Category Archives: Client News

National Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists Week

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Join the Pennsylvania Association of Nurse Anesthetists and Ridge Policy Group in Celebrating National CRNA Week!

 

This week, January 25-31, 2015

 

National CRNA Week is the annual celebration of anesthesia patient safety and the nation’s 48,000+ Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists and student registered nurse anesthetists who safely and cost-effectively provide more than 34 million anesthetics each year. Pennsylvania has over 3,000+ CRNAs and 13 Nurse Anesthesia Programs. This popular event helps patients, hospital administrators, healthcare professionals, policymakers, and others become more familiar with the CRNA credential and the exceptional advanced practice registered nurses who have earned it.

 

The theme for National CRNA Week 2015 is “CRNAs: The Future of Anesthesia Care Today,” which urges healthcare facility administrators and legislators to make informed decisions about how best to deliver safe, high-quality, cost-effective anesthesia care in coordination with a patient’s healthcare team.

 

To learn more about how these advanced practice nurses keep you and your loved ones safe during any procedure visit www.panaforqualitycare.com.

Thompson Issues Statement on Moshannon Valley Correctional Facility Contract Renewal

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Bellefonte, PA – U.S. Representative Glenn ‘GT’ Thompson (PA-5) issued the following statement upon news that the Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) has awarded Moshannon Valley Correctional Facility (MVCF), in Philipsburg, Clearfield County, as the BOP’s preferred facility for the Northeastern United States.

 

“This announcement is tremendous news for our community and the Commonwealth,” stated Rep. Glenn Thompson. “The Moshannon Valley Correctional Facility has been an economic engine for our region, providing jobs for area residents, new tax revenue to support local services, including investments in our schools, and a host of other opportunities that have benefited all area residents. I am proud of the work we have done, including efforts at all levels of government and within the community, to protect local jobs and ensure the Moshannon Valley facility remains in operation for years to come.”

 

Over the past year, Rep. Thompson has led efforts at the federal level to help secure the contract’s renewal.  In January of 2014, Thompson garnered the support of 12 Members of Congress from Pennsylvania and Senator Pat Toomey, in sending a letter to BOP, urging the bureau to renew the contract with MVCF.

 

The BOP’s existing contract with MVCF, which is set to expire in 2016, has been renewed for a period of 5 years, with one year renewal options for the following five years, according to Rep. Thompson.

 

BOP’s Criminal Alien Removal Procurement Regulations, require one facility in the Northeastern U.S. and another facility to be located anywhere in the country.  MVCF, which is operated by the GEO Group, Inc., has served as the region’s preferred facility since 2006.

 

The MVCF currently employs approximately 260 area residents and provides approximately $600,000 each year in local property taxes, $445,000 of which directly benefits local schools.

 

 

President Obama signs bill sponsored by NJ Rep. Pascrell to conduct research on brain injuries

// // in Client News, Government

President Obama signed legislation today sponsored by U.S. Rep Bill Pascrell reauthorizing the government to help those suffering from traumatic brain injury and to conduct research into the issue.

 

The measure was sponsored by Pascrell (D-9th Dist.) and U.S. Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah). The original law was passed in 1996 and revised versions were enacted in 2000 and 2008.

 

Pascrell singled out military veterans and athletes as two groups particularly affected by brain injuries.

 

It was one of 11 bills signed into law by Obama right before Thanksgiving.

 

Traumatic brain injury afflicts about 2.5 million Americans annually and approximately 5.3 million live with long-term disabilities due to brain injuries, costing the U.S. $60 billion a year, according to Pascrell, who founded the Congressional Brain Injury Task Force. He said that 360,000 troops received traumatic brain injuries during the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.

 

Approximately 2.5 million Americans experience traumatic brain injury each year and an estimated 5.3 million Americans are living with long-term, severe disabilities as a result of brain injury. Another 176,000 men and women have sustained a TBI in the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan.

 

The legislation “will help improve our ability to prevent, detect and treat brain injuries,” Pascrell said. “This reauthorization will bring us one step closer to providing those suffering from these devastating injuries with the resources they need to live healthy lives.”

