Client News and Highlights - January 2022
Comcast Corp. Senior Vice President of External and Government Affairs Bret Perkins authored a recent op-ed in the Philadelphia Inquirer entitled, “Efforts to close the digital divide in Philly are gradually bearing fruit.” The piece highlighted the work that PHLConnectED, created at the height of the pandemic, has done to connect pre-K-12 families across the city to the internet, on top of 10 years of Comcast’s Internet Essentials program connecting over 10 million people nationwide. With permanent federal broadband subsidies taking hold this year, his article described how we’re closer than ever to closing the digital divide—and what we need to do to eliminate it for good.
In celebration of the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Comcast NBCUniversal recently premiere the documentary Avenues of Dreams: Reclaiming MLK Boulevards on the Black Experience on Xfinity Channel. The short documentary, which was created in partnership with Comcast NBCUniversal’s Voices of the Civil Rights Movement platform, and award-winning directors, Amber Payne and Rayner Ramirez, follows the stories of scholars, community organizers, business owners, and resident communities who embody the spirit of “Sankofa” — the idea of reaching back to go forward.
Audacy published its 2021 Social Impact Report “Real Human Connection.” The report captures the bold, impactful work Audacy Serves leads in using the power of our voices to connect with people and bring communities together for good in areas like mental health awareness, diversity and inclusion, civic education, supporting veterans and children's health.
The Cobbs Creek Foundation announced a lease agreement with the City of Philadelphia for a major restoration and revitalization of the historic Cobbs Creek Golf Course. The project will involve an investment of at least $65 million and will transform the property with a new community and education center, clubhouse, restaurant, 9-hole short course and 18-hole championship course capable of hosting PGA Tour events. Construction will start in the spring.
Philadelphia suffered an immense tragedy on January 5th when 12 souls, nine of them children, lost their lives in a duplex house fire. According to the fire commissioner, the house became engulfed in flames 90 seconds after a five-year-old child apparently accidentally lit a live Christmas tree with a lighter. Ceisler Media mourns these deaths. We are also proud to support the Philadelphia Housing Authority, our long-standing client, in a time of crisis in ensuring that the public receives essential and accurate information about the fire.
The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia PolicyLab issued new guidance to schools, saying in-person learning should be prioritized. The new guidelines continue to encourage masking requirements for all schools regardless of vaccination status. The updated recommendations reflect PolicyLab’s understanding of omicron as a "milder" infection compared to other variants of COVID-19.
Congratulations to Gift of Life Donor Program, which again led the nation in the number of life-saving organ transplants coordinated. It’s the 14th year in a row of national leadership for the Philadelphia-based non-profit — a testament to the generosity of our region. It’s also a tribute to Gift of Life’s leadership. Howard M. Nathan stepped down as President and CEO this month after 38 years and will run the Gift of Life Foundation. His successor, Rick Hasz, has been with the organization for 22 years as Vice President of Clinical Services.
The Rehabilitation and Community Providers Association (RCPA) released results of a social services providers survey demonstrating the critical need for investment in human capital. The survey of more than 100 human services agencies — serving nearly 100,000 PA residents — revealed that providers face major staffing shortages, and are reducing caseloads or cutting programs because of workforce issues. And they are managing unprecedented vacancy and turnover rates, largely the result of inadequate state reimbursements that keep wages low.
Represent US, a national nonpartisan advocacy organization is urging lawmakers to approach the congressional redistricting process with the ideals of transparency and fairness in mind. Congressional districts are redrawn every 10 years by state legislators, and all residents can be heard. In this op-ed in City & State, spokesperson and former PA House Majority Leader Dave Reed called on voters to speak up, while encouraging legislators and Gov. Wolf to work together.
Our client, Pennsylvania Voice, has been advocating for racial equity in the state legislative reapportionment process. Executive Director Salewa Ogunmefun had this op-ed published in multiple outlets across the state offering commentary on the Legislative Reapportionment Commission’s proposed maps. In addition, she was invited to testify at the first hearing the LRC held to solicit input on its draft maps. and quoted in this Penn Capital-Star article.
Cheyney University President Aaron Walton appeared on the iHeart Radio podcast Humble Beginnings, discussing his upbringing as the youngest of 12 siblings in a coal mining town, and the challenges he overcame rising in the corporate world before leading the nation’s oldest historically Black college.
Nationwide Healthcare Services recently expanded its southern Delaware facility, Polaris Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center. The facility is part of the growing Milford Wellness Village, an innovative health and medical campus that Nationwide owns and manages. The new phase includes 60 beds for nursing home care as well as short-term rehab patients
The Pennsylvania Association of Nurse Anesthetists will mark Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNA) Week in Pa. Jan. 23-29. The event coincides with the 22nd year of National CRNA Week. CRNA Week recognizes the 57,000 practicing nurse anesthetists nationwide, including more than 3,700 CRNAs and Student Registered Nurse Anesthetists (SRNAs) in Pennsylvania, who serve their profession honorably and their patients faithfully.
Future Works Alliance Founder Anne Gemmell’s column in the Philadelphia Citizen counsels workers on ways they can excel in the Future of Work. Future Works Alliance recently led the creation of a Five Year Future of Worker Strategy for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
Coded by Kids - CBK Ventures has opened registration for its inaugural Pitch Competition, offering Philadelphia entrepreneurs the opportunity to pitch ideas to a panel of knowledgeable business leaders and secure funding, bringing their tech-based startup to the next level. Through a partnership including 1Philadelphia, Coded by Kids, Plain Sight Capital and the City of Philadelphia, the pitch competition will invest in promising, early-stage entrepreneurs who have historically been shut out from traditional funding sources. The top five business initiatives will walk away with $5,000 to $25,000 in funding. Registration and details are available here.
Friends Select School marked MLK Day of Service 2022 with a program on housing justice, featuring State Senator Nikil Saval, and Stephanie Sena of the Initiative to End Poverty and Inequality. In addition to educating students about the importance of social justice and change, the school led four tracks for students to take the next step: Advocating for legislation, protesting for good, organizing for change, and helping in their communities. The day culminated with a broadcast of the 32nd Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Tribute Concert by the Philadelphia Orchestra.
Personic Health Care partnered with Delaware County to open a new county-wide COVID-19 testing facility. The site, located at the Delaware County Emergency Training Center in Sharon Hill, provides free drive-through rapid and PCR testing to hundreds of Delaware County residents each day.