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VOL. 45 | NO. 52 | Friday, December 24, 2021

Knoxville opioid facility purchased

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Cedar Recovery, a provider of outpatient addiction treatment based in Middle Tennessee, has acquired Occupational Health Services East Knoxville, an opioid treatment facility previously owned and operated by Dr. James Harrison.

Cedar Recovery is an office-based opioid treatment facility licensed by the state of Tennessee Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services now with five locations (Columbia, Knoxville, Lebanon, Mt Juliet and Shelbyville). Cedar Recovery engages patients struggling with substance use disorders.

Joe Bond, chief executive officer of Cedar Recovery, says, “We are excited to partner with Dr. Harrison’s team to serve the Knoxville community. This is a great opportunity to live out our mission to solve the opioid crisis and repair the communities we serve by providing addiction treatment that works.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, over 100,000 people lost their lives to a drug overdose in between 2020 and 2021 with opioids being the primary contributor. Medication-assisted treatment in an OBOT setting works by combining FDA-approved medications, such as buprenorphine and naltrexone, with counseling and care coordination services to provide a comprehensive level of treatment. Unlike inpatient and residential treatment settings, OBOTs allow for same-day and pain-free engagement.

More OBOTs and outpatient settings are needed in the Knox County area to meet the treatment demand for substance use disorders.

Forbes selects PYA for 2022 best firms list

PYA, an accounting and management consulting firm, has been named one of America’s Best Tax and Accounting Firms of 2022 by Forbes in its annually published list.

PYA is the only firm on the list headquartered in Knoxville, and one of only six in Tennessee.

This year, 223 out of approximately 4,400 recommended firms made the final list. Of those firms, 177 were recognized for both tax and accounting, including PYA.

Firms were selected based on nationwide surveys with accounting/tax professionals and business clients. Participants were asked to list firms to which they would be comfortable referring business or doing business with based on their experience.

In addition to this award from Forbes, PYA has been ranked in the Top 100 Accounting Firms by INSIDE Public Accounting for the last six years. PYA previously was ranked third-highest percentage female ownership among the Top 100 Firms by IPA. Accounting Today also named PYA a Top 100 Firm in the nation and Top 10 in the Southeast region. Notably, the Firm also has the highest percentage of consulting/business advisory revenues of all the CPA firms in the country; and, among firms with revenues of $100 million or less, PYA’s consulting/business advisory services revenues lead the nation.

UT medical systems seek Cancer research grants

The University of Tennessee Medical Center Cancer Institute/University Health System and the University of Tennessee Graduate School of Medicine are accepting grant applications specifically related to cancer research and funded by the Cancer Research Endowment.

As a result of a philanthropic initiative started in 2015, the institutions are now in a position to accept grant applications for Cycle Three of research funding. For this cycle, there will be several categories of grants based on the size and scope of the project.

Prior awards have ranged from $40,000 to $10,000. The project can extend over one or two years. Grant submission deadline is Feb. 18. No exceptions will be granted. The award decision notification is May 20, and the earliest start date is June 1.

CQInsights, BG Medical advance hernia treatment

BG Medical, the manufacturer and distributor of the 21st Century SURGIMESH Platform, and Knoxville-based CQInsights, announce the completion of the first procedure completed in a national hernia patient-centered outcomes initiative.

CQInsights is a health care data analytics company focused on digital health transformation using principles of systems and data science.

Due to the increasing complexity of hernia surgery following the introduction of numerous types of surgical hernia repair techniques and mesh technologies over the last decade, there is a high demand for clinical trials and data collection for the analysis and comparison of safety and efficacy of different products and approaches.

SURGIMESH is the only non-woven polypropylene matrix mesh that promotes rapid and complete vascularized incorporation in just 12 days. Because of its low profile and ability to be trimmed, SURGIMESH is also easier to deploy for all types of open and laparoscopic procedures, including robotics.

ETSU offers minor in brewing, distillation

East Tennessee State University has created a new minor in brewing and distillation studies.

In 2020, taprooms alone produced over 1.8 million barrels – that’s more than 55 million gallons – of beer, the Brewer’s Association reported.

