National association – Gloucester Downtown Association http://gloucesterdowntownassociation.org/ Tue, 30 Nov 2021 13:38:43 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.8 https://gloucesterdowntownassociation.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/icon-150x150.png National association – Gloucester Downtown Association http://gloucesterdowntownassociation.org/ 32 32 Eko and the National Association of Free & Charitable https://gloucesterdowntownassociation.org/eko-and-the-national-association-of-free-charitable/ Tue, 30 Nov 2021 13:30:00 +0000 https://gloucesterdowntownassociation.org/eko-and-the-national-association-of-free-charitable/ OAKLAND, Calif., November 30, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) – Eko, a digital cardiopulmonary health company, today announced its partnership with the National Association of Free and Charitable Clinics (ANCA). The partnership will begin with Eko’s donation of smart stethoscopes and telehealth kits to 59 ANCA-affiliated clinics in 33 states. This donation will improve the detection, surveillance […]]]>

OAKLAND, Calif., November 30, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) – Eko, a digital cardiopulmonary health company, today announced its partnership with the National Association of Free and Charitable Clinics (ANCA). The partnership will begin with Eko’s donation of smart stethoscopes and telehealth kits to 59 ANCA-affiliated clinics in 33 states. This donation will improve the detection, surveillance and treatment of cardiopulmonary disease for more than 100,000 unique patients in communities severely affected by the health care deficit in the United States.

Eko was founded to enable clinicians to detect and monitor heart and lung disease through its innovative suite of digital tools, patient and provider software, and AI-based analytics. The company reinvented the stethoscope and introduced the world’s first portable digital stethoscope and combined electrocardiogram (ECG). Eko’s FDA-approved AI analysis algorithms help detect abnormal heart rhythms and structural heart disease.

“Eko exists to ensure that all patients have equal access to early detection of heart and lung disease and high quality care that improves and prolongs their lives,” said Connor Landgraf, co-founder and CEO of Eko . “Our commitment to the NAFC will provide their network of clinics with cutting-edge digital tools to detect heart and lung disease with greater accuracy, diagnose with more confidence, manage treatment effectively and, ultimately. account, to give their patients the best possible care. “

ANCA is the only 501c (3) nonprofit organization whose mission is solely focused on the issues and needs of medically underserved people across the country and the 1,400+ free and charitable clinics that serve them.

“The NAFC is delighted to partner with Eko to provide selected clinics with access to this technology that will help expand the virtual care they can provide to their communities,” said Nicole Lamoureux, President and Chief Executive Officer. the leadership of ANCA. “As more and more free and charitable clinics implement and scale up telehealth programs, the possibility of using this technology will expand their reach and capacity, thereby filling the gaps in cardiovascular care in communities vulnerable to the disease. across the country. “

“Thanks to Eko’s generous donation, we are screening patients like never before,” said Joshua Brown, Executive Director of Health Access Inc. “A physical exam at Health Access is now the gateway to confidently screen for heart murmurs and AFib our uninsured and underinsured patients. Eko’s stethoscope technology is already making a difference for many of our patients.

To find out more and refer a friend or colleague, click on here.

About Eko
Eko, a digital cardiopulmonary health company, is improving the way clinicians detect and monitor heart and lung disease with its innovative suite of digital tools, software for patients and providers, and data-driven analytics. ‘IA. Its FDA-approved platform is used by hundreds of thousands of clinicians around the world, enabling them to detect with greater precision, diagnose with more confidence, manage treatment effectively and ultimately account, to give their patients the best possible care. Eko believes that if you can hear clearly, you can confidently care about it. The company is headquartered in Oakland, California. To learn more about Eko, visit ekohealth.com.

About the National Association of Free and Charitable Clinics
Founded in 2001 and based near Washington, DC, ANCA strives to ensure that medically underserved people have access to affordable, quality health care and strives to be a national voice promoting health care. quality health for all. The NAFC has achieved the Platinum Transparency Seal from GuideStar and a four-star rating with Charity Navigator. For more information on ANCA, please visit nafcclinics.org.

Media contact:
alexandra pony
alexandra@ponycommunications.com
250.858.0656

A photo accompanying this announcement is available at https://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/74a2ee1e-8736-4a98-a8bc-8245e1433648


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After 400 wins, Queens Basketball coach sees major loss as career turning point | DFA 90.7 https://gloucesterdowntownassociation.org/after-400-wins-queens-basketball-coach-sees-major-loss-as-career-turning-point-dfa-90-7/ Sun, 28 Nov 2021 13:09:00 +0000 https://gloucesterdowntownassociation.org/after-400-wins-queens-basketball-coach-sees-major-loss-as-career-turning-point-dfa-90-7/ Bart Lundy notched his 400th victory in college basketball on November 12. The Queens University of Charlotte coach says his dismissal from High Point University in 2009 marked a turning point in his career. “I like the saying, ‘When you go up in anything you had better plant flowers because on the way down you […]]]>

Bart Lundy notched his 400th victory in college basketball on November 12. The Queens University of Charlotte coach says his dismissal from High Point University in 2009 marked a turning point in his career.

“I like the saying, ‘When you go up in anything you had better plant flowers because on the way down you will have to pluck them,” Lundy said recently. In 2020, Lundy was named one of the 50 most influential American coaches in Division II and the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics.

After going 9-21 in the 2008-09 season at High Point and being sacked when a new athletic director entered the scene – at the same time Lundy was going through a divorce – he leaned on his own advice.

“As I was going downstairs, I had planted enough flowers to be lucky enough for Buzz Williams (now Texas A&M head coach) to contact me and give me a job at Marquette,” Lundy said. “Through these trials, life is made of change. And if you are not prepared to be tough through change and adapt, then it will be difficult to be successful.

Three years as director of basketball operations at Marquette was like a doctorate. in basketball, said Lundy, working with Hall of Fame coaches and future NBA players. After Marquette, Lundy was an assistant coach in North Texas before returning to Queens for a second stint. He started in Queens at the age of 25, leading the Royals to their first NCAA regional title and an Elite Eight appearance in 2001, followed by a trip to the national semifinals in 2003.

