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George Mason University wins grant for “return to work” pilot programs for antibody and diagnostic testing

Fairfax County Economic Development Authority

George Mason University’s College of Health and Human Services and College of Science have been awarded a $100,000 GO Virginia Economic Resilience and Recovery Grant to establish critical infrastructure to improve COVID-19 symptom monitoring and tracking, and diagnostics and facilitate a safe return to work. The initiative will simplify workplace monitoring for symptoms and testing for the COVID-19 virus and antibodies and will improve how contacts are traced when the virus is detected. Capabilities such as effective and easy-to-scale methods for diagnostic and antibody testing and contact tracing are key to a safe return. The interdisciplinary project brings together epidemiologists, nurse researchers, health informatics specialists, and laboratory scientists to create a holistic return to work program that can be scaled up. Dr. Amira Roess, an epidemiologist and professor in the Department of Global & Community Health , is leading the project, which includes integration of symptom, exposure, and behavioral data with regular testing following exposures. Roess brings extensive experience in outbreak and emergency preparedness and response. She advises public and private organizations, including K-12 schools, judicial systems, universities, and businesses on how to safely resume operations. Dr. Lance Liotta, professor in the School of Systems Biology and co-director and co-founder of Mason’s Center for Applied Proteomics and Molecular Medicine (CAPMM) is leading a team that developed a novel saliva-based antibody test, which is easier to use than other tests and has the potential for higher sensitivity and specificity than previous formats. “With breakthroughs in screening, surveillance, and testing, Mason faculty are leading efforts to fight COVID-19 in the region and around the country. The research happening here helps lay the groundwork for the economic recovery of Northern Virginia and the potential for developing commercially-available tests right here in the region,” said Dr. Aurali Dade, Mason’s interim vice president for research, innovation and economic impact. The pilot will focus on understanding the physical and mental health impact of COVID-19 on the workforce, especially among essential, front-line workers such as those in health care, first responder roles, education, and retail. The team plans to use the results to develop tailored stress management interventions and programs to enhance safe return to work for these populations. Leaders at the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority and Prince William Department of Economic Development voiced their support for the pilot initiative and the impact a widely available, non-invasive antibody test coupled with enhanced diagnostic testing can have on the region’s ability to resume key operations. Bringing a COVID-19 testing protocol to market in Northern Virginia could also have longer-term benefits to the region and its growing life sciences and information technology sectors. “This is an important effort to understand more about COVID-19 and its effects on the population, and I am delighted to see it moving forward,” said Victor Hoskins, president and CEO of the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority . “This effort also is the latest example of innovators in the Northern Virginia technology community collaborating to improve people’s lives, and we should be proud that this kind of discovery happens here.” "I'm so proud to call Mason one of Prince William County's own and I'm excited to see this study move forward," said Christina M. Winn, executive director of the Prince William County Department of Economic Development . "It's such an important step in building confidence in our community and preparing our region for safely getting back to work." The GO Virginia Economic Resilience and Recovery Grant Program was created by the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) Growth and Opportunity for Virginia Board. George Mason University matched the grant with $50,000 in funding. "In creating the Economic Resilience and Recovery program, the GO Virginia State Board pivoted resources to focus on near term strategies to mitigate the economic impacts of the pandemic and this project is a perfect example of an innovative regional solution. This collaborative project leverages unique assets in Northern Virginia and we look forward to seeing the results of this pilot and its potential to inform reopening strategies," said Sara Dunnigan, deputy director, GO Virginia and Economic Development at DHCD. The Fairfax County Economic Development Authority promotes Fairfax County as a business and technology center. In addition to its headquarters in Tysons, Fairfax County’s largest business district, the FCEDA maintains business investment offices in six important global business centers: Bangalore/Mumbai, Berlin, London, Los Angeles, Seoul and Tel Aviv. Follow the FCEDA on Facebook , Instagram , LinkedIn , Twitter and YouTube . The Prince William County Department of Economic Development’s mission is “to improve the County’s economic base by encouraging new businesses to locate in Prince William County, retain existing businesses and encourage existing businesses to expand.” The Department works hard to create a pro-business, globally-competitive environment that generates new, high-quality, and sustainable job opportunities for our citizens and engages in a broad portfolio of services, partnerships, and strategic alliances to benefit the business community and stimulate the economy. The Fairfax County Economic Development Authority and the Prince William County Department of Economic Development are members of the Northern Virginia Economic Development Alliance . Other members of NOVA EDA are the Alexandria Economic Development Partnership, Arlington County, City of Fairfax, City of Falls Church, Fauquier County, Loudoun County, City of Manassas and City of Manassas Park. Contact Details ALAN FOGG +1 571-213-5065 afogg@fceda.org Company Website https://www.fairfaxcountyeda.org

