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Derek Arnold

Senior Instructor, Communication | College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
Villanova University
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Professor Simon McKeown

Professor in the Institute of Modern Art in the School of Arts and Design
Teesside University
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David Meerman Scott

Marketing Strategist, Keynote Speaker, Bestselling Author

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ChristianaCare Provides More Than $1 Million in Grants to 19 Community Organizations to Address Social Drivers of Health

(WILMINGTON, Del. – December 1, 2023) ChristianaCare is investing $1 million in local nonprofit organizations to improve health for communities in Delaware, Pennsylvania and Maryland. Announced during a special event Thursday at Ezion Fair Baptist Church in Wilmington’s Southbridge neighborhood, the funding was given to 19 nonprofits through ChristianaCare’s Community Investment Fund. The fund supports partnerships to build the collective capacity of communities to address social, behavioral and environmental factors that impact health. “In order to improve health equity and accelerate progress in addressing the social drivers of health, we need partners,” said Bettina Tweardy Riveros, chief public affairs officer and chief health equity officer at ChristianaCare. “While ChristianaCare provides excellent health care, we also understand that we are not the experts on every social driver of health. And that’s why we are committed to strengthening these organizations and enhancing their ability to make a positive impact. Together, we are creating health in the neighborhoods and communities we serve.” As an anchor institution in the community, ChristianaCare invests in community health improvement programs as a core component of its community benefit activities. To date, ChristianaCare has provided more than $4 million to 52 community organizations through its Community Investment Fund, which was established in 2019. This year’s awardees received funding to support community health improvement initiatives in high-need communities to address a diverse array of health-related needs, including safe housing, access to nutritious food – and even climate change, which the White House recently highlighted as a social driver of health. One of the organizations that received a grant is Delaware Humanities, which provides educational and cultural opportunities to help Delawareans gain a deeper understanding of human identity. The Wilmington, Del.-headquartered nonprofit will use its grant to develop environmental justice toolkits designed to inspire, facilitate and guide conversations about the importance of environmental issues in Delaware. “Major focus areas at our organization include health and environment, which impact human behavior and our collective sense of well-being,” said Michele Anstine, executive director of Delaware Humanities. “ChristianaCare’s grant will help us empower our communities so they can more truly understand the deep connection between health and their environment and its profound impact on the human experience.” Good Neighbors Home Repair, headquartered in Kennett Square, Pennsylvania, received a grant to expand its free home repair services to houses for low-income households, making their homes safer, healthier and more livable. “Many of the houses that we repair belong to people who are coming home after a hospital discharge,” said Brad Dunn, advancement director for Good Neighbors Home Repair. “They often are returning to homes with broken handrails and misshapen steps but are unable to pay for repairs because they live on fixed incomes. We are deeply appreciative that ChristianaCare is supporting our efforts to provide services that keep our clients safe, healthy and at home.” Recipients were selected based on the quality of their proposals and implementation plans, and on the alignment of their proposals with the key priorities of ChristianaCare’s Community Health Needs Assessment and Community Health Implementation Plan. The funded initiatives will be implemented throughout the upcoming year. The 19 latest Community Investment Fund recipients are: AIDS Delaware. Bayside Community Network, Inc. Children & Families First. Cornerstone West CDC. Deep Roots, Inc. Delaware 211. Delaware Center for Justice. Delaware Coalition Against Domestic Violence. Delaware Humanities. Delaware Interfaith Power & Light. Good Neighbors Home Repair. Green Beret Project. Healthy Food for Healthy Kids. Project New Start. Saint Patrick'’s Center. Sussex County Habitat for Humanity. The Resurrection Center. YMCA of Delaware. YWCA Delaware.

Bettina Tweardy Riveros, J.D.
3 min. read

STORY: CAA Insurance Company Voted as a Winner of the 2023 Readers’ Choice Awards

CAA Insurance Company is proud to be voted as a winner of the Toronto Star 2023 Readers’ Choice Awards. Every year, the publication invites local communities to nominate and vote for their favourite local and/or professional businesses. The community decides winners as their favourites in specific categories. CAA Insurance was awarded platinum in the insurance company subcategory within the professional services category. “We are extremely honoured to receive this recognition,” said Matthew Turack, Group President, Insurance, CCG. “For almost 50 years, CAA Insurance has provided dependable and trustworthy service to protect Canadians and what matters most to them. Our customers can enjoy peace of mind knowing they will receive the highest level of respect, fairness, and attention for the best coverage.” As CAA Insurance continues to grow, we continue to innovate and are committed to meeting and exceeding the insurance needs of Canadians. Congratulations to all the 2023 Readers’ Choice Awards winners.