This led to his six-year stint at High Point, which included four winning seasons. Ninety-six of his 400 wins came at High Point.

His second run in Queens was nothing short of remarkable, with three straight seasons of over 30 wins from 2016 to 2019 and four straight NCAA tournament appearances. The Royals reached the NCAA Division II Final Four in 2017-18 and the Elite Eight again in 2018-19.

Basketball and Life Philosophies

After hitting the 400-win milestone, Lundy explained that for him there was not just one coaching philosophy, principle or fundamentals in place.

“We’re sort of working on two premises,” Lundy said. “One is that everything matters. Everything, the smallest details, everything counts… with your recruitment, with the academics… everything is important to have a successful program, a successful team, ”he said. “We preach to our guys, it’s just work.”

With every head coach position, there is a responsibility to perform, compete and win. During his first stint in Queens, Lundy said he was more concerned with the results. Over time, he realized that building relationships with players was more important.

“Everyone wants to win, that’s part of it,” Lundy said. “But the relationship with the guys is more important. They call you (and ask you), “Hey, what kind of lawn mower should I buy? », 10 years after having finished playing. It is more important than any victory. And this is what you will remember.

Planning the game is one of his favorite processes. For some opponents, Lundy said, his team has to play Monopoly. For others, they are playing poker. “You have to find ways to win every game,” Lundy said. “Can you get this message across to your guys to give them all the tools they need in their toolbox to win the game?” “

Players who haven’t had it easy

Lundy looks for an unexpected characteristic when recruiting. He appreciates the players who have not had it easy. “I like to go to war with these guys because they don’t give in, and they’ve had a hard time,” he said.

“Watching Todd Withers who had a scholarship offer, who was Queens coming out of high school, finish his education and get NBA chances, sign a deal in Australia that changes his life and the lives of his family. Those are the times there, ”Lundy said. Withers now plays for the Adelaide 36ers in the Australian National Basketball League.

If there was anything about basketball that he could change, Lundy said, it’s a fixation with immediate success. Coaching is about preparing players for life, and it’s not instant pudding.

“Coaching is about teaching and trying to get the best out of each individual,” Lundy said. “You know, we have freshmen who think they’re already pros… they’re not. It’s a process, and you have to work to make it happen.

“Coaching is about really getting them to buy into this process. Wake up everyday, do it the best you can and work as hard as you can, lay your head on the pillow tonight. Wake up and start again tomorrow.

Elvis Menayese of Cardiff, Wales is a student at the James L. Knight School of Communication at Queens University Charlotte, which provides the information service in support of local community news.


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‘Quite disruptive’: Multi-month processing delays leave people out of work due to nationwide labor shortage https://gloucesterdowntownassociation.org/quite-disruptive-multi-month-processing-delays-leave-people-out-of-work-due-to-nationwide-labor-shortage/ Fri, 26 Nov 2021 13:17:00 +0000 https://gloucesterdowntownassociation.org/quite-disruptive-multi-month-processing-delays-leave-people-out-of-work-due-to-nationwide-labor-shortage/ Vera de Aponte, a certified behavioral technician for children with special needs in Florida, had to quit her job this month when her work permit that allows her to work legally in the United States expired. Her family has since adjusted their vacation plans, including no longer taking the plane with her husband’s mother, for […]]]>

Vera de Aponte, a certified behavioral technician for children with special needs in Florida, had to quit her job this month when her work permit that allows her to work legally in the United States expired. Her family has since adjusted their vacation plans, including no longer taking the plane with her husband’s mother, for financial reasons.

“I had to talk to my daughter about the situation.… It’s not in my hands. It’s frustrating and how do I explain that to her? I can’t buy her Christmas presents because I’m afraid of spend money, “Vera de Aponte, who seeks political asylum in the United States, told CNN in Spanish.

An IT company lost five employees this year because their work permits were not renewed, leaving them unable to legally work in the United States, according to Leon Fresco, an immigration lawyer representing the business. The company, which has around 1,000 employees, declined to be named due to confidentiality concerns.

While three of those employees have since secured their renewals, the incident is emblematic of an issue plaguing businesses nationwide. “Overall, there are huge concerns that this is going to continue to happen,” Fresco said.

The limited supply of workers has already hampered US businesses and is likely to be compounded by immigrants unable to keep their jobs because they cannot legally work until their permits are renewed. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, which adjudicate and approve work permits, say there is an unprecedented backlog of 1.4 million pending work permit applications, including initial applications and renewals.

USCIS did not detail how many of those permits expired due to the backlog, but an agency official told CNN they heard from those affected about the issue.

“We hear from businesses. We hear from nonprofits. We hear from hospitals. And we hear directly from affected people,” the official said. “We are very aware of the problem all the way to the top of the agency and the department.”

Some immigrants, including asylum seekers, are allowed to work in the United States while their cases are pending – a process that often takes years to complete – and they are required to renew these permits regularly.

But without these granted renewals, work permits expire, leaving employers with no choice but to fire workers even when there is a labor shortage.

“The severity of the labor shortage is unprecedented,” said Gad Levanon, vice president of labor markets at The Conference Board, a think tank made up of business members. “When the labor shortage is so severe, any additional factor that pulls people away from the workforce is more noticeable.

The National Association of Business Economics found that nearly half (47%) of respondents to its recent Survey of Business Conditions reported a shortage of skilled workers in the third quarter, up from 32% in the second quarter of the year. .

“If the job market were normal, then it would be easier for these companies to replace those that have lost a work permit,” Levanon added. “Now, finding a qualified worker to replace is much more difficult. ”

The months-long delays in renewing work permits have been “disruptive” for businesses, said Jon Baselice, vice president of immigration policy at the United States Chamber of Commerce, who has frequently heard complaints. companies concerned about processing issues.

“It was quite disturbing,” he said. “You talk about a situation where a company cannot keep an employee at least for the short term due to lack of paperwork. “

For these employees, waiting for what is otherwise routine paperwork means putting off plans and worrying about family finances.

