for the student course and educators should sign up for the teacher course. Prior to taking the first course, a brief questionnaire tests basic food safety knowledge. A similar test is provided at the conclusion of the four SCRUB Club courses. There is no cost to participate in SCRUB Club’s online food safety education course.
Lesson plans and activities are provided for teachers, including the A-Z Index for Foodborne Illness; CDC and Food Safety; and Safer Food Saves Live. One of the classroom activities, the Hand Washing Experiment, explores how germs spread and how cleanliness increases with proper handwashing by using soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
Teachers are encouraged to enter the MRLA’s Michigan Food Safety Video Contest. The video should address one of the four core food safety principles: clean, separate, cook or chill. Videos must be submitted by 5 p.m. on May 28. The first-place video will be added to the association’s food safety video collection and will be viewable by the public. Teachers of classrooms submitting the top three videos will receive a gift card to use for their classroom. The teacher of the class awarded first-place will receive $500, followed by $300 and $200 awards for second and third place, respectively. Winners will be announced on June 4.
Michigan Film Industry Association Names Executive Committee
The Michigan Film Industry Association (MiFIA), which is working to create a film tax credit program in Michigan, recently elected officers and added 14 new board members.
MiFIA executive committee officers are: David Haddad, chair; Brian Kelly, first vice chair; Michael Anderson, second vice chair; Jonathan Braue, treasurer; and Peter Klein, secretary.
Newly appointed board members are: Larry August, James Brown, Yvette Campbell, Luke Castle, Jesse Ford, Anthony Garth, Lindsey Katerberg, Lawrence Lamont, Aaron Mohr, Karla Kurz Murray, Sean O’Grady, Alexander Page, Diane Stratton, and Janet Vineeta.
“The talent and experience represented by our board demonstrate the passion they have about bringing good-paying jobs and keeping our talent in Michigan,” says Haddad, owner of Haddads Inc. “With these individuals backing our mission, along with bipartisan legislative support, we are one step closer to our goal of making Michigan competitive with 38 other states who understand the economic benefits of film incentives.”
Legislation was introduced in late December to create a two-tiered tax credit. This legislative session, the association is working to educate lawmakers on the pro-jobs, talent retention bills.
For more information, visit here.
Blue Cross Blue Shield, Others to Award $650K to Suicide Prevention Groups
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and several partners will award $650,000 in funding to nine Michigan organizations committed to suicide prevention programming in their communities on May 3.
BCBSM joined forces with the BCBSM Foundation, the Michigan Health Endowment Fund, the Children’s Foundation, and the Ethel and James Flinn Foundation to establish the Suicide Prevention Support for Health Care Clinics Working with Michigan’s Health-Disparate Populations initiative.
This program offers grants to develop evidence-based and sustainable programming that will decrease the rate of suicide attempts and deaths by identifying children or adults who may be at risk; as well as addressing their needs for appropriate medical, social and behavioral services.
Organizations receiving awards include:
- Arab Community Center for Economic and Social Services (ACCESS) in Dearborn.
- Black Family Development Inc. in Detroit.
- Child and Family Charities in Lansing.
- Corktown in Detroit.
- Institute for Population Health in Detroit.
- Integrated Services of Kalamazoo.
- Mid-Michigan Health Foundation in Gladwin, Clare, Ogemaw, and Gratiot counties.
- Southwest Counseling Solutions in Detroit.
- Upper Great Lakes (UGL) Family Health Center in Calumet.
More than 7,000 Michiganders died due to suicide from 2014 to 2018.
Hope Starts Here Launches Six-month Engagement Campaign Today
Hope Starts Here is celebrating the fifth annual Detroit Day of the Young Child today with the launch of a six-month campaign to engage businesses, employees, parents, guardians, and educators to “Be a Champion” in supporting access to high-quality early childhood programs, mental, and health care as well as healthy, inspiring environments for parents and guardians.
“Without affordable, reliable, and high-quality child care, parents cannot work to support their families, businesses cannot attract and retain workers and children will not be given the tools they need to succeed,” says Denise Smith, implementation director of Hope Starts Here. “In Detroit, where this issue is acute, 48 percent of children five and under live in poverty and 84 percent of Detroit’s third-graders cannot read at grade level.