1 min. read
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MEDIA RELEASE: Growing Concern: CAA SCO Survey Reveals Spike in Cannabis-Impaired Driving on Edibles in Ontario

In a recent survey conducted by CAA South Central Ontario (CAA SCO), alarming trends indicate a significant rise in cannabis-impaired driving, particularly involving edibles. Key findings from the 2023 survey revealed that 38 per cent of cannabis-impaired drivers in Ontario consumed edibles before driving—a 12 per cent increase from the previous year and more than double the rate in 2019. “The data shows us that while drivers primarily engage in cannabis-impaired driving after smoking a joint, the prevalence of driving under the influence of edibles is on the upswing, and that poses a greater risk to road safety,” says Michael Stewart, community relations consultant at CAA SCO. “Edibles are harder to detect and can take up to two hours for the effects to kick in.” According to the survey, 7 per cent (approximately 750,000 Ontario drivers) admit to driving after consuming some form of cannabis in the past three months. The survey also found that almost three-quarters (70 per cent) of the cannabis-impaired drivers admitted to getting behind the wheel within 3 hours of consumption, and nearly half (45 per cent) have felt high while driving. “Despite the misconception that cannabis may not impair driving ability, it affects coordination, reaction time, attention, judgment, and decision-making. We want to emphasize our commitment to public education, urging motorists to stay informed about the risks and penalties of impaired driving,” says Stewart. The consequences of impaired driving are evident, with 6 per cent of Ontario drivers admitting having been charged—an alarming doubling from the previous year. Collisions caused by impaired driving also rose to 6 per cent in 2023, compared to 4 per cent in the preceding year. During this holiday season, CAA reminds drivers to make alternate arrangements, such as utilizing rideshare services, to ensure a safe journey home. “While edibles may be legal, CAA emphasizes that they are incompatible with responsible driving,” adds Stewart.

Michael Stewart
2 min. read

Public health workers faced unprecedented threats during the pandemic

A new study led by Jennifer Horney, founder of the University of Delaware's Epidemiology program, shows that threats to public health workers nearly doubled after the COVID-19 vaccine was released in August 2021. The results, recently published in an open-access commentary in Public Health in Practice, demonstrate a strong need for expanded legal protections for all frontline workers. They also illustrate a need to boost the resilience of the public health workforce, which can be achieved through training, coping, protective services and media management. While public health workers have always received threats, including during the SARS and Zika outbreaks, the COVID-19 pandemic threats were different. “These threats were more personal in nature,” said Horney, a professor in UD's College of Health Sciences. “Due to the proliferation of social media and the politicization of the pandemic, for the first time, public health leaders were finding protesters on their doorsteps or were being doxed.” Horney and her team surveyed staff at state and local health departments in 23 states – most of them epidemiology or communicable disease staff. The initial online survey found that 25% of respondents said someone in their public health agency had received personal threats. That percentage practically doubled to 41% in a follow-up survey. Of those, respondents said nearly all the personal threats were lodged by members of the public. Almost 40% reported receiving political threats. The threats reported by public health workers who responded to the survey ranged from death threats to blame for COVID-19 deaths due to incompetence. Horney is available for interviews to discuss the study and other topics related to the public health response to COVID-19 and the impacts of natural disasters on public health. Click on her profile below to contact Horney and the UD media relations team.

Jennifer Horney
2 min. read

Unveiling the Emotional and Psychological Rewards of Gift-Giving

During the holiday season, the spirit of giving resonates with joy and warmth, extending beyond mere material exchange. Philip Gable, a professor of psychological and brain sciences at the University of Delaware, asserts that there's a science behind gift-giving, encompassing emotional nuances applicable to charitable work. Gable emphasizes that the significance of a gift contributes to the happiness derived from giving, taking various forms, from a personal investment of time to a budget-conscious monetary contribution. It transcends mere obligation, aiming to create a resonant impact. The professor has expertise in emotion and motivational science and can discuss this nuance, especially as we enter the winter holiday season. He can be reached by clicking his "View Profile" button. 