October 27, 2020 11:07 AM Eastern Daylight Time

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FABER DISTILLING ESTABLISHES FOUNDATION SUPPORTING VULNERABLE COMMUNITIES

The Faber Foundation

Earlier this year, Pennsylvania-based Faber Distilling Co . (Faber) shifted production of its high-quality vodkas, gin, and rum to the manufacture of hand sanitizer ( Faber Hand Sanitizer .) While many distillers have made similar adjustments, Faber scaled the production of its hand sanitizer to supply consumers as well as medical professionals and first responders when supplies were scarce. Continuing with its mission to put sanitizer and other personal protection equipment (PPE) into the hands of those who need it most, the company is announcing the launch of The Faber Foundation – a charitable organization. The mission of the Faber Foundation is to help combat the spread of COVID-19 by equipping those who need hand sanitizer and other PPE with these critical supplies – quickly and efficiently. “When the pandemic escalated in the United States, our founders rose to the challenge and converted a distillery into a hand sanitizer production facility. By producing millions of bottles and distributing nationwide, Faber Sanitizer helped fill the void during the sanitizer shortage of 2020. Now, our founders are turning their efforts to help those communities that are still struggling to obtain PPE,” explained Faber’s Director of National Accounts, Brenden Pakebusch. “More than 1,000,000 bottles of hand sanitizer and other PPE worth more than $2,000,000 is already slated for donation, and with greater cooperation, even more is possible.” The beneficiaries of Faber Foundation’s generosity include organizations, large and small, which work directly with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the American Red Cross. Organizations that need sanitizer and PPE are encouraged to contact the Faber Foundation here: https://www.thefaberfoundation.com/inquiries As COVID-19 continues to disrupt public health and the economy, those wishing to support this cause are encouraged to donate here: https://www.thefaberfoundation.com/donate . “When Faber began manufacturing sanitizer, we responded to the immediate needs of so many organizations and individuals to obtain product. Although supplies have become more plentiful, challenges still remain in getting sanitizer into the hands of health professionals, first responders, and other essential workers who need it most,” Pakebusch continued. “The Faber Foundation is proud to meet these needs and welcomes the support of others wishing to participate.” The Faber Foundation ensures that donations are immediately deployed, getting essential supplies out in real time, with the cost of transportation and shipping also contributed. The Foundation does not assess any management or administrative fees, allowing nearly 100% of these donations to benefit nonprofit organizations and essential workers. “These are difficult times and helping ease anxieties by removing the obstacles of obtaining sanitizer and PPE to combat the spread of COVID-19 is essential,” said Pakebusch. “If you want to support something that will truly save lives and help to turn the tide of the pandemic, then the Faber Foundation is an efficient and effective organization that is already making a difference.” The Faber Foundation’s existing supply and access to hand sanitizer can reassure nonprofit organizations, school leaders, healthcare workers, and others on the front lines, that the hand sanitizer follows FDA guidelines, and will be available when they need it. Product is shipped directly in a variety of pack sizes as well as by the pallet load. To learn more about the Faber Foundation’s Hand Sanitizer and support global health, please visit https://www.thefaberfoundation.com . ### To schedule an interview with Faber’s Brenden Pakebusch please contact Dan Rene of kglobal at 202-329-8357 or daniel.rene@kglobal.com. Contact Details Dan Rene +1 202-329-8357 daniel.rene@kglobal.com Company Website https://fabersanitizer.com/