Abelardo Rios, a Florida-based telecommunications field technician, was suspended from his duties last week. Rios, who is seeking political asylum in the United States, submitted his renewal application in February, three months before his work permit expired. He’s still waiting.

“We have no benefits, no medical insurance. They suspended the job, but my family has no benefits at the moment,” Rios told CNN in Spanish.

One of the most frustrating aspects of the ordeal for Rios, who is the sole provider of his wife and 17-year-old daughter, is that he has no opportunity to find another job. He cannot work until his renewal request is accepted, as it has been several times before.

In recent weeks, the Asylum Seekers Advocacy Project has received hundreds of inquiries from people claiming their work permits have expired or are about to expire, according to Leidy Perez-Davis, director of policy at Asylum Seekers. Advocacy Project. They include doctors and specialists who treated patients during the height of the coronavirus pandemic, engineers and long-haul truck drivers, among others.

The Asylum Seekers Advocacy Project, with the American Immigration Council and Lakin & Wille LLP, filed a complaint this month contesting the “unreasonable delays” in renewing work permits for asylum seekers. Vera de Aponte is a named plaintiff in the ASAP lawsuit.
Biden administration's handling of payments for separated families puts strain on strained relationship even more

A work permit for an asylum seeker is usually valid for two years. Claimants can apply for a renewal while their refugee claim is pending. If they file before the permit expires, they can receive an automatic 180-day extension of their current permit. But treatment, in some cases, extends beyond this period, leaving asylum seekers in limbo.

USCIS, an agency of the Department of Homeland Security, has faced huge backlogs across the board due to the coronavirus pandemic and, according to an official, mismanagement under the previous administration that resulted in part resulted in a million cases covering unopened categories in January.

Since then, the Biden administration has reduced USCIS ‘various backlogs by changing policies, paying overtime and trying to hire more staff, the official said. But as USCIS tries to streamline operations to resolve delays, it is also doing so at a time when the agency struggles to provide work permits to tens of thousands of Afghan evacuees, emphasizing on already overwhelmed resources.

“We are very focused on the human consequences of losing people’s ability to work when they have no legal reason not to be eligible, and that is why we are focused on solving this problem.” , said the official.

Heghine Muradyan, a California doctor who treated hundreds of patients during the Covid-19 pandemic, lost his job in October when his work permit did not arrive on time. It was approved this week, but she is still waiting for the permit to return to work. Muradyan, an asylum seeker who is also a named complainant in the ASAP lawsuit, has spent the past few weeks fearful of losing her medical license if she does not return to work soon.

The uncertainty of what to do next always hangs over others.

Biraj Nepal, a software engineer, receives a frequent warning from human resources that his work permit will expire in January, a reminder that he is on the verge of losing his job.

“We believe this country is our home,” said Nepal, who has a 4-year-old daughter and baby on the way. “But we live in constant fear and worry because we don’t know what will happen to us tomorrow.”


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Teacher pension trustees lower target rate of return to 7.25% https://gloucesterdowntownassociation.org/teacher-pension-trustees-lower-target-rate-of-return-to-7-25/ Mon, 22 Nov 2021 13:22:53 +0000 https://gloucesterdowntownassociation.org/teacher-pension-trustees-lower-target-rate-of-return-to-7-25/ Administrators of the Arkansas teachers’ pension system last week slashed its target rate of return from 7.5% to 7.25% per year. Executive Director Clint Rhoden said the cut is not expected to trigger another round of cost cuts or increases in premium rates for employers and employees. “The possibility of future benefit adjustments can never […]]]>

Administrators of the Arkansas teachers’ pension system last week slashed its target rate of return from 7.5% to 7.25% per year.

Executive Director Clint Rhoden said the cut is not expected to trigger another round of cost cuts or increases in premium rates for employers and employees.

“The possibility of future benefit adjustments can never be ruled out, but I do not expect that they will be necessary in the near future,” he said in a written statement.

The increase in system liabilities resulting from the reduction in the target rate of return is mainly offset by the 31% ROI recorded on June 30, 2021, Rhoden said.

Investments in the system were valued at $ 21.3 billion as of Nov. 15, Rhoden said.

The Teachers Pension System is the largest such agency in the state government, with over 100,000 active and retired members.

At its November 15 meeting, the board adopted all of the assumption changes recommended by the system actuary, Gabriel, Roeder, Smith & Co., based on the latest five-year experience study. of the actuary, said Rhoden. The system continues to assume wage inflation of 2.75% per year and price inflation of 2.5% per year.

Based on a target rate of return of 7.25% and wage inflation of 2.75%, Gabriel, Roeder, Smith & Co. estimated the system’s actuarial accrued liabilities at $ 24 billion. and an actuarial asset value of $ 19.3 billion to reach a funding ratio of 80.6% as of July 1, 2021.

The expected payback period for the system’s $ 4.6 billion in unfunded liabilities is around 33 years, Gabriel estimated. The actuary must deliver his annual actuarial report to the trustees in December.

The actuary is phased in accounting for investment gains and losses over four years with the goal of stabilizing the rate charged to employers, which are state and local governments.

As of June 30, 2020, the unfunded liability stood at $ 4.34 billion, with an expected payback period of 27 years, according to Gabriel. Actuaries often compare the expected repayment period of unfunded liabilities to a mortgage on a house.

In 2017, the board voted to implement several measures to raise funds and reduce costs over seven years in response to the system reducing its ROI target from 8% to 7.5% per year.

The employer’s contribution rate, which was 14% of payroll in fiscal 2019, is now 14.75% and is expected to reach 15% in fiscal 2023. The contribution rate of employees was 6% in fiscal 2019, is now 6.75% and is expected to grow to 7% in fiscal 2023.

The average target return on investment for 130 public pension systems was 7.11% per year and the median was 7% in July, according to information from the National Association of State Retirement Administrators, said Gabriel, Roeder, Smith & Co. in a written report. to teachers’ pension administrators. The average target return on investment for these systems has declined steadily over the past few years and was 7.53% in fiscal 2017.