 

The bill was written to help those suffering from traumatic brain injuries and their families obtain rehabilitation programs, long-term care and support services. Under the legislation, the Health Resources and Services Administration will help states develop and expand services, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will provide prevention and public education programs and the National Institutes of Health will do research.

 

Full article may be found HERE.

Tom Ridge: Philadelphia is “national leader” in innovation, entrepreneurship

// // in Client News, Company

 

(Philadelphia Inquirer, Nov. 19) – The sheer size and dynamism of Philadelphia, with its bustling urban center, thriving universities, and active suburban communities, can make it difficult to identify any one particular trend. So let us do it for you.

 

Hey, Philly, you are officially a national leader when it comes to innovation and entrepreneurship. With all due respect to Ben Franklin and his bifocals, we’re talking about 21st-century innovation that will drive job creation in the region for the next 20 years and beyond.

 

Sure, Philadelphia’s reputation as a hub for innovation was secure once Mr. Franklin and his scientific pursuits in electricity, mathematics, and mapmaking became the stuff of legend. But what’s happening today in the City of Brotherly Love is truly remarkable – and deserves recognition as the world celebrates Global Entrepreneurship Week.

 

This week is the world’s largest celebration of innovators and job creators, the people who launch start-ups that bring ideas to life, drive economic growth, and expand human welfare. In just the last few weeks, we have seen more evidence of how Philadelphia is contributing to that ideal.

 

The University City Science Center, the first and still largest urban research park in the United States, continues to innovate and inspire young entrepreneurs.

 

The Science Center last month received a $1 million grant from the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) for Phase 1 Ventures, a new multi-institutional commercialization program. Operating as an accelerator for the launch and growth of new companies, Phase 1 Ventures offers a comprehensive turnkey approach to effectively and efficiently test business feasibility.

 

Stephen Tang, the Science Center president and CEO, and his team continue to help Philadelphia’s innovators move from proof-of-concept stage to getting enterprises up and running. The center already has helped to create more than 15,000 jobs, contributing more than $9 billion annually to the region’s economy.

 

Just like its namesake, Ben Franklin Technology Partners is constantly looking for a new problem to solve. This tech-based economic development group has invested more than $170 million in capital to grow 1,750 regional enterprises across Philadelphia and the commonwealth. Just recently, BFTP was awarded $600,000 by the EDA for a job-creation initiative centered on the growing medical-devices industry. The shared goal is to make Philadelphia a worldwide leader in medical-device manufacturing, generating new jobs for the region and spurring millions in private investment.

 

Philadelphia’s higher-education community is also driving innovation and entrepreneurship. Philadelphia University recently opened its Design, Engineering, and Commerce center. Temple University’s Fox Business School launched its Innovation and Entrepreneurship Institute. Together, Temple and Philadelphia University also have started the Blackstone Launchpad Program. Drexel has its Close School of Entrepreneurship, and the University of Pennsylvania boasts its “Pennovation Center” along the Schuylkill. It is an impressive commitment by these, and other, outstanding schools that is helping to cement Philadelphia’s lead position as a hub for innovation.

 

Leadership from City Hall also has been critical. Mayor Nutter’s StartUp PHL effort is strengthening the entrepreneurial environment by backing smart proposals to energize the startup scene all across the city. Both the Commerce Department and Industrial Development Corp. have demonstrated a real commitment to this effort. Experience tells us that it takes true public-private partnerships to drive meaningful results, and Philadelphia is proving that yet again.

 

It’s worth noting that just as Philadelphia and other major urban centers have transitioned from a manufacturing-based economy to technology-based, the support mechanisms have changed, too. Decades ago, the U.S. Commerce Department’s EDA focused almost exclusively on traditional economic-development approaches, such as funding for basic infrastructure like utilities and transportation needed by manufacturing and large industry. While those core needs are still important in many communities, the EDA has evolved to making investments in community capacity-building, with the understanding that both culture and ecosystems position communities to be more agile and resilient, leading to greater and more sustainable economic prosperity.

