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VOL. 44 | NO. 28 | Friday, July 10, 2020

Meharry announces $8M grant to support families

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The Center for Health Policy at Meharry Medical College has announced the receipt of an $8 million grant from the Tennessee Department of Human Services to support efforts in programming and services for Metro students and their caregivers with special emphasis on education, health and well-being, economic support and social capital.

The funding will be used to support the Center for Health Policy’s “BRIDGE to Success” program, a partnership with specific Metro Nashville public schools in ZIP codes 37218, 37208 and 37189. “This grant is an example of the many ways Meharry invests in community-led programs that are effective and that promote health and wellness,” said Dr. Dexter Samuels, executive director of the Center for Health Policy.

The grant comes from the Tennessee Department of Human Services Two-Generation approach to help move families toward educational success and economic security. To date, TDHS has awarded 2Gen grants to more than 30 organizations and educational entities across the state that address the needs of parents and children at the same time.

The four-year grant will deepen the partnership and commitment that Meharry has to the community it serves and provide a pathway for Middle Tennessee families to find sustainable success.

BlueCross facility coming to Northwest Y

The BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee Foundation is building a BlueCross Healthy Place at Nashville’s Northwest Family YMCA.

When complete, the space’s facilities will be available to all residents, including those without a YMCA membership.

The YMCA, which opened its doors in 1971, serves as a community resource for around 5,000 residents of the North Nashville and Bordeaux neighborhoods.

The BlueCross Foundation is providing $5.3 million for the project build and an additional $1,060,000 in a maintenance fund, bringing the total investment to $6,360,000.

“We are immensely grateful for this transformational grant, and it could not come at a more pivotal time for our city,” says Dan Dummermuth, YMCA of Middle Tennessee president and CEO. “Although we cannot celebrate the news in person amid the pandemic, this is certainly a powerful reminder that there are brighter days ahead and that our community will emerge stronger with an incredible new resource in the Bordeaux-North Nashville area.”

Proposed features, based on community needs, include: water features, inclusive play areas for children ages 2-5 and 5-12, challenge course, basketball/pickleball courts, multipurpose field, walking path, adult fitness equipment, shade structures.

“When our team visited the site, we saw residents using the existing facilities, but we realized a BlueCross Healthy Place could expand offerings and improve access for community members in need,” says Roy Vaughn, executive director of the BlueCross Foundation. “The project was in development before COVID-19 hit the U.S., but we know a day is coming in Nashville when this updated space will be more important than ever.”

Construction is tentatively scheduled to begin later this year. BlueCross Healthy Place projects are underway in Chattanooga, Kingsport and at Henry Horton State Park in Chapel Hill.

The BlueCross Foundation will accept proposals for 2021 funding during the month of August 2020.

Nashville picked for Digital Curb Challenge

Coord, a curb management company, has selected Nashville as a pilot city for the 2020 Digital Curb Challenge.

Aspen, Omaha and West Palm Beach also were selected. Each pilot city will partner with Coord on a Smart Zone pilot program tailored to its unique mobility challenges, with the goals of reducing congestion, improving safety and supporting local economic activity.

The programs come as cities increasingly look to curbs to meet communities’ changing needs, such as growing delivery, ride-hail and shared micromobility activity, promotion of sustainable transit like buses and bikes, and the need for more dedicated space for recreation and commercial activity.

By providing cities with information about when, where and how long drivers are loading, the Coord platform also supports data-driven operational changes. For example, cities can use this information to create more loading space where it’s most needed, or they can manage demand for it through pricing and time limits.

Murfreesboro Electric, MTE merger finalized

The merger between the Murfreesboro Electric Department and Middle Tennessee Electric became official recently.

“Now we begin bringing our two great teams together for the benefit of all those we serve,” said Chris Jones, MTE’s president and CEO. “While we’ve been preparing for some time, now it is real, and we are thankful and excited.”

Upon completion of TVA’s regulatory review and approval, which came in early June, MTE, MED and the City of Murfreesboro have coordinated efforts to close the transaction over the past few weeks. Closing was completed June 30, making July 1 the first official day that the two utilities are now one.

Founded in 1936, Middle Tennessee Electric Membership Corporation is the largest electric co-op in the Tennessee Valley Authority region and the second-largest in the United States, serving more than 600,000 Tennesseans via 305,000+ accounts covering nearly 2,200 square miles in 11 Middle Tennessee counties, primarily Rutherford, Cannon, Williamson and Wilson. Municipalities served include Murfreesboro, Franklin, Brentwood, Smyrna, Lavergne, Lebanon and Mt. Juliet. MTE employs 510 people in 7 local offices and its Murfreesboro corporate headquarters.

The Murfreesboro Electric Department has served the city and the surrounding area since 1939, covering approximately 55 square miles via 68,000 accounts and an estimated 136,000 residents. Like MTE, MED operates under a contract with TVA, a corporate agency of the federal government. TVA provides all electricity distributed by MED to its 67,000 customers.

GM names Hankook Supplier of the Year

Hankook Tire, headquartered in Nashville, was named a General Motors Supplier of the Year by the company.

The recognition is for supplier performance in the 2019 calendar year.

“Our suppliers play a key role in delivering the products, services and experiences our customers deserve – and these award-winning suppliers went above and beyond our expectations,” says Shilpan Amin, GM vice president, global purchasing and supply chain.

Winners were selected based on performance criteria in product purchasing, global purchasing and manufacturing services, customer care and aftersales and logistics.

Grant partnership aids child care providers

Child care providers licensed with the state may apply for the COVID-19 Loss of Income grants administered through a partnership between ChildcareTennessee, an initiative of The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee, and the state.

As the pandemic deepened, it became clear child care was approaching a crisis. Many child care agencies had to close for much longer than originally anticipated.

With the help of a COVID-19 Loss of Income Grant, 799 agencies across 70 counties in Tennessee have made it through this initial stage of the COVID-19 pandemic. The total number of licensed child care agencies in Tennessee is 2,300.

“This grant was everything to us,” said Amber Collins, director of Colonial Heights United Methodist Church Preschool in Kingsport. “We feared we would not make it out of this pandemic.

If agencies continue to have to close as the pandemic continues, they can apply for up to 60 days of lost income through the grant. Child care programs that closed because of the pandemic before now and have not yet applied for the grant can do so retroactively, back to March when agencies began closing because of the pandemic.


Brentwood’s Flexwise merges with Prescience

Flexwise Health, a Brentwood-based on-demand clinical staffing platform for hospitals, has merged with Prescience Health. The combined company will operate as Flexwise Health.

Prescience is a staffing optimization software company that uses data science to predict patient demand and align nurses.

The new company will deliver the first modern enterprise float pool management platform to help hospitals leverage data science and optimize nurse coverage, automate float pool deployment, and access on-demand nurses.

“Hospitals and regional health systems are facing unprecedented challenges in managing their clinical staffing needs while controlling expenses,” says Kevin Godsey, CEO of Flexwise Health.

Lambert, Tractor Supply partner on pet supplies

Brentwood-based Tractor Supply Company has launched a line of pet food and treats in collaboration with Miranda Lambert’s MuttNation.

The line, On The Farm, carries an assortment of balanced, nutritional recipes for both dogs and cats – made with real beef or chicken and other natural ingredients. On The Farm pet food and treats are available for online purchase now and will hit store shelves July 20.

Last year, Tractor Supply partnered with the singer to create the successful MuttNation Fueled by Miranda Lambert collection of beds, toys, gear and more, with proceeds supporting MuttNation Foundation’s efforts to advance the adoption of shelter pets and support animal rescues across the country.

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