“Given the ROI expectations, we suggest that ATRS consider an ROI assumption of between 6.23% and 7.23%,” Gabriel said in his report.

The system’s investment consultant, Chicago-based Aon Hewitt Investment Consulting, wrote in a report to the directors: “Based on our knowledge of the ATRS portfolio and the expectations of the capital markets, Aon finds the expected rate of return at long-term 7.2% be reasonable. “Driven by soaring stock markets, Teacher Retirement System investments rose $ 4.5 billion in value last year, Aon reported in September. In recent years, the system’s return has averaged 9.6 percent per year to rank among the top 9 percent of the nation’s large public pension systems, according to the company.


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Schurman commended for lifetime 4-H service | New https://gloucesterdowntownassociation.org/schurman-commended-for-lifetime-4-h-service-new/ Sat, 20 Nov 2021 14:50:00 +0000 https://gloucesterdowntownassociation.org/schurman-commended-for-lifetime-4-h-service-new/ A childhood of participation in the national youth life skills development organization, 4-H, and a career as a leader and educator for the 4-H community led to induction into the National Hall of Fame of the program for Carol Schurman, of Clymer. Schurman was among 20 members of the 2021 class who were dedicated to […]]]>

A childhood of participation in the national youth life skills development organization, 4-H, and a career as a leader and educator for the 4-H community led to induction into the National Hall of Fame of the program for Carol Schurman, of Clymer.

Schurman was among 20 members of the 2021 class who were dedicated to the room in a ceremony Oct. 12 at Gallaudet University in Washington, DC. Each person was honored for all of their accomplishments and contributions to 4-H.

The 2021 graduates of the National 4-H Hall of Fame were recognized for excellence in citizenship, leadership, character and professional achievement.

Schurman has been a part of the 4-H programs since her days as a young member, for 40 years (1977 to 2017) as an Indiana County 4-H educator through Penn State Extension and during her retirement.

“Carol’s 4-H members were her children,” local 4-H leaders wrote in support of Schurman’s Hall of Fame nomination. “She has dedicated her life to the positive development of young people through her attention to opportunity, mentoring, sponsorship and teaching. Carol practiced what she preached and was respectful, kind, and caring for every young and adult she worked with. That’s what makes her special!

Many of the Indiana County 4-H programs established by Schurman – bowling, hippology, annual recognition, day camps, animal science contests, embryology, academic enrichment, and county / regional communication contests – remain strong today. .

Schurman was cited for 35 years of service as Co-Director of Southwest 4-H Camp, where she supervised 25 counselors and 60 campers each year. She coordinated the Southwest PA 4-H Leaders’ Symposium, which annually involves 75 volunteers from 10 counties.

Local 4-H officials said Schurman was widely known for developing the communication skills of 4-H members and delivering workshops on presentations, public speaking, interview skills, judgments. and good impressions for young people at the county, region and state levels.

“She has taught over 80 workshops with over 1,500 participants,” according to her application materials. “County members have won many awards for his special attention. She has also run regional and day camps in agricultural science for many years – hundreds of young people have learned where their food comes from. More than 3,700 young people have been reached in more than 90 communities thanks to camping programs. Over $ 84,000 was raised in grants.

Schurman’s proponents praised the breadth of his service beyond the borders of Indiana County, both in terms of leadership, organizing and reviewing programs, and in uplifting young local members to explore. their full potential in skills development. She has won national awards for her record-breaking workshop presentations, has been recognized as a committed mentor to new 4-H staff members, and was a primary organizer of the 4-H program’s centennial celebration. of Pennsylvania in 2012.

Under his leadership, more than 140 volunteers and clubs have been recognized for their efforts with Extension Spirit Awards, Salute to Excellence, County Human Service Council Awards, State Recognition of Cattle, National Wildlife Grants and Volunteers.

Schurman has been named a national award winner five times (camping, radio, promotion) and has won numerous regional awards.

Since her retirement four years ago, her appointment report said: “Schurman has continued to volunteer with the program as an embryology assistant, donor, press release writer, judge and member of the development committee. . She helped coach two Agriculture Science Challenge teams. She and her husband, Gene, established two scholarships at Penn State to benefit members of 4-H / Animal Science students, a $ 50,000 administration scholarship and an annual scholarship of $ 5,000 per year (four students per year). They also donate for other activities (often anonymously) with contributions to date of over $ 110,000. They will also make a major contribution of $ 250,000 from their estate to the expansion and 4-H. “

Outside of the 4-H program, Schurman has been an active member and leader of the Rainbow Diamond Glass Club, the Indiana County Children’s Advisory Board, and the National Association of Milk Bottle Collectors. She is a blood donor, agricultural literacy reader, judge for local Dairy Princess and Fair Queen events, and a member of the PA Holstein Club, PA Farm Bureau and Todd Bird Club. She received the All-American Dairy Show Image Award for her work with the PA Junior Dairy Show.

“Carol Schurman is the epitome of 4-H,” said Connie Bruner, longtime 4-H member and leader. “She built Indiana County 4-H from the ground up in the dynamic and powerful program it is today, cultivating generations of 4-H members into thriving members and contributors to the community.”

Schurman was appointed by the National Association of Extension 4-H Youth Development Professionals, based on her exceptional leadership at the local, state, national and international levels.

The winners were selected for the National 4-H Hall of Fame for their significant contribution to 4-H, the premier national youth development organization serving more than 6 million young people nationwide.

“We are proud to honor and recognize the outstanding individuals who are the recipients of the 2021 Class of the National 4-H Hall of Fame. These people have touched the lives of many, from 4-H staff and colleagues to thousands of 4-H volunteers and members across the country, ”said Jeannette Rea Keywood, President of the National Hall of Fame. of 4-H.

Keywood said Schurman and the other recipients have enjoyed careers marked by the passion, dedication, vision and leadership they have shown to young people over their many years of service.

Hall officials presented Schurman and the other recipients with a National 4-H Hall of Fame medallion, plaque and memorabilia book during the ceremony.