 

What’s next? The Commerce Department is leading a $15 million national grant competition to spur regional innovation. If history is any indication, we expect to see Philadelphia competing for its share as it continues to stake its claim as one of America’s leading innovation centers.

 

Article written by Tom Ridge & Jay Williams.

 

Original article can be found HERE.

 

TBI Reauthorization Act Passed by House, Awaits President’s Signature

// // in Client News, Company

The U.S. House of Representatives recently passed S. 2539, the Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) Reauthorization Act of 2014, sponsored by Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT) and co-sponsored by Senator Bob Casey (D-PA). Rebeccah Wolfkiel worked closely with key policy leaders and stakeholders on behalf of the National Association of State Head Injury Administrators (NASHIA) to get this important legislation passed. The next step is for the bill to be signed by President Obama.

 

The TBI Reauthorization Act reauthorizes existing TBI programs within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), as well removes Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) from sections relating to both the State as well as Protection and Advocacy grant programs leaving the administering agency to be determined by the Secretary of HHS. It further calls for the Secretary of HHS to develop a TBI Coordination Plan, and also directs the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to conduct a scientific review of the management of children with TBI. The bill provides appropriations for those programs through 2019.

 

 

Science Center Receives $1 Million Grant from U.S. Economic Development Administration

// // in Client News, Company

The University City Science Center has received a $1 million grant from the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) for Phase 1 Ventures, a new multi-institutional commercialization program.

 

Operating as an accelerator for the launch and growth of new companies, Phase 1 Ventures offers a comprehensive turn-key approach to effectively and efficiently test business feasibility. Phase 1 Ventures will identify promising technologies that have moved beyond the initial technical proof-of-concept stage, provide management and other project development resources, and facilitate funding to get the enterprise up and running.

 

This is the second Science Center commercialization program that the EDA has supported. In 2011, the Science Center received $1 million for its QED proof-of-concept funding program. Like QED, Phase 1 Ventures leverages the participation of multiple interests in the science and technology sector, including academia, industry, entrepreneurs, venture capital and other groups.

 

“The Obama administration is committed to helping our nation’s innovators and entrepreneurs move great ideas from the lab to the marketplace to create jobs and economic growth,” said U.S. Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development Jay Williams. “EDA is proud to support the Science Center’s inclusive, collaborative approach to connecting the creators of emerging technologies with the investors they need to grow and compete.”

 

“Thanks to this generous support from the EDA, Phase 1 Ventures will be positioned to provide greater access and opportunity to create spinout companies formed around technologies with high commercial potential,” says Science Center President and CEO Stephen S. Tang, Ph.D., MBA. “This in turn will foster and advance the region’s capacity for job creation and economic growth, as well as its burgeoning culture of entrepreneurship and commercialization.”

 

Read the full press release here: http://bit.ly/1vAQe9e

Rep. Glenn Thompson & National PTA President Coauthor Op-ed in The Hill Newspaper

// // in Client News, Government

Policy error: Website not found

By Rep. Glenn “GT” Thompson (R-Pa.) and Otha Thornton

Click here to view the article online at the Hill.

 

As students begin their summer break, parents have reason to be concerned that next school year the primary source of information about their children’s schools, teachers and classes may be at risk. Currently, the Federal Communication Commission (FCC) is exploring a shortsighted and unnecessary change in the way that local school districts fund their websites. 

 

The FCC is currently working to update the E-Rate program, which was designed to help schools and libraries benefit from affordable 21st century technologies and Internet connectivity. The E-Rate program, which provides financial support for the majority of America’s public school websites, is funded through assessments from telecommunications companies, rather than tax dollars, and is operated under FCC-issued guidelines. The program has served as an asset to student success and also the foremost gateway for parents and community members to engage with their schools.  

 

There is growing concern in the K-12 community that the FCC intends to eradicate funding for school websites. Likewise, we believe the program should not come at the expense of adequate funding for online educational and informational tools utilized by teachers, administrators, parents and students. If the FCC pulls the plug on school websites, parental engagement, online learning and even school safety would be put at risk, as emergency communications are primarily addressed through school websites.

