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Peter Savolainen

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MSU Foundation Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering
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Michigan State University
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Jeffrey Morosoff

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Associate Professor of Journalism, Media Studies, and Public Relations
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Hofstra University
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Read expert insights on a wide variety of topics and current events.

Reuters looks at how an increase in mass shooting incidents is affecting insurance rates

Reuters talked with a number of insurance providers to determine if increased gun violence in the United States has caused any ripples in the insurance market. 

1 min. read

Church Mutual® talks with Church Executive about the best ways to protect art and religious artifacts

Recent events including the theft of a tabernacle worth $2 million highlights the importance of keeping priceless pieces of art and religious artifacts safe. Leiza McKenna, senior fine arts underwriting consultant, talks about steps you can take to properly protect and insure these valuable pieces.

1 min. read
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ChristianaCare Partners with PursueCare and SimpleTherapy to Bring Virtual Health Care to Higher Education Institutions

ChristianaCare is out to revolutionize health care. One of the country’s most dynamic health care systems, ChristianaCare is partnering with two leaders in medical and therapy services to provide comprehensive, integrated virtual health services 24/7 to colleges, universities and other institutions of higher education. Together with PursueCare and SimpleTherapy, ChristianaCare created a bundled health care product that combines general medical services from ChristianaCare’s Center for Virtual Health, mental health and addiction treatment programs from PursueCare and hyper-personalized musculoskeletal care from SimpleTherapy. ‘The future of health care is virtual’ “At ChristianaCare, we know that the future of health care is virtual,” said Sharon Anderson, MS, RN, FACHE, ChristianaCare’s chief virtual health officer and president of ChristianaCare’s Center for Virtual Health. “When college students are able to access medical, behavioral health and musculoskeletal services through their phone or laptop, from their dorm room or a private space on campus, they’ll be more likely to get help when they need it. This is about delivering care to students on their terms, so that they can be healthy and supported with high-quality care throughout their college experience.” Personalized virtual health solutions will be available to students at participating higher education institutions through a customized portal accessible from any computer or mobile device. Students will be able to access assessments, resources and virtual treatment via modules or telemedicine sessions with licensed providers. The offering provides students with unlimited, on-demand care from a multidisciplinary team solving for a multitude of conditions. “For college and university student health services and administrators, this partnership offers a powerful new way to provide comprehensive, affordable health solutions that benefit students,” Anderson said. “In a highly competitive recruiting environment, these solutions are easy to implement and can add tremendous value. We are excited to partner with colleges and universities to strengthen their student health programs by creating a comprehensive virtual care solution to meet their student’s health care needs.” Through a single digital portal, participating students can access internal and family medicine providers from ChristianaCare’s Center for Virtual Health. PursueCare’s Joint Commission-accredited mental health, psychiatric and medication-assisted treatment providers, and SimpleTherapy’s licensed physical therapists specializing in musculoskeletal care, acute or chronic pain management, and strength and mobility training can all be accessed through the portal. Students will also have the option of using PursueCareRx for their pharmacy needs. PursueCareRx is a competitively priced full-service pharmacy that accepts most major insurance and delivers directly to customers. “Young adults face an escalating mental health and substance use crisis,” said Nick Mercadante, founder, and CEO of PursueCare. “Colleges and universities are frequently unable to comprehensively serve the increased need, and research suggests substance use, mental health and suicide carry a significant social stigma. Our goal is to work collaboratively with campus health resources to bring a low-barrier solution students can access privately, any time, on their terms. Additionally, partnering with a world-class health system like ChristianaCare means we can help support whole-person care needs.” “Chronic musculoskeletal disorders have never been more prevalent and traditional care pathways are often ineffective and costly,” said Arpit Khemka, co-founder and CEO of SimpleTherapy. "SimpleTherapy removes barriers for students allowing them to take control of their musculoskeletal health, reducing their need for high-cost, high-risk services, such as surgery and opioids, to manage pain. This results in higher compliance rates and more successful outcomes." Customized and co-branded product The product is designed for colleges, universities and all other higher education institutions. For a flat fee, a school will be able to offer care that is customized and co-branded with school-specific content to be an extension of existing campus health services. It provides curated resources for rapid pre-assessment, on-demand chat and discreet, personalized access to care for students on or off-campus. The innovative patient portal aims to improve and strengthen how schools offer health care solutions to their student population while reducing any potential interruptions of academic and athletic pursuits by making it possible for students to conveniently access care from anywhere. In addition, the offering eliminates social stigma and other access obstacles for students who are at-risk or potentially at-risk, making it more likely that students will avail themselves of treatment options and remain in school. These services are currently licensed to operate in Delaware, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Maryland. Applications for licenses are underway in other states. ChristianaCare has long been a trailblazer in virtual health. Among its achievements, during the COVID-19 pandemic, ChristianaCare developed a COVID-19 virtual monitoring program that helped 37 companies in 14 states safely reopen with daily symptom monitoring, testing and connections to care for more than 10,000 employees. It’s Center for Virtual Health makes receiving care radically convenient, offering a full continuum of virtual care delivery programs. These programs include virtual primary care, specialty care programs and a Hospital Care at Home Program bringing hospital level of care to a patient’s home. The Center for Virtual Health cares for thousands of patients using state-of-the-art virtual care capabilities supporting patients in receiving care anytime, anyplace, including in the comfort of their own homes. For more information about the program, visit StudentCareSolutions.com.