The National 4-H Hall of Fame was established in 2002 as part of the National Association of 4-H Extension Workers Centennial Project in partnership with the National 4-H Council and National 4-H Headquarters. -H from the National Institute of Food and Agriculture. , USDA. Its goal is to recognize and celebrate the volunteers, financial supporters, staff and pioneers who have made a significant impact on 4-H and its millions of members over the past 100 years.

For more information on the National 4-H Hall of Fame event and past recipients, visit http: // www.4-H-hof.com/

4-H is the nation’s largest youth development organization, serving more than 6 million young people across America each year with research-based programs in leadership, citizenship, communication, and life skills. For more than 100 years, 4-H has linked scientific, technical and technological innovations from granting universities to young people and families in the region.

The 4-H National Headquarters at NIFA, USDA, provides programmatic leadership for the 4-H Youth Development Program. 4-H programs are offered in all counties in the United States. More information about 4-H can be found on the National 4-H website at http://www.4-h.org


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Therapists think SMART: #FightTheCuts – Rehab Realities https://gloucesterdowntownassociation.org/therapists-think-smart-fightthecuts-rehab-realities/ Thu, 18 Nov 2021 17:24:25 +0000 https://gloucesterdowntownassociation.org/therapists-think-smart-fightthecuts-rehab-realities/ Renee kinder November 2, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services released final rule which includes updates on policy changes for Medicare payments under the Physician Fee Schedule (PFS) and other Medicare Part B issues, effective January 1, 2022. The PFS Final Rule for calendar year 2022 is one of many rules that reflect a […]]]>
Renee kinder

November 2, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services released final rule which includes updates on policy changes for Medicare payments under the Physician Fee Schedule (PFS) and other Medicare Part B issues, effective January 1, 2022.

The PFS Final Rule for calendar year 2022 is one of many rules that reflect a broader government-wide strategy to create a healthcare system that results in better accessibility, quality, affordability, empowerment and innovation.

How does this rule affect therapy services?

To begin with, CMS said they are completing the implementation of Section 53107 of the Bipartite Budget Act 2018, which requires CMS, through the use of new modifiers (CQ and CO), to identify and perform the 85% payment of Part B otherwise applicable. amount of payment for physiotherapy and occupational therapy services provided in whole or in part by physiotherapy assistants (PTA) and occupational therapy assistants (OTA) ─ when appropriately supervised by a physiotherapist (PT) or an occupational therapist (OT), respectively for the dates of service from January 1, 2022.

CMS defines services provided in whole or in part by PTAs or OTAs as those for which the PTA or OTA time exceeds a de minimis threshold.

Overall, the de minimis standard would continue to be applicable in the following scenarios:

· When the PTA / OTA independently provides a service, or a 15-minute unit of a “whole” service without the PT / OT providing part of the same service.

· In cases where the service is not defined in 15 minute increments, including: supervised modalities, assessments / reassessments and group therapy.

· When the PTA / OTA provides eight minutes or more of the final 15 minute unit of a billing scenario in which the PT / OT provides less than eight minutes of the same service.

· When the PTA / OTA and PT / OT each provide less than eight minutes for the final 15 minute unit of a billing scenario (10% standard applies).

In short, the The 15% payment differential is expected to take effect on January 1, 2022.

Additionally, as you all remember in the 2021 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule (MPFS) Final Rule, CMS has made changes to the Assessment and Management (E / M) Procedure Codes. in the office / outpatient clinic that resulted in increased payments for primary care services from 2021.

These increases would have resulted in significant reductions in reimbursements for therapists, as the CMS, by law, must ensure that the total values ​​of all procedure codes paid under the MPFS remain budget neutral.

Stakeholders have supported Congress’ efforts to significantly reduce these reductions in 2021.

However, full cuts will return in 2022 without further action from Congress to provide additional mitigation next year!

It’s time to think SMART – the “Medicare Rehabilitation and Therapy Access Stabilization Act” or the SMART Act.

On October 8, U.S. Representatives Bobby Rush (D-IL) and Jason Smith (R-MO) introduced the bipartisan Stabilizing Medicare Access to Rehabilitation and Therapy (SMART) Act of 2021 (HR5536), which provides for a temporary delay reduction in reimbursement CY 2022 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule.

The purpose of the bill is to protect beneficiaries’ access to therapy services by mitigating the impact of the impending 15% Medicare payment differential for services provided by physiotherapy assistants (PTAs) and physical assistants. occupational therapy (OTA) from January 1, 2022.

Specifically, the bill would delay the implementation date of the Medicare therapy assistant differential by 15% to January 1, 2023.

In addition, the bill would also support therapy assistants, many of whom live and work in minority and rural communities, by reducing the requirements for direct supervision of therapy assistants in private practices and aligning supervision with the requirements of the state; and provide an exemption to the differential for providers serving patients in rural and underserved areas.

These small changes to current policy would ensure unrestricted and timely access to therapy services for Medicare patients, especially those living in rural and underserved areas.

Now is the time to plead this issue as there is not much time left on the legislative calendar for Congress to act before this policy is implemented on January 1, 2022.

Ready to help ?

Good news!

The American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA), the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) and the American Speech Language Hearing Association (ASHA), in addition to organizations such as the National Association for Rehabilitation Providers and Agencies (NARA) and the National Association for the Support of Long Term Care (NASL), are here to support us!

All organizations have created action sites to enable effective communication with members of the US House.

American Association of Occupational Therapy

American Physiotherapy Association

American Speech-Language Pathology and Hearing Association

National Association of Rehabilitation Providers and Agencies

National Association for Long Term Care Support

Now is the time for SMART!

Thank you for your advocacy and your support for the profession. #FightTheCuts

For more information on the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule Final Rule, please visit: https://www.federalregister.gov/public-inspection/current

Renee kinder, MS, CCC-SLP, RAC-CT, is Executive Vice President of Clinical Services for Rehabilitation of the Broad River and a recipient of the 2019 APEX Excellence Award in the Writing category – Departments and regular columns. Additionally, she is the Professional Development Manager in Gerontology for the American Speech Language Hearing Association (ASHA) Gerontology Special Interest Group, is a member of the Community Faculty of the University of Kentucky College of Medicine, and is Advisor to the CPT on Current Procedural Terminology of the American Medical Association. ® Editorial panel. She can be reached at rkinder@broadriverrehab.com.