 

According to a recent national survey, school leaders reported that websites are their #1 method for engaging parents, families and community members. Further, 90 percent of educators reported that their school and classroom websites perform essential educational functions. Parents strongly agree, with the majority, ranking school websites as their top choice for driving student achievement and providing direct access to curriculum, teachers and school information. While there is no single silver bullet to effective family engagement, web communications are a vital component that – when properly utilized – allow parents and families to engage in effective two-way communication and have access to information to support student achievement and advocate effectively for their child. 

 

As hundreds of educational leaders have already noted, accelerating digital learning, parental engagement and the adoption of high-speed broadband Internet connectivity must remain as national priorities. To those of us focused on student success, the policy disconnect is glaring, especially given that website funding accounts for less than 1 percent of the E-Rate program.

 

In response, the FCC has suggested that schools should simply switch to “free” website services. Unfortunately, so-called free services generate revenue through targeted advertisements and the data mining of private student information, which is sold to the highest bidder. That’s a false choice and one that places our kids and their private information at risk. As a result, more than 700 educational leaders, teachers and parents recently have sent comment letters to the FCC urging that E-Rate funding for webhosting continues to serve as a resource for students, parents and teachers. 

 

The FCC is still accepting comments on the E-Rate modernization and members of Congress continue to communicate their concerns over this drastic policy shift. Now is the time for all educators and parents to communicate their views to the FCC and to their Congressional representatives about their continued support for webhosting and adequate funding for the E-Rate program. Please visit http://www.fcc.gov/comments to make sure your voice is heard. Our children deserve as much.

 

Thompson has represented Pennsylvania’s 5th Congressional District since 2009. He sits on the Agriculture; the Education and the Workforce; and the Natural Resources committees. Thornton is president of the National PTA.

Mercyhurst University names pioneering new school in intelligence & information science after Gov. Tom Ridge

// // in Client News, Company

APRIL 11, 2014, AT 10 A.M.

Mercyhurst University names pioneering new school in intelligence & information science after Gov. Tom Ridge

Global initiative aims to develop intelligence and information management leaders for the 21st century work environment.

ERIE, Pa. – Mercyhurst University announced today that its pioneering intelligence studies program will take the name of the nation’s first U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security, 43rd governor of Pennsylvania and Erie native, Tom Ridge.

 

“Intelligence studies,” which educates students for careers in national security, law enforcement and business, is the university’s top major and leader in distance and online learning initiatives, drawing students from across the nation and abroad. From its European headquarters at Mercyhurst Ireland in Dungarvan to its role in educating partner nations of the U. S. Department of State in intelligence analysis, its reach is global.

 

In recognition of its growth and as a vehicle by which it can best structure bold new objectives, the department recently reconfigured to become the university’s seventh school, incorporating not only intelligence studies, but mathematics, computer systems and communication.  The new school will be known as “The Tom Ridge School of Intelligence Studies and Information Science.”

 

“We are deeply honored and grateful to Gov. Ridge for lending his name to an innovative program that has helped catapult Mercyhurst University onto the world stage, and we look forward to graduating individuals who aspire to combine keen analytic skills with a commitment to genuine human flourishing in the manner of Gov. Ridge,” said Mercyhurst President Tom Gamble, Ph.D.

 

The opportunity to name the school after such a prominent figure in national security as Gov. Ridge, whose archives, and those of his wife Michele, are now housed at the university, seemed only fitting.

 

“From his days as governor of Pennsylvania and as a U.S. Cabinet member representing Homeland Security, Tom Ridge has demonstrated a global mindset, not to mention he’s a native son,” said James Breckenridge, Ph.D., dean and architect of the new school.

 

“Gov. Ridge has always been a big supporter of ours and we admire his interest, commitment and practice in and around the intelligence studies discipline,” Breckenridge said. “I might add that as keynote speaker, he was instrumental in the success of our first Global Intelligence Forum in Ireland.”