October 22, 2020 03:30 PM Eastern Daylight Time

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Quidel Corporation Joins Global Lyme Alliance as Sponsor for the GLA 'Fight Lyme With Avril Lavigne and Friends' Virtual Concert Oct. 24

Quidel Corporation

As part of its commitment to help educate Americans on the perils of Lyme disease, Quidel Corporation announced today that it will be one of the sponsors of the inaugural Global Lyme Alliance (GLA) “#FightLyme With Avril Lavigne & Friends ” concert being held on Oct. 24. Quidel is the diagnostic health care manufacturer behind the industry’s most rapid and reliable in-office test for Lyme disease, the Sofia 2 Lyme FIA test. “The Global Lyme Alliance has been a passionate and important partner for Quidel in our fight against Lyme disease,” said Judi Tilghman, Ph.D., vice president of technology assessment at Quidel. "Over the years they have helped fund the most urgent and promising research in the field, while expanding education and awareness programs for the general public and physicians. We’re honored to be their partner for this wonderful upcoming event.” Being held in lieu of its annual gala, GLA will be presenting the inaugural #FightLyme With Avril & Friends virtual concert featuring Avril Lavigne, Rob Thomas, OneRepublic, Alessia Cara and host Wilmer Valderrama . The concert is designed to raise awareness and funds for GLA and The Avril Lavigne Foundation in support of their fight to conquer Lyme disease and other tick-borne diseases through research, education, awareness and patient services. Both Lavigne and Thomas have experienced Lyme disease on a personal level, and Lavigne is also a GLA board member who has been extremely vocal about the fight against Lyme disease. The Oct. 24 concert will begin at 8 p.m. Eastern Time. Tickets can be purchased and more information is available at https://tinyurl.com/y54dn89a . More information on the Global Lyme Alliance can be found at GLA.org. Lyme disease afflicts as many as 400,000 Americans every year and can lead to a number of serious, life-threatening problems if not caught early. Leading the way in Lyme disease testing is Quidel’s innovative Sofia® 2 Lyme FIA test. This test provides a patient as well as his or her physician with indicative results within minutes as opposed to days, which has historically been the norm. Performed in the privacy of a doctor’s office or local clinic, it is also the only test that can get results from a simple finger prick of blood. Given that the vast majority of patients tested are negative, not having to wait days for test results allows physicians and nurse practitioners to more rapidly treat those patients with positive results while more quickly pursuing other diagnosis and treatment for those who test negative. About Quidel Corporation Quidel Corporation (Nasdaq: QDEL) is a leading manufacturer of diagnostic solutions at the point of care delivering a continuum of rapid testing technologies that further improve the quality of health care throughout the globe. An innovator for over 40 years in the medical device industry, Quidel pioneered the first FDA-cleared point-of-care test for influenza in 1999 and was the first to market a rapid SARS-CoV-2 antigen test in the U.S. Under trusted brand names Sofia®, Solana®, Lyra®, Triage® and QuickVue®, Quidel’s comprehensive product portfolio includes tests for a wide range of infectious diseases, cardiac and autoimmune biomarkers, as well as a host of products to detect COVID-19. With products made in America, Quidel’s mission is to provide patients with immediate and frequent access to highly accurate, affordable testing for the good of our families, our communities and the world. For more information about Quidel, visit quidel.com . # # # Contact Details Jim Yeager +1 424-644-0225 jim@breakwhitelight.com Company Website http://Quidel.com

October 22, 2020 08:00 AM Eastern Daylight Time

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Cyvatar Named Finalist in Computing Security Excellence Awards 2020