“This exciting minor will enable our students to find success in the craft beverage industry,” says Sharon James McGee, dean of the College of Graduate and Continuing Studies at ETSU. “There is so much science and business training that students need to be successful in this field, and ETSU is providing it.’’

Over the summer, Tennessee Hills Brewing and Distilling opened a new location on West Walnut Street, the site of a $33 million investment project by Johnson City aimed at revitalizing the space that connects downtown with East Tennessee State University.

Students will get hands-on experience thanks to the university’s relationship with Tennessee Hills, where some students are already interning.

Johnson City celebrates new BC Healthy Place

Residents of Johnson City and representatives of the BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee Foundation recently gathered for a ribbon cutting ceremony for the grand opening of the BlueCross Healthy Place at Kiwanis Park.

There are 11 BlueCross Healthy Places already open statewide, with more underway. With the addition of the new projects for 2021, the BlueCross Foundation has invested $31.7 million in 17 community spaces across the state.

Johnson City applied for the BlueCross Healthy Place grant, looking to provide residents with a new community space. In their grant proposal, they shared about the impact a BlueCross Healthy Place would have on the area. “This project will allow for a multi-generational complex in an area of Johnson City that is close to several schools and neighborhoods. The complex is easily accessible and visible from a busy thoroughfare that runs through the city.”

Grant applicants were invited to choose from six project packages based on the needs of their communities. Johnson City selected the Community Hub package, and features in the new space include: community pavilion, play area for ages 2-5, play area for ages 5-12, fitness stations and swing set.

William Hastie Natural Area expansion begins

Appalachian Mountain Bike Club trail-building enthusiasts and Urban Wilderness advocates gathered recently at the William Hastie Natural Area to celebrate a 27-acre expansion of this section of the Urban Wilderness – as well as construction of 2 miles of new trails.

Construction on the new trails is expected to be completed by spring 2022, according to AMBC.

Last spring, AMBC put the 27 acres under contract, with the intent of adding it to the City’s William Hastie Natural Area park. More than 300 donors contributed to make the purchase a reality, with the City of Knoxville funding $100,000, roughly half the purchase investment.

The city will assume ownership of the William Hastie expansion and will manage its maintenance as part of the enlarged City park. AMBC is funding and building the new trails with the assistance of volunteer and professional builders.

ORNL, Tuskegee announce partnership

Oak Ridge National Laboratory and Tuskegee University have formed a partnership to develop new biodegradable materials for use in buildings, transportation and biomedical applications.

The collaboration combines ORNL’s expertise in bioscience, high-performance computing and advanced manufacturing with Tuskegee’s focus on biomaterials research and fosters opportunities for joint research and the exchange of information between institutions.

Tuskegee’s Department of Materials Science and Engineering students will work with ORNL researchers in manufacturing science and gain access to DOE’s Manufacturing Demonstration Facility at ORNL through a memorandum of understanding agreement.

ORNL was named one of the top supporters of Historically Black Colleges and Universities for 2021 by a panel of deans of HBCU engineering programs and the Advancing Minorities’ Interest in Engineering corporate-academic alliance.

FarmCare wins 2021 Vol Court Pitch contest

Three student-owned businesses were honored with prizes at the fall 2021 Vol Court Pitch Competition, hosted by the Anderson Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation at the University of Tennessee’s Haslam College of Business.

FarmCare, which offers child care in a farm setting, took first place, winning $1,500 and the opportunity to have office space for a year at the University of Tennessee Research Foundation Business Incubator. FarmCare provides children with learning opportunities, exercise and fun, and helps build community as parents participate in activities on the farm.

Founder Jennifer “Farmer Jen” Durant is in a dual-degree program to earn an MBA and a master’s in agriculture and resource economics.

Second place, $1,000 and space in the incubator, went to Sonder Parking, an app that lets students find and reserve available parking spaces on campus without having to drive around looking. The app is the brainchild of Lindsey Hickok-Perry, a sophomore economics major from Lawrenceburg, and Cameron Manor, a sophomore marketing major from Dickson.

EVRLASTING placed third and won $500. The platform, founded by Alex Weber, provides professional recording and rendering services that allow users to relive their weddings, graduations, birthday parties and other life events in virtual reality. Weber came up with the idea after filming his own wedding with 360 cameras.

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