Philip Gable
1 min. read

Reinventing the laser diode: free public lecture by Professor Richard Hogg

Professor Richard Hogg joined Aston University in spring 2023 His inaugural lecture is about laser diodes, the tiny components that are a vital part of everyday life The free event will take place on Tuesday 28 November. The latest inaugural lecture at Aston University will explore the laser diode and what’s in store for it in the future. Professor Richard Hogg will explain how his future research might make laser diodes do some of the things that they currently can’t do. The laser diode turned 61 years old this month and the tiny components are a critical part of everyday life. Professor Hogg said: “They are now at the heart of the continuous transformation of society. “They transmit data to allow instantaneous, ubiquitous communication and data access. “They allow light to be used for cutting and welding, for sensing and imaging, for displays and illumination, and data storage. “And in the guise of a laser pointer they can even be used to entertain your cat!” He will discuss different classes of laser diode and their operation and applications. Professor Hogg joined Aston University in spring 2023 and is based at Aston Institute of Photonic Technologies (AIPT). It is one of the world’s leading photonics research centres and its scientific achievements range from medical lasers and bio-sensing for healthcare, to the high-speed optical communications technology that underpins the internet and the digital economy. The professor is also chief technology officer at III-V Epi, which provides compound semiconductor wafer foundry services. The free event will take place on the University campus at Conference Aston, on Tuesday 28 November from 6pm to 8pm and will be followed by a drinks reception. It can also be viewed online. To sign up for a place in person visit https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/717822585677?aff=oddtdtcreator To sign up for a place online visit https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/717824260687?aff=oddtdtcreator

2 min. read

Georgia Southern University launches ‘Together We Soar’ Campaign

Georgia Southern University proudly announces the launch of its comprehensive campaign, “Together We Soar: The Campaign for Georgia Southern University.” This transformative initiative aims to elevate the University’s impact on students, faculty, research, athletics, and the communities it serves. Georgia Southern, renowned for its majestic campuses adorned with southern live oaks and towering pines, symbolizes not just American freedom but also the promise, achievement and boundless potential of its students. The University’s trajectory is on the rise, reaching for greater heights in education and community impact. Central to this momentum is the unwavering support from alumni, friends and the community. Publicly launched last Friday evening, Together We Soar: The Campaign for Georgia Southern University aims to raise $125 million by 2026. More than $86 million has already been secured. Dr. Kyle Marrero, President of Georgia Southern, expressed his gratitude and vision for the University. “Georgia Southern is on the move, in motion, and soaring to new heights. The ‘Together We Soar’ campaign—fueled by the generous support of our alumni, friends, and partners—will ensure our ability to drive innovation, develop talent, transform lives, and propel the economic development of a growing region.” (L-R) Georgia Southern President Kyle Marrero, Vice President for University Advancement Trip Addison, Deputy Athletics Director of Development Davis Hendrickson, Executive Director of Development Julie Gerbsch, Director of Alumni Relations Ava Edwards, and University Campaign Co-chair Leonard Bevill on stage at the Oct. 20 launch event for Together We Soar: The Campaign for Georgia Southern University. The campaign has identified four primary objectives: Empower Student Success: The campaign aims to stimulate learning by recruiting high-achieving students, increasing student access, and promoting inclusive excellence and career readiness. Advance Teaching and Public Impact Research: The focus is on meeting regional economic needs, increasing faculty expertise, and enhancing research capacity. Elevate Athletics: The campaign seeks to attract and retain elite student-athletes, provide top-notch facilities, and boost the Competitive Excellence Fund. Enrich Campuses and Community Vibrancy: The goal is to improve the communities surrounding the campuses and teach about local wildlife, among other initiatives. Campaign co-chairs Mike Sanders and Leonard Bevill shared their excitement for the campaign and what it will mean for Georgia Southern. “I could not be more excited about Georgia Southern and its possibilities. Opportunities abound for our University and the Together We Soar Campaign is the catalyst. It is time to do ‘more with more.’” - Mike Sanders “‘Together We Soar’ is spot on. From across campus to athletics and throughout our community, we’re perfectly aligned and equipped to launch to historic heights. I’m very blessed and excited to be involved.” Leonard Bevill The campaign also highlights the significant economic impact of Georgia Southern, with a regional economic contribution of $1.1 billion in fiscal year 2022. The University plays a critical role in the economic growth and transformation of Southeast Georgia. Marrero said Georgia Southern invites all its supporters, alumni and the community to join this transformative journey. With collective support, there’s no limit to how high Georgia Southern can soar. For more information or to contribute to the “Together We Soar” campaign, visit GeorgiaSouthern.edu/TogetherWeSoar.