“To create a sustainable future for these vulnerable young citizens, businesses, employees, government leaders, parents, guardians, caregivers, and educators must work together to help shape a better future for children, in the family, in school and life.”
Local businesses can register here to take more steps to support your employees and their children. Parents and guardians can participate in virtual events today “For Old School Fun” at 5:30 p.m. (visit here for a link) and April 30 “Glam Up” at 6 p.m. (visit here for a link).
For more information, visit here.
Grace Centers of Hope Announces $10K Challenge Gift from CAPS Remolding
Grace Centers of Hope in Pontiac announced that Madison Heights-based CAPS Remodeling will match all donations made during the month of May — up to $10,000 — to support its comprehensive homeless and life skills programs.
Donations will help provide food, clothing and shelter for the nearly 200 men, women, and children who are currently enrolled in programs at GCH.
“Jeff Cates and CAPS Remodeling have been big supporters of our community for nearly a decade, and we are thrilled to have them serve as the catalyst for this fund-raising challenge,” says Pastor Kent W. Clark, CEO of GCH. “We hope other local businesses, organizations and individuals will follow Jeff’s lead and come alongside us to lend their support and match this wonderful gift, and help positively change lives within our community.”
Beginning May 1, individuals who are interested in supporting GCH through the CAPS matching gift challenge can visit here to make their donation. Donations also can be made by calling 1-855-HELP-GCH or via mail at 35 E. Huron St., Pontiac, MI, 48342. The matching challenge campaign will end on May 31.
Second Nature Brands Pledges to Plant 1M Trees
Second Nature Brands in Madison Heights, whose brands include Kar’s Nuts, Second Nature Snacks, and Sanders Chocolates, have pledged to plant 1 million trees by 2026.
The company will focus its tree-planting efforts on global agroforestry initiatives and local planting and tree restoration throughout the greater Detroit area.
To help meet its goal, Second Nature Brands also is announcing partnerships with One Tree Planted, an environmental nonprofit that is on a mission to make the planet greener, one tree at a time; ReLeaf Michigan, a statewide nonprofit volunteer tree planting and education organization; and Vanguard Community Development, a broad-based community development entity that advocates and works for Detroit’s historic north end neighborhood.
“Our vision for the future is to make things better by nourishing people and nature and planting 1 million trees with partners like One Tree Planted and ReLeaf Michigan helps us toward delivering on that vision,” says Victor Mehren, CEO of Second Nature Brands. “With more than 90 percent of the ingredients in our products coming from trees, it’s vital to our business that farms and forests thrive. Whether it’s cacao trees in Africa or shade trees here in Detroit, planting trees helps slow climate change, rejuvenate crops, and promote healthier living locally and abroad.”
Forgotten Harvest Unveils Public Phase of Campaign for New Oak Park Campus
Forgotten Harvest in Oak Park is in the final stages of its Solutions That Nourish Campaign for a 77,000-square-foot distribution facility, volunteer center, and headquarters at 15000 W. 8 Mile Road in Oak Park, between Coolidge Highway and Greenfield Road.
The new campus will enable Forgotten Harvest to provide a more nutritious and consistently better-balanced variety of food options to the communities it serves, as well as improve its operations by consolidating from three sites into one. The new campus will also allow for proper social distancing for volunteers, providing a larger storage space for food distribution.
“We are thrilled to be heading into the public phase of our Solutions That Nourish Campaign,” says Kirk Mayes, CEO of Forgotten Harvest. “This has been several years in the making and we are looking forward to enhancing our business model to provide more resources, and a more balanced and equitable nutritional mix of food to the communities we serve.”
For additional information on the Solutions That Nourish Campaign, visit here or contact Tim Hudson at 248-298-3421 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The campaign kicked off its leadership phase in 2019 by an anonymous $3 million challenge gift that enabled Forgotten Harvest to secure critical gifts to begin the campaign. The campaign has raised more than $12.3 million of its $17 million goal and hopes to complete the campaign before the campus’ public opening in the spring of 2022. The campaign is co-chaired by longtime supporters and former board chairs John Carter and Hannan Lis.