Cyvatar

Cyvatar today announced that it has been chosen as a finalist for the Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) Security Solution Award in Computing’s 2020 Security Excellence Awards . Computing celebrates the achievements of the IT industry's leading security companies, solutions, products, and personalities that keep every other part of the industry operating. Award categories include product-and project-related recognition, organizational achievements, and accolades for outstanding individual success. Computing selected Cyvatar for its cybersecurity-as-a-service (CSaaS) solution for SMEs , an all-in-one subscription-based offering that builds bespoke solutions for customers who are not large enough to invest in in-house security teams, do not have the runway to experiment with multiple security tools as they scale, or cannot compete against larger firms for the scarce number of skilled resources available. By pairing skilled security experts with market-leading technologies across the security spectrum and pricing based on consumption, Cyvatar can deliver guaranteed business outcomes and demystify the complexities inherent in cyber defense. “Every organization is different, but most vendors don’t treat them that way,” said Cyvatar Founder Corey White . “We work side by side with our customers--not across the table from them--to break down barriers that impede a strong protective posture and create a flexible, affordable environment that fosters positive security experiences. No other services provider matches the quality of our technology partners, the deep skills of our security experts, or the business outcomes we guarantee.” Cyvatar believes in the democratization of cybersecurity, ensuring that protection from breaches is accessible and affordable to SMEs--not just to enterprises with deep pockets and dedicated security teams. It also believes in teaching and training SMEs to get the most from every dollar they spend on cybersecurity without the shrouded black-box approach that requires vendor-specific support to operationalize. And Cyvatar lives its values. Its promise to SMEs states that it will never tell customers to buy unnecessary products or hire unneeded resources; will ensure customers make the best security investments for functionality and value; and will consistently deliver maintainable and sustainable business, compliance, and technology outcomes. What security challenges are you trying to solve? What barriers do you face? Visit https://start.cyvatar.ai/ to explore the ways Cyvatar can help. About Cyvatar Cyvatar.ai is a transformative cybersecurity company that operates at the intersection of our customers and technology to define what a cybersecurity solution should be: guaranteed business outcomes that are measurable. We break down barriers to create positive experiences for passionate companies globally. Cyvatar is headquartered in Irvine, California. Learn more at https://cyvatar.ai/ and follow us on LinkedIn and Twitter . Contact Details KC Higgins +1 303-434-8163 kc@cyvatar.ai Company Website https://cyvatar.ai/

October 20, 2020 08:34 AM Eastern Daylight Time

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CMMC Center of Excellence Announces Memorandum of Understanding with Parava Security Solutions LTD