3 min. read

MEDIA RELEASE: CAA honours the hard work and dedication of two School Safety Patrol program partners with Provincial Award

[ Left to Right: Kathryn Gratton, Elementary School Resource Coordinator and Deputy Chief Jason Saunders, Brantford Police Service. ] CAA South Central Ontario (CAA SCO) is proud to recognize two of its CAA School Safety Patrol® (SSP) program partners, the Brantford Police Service and, Windsor-Essex Schools Safety Patrol Association (WESSPA) for their outstanding contribution and dedication to the program. “CAA takes the safety of children and pedestrians very seriously and we work closely with our community and police partners to protect, educate and empower elementary school students to help keep their peers safe travelling to and from school.” says Tracy Marshall, manager of community relations at CAA SCO. “We are proud to celebrate this year’s CAA School Safety Patrol Program Achievement Award winners for their commitment to the program’s mission of keeping school zones safe,” adds Marshall. Kathryn Gratton, a civilian who works for the Brantford Police Service was recognized for going above and beyond to ensure program participants in her community were never left behind. Gratton has served her community through the CAA SSP program for four years and has trained over 2,300 Patrollers. This year, when other local regions were unable to train Patrollers, Gratton sprung into action to ensure students wouldn't miss out on the program. She continued training her schools and voluntarily offered to train other schools as well. From the 2022/23 school year alone, she has trained 26 schools and over 500 Patrollers. She also attended each school individually and had a pizza party with snacks and drinks for the Patrollers to show her appreciation for their hard work throughout the year. Through her proud involvement in the program, Gratton has clearly demonstrated the Brantford Police Service mission statement of being committed to enhancing safety for all. Brantford Police Service have been participating in the SSP program for over 50 years. [ Left to Right: Bernadette Arreola Community Program Consultant, CAA SCO and Linda Dowell, Windsor-Essex Schools Safety Patrol Association (WESSPA) ] Linda Dowell, who has been with the WESSPA for 18 years as the SSP regional partner, was recognized for her exceptional leadership that has directly impacted the program’s success. After a two-and-a-half-year hiatus due to the pandemic, the WESSPA brought back the CAA SSP program in September 2022 with 55 schools and over 1,000 Patrollers. Through Dowell’s leadership, WESSPA was able to re-integrate all their program components and incentives. This included ensuring Patrollers, bus operators and local police partners received extensive school bus safety and foot patrol training as well as hosting special events for program participants. Despite being retired, Dowell has chosen to continue serving her community through the SSP program because of her passion and commitment to school zone safety. The WESSPA have been participating in the SSP program for over 80 years. The CAA School Safety Patrol® program has helped keep students safe in school zones since the 1920s by assisting at school crossings and on school buses. Every year, approximately 900 schools in Ontario participate in the CAA SSP program and CAA SCO partners with local partners to deliver the program. For more information, visit www.caaschoolsafetypatrol.com.