4 min. read

ChristianaCare Launches Gender Wellness Program for Transgender and Gender Diverse Individuals

Pride Month announcement highlights need for quality health care for LGBTQ+ community ChristianaCare has opened a Gender Wellness Program to provide psychotherapy and support services for individuals age 13 and older who are exploring their gender identity or experiencing gender dysphoria—a sense of incongruence and distress that a person may have because of a mismatch between their gender identity and their sex affirmed at birth. Downloadable: PHOTOS VIDEO The program also provides treatment for any behavioral health condition the individual may be struggling with, such as anxiety and depression. People who identify as transgender have higher rates of suicide attempts than individuals who do not identify as transgender, according to the National Institutes of Health. “ChristianaCare aims to provide the safest, highest quality health care and the best experience possible for our entire community, guided by our values of love and excellence,” said Mustafa A. Mufti, M.D., interim chair of the ChristianaCare Department of Psychiatry. “Caring for our entire community means providing sensitive, compassionate, and state-of-the-art behavioral health and medical care to transgender and gender-diverse individuals. Our Gender Wellness Program will help improve health equity and outcomes for individuals and families who need these services. We know that transgender and gender-diverse individuals face health disparities, and our program will help address that.” The program follows the guidelines of the World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH). WPATH promotes the highest standards of health care for the health of transsexual, transgender and gender-nonconforming people based on the best available science and expert professional consensus. “Our Gender Wellness Program is ready to support anyone age 13 or older who is exploring their gender identity, experiencing gender dysphoria or who needs education and support around social and medical transition,” said Brett E. Herb, DSW, LCSW, program manager of the Gender Wellness Program. Dr. Herb has been in clinical practice for more than 25 years as a psychotherapist and a clinical and administrative manager for numerous behavioral health programs, and has been working with the transgender and gender-diverse populations for the past 17 years. “We provide referrals to compassionate, gender-affirming health care experts,” Dr. Herb said. “Often, families find themselves having to educate their primary care providers, schools, neighbors and family members about how to appropriately care for gender-diverse individuals. Our program provides individuals and families with access to specially trained gender therapists they can trust who can get them the answers they need to help navigate the complexities they may encounter.” The Gender Wellness Program provides referrals to trans-competent primary care providers who prescribe gender-affirming hormone treatment, along with specialists for gynecological and obstetrics care. The program offers individual, couples, family and group therapy sessions. It also provides existing patients with assistance with personal documentation changes and letters of surgical support. “This program has provided me with tremendous support throughout my transition,” said Julie Brown of Wilmington, Delaware. “My therapist empathizes with what I am experiencing in my life, and has guided me through my evolution. The group therapy sessions help me understand that I am not alone. “We form a community, share information and support each other in a safe environment. My child is also a patient of the Gender Wellness Program. Their support has helped him deal with my changes and understand his gender dysphoria.” “Brett Herb and the Gender Wellness Program have helped me grow the confidence I needed,” said Kristopher Snedeker of Newark, Delaware. “Working with the professionals at the program has provided resources to help further my gender transition to become who I truly am.” Gender therapists at the Gender Wellness Program are: Brett E. Herb, DSW, LCSW, Program Manager. Amanda Pope Evans, MSW, LCSW. Katherine Goemaat-Suarez, MSW, LCSW. ChristianaCare is a national leader in LGBTQ+ health care. For the past 11 consecutive years, Christiana and Wilmington hospitals have been recognized by the Healthcare Equality Index as an LGBTQ+ Healthcare Equality Leader. Individuals who would like to learn more can contact the Gender Wellness Program at genderwellnessprogram@christianacare.org or call 302-623-6773. For more on ChristianaCare’s LGBTQ+ health initiatives, visit LGBTQ Health Initiatives.