The opinions expressed in McKnight Long Term Care News guest submissions are those of the author and not necessarily those of McKnight Long Term Care News or its editors.


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Vietnam to remove US tariffs on wheat https://gloucesterdowntownassociation.org/vietnam-to-remove-us-tariffs-on-wheat/ Tue, 16 Nov 2021 16:22:00 +0000 https://gloucesterdowntownassociation.org/vietnam-to-remove-us-tariffs-on-wheat/ ARLINGTON, Virginia – Today’s announcement that the Vietnamese government will remove a 3% tariff on U.S. wheat imports effective December 30, 2021 is good news for domestic growers and their customers and consumers alike. wheat processors in Vietnam. As we reported in August 2021, US Wheat Associates and the National Association of Wheat Growers appreciate […]]]>

ARLINGTON, Virginia – Today’s announcement that the Vietnamese government will remove a 3% tariff on U.S. wheat imports effective December 30, 2021 is good news for domestic growers and their customers and consumers alike. wheat processors in Vietnam.

As we reported in August 2021, US Wheat Associates and the National Association of Wheat Growers appreciate the efforts of the Biden administration, the USDA Foreign Agricultural Service, and Vietnam’s Ministry of Finance to eliminate this tariff, which follows a reduction of 5 to 3% in July 2020.

Vietnam imported over 500,000 metric tonnes of hard red spring, tender white, hard red winter and winter red wheat worth $ 129 million in marketing year 2020 / 21, second in volume behind Australia. Vietnam imports on average around 4 million tonnes of wheat per year.



“US wheat exports to the growing Vietnam market are much slower so far this year due to the shortage and rising prices, so removing this tariff is very important for producers like me. Said Darren Padget, USW President and Soft White Grass producer. Valley, Ore.

“With about half of the wheat we produce available for export each year, we depend on increased access to markets like Vietnam,” said Dave Milligan, president of the NAWG and wheat grower of Cass City, Michigan. . “Here at home, the NAWG will continue to advocate for trade policies that create positive opportunities for wheat producers and their customers.”




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Historic infrastructure bill presents unique opportunity and challenges for communities https://gloucesterdowntownassociation.org/historic-infrastructure-bill-presents-unique-opportunity-and-challenges-for-communities/ Thu, 11 Nov 2021 18:44:34 +0000 https://gloucesterdowntownassociation.org/historic-infrastructure-bill-presents-unique-opportunity-and-challenges-for-communities/ With the passage of the $ 1.2 trillion infrastructure bill by Congress, cities and counties across the country are taking stock of the needs of their communities to best prioritize spending when funding. arrives, hopefully as soon as possible. The landmark initiative, due to be signed by President Joe Biden next week, allocates more money […]]]>

With the passage of the $ 1.2 trillion infrastructure bill by Congress, cities and counties across the country are taking stock of the needs of their communities to best prioritize spending when funding. arrives, hopefully as soon as possible.

The landmark initiative, due to be signed by President Joe Biden next week, allocates more money for infrastructure than many communities have seen in nearly a century since the adoption of the New Deal during the great Depression.

“For cities and counties, I would do two things: look at long-term goals and strategies… (and) involve the community so they can understand what our long-term goals are,” said Elizabeth Kellar, Director public policies. for the International City / County Management Association (ICMA).

Specifically, the bill sets aside $ 284 billion for transportation, $ 55 billion for water, $ 65 billion for broadband, $ 73 billion for energy and electricity, $ 21 billion for $ for environmental sanitation, $ 8.3 billion for water infrastructure in the West (to cope with drought conditions) and $ 46 billion for resilience.

10 years from now, Kellar said she expects a retrospective public consensus on the infrastructure bill to reflect a sense of gratitude that “we started this effort when we did,” she declared. “We look at our national highway system with almost reverence – we look at the Brooklyn Bridge with almost awe. “

The nation’s historic focus on infrastructure has weakened in recent decades. And in recent years, decisions on infrastructure spending have been made every year, with grant programs extended for one year in each legislative session. This anticipatory mentality at the federal level has made it difficult for local officials to conduct business forward looking and meet long-term infrastructure needs in their communities.

With increasingly dangerous storms caused by climate change and the evolution of green energy technologies, the need for smart spending initiatives to address America’s crumbling infrastructure, much of which has been built as a result of the New Deal, is urgently needed.

“The need for greater resilience is clearly a growing need due to climate change, and I think neglect is another part of that – this bridge we built 100 years ago is starting to show signs that it needs to be fixed – it’s a huge project, can we do it? ”Kellar said.

Meeting infrastructure needs of such magnitude takes time; and this is something the local administrators did not receive. So far, that is.

“You can imagine that if you’re trying to figure out if you have enough money to upgrade a bridge and you only have enough funding for up to a year, it’s hard to put the contract in place and (trust ) that you will be able to complete the project, ”she continued.

From a local government perspective, one of the main strengths of the Biden administration’s infrastructure bill is that it replenishes key grant programs for at least five years, providing administrators with “planning opportunities.” long term ”for the first time in a long time.

But while this forward-thinking approach is needed, it will also pose challenges. On the one hand, officials will need to spend time educating the public on what it will take to tackle big projects. Reconstructing a bridge or updating a sewage system is not an overnight project, even if that is the delay voters expect.

“Anything that takes more than six months to accomplish, they get frustrated – we’re going to have a job in state and local government to talk about progress,” Kellar said. “It will be a long-term effort.”

Additionally, small town governments may not have the in-house expertise to make spending decisions on new initiatives such as emerging green energy technologies, regional transport or resilience infrastructure to tackle the shift. weather conditions. Kellar stressed that it will be important for local administrators to seek help either by consulting with experts or reaching out to adjacent communities and working together on projects.