Interoperability Clearinghouse

The Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification Center of Excellence ( CMMC COE ), hosted by the Information Technology Acquisition Advisory Council (IT-AAC), a public-private partnership serving the public and private sectors for more than 15 years, is proud to announce a Memorandum of Understanding with Parava Security Solutions Ltd in the UK, and the establishment of the CMMC COE EU. This unique partnership will extend efforts to advance the goals and objectives for improving the cyber and supply chain security and resilience of the US Department of Defense (DoD) global Defense Industrial Base (DIB) network of contractors, suppliers, and vendors. The executed MOU establishes a cooperative agreement between Parava Security Solutions Ltd. and CMMC COE to partner in the furthering of their respective and complementary missions and objectives regarding the adoption, use, and expansion of CMMC based cybersecurity practices for the DIB contractor community and the information and communications technology community creating a broader CMMC ecosystem to improve security and resilience. Specific actions will include: The co-development of CMMC advisory services, cyber training and education programs to accelerate CMMC certification, increase cyber adoption and improve cyber protection & resilience. Co-sponsor symposiums, training programs and podcasts leveraging their combined cyber and IT expertise. Host regular working groups, with other partners, to enable collaboration and communications. Source qualified CMMC/ cyber professionals to serve as cyber advocates. Establish an independent Industry Cyber Security Advisory Council with peer organizations to advise and educate leaders across government and industry on the continued evolution and effectiveness of CMMC. The CMMC-COE ( www.cmmc-coe.org ) and the CMMC COE EU ( https://cmmc-eu.com/ ) will focus on bringing together the many disparate cyber and national security communities of interest to reduce complexity, improve awareness, and accelerate industry effort to become more cyber resilient against the growing threats from nation states and criminal enterprises. The CMMC-COE partner network will share a wide range of capabilities from member organizations, including; cyber standards frameworks, education, solution architectures, cyber mentoring, workforce, and other elements needed to scale to the demands of the entire DIB market place in the US and abroad (approximately 400,000 contractors). The CMMC-COE is establishing both a Market Place and Knowledge Clearinghouse that includes resources supporting the overall effort, including white papers; tutorials; recorded webcasts; presentations; and more.. to help reduce the cost and burden on small/medium size contractors already struggling from the impact of COVID. “This is a momentous occasion for us” , said Mr. John Weiler, Chairman of the Board at CMMC Center of Excellence , “Our European center will further help advance the goals and objectives for improving the supply chain security and resilience of the US Department of Defense (DoD) beyond North America”. For more information on the CMMC COE, please visit Americas: http://cmmc-coe.org email info@CMMC-COE.org or call +1-703-863-3766 Europe: https://cmmc-eu.com/ email andy@cmmc-eu.com or call +44 (0) 7734 113952 For more information on Parava Security Solutions, Ltd., please visit https://www.parava.org/ About Us ---------- CMMC-COE.ORG is a unique non-profit public-private partnership, with a vision to accelerate Cybersecurity Maturity Model (CMM) adoption, and reduce time & cost for security compliance for our partners by leveraging commercial best practices, CMMC standards, and innovative solutions for a measurable success. Our mission, focused on DOD mission objectives, cost containment and expeditious CMMC compliance, is to help the DIB improve cyber posture and resilience, and simplify its acquisition. The CMMC-COE is hosted by the Information Technology Acquisition Advisory Council (IT-AAC), a public/private partnership (P3) chartered in 2007 as an honest broker to reach outside the confines of the Federal IT advisories that lack dynamic reach into the Global IT Market, and dedicated to the adoption of commercial IT management standards of practice and innovations emanating from the Global IT market. Team IT-AAC has already demonstrated the value of its decade long investment, and provides a unique value to agencies seeking to achieve accelerate the transformation of legacy processes and systems. Our Just-in-Time SMEs apply an innovative suite of Technology Business Management and Agile Acquisition Processes needed to assure the business value of commercial IT. The Interoperability Clearinghouse (ICH), is the managing partner that make up the 24 NGO/SDO organizations that make up the IT-AAC. ICH provides the contract vehicles, clearances, and critical resources proven to guide sustainable, measurable and repeatable processes needed to drive better investment decisions as the speed of mission need, while aligning existing processes, methods and workforce with IT reform mandates contained in Clinger Cohen Act, FITARA, IT MGT Act, EO13838. Parava is a cyber security advisory firm, with experience in providing strategic, tactical, and operational cyber security, risk oversight, and assurance services to Government agencies and private companies in Europe. For more information on Parava Security Solutions, Ltd., please visit https://www.parava.org/ For more information on the CMMC COE EU, please visit https://cmmc-eu.com/ Contact Details Bob Dix +1 703-975-6633 bob.dix@it-aac.org Company Website https://cmmc-coe.org

October 19, 2020 06:00 PM Eastern Daylight Time

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Hospital Sisters Health System Selects Innovative Technology Product to Automate and Enhance Physician Compensation and Performance Management Capabilities