3 min. read

SUU Partners with Tempe Festival of the Arts

Thanks to an ongoing partnership between Downtown Tempe Authority and Southern Utah University’s Outdoor Recreation in Parks and Tourism (ORPT) program, students in the program are able to participate in the Tempe Festival of the Arts (TFA) each year. “This has been a great partnership for both ORPT and Tempe Festival of the Arts,” said Dr. Kelly Goonan. “What is especially notable is they reached out to SUU specifically because of our reputation and emphasis on experiential education, even though there are other colleges and universities much closer.” Since 2018, SUU’s ORPT program has participated in the event immersion program, giving students valuable hands-on experience with the long-running festival. Students help with setup and takedown and depending on the season, either shadow staff to learn about a program area or supervise an area themselves. Each fall, students meet with staff from organizations like the City of Tempe and Tempe Tourism, and each spring, with staff with specific responsibilities with the festival. These Spotlight Sessions give students the opportunity to learn more about each person and their work with the festival. “Through the program, students learn about the logistics and planning needed to host a large-scale event and the specific elements needed for the smaller program areas within the event. They also learn how community events like TFA can support the missions of multiple organizations. Students also develop professional skills like communication, problem-solving, and organization and grow their professional network.” The Outdoor Recreation in Parks and Tourism program at SUU is an interdisciplinary degree offered by the Department of Kinesiology and Outdoor Recreation. The interdisciplinary nature of the program includes course work from agriculture science, biology, communication, geology, and hotel and hospitality management.

Kelly Goonan
2 min. read

MEDIA RELEASE: Dangerous driving behaviours on the rise in province, says new CAA South Central Ontario survey

