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VOL. 41 | NO. 38 | Friday, September 22, 2017

THDA names statewide Best Award finalists

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The Tennessee Housing Development Agency has released its list of nominees for the 2017 Tennessee’s Best Awards.

Winners in the seven award categories will be announced at the Tennessee’s Best Luncheon held Sept. 21 at the Governor’s Housing Conference in Nashville. Categories for this year’s awards include Excellence in Partnership; Best in Innovation, Programming; Best in Innovation, Finance; Remarkable Achievement, Urban; Remarkable Achievement, Rural; Housing Leadership and Housing Plus.

The Tennessee’s Best awards were created by THDA to honor outstanding individuals and organizations whose contributions on behalf of affordable housing - whether producing, designing, developing, financing or promoting housing policy - inspire others to serve Tennesseans’ housing needs.

Nominees include:

-- Excellence in Partnership: Tennessee Valley Coalition for the Homeless, City of Memphis’ Division of Housing & Community Development (HCD), Chattanooga Commitment to End Veterans’ Homelessness, Highmark Holdings and Enfield Management, TN Department of Human Resources (DOHR)

-- Best in Innovation, Programming: NeighborWorks Alliance TennCare pilots (HomeSource east tennessee, Affordable Housing Resources, United Housing), Dismas House

-- Best in Innovation, Financing: Appalachia Service Project, Columbia Housing Authority/LHP

-- Remarkable Achievement, Urban: Envision Cayce (Nashville MDHA), Johnson City Housing Authority/Keystone Development, Knox County Development Corporation.

-- Remarkable Achievement, Rural: Fahe, Appalachia Service Project

-- Housing Leadership: Art Cate (Knoxville), Don Alexander (Crossville), Martin Edwards, Jr. (Memphis)

-- Housing Plus: HomeSource East Tennessee

Canadian firm buys Nashville apartments

Emma Capital Investments Inc., has purchased Newport Apartments in Nashville, a facility with 235 units located at 1901 Murfreesboro Pike.

Emma Capital, based in Canada, paid $21 million for Newport, its first acquisition in Nashville and its 26th in the U.S. Emma Capital’s total acquisitions to date is more than 6,250 apartment units.

“We are very excited about this acquisition,” says Haya Zilberboim, founding partner and co-owner. “The property’s location, just Southeast of downtown Nashville, offers renter’s quick downtown accessibility while providing affordable rent options, as well as being ideal for those working close by at the airport and businesses located along I-24.

“The area is known as a vibrant industrial and commercial area anchored by the Nashville International Airport, which is undergoing a major expansion project. We are looking forward to bringing Emma Capital’s unique approach to enhancing property attractiveness and improving tenant services to the Nashville market.”

Grant to aid fight against opioid addiction

Nashville’s Neighborhood Health has received a $175,000 grant from the Health Resources and Services Administration to expand its SOS program.

The project provides counseling and treatment for those addicted to opioids, heroin, or prescription medications.

In total, Health Resources has awarded more than $200 million to 1,178 health centers and 13 rural health organizations.

“Neighborhood Health is excited to have the opportunity to expand SOS,’’ says Grant Guiley, director of Integrated Health. “Provided on a sliding fee scale, we reduce economic barriers,” Since 2016, Neighborhood Health’s outpatient SOS program has served 109 clients. Approximately 87 are currently enrolled in the program, and 20 are on the waiting list. Retention rate is 80 percent.

Sam Parish, chief medical officer and director of Addiction Services, says the Medication Assisted Treatment combined with behavioral health care has been an effective approach to successful recovery. “We are glad to be part of a community-based solution,” he says.

“Tennessee has the second highest rate in the nation for per capita prescriptions of pain relievers and ranks 10th highest in the number of drug-related deaths,” says Mary Bufwack, CEO of Neighborhood Health.

“The number of opioid overdoses continues to increase; 1,451 drug overdose deaths in Tennessee in 2015 and 157 in Nashville/Davidson County. 72 percent of these deaths are opioid related.”

In further support of this and other programs, Neighborhood Health will host its second annual breakfast fundraiser on Thursday, September 28.

Fortified Health joins forces with ZingBox

Franklin-based Fortified Health Security, cybersecurity experts for the healthcare industry, has announced a partnership with ZingBox, an Internet of Things security solution provider.

Fortified will launch ZingBox’s Connected Medical Device and IoT Security Program. The partnership will address medical device vulnerabilities and provide ongoing monitoring to improve healthcare organizations’ cybersecurity posture.

The program integrates ZingBox’s unique IoT device-personality technology with Fortified’s single pane-of-glass security dashboard that empowers healthcare organizations with situational awareness of their network, devices and potential threats.

“Unfortunately, many health care leaders are not even aware of how many medical devices are connected to their networks so monitoring and managing risks associated with these devices is a major challenge,” says Dan L. Dodson, president of Fortified Health Security. “We are working with healthcare organizations to identify and close security gaps within their networks by visualizing, accessing and protecting their connected IoT and medical devices.”

Fortified Health Security’s Connected Medical Device and IoT Security Program is a technology-enabled solution that offers real time operational intelligence and compliance visibility for network-connected medical devices through automated device discovery, identification, classification, and risk rating powered by ZingBox.

Alexander targeted in anti-soring campaign

The Citizens Campaign Against “Big Lick” Animal Cruelty have given Tennessee Senator Lamar Alexander its “Wrong Side of History’’ award.

The organization states the Republican supports “systemic institutionalized animal cruelty to Tennessee Walking Horses.’’

The industry, founded in 1935, has been controversial for years because many owners and trainers use soring techniques to make the horses step higher. Soring of the horse’s front legs involves the use of chemicals, shackles and added pressure to achieve the “Big Lick’’ step. The USDA made major changes to eliminate the process in early 2017.

Clant M. Seay, spokesman for the group, says the owner of Gen’s Black Maverick, World Grand Champion at the 2017 Celebration, contributed $2,000 to Alexander’s campaign in 2014. Keith Rosbury owns the horse.

After winning the annual competition in Shelbyville in 2017, the horse’s trainer, Bill Callaway, began serving an eight-month Federal suspension for allegedly soring a Tennessee Walking Horse at the 2016 Celebration.

Seay adds that an April 19, 2017 letter signed by Alexander and sent to a group member trying to justify the “Big Lick” animal cruelty, said to eliminate the “Big Lick” would hurt Tennessee agriculture.

Bayer, Vanderbilt target kidney disease

Vanderbilt University Medical Center and Bayer have joined together to fight kidney disease, announcing a five-year strategic research pact.

The partners will jointly evaluate new drug candidates for the treatment of the disease with the goal of accelerating the translation of innovative approaches from the laboratory to pre-clinical development.

The partners also will work to develop two investigational new drugs addressing the medical need of end-stage renal disease within the time frame the alliance.

Bayer will have an option for the exclusive use of the collaboration results. Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

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