SullivanCotter

SullivanCotter, the nation’s leading independent consulting firm in the assessment and development of rewards programs and workforce solutions for the health care industry and not-for-profit sector, has partnered with HSHS Medical Group and Prairie Cardiovascular, two Hospital Sisters Health System ministries, to implement its comprehensive Provider Performance Management Technology™ (PPMT). Hospital Sisters Health System is a large, multi-institutional health system committed to delivering high-quality, patient-centered care to communities throughout Illinois and Wisconsin. By leveraging PPMT™, an industry-first, cloud-based product that enables physician and APP engagement through transparent performance-based compensation administration and analytical capabilities, the organization is looking to automate and align the management of clinician pay and performance across its medical group. Driven by the need to provide a growing network of physicians with more accurate compensation and productivity data, HSHS Medical Group and Prairie Cardiovascular started the journey with an in-house application designed to enhance a process that was once very manual. Developing the right mix of internal resources and support to expand the application’s capabilities in line with the system’s evolving needs, however, proved difficult. “We required a more comprehensive system with the ability to flex and scale with us as we add or change value-based incentives, modify compensation plans and analyze the impact of Evaluation and Management CPT code changes. PPMT™ will now enable us to automatically deliver extensive supporting documentation with drill-down capabilities to the patient-level for our clinicians to access any time they want. Providing this visibility and transparency is critical as we navigate an increasingly complex and rapidly changing health care environment,” said Linda Dace, System Vice President of Finance, Hospital Sisters Health System. Designed to address a spectrum of physician, leadership and other key administrative needs, PPMT™ delivers centralized and actionable data tailored to the unique needs of each stakeholder. It combines years of health care compensation insight and expertise with an intuitive, automated technology platform, and serves as a single source of truth that helps empower physicians to drive desired outcomes and enhance organizational performance. PPMT™ incorporates SullivanCotter’s industry-leading benchmarking data into three integrated modules, including Provider Performance Management, Provider Productivity Insights and Compensation Management Analytics. Hospital Sisters Health System selected all three modules to help support their goals - allowing for a more cohesive approach to compensation and performance management. For more information on Provider Performance Management Technology™, visit www.sullivancotter.com/PPMT or contact us at 888.739.7039. About SullivanCotter SullivanCotter partners with health care and other not-for-profit organizations to understand what drives performance and improve outcomes through the development and implementation of integrated workforce strategies. Using our time-tested methodologies and industry-leading research and information, we provide data-driven insights and expertise to help organizations align business strategy and performance objectives – enabling our clients to deliver on their mission, vision and values. About SullivanCotter SullivanCotter partners with health care and other not-for-profit organizations to understand what drives performance and improve outcomes through the development and implementation of integrated workforce strategies. Using our time-tested methodologies and industry-leading research and information, we provide data-driven insights and expertise to help organizations align business strategy and performance objectives – enabling our clients to deliver on their mission, vision and values. Contact Details Becky Lorentz +1 314-414-3719 beckylorentz@sullivancotter.com Company Website https://sullivancotter.com/

October 13, 2020 10:36 AM Eastern Daylight Time

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The Safest Mask is the One You Wear…..and Trust: How To Pick And Wear A Face Mask

YourUpdateTV

The CDC Director recently clarified that the COVID virus is airborne and therefore the usage of masks is now essential to protect you and those around you. Furthermore, the Director has said that masks may offer a higher level of protection against COVID than a vaccine. Therefore, it is essential is to actually use a mask which works and that you can trust. Currently, the vast majority of people are using either basic cloth masks or 3 ply surgical masks. However, these masks offer limited, if any, protection. Therefore, we wanted to let you know about the AirQueen which is a FDA 510K cleared N95 substantial equivalent medical mask that is so safe it is approved for use during surgical procedures. A video accompanying this announcement is available at: https://youtu.be/xkjxA6WeKxU The AirQueen is made with a highly advanced nano-fiber material to provide extreme protection with a minimum of 95% protection and an average in excess of 97% particle filtration (see the Nelson Labs reports on the website for more details). The nano-filter allows extreme breathability and comfort which, in addition to the excellent protection provided, is one of its strong value propositions. Another major advantage of the AirQueen mask is that it can be cleaned up to 10 times with a simple ethanol spray wash (also available on AirQueen.com) making it the most protective mask available which is also affordable. Even better is that the AirQueen is allowed to be sold to the general public which means you can provide the highest level of protection for you and your family and loved ones. Lastly, there is also a highly protective kids version, the Airbon mask, which is made from the same filter and manufacturing process as the AirQueen making it one of the safest masks for children on the market. During the nationwide media tour Dr. Bob Arnot discussed: The benefits of wearing a mask and why choosing the right one is important The proper way to wear a mask The availability of masks Technology behind the AirQueen mask, a FDA 510K cleared N95 substantial equivalent Please go to AirQueen.com to learn more about the AirQueen adult and Airbon kids masks and help the world put an end to this pandemic safely. About YourUpdateTV: YourUpdateTV is a social media video portal for organizations to share their content. It includes Health and Wellness, Lifestyle, Media and Entertainment, Money and Finance, Social Responsibility, Sports and Technology. Contact Details YourUpdateTV +1 212-736-2727 yourupdatetv@gmail.com