 

Today, Ridge is CEO of Ridge Global, an international provider of security and risk management services worldwide and, as such, the ideal face of a new school that aims to develop intelligence and information management leaders for the 21st century work environment. Ridge is also partner of Ridge-Schmidt Cyber, an international consultancy helping leaders in business and government solve complex cyber security challenges.

 

“Graduates of Mercyhurst’s intelligence studies program are well known and highly regarded inside the walls of our nation’s intelligence and defense agencies in Washington,” said Gov. Ridge. “I am honored that Mercyhurst University, an institution with which I have enjoyed a long and proud affiliation, would choose to attach my name to this new school. The young men and women who will leave with degrees will play a critical role in defending our nation’s safety and securing our freedom.”

 

Breckenridge said the new school will stress critical thinking, collaborative decision-making, the application of technology to assist in information management and knowledge transfer (big data). Multi-media and social media as communication platforms will also be emphasized while courses to address the demand for homeland security and cyber security professionals will be integrated. Further, he said, the school will serve as a Center of Excellence for distance and online learning, and take the lead in exploring, designing and developing new ways to deliver professional education.

 

“In marrying intelligence studies, mathematics, computer systems and communication, along with distance learning and online education, Mercyhurst is well positioned to exploit the new higher education environment,” Breckenridge said. “Currently, no higher education institution in the United States has developed an equivalent initiative.”

 

Contact: Debbie Morton, Media Relations Manager
Phone: (814) 824-2552

Cell: (814) 490-6569

Fax: (814) 824-2473
dmorton@mercyhurst.edu

 

PA Budget Increase Proposed for Rape Crisis Programs

// // in Client News, Government

In a preview of the 2014-2015 budget proposal on Wednesday, January 22, 2014, Governor Tom Corbett announced a 10 percent increase in funding for rape crisis services and domestic violence programs. The increase would result in $2.2 million in funding to be distributed to the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Domestic Violence (PCADV) and the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape (PCAR), programs which, according to Corbett, are not simple line items.

 

During the state Capitol news conference Wednesday, Corbett expressed, “Protecting our citizens and helping them in times of distress is one of the core functions of government.”

 

PCAR’s mission “is to work to eliminate all forms of sexual violence and to advocate for the rights and needs of victims of sexual assault,” and it is the oldest rape crisis coalition in the country.

 

As a result of the increase, PCAR would receive $800,000 in additional funding which would be used to support numerous emergency services including a 24/7 hotline, financial aid for victims, referral services to other community programs, accompaniment to police, hospital or court appointments and primary and at-risk prevention programs.

 

The funds would be distributed to 50 rape crisis centers which serve more than 30,000 people each year across the 67 counties of the Commonwealth. In addition to providing emergency services, PCAR provides prevention education to adults, teens and children as a part of community programs.

 

Delilah Rumburg, PCAR’s CEO stated, “During the past two years, Pennsylvania has been a focal point for issues of child sexual abuse victimization, prevention and policy reform. Whenever efforts to increase awareness and prevention occur, it is critical that services are available to support the victims who are identified or who come forward.”

 

Visit http://www.pcar.org/ for more information on how to prevent sexual violence.

Microbac Laboratories, Inc. Acquires New Assets

// // in Client News

Microbac Laboratories, Inc. has announced the acquisition of the assets of Benchmark Water Monitoring, Inc. (BWMi). A network of environmental laboratories, BWMi includes Benchmark Analytics, Inc. in Center Valley, PA, Benchmark Analytics, Inc. in Sayre, PA, and Premier Laboratory, Inc. in Dayville, CT, as well as Pennsylvania satellite locations in Williamsport, East Stroudsburg, and Honesdale, and a satellite location in Lee, MA.

“We are excited about welcoming the BWMi laboratories and their satellite locations into our Microbac family,” said James Nokes, Microbac President. “BWMi has established an outstanding reputation in the laboratory industry and shares a similar client-focused philosophy with Microbac, making their addition a wonderful fit for our company.”

Read the full press release here.