Tracy Marshall
3 min. read

Peer Support Program Helps Patients With Substance Use Disorders

Recognizing that stigma may keep people from accessing treatment and recovery resources, ChristianaCare Union Hospital is partnering with the Cecil County Health Department and Voices of Hope to make peer recovery specialists available at the bedside for patients who have experienced a drug overdose or live with substance use disorder. Ten peer recovery specialists are available at Union Hospital seven days a week from 8:30 a.m. to 1 a.m. to talk with patients about behavioral health care navigation, access to treatment and referrals to harm-reduction and recovery-support resources. Patients can be connected with a certified peer recovery specialist if they are brought to the Emergency Department because of a drug overdose, or if they screen positive for substance use while they are a patient in the hospital. ChristianaCare Union Hospital is partnering with the Cecil County Health Department and the Maryland nonprofit Voices of Hope to make peer recovery specialists, pictured in blue t-shirts, available at the bedside for patients who have experienced a drug overdose or live with substance use disorder. Patients are not required to speak with a peer recovery specialist, but the specialists’ unique combination of lived experience and training to help people experiencing behavioral health issues offers an opportunity for people with substance use disorder to get help without fear of judgment or stigma. “Substance use disorder continues to be a serious health problem that affects people of all ages and walks of life,” said Lanre Akinkunmi, M.D., interim chief medical officer and medical director for population health at ChristianaCare Cecil County Campus. “The good news is that it is treatable, and when people are in the hospital or the emergency department, they are often most receptive to discussions about treatment. Through this expanded use of peer recovery specialists at Union Hospital, we are making a positive impact on the health of our patients and our community.” A voice of experience Peer recovery specialists who work on the weekdays are employed by the Cecil County Health Department, supported by a grant from the National Association of County and City Health Officials. Voices of Hope, a nonprofit focused on recovery support for people in Harford and Cecil counties in Maryland, employs the peer specialists working evenings and weekends. “This program is a great example of using resources wisely and effectively. We already know the tremendous work being done by Voices of Hope and Cecil County Health Department to help our neighbors who have been impacted by substance use disorder,” said Lisa Fields, manager of Community Engagement at the Cecil County Campus. “By partnering on this important program, we are building trust with our patients and helping them to get on the road to recovery.” Since the expanded program launched in September, there have been about 40 referrals for patients to speak with peer support specialists, and more than half of them have agreed to some kind of treatment, Fields said. Unique connection “Helping people get through what I went through really warms my heart,” said Hannah Dean, a peer recovery specialist with the Cecil County Health Department who works at Union Hospital. “I love what I do.” Cecil County’s death rate from drug overdoses is nearly twice as high as the rest of Maryland and more than three times the U.S. rate. The drug overdose death rate in Cecil County more than doubled between 2016 and 2020, according to the 2022 Cecil County Community Health Needs Assessment. Because peer support specialists have lived experience with substance use disorder and recovery, along with specialized training to support people struggling with mental health or substance use issues, they can connect with patients on a personal level and offer empathetic guidance, said Lauren Levy, health officer for the Cecil County Health Department. “Allowing peer recovery specialists to engage bedside with patients who may be struggling with substance use disorders will not only enhance access to behavioral health treatment but will also help reduce stigma surrounding substance use disorders and foster a more compassionate and supportive community,” Levy said. “We are honored to be a part of this innovative private-public collaboration and to work alongside ChristianaCare Union Hospital and Voices of Hope, Inc. This project helps to break down barriers to treatment and provide immediate support to those in need.” A history of support ChristianaCare has long been a pioneer in the use of peer recovery specialists, going back to the launch of Project Engage at ChristianaCare’s Wilmington Hospital in 2008. Union Hospital first partnered with the Cecil County Health Department 10 years ago to provide a peer recovery specialist in the Emergency Department. That program, the first of its kind in Maryland, was recognized with a best practice award from the Maryland Association of Counties in 2014. However, it operated only on weekdays during daytime business hours, and its ability to connect with hospital patients slowed during the COVID-19 pandemic. This reinvigorated peer recovery program is strengthened by the high level of collaboration among these Cecil County organizations, said Erin Wright, chief operations officer for Voices of Hope. “As community-based organizations, we are in a position to make a difference, and our perspective in the care for people with substance use disorder is really valuable,” said Wright, who has been in recovery for eight years. “As someone who has been through it, we are able to have that empathy. Even if the person does not want to go to treatment, you sit with them and maybe plant a seed.” Catharine Murray hopes her role as a certified peer recovery specialist can help someone struggling with addiction see recovery as a viable option for themselves. “This wasn’t available to me when I was trying to get better. I want to make it more accessible to others,” she said.

4 min. read