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.
Henry Ford Health System to Direct Ford Field Mass Vaccination Site
Henry Ford Health System has been chosen to serve as the medical director for a large vaccination site at Ford Field in Detroit.
Henry Ford will provide onsite expertise and oversight for the vaccine administrations and medical care as well support for the site’s operations. It is the only Michigan health system chosen to provide support at the facility, which will be managed by the State of Michigan. Other support partners include the Federal Emergency Management Agency, Wayne County, city of Detroit, Ford Field, the Detroit Lions, and Meijer.
The health system served in a similar role at the TCF Center in Detroit in 2020.
“Henry Ford Health System is thrilled to serve as the health system partner for this mass vaccination effort, joining our local, state and federal partners to expand vaccination opportunities, especially in our underserved communities,” says Dr. Steven Rockoff, service chief of emergency medicine for Henry Ford Health System, and medical director of the mass vaccination site.
“As a trusted health system and leader throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, we are committed to doing our part in this massive community outreach effort that will have tremendous impact across our region.”
The site, which was selected according to the CDC’s priority tool to help those who were hardest hit and most vulnerable, will operate from 8 a.m. to 8:30 p.m., seven days a week, for eight weeks under the federal government’s vaccination pilot program.
The site will open March 24 and have the capacity to administer 6,000 doses each day. Appointment scheduling through Meijer will be made available Monday.
Vaccine doses administered at the Ford Field mass vaccination site will be based on the Social Vulnerability Index to vaccinate the most vulnerable populations, and it will be in addition to Michigan’s regular statewide vaccine allotment.
First doses of the Pfizer vaccine will be offered at the site for the first three weeks of operation. Those vaccinated within that timeframe will be guaranteed a second dose during fourth, fifth, and sixth weeks of operation. The brand of vaccine to be supplied during the final two weeks of the of the mass vaccination site has not yet been determined.
The vaccine will be offered at no cost, and insurance is not required, nor will it be requested at the vaccination center. Any Michigan resident who is currently eligible to receive the vaccine under the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services vaccine prioritization guidance will be able to register for an appointment. The site is not yet taking reservations, but specific instructions on how to book an appointment will be announced in the coming days.
Free parking will be available at the vaccination site. For those who indicate, during the registration process, they need assistance obtaining transportation to and from the vaccination site, the state is working to provide free-of-charge ride share options.
Amazon Expands Major Health Benefit to Michigan Employees
Crossover Health, a national health care organization that integrates online and in-person care for employers and health plans, announced the continuation of the collaboration with Amazon to serve five major regions across the U.S. operating in Michigan, Texas, Arizona, Kentucky, and California.
Crossover Health provides Amazon employees and their dependents with access to a virtual network of comprehensive care as well as convenient Neighborhood Health Centers.
Crossover Health provides full-spectrum acute, chronic, and preventive primary care, same-day pediatrics, prescriptions, vaccinations, behavioral health services, physical therapy, health coaching, and care navigation for specialty referrals and diagnostic services.
To optimize availability and access to care, each center operates on extended hours during the workweek, during the weekends, and offers 24/7 on-call services to accommodate the various employee work and family schedules.
Crossover also is registering to be a vaccination provider participating in the U.S. COVID-19 Vaccination Program.
Once registered, Crossover will be able to administer state supplied vaccines to Amazon employees who meet eligibility criteria based on state and local health agency guidelines.
Consumers Energy Plans More Clean Energy from Solar Project in Calhoun County
Consumers Energy in Jackson announced an agreement to purchase 140 megawatts of clean, renewable energy — enough to power about 70,000 residential customers — from the Calhoun Solar Center on the west side of the state.
Invenergy, a leading Midwest-based developer and operator of sustainable energy solutions, is developing and building the project.
“We are proud to team with Invenergy as we continue to create a cleaner, more sustainable energy future for Michigan,” says Tim Sparks, vice president of electric grid integration at Consumers Energy. “We are committed to protecting the planet while providing the energy our homes and businesses need for decades to come.”
The agreement makes Calhoun Solar Center one of the largest single projects providing solar energy to Consumers Energy customers. The plan requires approval by the Michigan Public Service Commission.
“Great progress is being made by Consumers Energy to foster sustainable communities in Michigan, and Invenergy is pleased to support this commitment by providing clean, reliable energy from our Calhoun Solar Center,” says Mick Baird, senior vice president, renewable development at Invenergy.