October 07, 2020 12:15 PM Eastern Daylight Time

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2020 MULTICULTURAL MATERNAL MENTAL HEALTH CONFERENCE RAISES AWARENESS FOR MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES IN DIVERSE COMMUNITIES

Shades of You, Shades of Me

In recognition of October being Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month, “Shades of You, Shades of Me,” (SOYSOM) a maternal mental health advocacy organization, is proud to host the 2020 Multicultural Maternal Mental Health Conference ( www.soysom.com ) , an interactive, virtual event that brings together mental health professionals, policymakers, medical providers, doulas, advocates and community leaders from diverse backgrounds to have informed, community-focused conversations surrounding maternal mental health. Hosted in Madison, WI, this special event will be broadcast virtually on October 22-24, 2020. Attendees can expect an exciting and informative forum with engaging and timely conversations surrounding the importance of culturally responsive care and services from top professionals, advocates and allies from all backgrounds, including Latinx, Asian, African-American, LGBTQIA, Native, Hmong and more. This year’s theme, “COVID-19 + Multiculturalism in Maternal Mental Health Care” will spotlight how the global pandemic has disproportionately affected diverse communities through a variety of sectors, including politics, business, incarceration, prevention services and healthcare. In order to offer an introductory bridge into speaking about mental health needs, the conference invites women at home to submit anonymous testimonials about their own challenges of motherhood, allowing for a personal connection to be felt by all virtual attendees. Maternal mental health is a major issue in the United States that is often overlooked and underfunded, especially in minority communities. Studies show that minority populations have less access to mental health facilities and services (Source: Eliminating Mental Health Disparities by 2020: Everyone's Actions Matte r, Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry). In addition, the added stress and anxiety surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic puts pregnant and postpartum women specifically at risk and further limits access to mental health services (Source: Maternal mental health amidst the COVID-19 pandemic , NIH). Because of this, SOYSOM is committed to bringing awareness to the specific mental health needs of women from diverse backgrounds, including the need for increased culturally competent mental health practitioners, increasing the national conversation surrounding policy that affects mental health services of diverse patient populations and dismantling stigma of mental health and women's reproductive needs and services for minority populations. “We are honored to host the 2020 Multicultural Maternal Mental Health Conference in a virtual capacity this year, so we can reach more people all across the country,” said Shonita Roach, founder of SOYSOM and Executive Director of the conference. “As a young mother who personally experienced depression and was in need of mental health services and support, I know first-hand how lonely and challenging it can be trying to juggle it all. Black, Hispanic, Native American, and other non-white women suffer disproportionately to white women and that is my motivation and inspiration for this conference: to debunk misconceptions about mental health and help other mothers from all backgrounds feel secure and confident in their journey through motherhood so they feel empowered to reach out if they are in need of support.” Roach’s journey to becoming an advocate for maternal mental health is one of loss, trauma, but also perseverance and redemption. Even after experiencing childhood sexual trauma by age four and growing up in the foster care system, Roach grew to be a bright young woman, excelling in academia in high school and graduating from college. In 2002, she experienced the ultimate trauma, the accidental death of her 21 month old child, in which she experienced postpartum depression and even contemplated suicide. After receiving extensive psychological care, therapy, parenting classes and spiritual healing, Roach is now a maternal mental health advocate for women of color, inspiring her to create the SOYSOM organization. “I would never want any woman to experience the extensive trauma, heartbreak and suffering in silence the way I did. My life experiences have shifted me to devote my energy towards advocating for all women to receive quality and accessible care during the perinatal time period. If we want tangible and substantial change for mothers of color, we must talk to them and learn from them, so that every mother thrives, which is our goal with the 2020 Multicultural Maternal Mental Health Conference.” Tickets are now available on the conference website, with individual sessions beginning at $89.95 and full conference passes priced at $300. For more information, including conference sponsorship opportunities or ticket sales, please visit www.soysom.com . For the most up to date highlights on the conference, use hashtag #DevotionStartsWithin on social media. About Shades of You, Shades of Me: Shades of You, Shades of Me is an organization that is committed to helping women of color advocate for maternal mental health. The organization is proud to host the 2020 Multicultural Maternal Mental Health Conference on October 22-24, 2020, an interactive, virtual conference bringing together professionals, advocates and moms from diverse backgrounds to have informed, community-focused conversations surrounding maternal mental health. For more information, please visit www.soysom.com. ### Contact Details Kendra Cole +1 312-953-0768 Kendra@KendraColePR.com Company Website https://www.soysom.com/

