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VOL. 44 | NO. 49 | Friday, December 4, 2020

TN picked for vaccine delivery pilot program

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Tennessee is one of four states selected to participate in a pilot program for delivery of the Pfizer Inc. COVID-19 vaccine now under development.

This program is designed to address distribution challenges posed by requirements for ultracold storage of the vaccine.

“We have a robust plan in place for distribution of this vaccine, and we’re honored to be chosen to help establish a model for other states in providing COVID-19 vaccine to their residents once it’s approved,” says Tennessee Health Commissioner Lisa Piercey, M.D., MBA, FAAP.

New Mexico, Rhode Island and Texas are the other states in the pilot program. The states were chosen based on their differences in size, population diversity and immunization infrastructure. Lessons learned through this program will help support all states in development of effective immunization programs for this COVID-19 vaccine.

Once the vaccine is approved, Tennessee and other states participating in the pilot will not receive vaccine doses earlier than other states by virtue of the pilot.

Pfizer expects to have enough safety data on the vaccine from ongoing trials before the end of November before applying for emergency use authorization. Pfizer is working with Operation Warp Speed and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to ensure that following approval, their COVID-19 vaccine can be provided to those most in need as quickly and equitably as possible.

TDH is working to onboard hospitals, pharmacies, clinics and other partners capable of storing vaccine and administering it to priority populations. TDH will ensure distribution of vaccination sites across all 95 counties, especially in rural counties and areas with high concentrations of people in vulnerable populations.

Envision outlines future of US health care delivery

Nashville’s Envision Healthcare, a national medical group, has released a policy white paper on the future of health care delivery in the United States.

Drawing on its extensive experience responding to the COVID-19 pandemic and other national emergencies, Envision details a road map to strengthen the nation’s health care system. The group’s recommendations focus on making it easier for clinicians to provide care across state lines, expanding the care team model, increasing patients’ access to virtual health and enhancing support for clinician mental health and well-being.

Envision’s white paper specifies how the medical group’s innovative care team models are expanding the clinical expertise of intensivist specialists – especially during a national physician shortage – and deploying clinicians to provide extra support to hospitals and health systems in need. The group is increasing patients’ access to care and promoting clinician and patient safety via virtual health and enhancing its mental health support to help clinicians combat the stressors of today’s health care environment and COVID-19 pandemic.

Drawing on its expertise during national emergencies, Envision provides specific policy recommendations to overcome persistent challenges related to care team development, virtual health adoption and clinician mental health, including:

n Reforming licensing laws to make it easier for physicians to obtain licensure in multiple states and contiguous regions

n Directing the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to incentivize care team model experimentation with an emphasis on quality and efficiency

n Easing Medicare restrictions on virtual health by allowing beneficiaries from any geographic location to access services from their homes and permanently waive enforcement of HIPAA for virtual health

n Easing prescribing in the virtual health setting, including states’ regulation of clinicians’ e-prescribing of controlled substances

n Mandate commercial insurance plans to provide coverage and payment parity regardless of where care was provided and expand the use of virtual health in Medicaid plans.

OneOncology partners for clinical trials

Nashville’s OneOncology and Genentech have announced the first clinical trial available to patients through OneR, the OneOncology Research Network, to advance personalized cancer care at community oncology centers across the United States.

OneOncology is a national partnership of independent oncology practices. Genentech is a member of the Roche Group.

The companies also unveiled a first-of-its-kind, multiyear strategic partnership to collaborate on various clinical trials, scientific research and real-world data studies. The partnership’s goals are to enhance clinical assessment of comprehensive genomic profiling increase access to clinical trials and improve therapeutic options for patients.

OneOncology and Genentech will also establish a joint committee that will design studies to evaluate the impact of personalized health care on outcomes for patients, the health care system and society.

Genuine Parts invests in Wilson County

Genuine Parts Company, a leading automotive and industrial parts distributor, will open a 325,000-square-foot distribution facility in Lebanon.