Ontario drivers say they aren’t feeling as safe as they used to on highways, and they’re seeing more dangerous driving behaviours on the roads. A new study by DIG Insights on behalf of CAA South Central Ontario (CAA SCO) indicates that 98 per cent of Ontario drivers witnessed unsafe driving behaviours in the past year – up three per cent last year. This increase in unsafe driving behaviours could also explain why six per cent fewer drivers are feeling safe on our roads, specifically on highways with speed limits of 100 km/h. “Ontario police services continue to report significant amounts of speeding, stunt and aggressive driving. Although the pandemic amplified the awareness, the issue was growing well before that,” says Michael Stewart, community relations consultant, Government and Community Relations, CAA SCO. About half of respondents point to speeding as a big problem in Ontario which is no surprise considering the most common behaviour seen was speeding, followed by aggressive driving, unsafely changing lanes and distracted driving. “Traffic returning to pre-pandemic levels could be the reason why we’re seeing this increase in unsafe driving,” says Stewart. “Some drivers even admit to doing it themselves.” In total, 58 per cent admitted to engaging in dangerous driving behaviours. Forty-three per cent of Ontario drivers admitted to speeding, 17 per cent say they’ve driven distracted, eight per cent say they’ve made unsafe lane changes and six per cent have driven aggressively. Most of the time, these behaviours are witnessed on higher-speed highways, says Stewart. “It can be nerve-wracking when you come across a driver who is behaving this way,” he says. “If you do come across a speeding or aggressive driver, the best thing you can do is stay calm, focus on your driving and do not engage with the other driver. "If possible, drivers should safely pull over and call 911 if someone is driving erratically or you believe their behaviour could be an immediate danger to others.” The rise in speeding and stunt driving prompted the Ontario government to introduce tougher fines and penalties in 2021, called Moving Ontarians More Safely Act. While most drivers say they believe photo radar helps deter speeding and that photo radar should be in school zones and community safety zones, one in three Ontario drivers say they try to avoid roads that have photo radar, and 43 per cent say they accelerate after passing a photo radar camera. “Drivers need to be mindful of driving to the posted speed limit, because speeding isn’t worth the risk of a collision, fine or penalty,” says Stewart.

Michael Stewart
2 min. read

Expert Says Financial Technologies Can Help Address Climate Change

“Financial technologies offer great promise to tackle climate change and provide pathways for developing sustainable economies and lifestyles,” says Aparna Gupta, a professor of quantitative finance at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and co-director of the Center for Research toward Advancing Financial Technologies (CRAFT), the first-ever fintech research center backed by the National Science Foundation. CRAFT brings together industry partners and policy makers to conduct research that is relevant for industry and has potential for commercialization. Dr. Gupta says that blockchain technologies combined with smart contracts and Internet of Things (IoT) devices are set to transform property and casualty insurance that is subject to increasing threats from climate change. Similarly, distributed ledger technologies can be utilized for issuing innovative climate finance securities, such as green bonds and climate derivatives, by facilitating traceable, transparent, and standardized transactions. Regulatory readiness to support blockchain-enabled green bonds and other climate finance securities issuance is underway across the globe. Climate fintech is also set to play a pivotal role in increasing renewable power generation and accelerating the transition to clean energy, according to Dr. Gupta. Digital lending platforms use crowdsourcing models to provide debt financing for residential solar energy systems. Climate-conscious consumers can make spending decisions that minimize their carbon footprint through solutions such as using a credit card that allows them to round up their purchases and use the change for planting trees. In the investment management and advisory space, there is a growing recognition of the need for environmentally sustainable investing. Responding to this need, fintech startups are offering platforms for clean energy investments and enabling investors to construct low-carbon-impact financial portfolios. “Financial technologies innovations are poised to transform almost all aspects of financial services, and in doing so, offer great opportunities to address climate change challenges,” Dr. Gupta says. In addition to her leadership in fintech, Dr. Gupta is at the helm of a team of financial and renewable energy experts developing risk management tools to incorporate renewable energy into the energy market. They will set and standardize risk factors to make it easier for this critical industry to be both productive for investors and creators and systematized for users, similar to the rating system created for the bond market. Dr. Gupta also serves on the Climate Risk Working Group of the Financial Risk Manager Advisory Committee for the Global Association of Risk Professionals tasked with identifying the important climate issues for the training of future global risk professionals. Dr. Gupta is among the many experts and researchers at Rensselaer available to speak on this topic.