October 06, 2020 09:08 AM Central Daylight Time

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“We Will Follow Him to the Ends of the Earth”

Miracle Flights

After years of improper medical treatment for clubfoot, 8-year-old Lucy Arnold was finally on the road to recovery. Then her doctor moved a thousand miles away. For Lucy’s parents, the question was never if they would follow Dr. Matthew Dobbs, who relocated his specialty practice from St. Louis to West Palm Beach last month. The question was how this family of 12 from Benton, Arkansas, could manage the significant cost of travel to make it work. “It used to be an easy six-hour drive to get to St. Louis, but the move added an extra burden,” says Lucy’s mother, Amy. “You have airfare, hotel and transportation on top of deductibles and co-pays.” Then a Facebook post from Miracle Flights caught Amy’s eye. The national charity provides free plane tickets to families who need access to specialized medical care far from home. Lucy and her parents took their first Miracle Flight on September 19 for surgery to correct Lucy’s left leg. The family leaves today on their second flight for follow-up casting. “Miracle Flights has taken such a burden off our family financially,” says Amy. “They also took all of the planning off our plate. They found us the best flight options and even lined up ground transportation from the airport to the hospital. It saved us so much time, we could just focus on Lucy.” The clubfoot that affects Lucy’s left leg presents with another rare condition: spina bifida. While only 0.05% of Americans have spina bifida, between 30 and 50% of those affected also have clubfoot. The condition can nearly always be corrected with proper treatment. For Lucy, that proper treatment has been difficult to find. Lucy’s medical journey began in her native China and continued with serial casting treatments in the United States. After three failed procedures, her parents knew it was time to seek yet another medical opinion. Research led them to nationally renowned clubfoot specialist Dr. Dobbs. “We are so thankful we found Dr. Dobbs,” says Amy. “We will follow him to the ends of the earth.” And Miracle Flights will pay for every flight to get there. To lend your support to Lucy’s journey—or to request a flight for your own family—visit miracleflights.org. About Miracle Flights Miracle Flights is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that provides free air transportation to children and adults who need help reaching specialty medical care only available far from home. The organization, founded in 1985, has provided 132,482 flights and typically books more than 600 flights per month on commercial airlines across the United States. To request a flight, learn more or donate, call 800-359-1711 or visit miracleflights.org . Like us on Facebook and follow us on Instagram . Contact Details Erika Koff +1 702-251-9783 ekoff@miracleflights.org Company Website https://miracleflights.org/

October 06, 2020 08:53 AM Eastern Daylight Time

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