Construction on the Lebanon facility is essentially complete and was initially operational in September 2020. The build-out of the internal operations remains underway and will continue for several more months. The new distribution center Wilson County facility will supply auto parts to approximately 300 NAPA outlets.

The company plans to invest $50 million and create 250 jobs over the next five years.

Headquartered in Atlanta, the company distributes automotive parts to a network of 6,000 NAPA Auto Parts stores in the U.S. In addition, the company has automotive operations in Canada, Europe, Australia and New Zealand. Genuine Parts Company also distributes industrial parts throughout the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Australia and New Zealand.

QuaverEd strengthens ClassLink partnership

Nashville’s QuaverEd, an online curriculum development company, is now a certified partner of ClassLink.

The two education companies have a long-standing relationship with more than 150 districts using ClassLink to deliver their Quaver educational resources. ClassLink empowers 11 million students and staff in over 1,400 school systems.

QuaverEd is the creator of interactive, standards-aligned instructional resources for health, social and emotional learning, and general music education for grades PK-8.

Publication lauds Horton website redesign

The Horton Group’s website redesign for the Nashville International Airport has been featured in Airport Improvement magazine.

The site, www.flynashville.com, has been “designed with the traveler in mind, making it mobile first,” says the magazine article, “with prominent features such as flight tracking, real-time parking data and security checkpoint wait times.”

The article outlines the website’s streamlined organization, improved searching options, business opportunities and much more. The website’s functionality includes features such as interactive maps, streamlined organization and dynamic search features.

Airport Improvement is a magazine published bimonthly out of Brookfield, Wisconsin, and is dedicated to current events and issues relating to the airline industry.

Horton Group has been providing web design and marketing services to the Nashville area and beyond for over 20 years.

U.S. Urology Partners adds New York practice

U.S. Urology Partners, with corporate offices in Nolensville and Gahanna, Ohio, has announced a strategic partnership with Associated Medical Professionals of New York, creating one of the nation’s largest independent providers of urological and other specialty services.

Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Associated Medical Professionals is a market-leading, multispecialty urology practice operating throughout Syracuse, New York, and the surrounding regions. U.S. Urology Partners’ operations include one of the largest urology practices in the Midwest, Central Ohio Urology Group. The combined groups will benefit from U.S. Urology Partners’ substantial investment in people, technology and services to better address patient and employee needs in the communities they serve, while being well positioned for continued growth.

Southern Word, BMG unveil music program

Southern Word and BMG are launching a youth fellowship aimed at engaging Nashville area college and high school youth in the music industry and critical conversations about music culture.

Five Music Industry & Culture Fellows will train in both nonprofit and music administration over the course of 24 weeks, putting their learning into action by developing and tracking their own music projects and by supporting Southern Word’s community programs and events.

The M.I.C. Fellowship evolves out of a program Southern Word has been developing over the past two years, training youth on the fundamentals of nonprofit administration. Since 2008, Southern Word has supported the growth of leading young writers and music producers through its in-school and out-of-school programs. In addition to building skills as artists, this fellowship program provides youth the tools to create, manage, market, and track the projects they produce in a way that develops transferable skills for any career path.

Po.et joins MadNetwork

Po.et, with offices in Nashville, will become part of MadNetwork, a custom blockchain purpose-built for enterprise authentication infrastructure.

Together, the companies aim to tackle the most important problem with the internet today – identity validation – and its uses in content and monetization.

Po.et, Proof of Existence 2.0, is a Bitcoin blockchain protocol that establishes an open, universal and immutable ledger for managing the ownership, attribution and licensing of creative digital assets.

Along with its plans to merge resources with Po.et, MadNetwork also presented a new dual-token system which it plans to implement in the coming months.

Launched in 2018, MadNetwork envisioned a series of products and partnerships geared toward reshaping the media industry.

The network rolled out developer tools through MadHive, and forged a partnership with AdLedger, a nonprofit consortium working to build open technical standards for media and advertising.

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