Aparna Gupta
2 min. read

Aston University academic named President of the College of Optometrists

Professor Leon Davies named incoming President of the College of Optometrists Professor Davies will serve a two-year term as President Seven new Council members have also been elected onto the board Professor Leon Davies of the School of Optometry at Aston University has been named as the College of Optometrist’s incoming President. The College of Optometrists also welcomed seven new Council members at its AGM, held during its clinical conference, Optometry Tomorrow 2022, on 20 June. Incoming President, Professor Leon Davies FCOptom, is currently a board member and previous Vice President. Leon is professor of optometry and physiological optics at Aston University and former editor-in-chief of the College’s peer reviewed CPD journal, Optometry in Practice. Academically, Leon has over 60 publications and has been awarded over £2.5m of funding for his research from UKRI, the EU, charities and a number of multinational organisations. His research is focused on presbyopia and the restoration of ocular accommodation to the ageing eye. He is also a recipient of the College of Optometrists Research Fellowship Award, and was awarded the inaugural Neil Charman Medal for research excellence in optometry, optics and vision science. Professor Leon Davies said: “I am extremely proud to be elected President of the College and honoured to represent the profession at such a crucial time, with transformational changes underway including the General Optical Council (GOC) Opticians Act review and the College’s newly published Workforce vision. “I am determined to continue the profession’s advances to ensure optometrists across the UK are at the centre of new models of eye care, and that their competences and skills are recognised and used to their full potential. “I would like to pay tribute to our outgoing President, Colin Davidson FCOptom, for his unstinting work and dedication over the last two years and offer thanks to all our departing Board and Council members for their dedicated service." The School of Optometry’s portfolio of courses range from undergraduate, to masters taught and doctoral level research, as well as a wide range of optometry continuing professional development options. All programmes are informed by professional practice and are led by an inter-disciplinary teaching team of optometrists, dispensing opticians, ophthalmologists, and vision scientists. Reflecting this highly practical ethos, students on the School’s undergraduate programmes benefit from substantial hands-on experience in the onsite Aston Eye Clinic, one of the largest at any UK university, with over 6,000 patient episodes completed every year. For more information about the School of Optometry at Aston University please visit our webpages.

Leon Davies
2 min. read

New LIV Golf series raises plenty of questions and eyebrows

When the new LIV Golf series backed by Saudi Arabia came into existence, it raised plenty of questions on who would jump from the PGA Tour to this new league. With guaranteed appearance fees in the millions offered, it wasn’t a huge surprise some of the biggest stars like Phil Mickelson, Dustin Johnson Brooks Koepka and Bryson DeChambeau have decided to join. Some of pushback to the new league comes as a result of the Saudis' track record on human rights issues. The PGA Tour had warned players there would be repercussions of playing in those events and responded by suspending those who are, indefinitely. But can they legally do that? Richard Franza, dean of the Hull College of Business said golfers are independent contractors and the suspensions may end up being challenged in court. “Nothing will be resolved until it goes to court,” said Franza. “I think there are three things that could determine if it goes to court or not. First — if someone is playing LIV Golf wants to play in a PGA Tour event and they are barred. Second — if somehow the stance on majors changes, which I think is very plausible. Third — will these guys be included in the official World Golf Rankings? This is important because the OWGR help determine automatic entry into the majors.” Right now, golf’s four majors, the Masters, U.S. Open, PGA Championship and The Open Championship, are not run by the PGA Tour and have indicated they would not bar those playing in the LIV Golf series. It’s apparent to most this is a money move by the players. With the millions of dollars being guaranteed to Mickelson, Johnson and others, they are securing their future. There are also only eight events in the LIV Golf series with a team component. Each tournament is just three rounds, compared to the four in a PGA Tour event. Franza said they may also be challenging the PGA Tour to change how they do business. “I think in the grand scheme of things the guys would like to stay with the PGA Tour. But for some of them, it’s a way to try to get the PGA Tour to change things. I don’t know if they (LIV players) are looking for guarantees or not, but they’re probably looking for bigger purses, although purses have already gotten pretty big. I think they may want different events that aren’t all stroke play events,” added Franza. In fact, the PGA Tour has recently announced significant purse increases for some of their tournaments as a response to the LIV Golf series. If you're looking to know more about what's next for players and the business side of golf, then let us help. Richard Franza is available to speak with media  – simply click on his icon now to arrange an interview today.

Richard Franza, PhD
2 min. read