Calhoun Solar Center will have a total capacity of 200 megawatts and is expected to be completed in 2022. Under the proposed agreement, Consumers Energy would purchase 140 megawatts from the solar facility for 25 years.
Solar energy is a major component of Consumers Energy’s Clean Energy Plan, a blueprint to eliminate coal and dramatically boost renewable energy to help achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2040. The plan calls for adding approximately 1,100 MW of solar through 2024.
To learn more, visit here.
Boutique Hotel Professionals Launches Operations
Boutique Hotel Professionals, a management company specializing in boutique hotels and luxury travel experiences, has launched operations in Plymouth Township.
Founded by CEO Paul Wegert and Jennifer Neptune, chief investment officer, the company offers a full suite of services, including property management, travel experience curation, property development, and investment consulting. BHP currently manages The Inn at St. John’s in Plymouth Township and has plans to take on more independent properties in Michigan and nationwide.
“The current downturn of the travel industry due to COVID19 has been particularly challenging for luxury independent hotels operating in corporate metropolitan areas versus those in the leisure markets,” says Wegert. “We saw an immediate need to launch Boutique Hotel Professionals as a resource for luxury properties who may not have the on-site seasoned personnel to meet the current industry challenges.
“We are a team of hospitality experts involved in all facets of unique luxury, independent properties,” he continues. “Our years of expertise specifically focused on boutique hotels enables us to share our valuable insight and capitalize on industry trends for our clients.”
3Fifteen Expanded Recreational Cannabis Delivery in Metro Detroit
Detroit-based 3Fifteen Cannabis has launched a recreational cannabis delivery service in metro Detroit that will employ between 12 and 20 drivers delivering orders from its Hamtramck delivery center.
Operating seven days a week from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m., 3Fifteen will make deliveries across most of Oakland, Wayne, and Macomb counties. The goal will be to deliver all orders within an hour.
To celebrate the new service, the company today is offering 31.5 percent off purchases at all locations, including recreational delivery orders from Hamtramck.
“We are proud to bring exceptional service and a wide selection of fresh, premium, adult-use cannabis products to the entire Detroit market,” says Thomas Nafso, president and general counsel of 3Fifteen. “We want our Detroit customers to be able to get the recreational products they want in the most convenient way possible, and nothing is more convenient than delivery direct to their door. We know people might have some reservations about having cannabis delivered to their home, so we’ve ensured that our service is discreet, safe and easy to order online.”
3Fifteen also has launched the Club315 loyalty program as a way for customers to interact with the brand and collect points that can be used for discounts.
For more information, visit here.
MSU’s Planning Virtual Science Festival During April
Michigan State University in East Lansing will host a virtual Science Festival featuring more than 200 digital presentations for all ages about topics ranging from music to neuroscience during April.
This program will emphasize the ways science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics, or STEAM, affects everyday lives and shapes the future.
“By coming to the festival, you can see what the future of computing will look like with quantum computers, or you can learn about how to grow a bird-friendly yard to feed the birds in your area,” says Roxanne Truhn, coordinator of the MSU Science Festival coordinator. “It’s just a way for you to learn more about your environment, how it will impact you and how you can impact the environment.”
More than 70 MSU units alongside community partners, including the University of Michigan, Wayne State University, Detroit Zoo, and Potter Park Zoo, will be educating the community about topics like Michigan butterflies, medical racism, starting an educational podcast, plants that are toxic to pets, and more. The festival also will feature experiments and virtual tours.
After COVID-19 restrictions began last March, MSU’s 2020 Science Festival was canceled. The festival team, however, pulled together a mini, virtual event that featured around 40 presentations. It was then that the team realized a virtual format made the festival more accessible to people who don’t live in the mid-Michigan area and used the opportunity to develop this year’s festival, where attendees can enjoy the entire event from home.
“If anything, what the pandemic has shown us is that science is really important to us,” Truhn says. “That’s why I do what I do: I want people to trust science and understand that science is a continuing process.”
This year, the festival team is offering more science resources for K-12 students. Michigan teachers can sign up for more than 50 free virtual programs that teach students science topics via demonstrations, interactive talks, and virtual tours. The festival is also piloting its Foldscope Program for Lansing School District, where sixth-grade teachers can sign up to receive handheld microscopes to give to their students to explore their environment.
To register for MSU’s Science Festival and see a complete list of presentations, visit here.