In this, the bill encourages collaboration between counties by sending money to regional planning organizations, which “gets towns and villages to work together,” she said. It also takes representation into account and, through a few different mechanisms, brings in many different voices.

For communities unsure of what action to take, Kellar suggested contacting advocacy organizations, including the International City / County Management Association, the National League of Cities, the National Association of Counties, the Conference of United States mayors and government finance. Association of officers, among others.

For the future, rules will have to be worked out on how the expenses will be allocated, and this will take time. In the meantime, Kellar pointed to another bill currently in the House, having passed the Senate unanimously, which could help local administrators get projects started immediately, before they receive anything from the bill. on infrastructure.

The legislation, the “State, Local Tribes and Territories Flexibility Act for Fiscal Recovery, Infrastructure and Disaster Relief ”, would have “provide additional flexibility for the $ 350 billion Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Fund (Recovery Fund) authorized under the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), ”according to a brief from the National Association of Counties. If adopted, it would allow “counties to allocate additional funds (stimulus funds) for the provision of government services, to invest in activities related to infrastructure and economic development and to provide emergency relief.” in the event of natural disasters and their economic impacts ”.

A stipulation in the bill limits this flexible spending capacity to $ 10 million, making it particularly beneficial for small communities.

“This will give these small jurisdictions… a clear direction, so that they can put money in a bridge or make up for lost revenue, or make cyber investments,” Keller said. “With this flexibility bill, they could immediately (start). You already have the money in the bank because you have already received your first payment (ARPA).


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Real estate agents brace for return of foreign buyers as travel ban ends https://gloucesterdowntownassociation.org/real-estate-agents-brace-for-return-of-foreign-buyers-as-travel-ban-ends/ Tue, 09 Nov 2021 20:15:29 +0000 https://gloucesterdowntownassociation.org/real-estate-agents-brace-for-return-of-foreign-buyers-as-travel-ban-ends/ (The real deal) – Doors are opening and residential agents in major US markets such as New York and Miami are bracing for a resurgence of foreign buyers. Potential buyers who have been on the sidelines since the pandemic began last year are meeting with their agents in the United States now that the travel […]]]>

(The real deal) – Doors are opening and residential agents in major US markets such as New York and Miami are bracing for a resurgence of foreign buyers.

Potential buyers who have been on the sidelines since the pandemic began last year are meeting with their agents in the United States now that the travel ban was lifted on Monday for 33 countries, including some in the United States. European Union, United Kingdom, China, Canada, Mexico, Brazil and India.

Foreign home purchases in the United States fell from April 2020 to March 2021, according to the National Association of Realtors, down 27% to $ 54.4 billion, from the previous year.

While these buyers were absent, house prices skyrocketed and inventories fell to record levels in some cities.

Broker Enzo Rosani, a partner of Barnes International in Miami that works primarily with European clients, said its buyers were coming to South Florida “at the same time” now that the ban has been lifted. He prepared them by finding short-term rentals for them and by organizing screenings and appointments at points of sale. Its clients are looking for condos with prices ranging from around $ 700,000 to $ 2 million and more.

Supply is an issue, especially as Miami enters its peak season. In South Florida, sales of single-family homes have skyrocketed over the past year and a half, with many locals now shut out of the market and opting for condos.

“The market is super intense and stocks are low,” Rosani said, citing an intensification of bidding wars. He organized as many screenings as possible to give options to his clients. “Europeans hate [bidding wars]. As soon as they feel rushed, it’s a turning point.

Craig Studnicky, broker and CEO of International Sales Group in South Florida, said “every real estate agent” in the area has heard from their international clients, especially from Canada, Colombia and Peru.

“I think they are going to be mostly disappointed with the lack of supply of houses,” Studnicky said. “There just isn’t much to buy, so they’re going to be very frustrated with that reality. But there are condos to buy.

Brokers have also traveled outside of the United States to present new condo developments.

Edgardo Defortuna, president and CEO of Miami-based brokerage and development firm Fortune International Group, said his agents had traveled to promote preconstruction projects in Mexico, Chile, Argentina and Peru.

Foreigners immediately began booking their flights to major U.S. cities when the White House announced that Covid-19 border restrictions for fully vaccinated international visitors would be lifted on November 8.

Brown Harris Stevens broker Martha Kramer noticed her phone buzzing with notifications, with clients overseas telling her they were eager to make an appointment to view New York City listings in person.

“These are people who are used to traveling, who are not used to being told you cannot travel to XYZ,” Kramer said. She compared the last year and a half for them to being in jail.

While some travel exemptions allowed visitors to the United States, many clients like his had gone almost two years without making physical visits, preferring to do business virtually, out of sight.

This was especially the case for those seeking to block purchases of primary residences, some brokers said. However, for investment properties and pied-à-terre, buyers preferred to wait. With the lifting of border restrictions, these buyers are expected to make large movements of money.

Charlie Attias, one of New York’s top Compass brokers, started preparing months ago for the wave of buyers he’s been waiting for. The dates he’s scheduled are unheard of at this time of year, when the city’s sales market typically slows down in the middle of the holiday season. Many of his clients come to see the advertisements between Christmas and New Years.

Arrival of international buyers comes as Manhattan residential sales market is on fire, with the busiest third quarter in decades. Even though activity picked up, supply remained higher than usual, so prices remained stable.

Stan Ponte, senior global real estate advisor at Sotheby’s International Realty in New York City, called the return of foreign buyers a “perfect puzzle piece” that could change that. They could absorb stocks and put pressure on prices to push them up.

If he does not have dozens of appointments scheduled in the coming weeks, the number (which he refused to specify) is enough for him to say that the influx has only just begun.

“We know this is happening and we are ahead,” said Ponte. “Each article talks about the overall economic impact of travel abroad. When these things happen, real estate happens.

status quo

Some brokers, on the other hand, have suggested that lifting travel restrictions would not change the fact that many serious buyers were already okay with buying homes virtually, said Hala Adra, a broker in one of the offices. from Compass to DC. Ongoing visa backlogs are also of concern, Hala said, adding that some clients have visa appointments delayed until 2022.

“For me, November 8 is [just] a date, ”Adra said. “We’re always going to see a delay of international people physically coming here, unless they’re here on a student visa, or it’s facilitated by the international organization they work for here. If they come alone, the meeting time at their local embassy is delayed.

In Los Angeles, brokers don’t expect a massive wave of international buyers, but expect activity to pick up, especially in the ultra-luxury market.

Unlike New York and Miami, the Los Angeles market has not been affected by a significant loss of international buyers in recent years, as most real estate is taken over by domestic clients, Ari said. Afshar, Compass broker.

Afshar said he was in discussions with international brokerage houses, but received “mixed signals” regarding expected buying activity in the United States.

“I think it will be a wait and see,” he said.

Stephen Shapiro, who runs Los Angeles-based luxury brokerage Westside Estates Agency, said he didn’t expect a massive influx of buyers because his clients have always been predominantly American.

“We are focusing on local buyers,” he said. “When an international buyer arrives, we are ready to serve them.

Los Angeles has never seen the same proportion of international buyers as New York or Miami, brokers agreed. Eastern time is generally preferable for Asian and European buyers, and South American investors have tended to look to Miami.

Still, high-net-worth overseas buyers have historically flocked to Los Angeles neighborhoods like Beverly Hills, Holmby Hills and Brentwood, and international buyers could come back to this high-end housing market.

Some brokers have already seen an increase in activity. Douglas Elliman has had wealthy buyers from Russia and Japan who have expressed interest in high-end properties in these neighborhoods, according to Stephen Kotler, who heads the brokerage’s operations on the west coast.

Compass broker Carl Gambino, which also operates in New York and Miami, agreed. He expects international buyers to start swarming LA’s ultra-luxury market this month.

While many foreign buyers have not been able to make it to the United States since last March, domestic buyers have taken over, particularly in states that include Florida and Texas. Now that could change.

“We’ve had basically an American market for the last five or six years. Everything has been red, white and blue, ”said Dora Puig, one of Miami Beach’s top luxury brokers. “I just think we’re going to have a tsunami of aliens in the market. I said to my team: “Expect”.


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OCU volleyball qualifies for RSC tournament despite loss to Midway | Sports https://gloucesterdowntownassociation.org/ocu-volleyball-qualifies-for-rsc-tournament-despite-loss-to-midway-sports/ Mon, 08 Nov 2021 03:32:00 +0000 https://gloucesterdowntownassociation.org/ocu-volleyball-qualifies-for-rsc-tournament-despite-loss-to-midway-sports/ Despite losing to close their regular season, Saturday turned into a winning day for the Oakland City University volleyball players. Shortly after the Lady Oaks fell 25-16, 25-13, 25-16, during a visit to Midway at the Johnson Center, they learned that Brescia had lost to Indiana University-East. So, by finishing a game in front of […]]]>

Despite losing to close their regular season, Saturday turned into a winning day for the Oakland City University volleyball players.

Shortly after the Lady Oaks fell 25-16, 25-13, 25-16, during a visit to Midway at the Johnson Center, they learned that Brescia had lost to Indiana University-East. So, by finishing a game in front of the Owensboro, Ky., Team, they placed fourth in the West Division of the River States Conference and thus qualified for the conference tournament in Indiana-Kokomo, where they will meet Indiana-Southeast at 3:00 p.m. CST. Friday.

If Brescia had won on Saturday, it would be in the conference tournament via the tiebreaker rule, after a regular season split. 1.

While they aren’t upset to win the River States tournament, Lady Oaks’ season will continue. They will host Asbury, a team they twice swept 3-0 in the regular season, to the Mid-East region of the National Christian College Athletic Association, a date has yet to be decided.

So, in a season that began with a 19-game losing streak that started at the end of 2019 and turned into a 24-game slippage in the first five games of this campaign, they will play in two playoffs – unless they didn’t win the River State tournament. and advance to the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) Championships.

Oakland City will take an 11-14 record, including 7-9 in the River States, against IU-Southeast, the New Albany-based team that beat them twice in the regular season. Lost on Saturday, including Thursday by 25-16, 25-18, 25-8 at Johnson Center.

The senior day on Saturday ended well despite the loss on the court.

“The season couldn’t have gone better. Even though we’ve lost the last two games at home, that won’t stop us from continuing to play together, ”said Macie Clark, honored on Senior Day with her classmate Kalina Todorovska.

Locker room leadership becomes key to overturning Huskers fortunes

“I wasn’t expecting it, but it’s happening,” said Clark, an outside defensive hitter / specialist and resident of Fairfield, Ill., Who came to OCU after two years. at Lindenwood-Belleville University (Illinois) and turned 20 on August 15. She will graduate in human biology in May.

“I’m really happy with the way our season is going. It could have been better, but we achieved a lot after struggling last year, ”said Todorovska, who spent a year at Midland (Tex.) And Pratt (Kan.) Before moving on to the OCU.

“This will be my first playoffs and I’m really happy with it,” said Todorovska, who came to the United States from Skopje, Macedonia, Eastern Europe and turned 22 on the 15th. October.

“As a first year, I tore the meniscus of my ACL. Getting over that, coming here and playing with Macie has been great, ”said the right-back and center hitter.

“Macie and Kalina are wonderful young women,” said coach Larry Hinshaw in his second season with OCU. “They have had unique experiences, some good, some bad. They certainly helped change our program from what it was.

“Indiana-Southeast is a pretty solid team. We’re going to need a lot of energy, more than we had today when we came out flat ”

Saturday’s loss came despite 10 assists from passer and defensive specialist Callie Foster, rookie from Vincennes Lincoln. Junior Juliana Sandoval, defensive specialist from Bogota, Colombia, made eight digs to five each for Clark and Mariana Anastasiade, junior passer transferred from Auburn-Montgomery. Rookie Chloee Thomas, central hitter from Frankton, Ind., Matched six kills from Jazmyn Rodriguez, outside hitter and defensive specialist from Oblong, Ill., And Lincoln Trail College in Robinson, Ill..


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