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  • UGA Rural Leadership

    The July conferences are geared to help local planners reach those goals, Reed said. They’re planned so anyone can attend both days. But each is complete on its own. Each event will begin at 8 a.m. at the UGA Center for Continuing Education in Athens. Each ends at 4:30 p.m. To learn more about the conferences, contact the county extension office. Or call the Fanning Leadership Center at (706) 542-1108. Or fax (706) 542-7007, or e-mail Of the 159 Georgia counties, 104 don’t have ongoing leadership programs, says a University of Georgia expert.So? “More than 60 percent of these counties are ranked as severely depressed counties,” said Norma Reed of the UGA Fanning Leadership Center. “Counties with sustained community leadership programs are usually better off socially and economically.” Reed and other Fanning Center staff will offer back-to-back conferences July 9-10 in Athens, Ga. The day-long programs target the need for leadership development, especially in rural Georgia counties. The Thursday, July 9, event is for people who plan adult leadership programs or see the need for them. The Friday, July 10, sessions tackle topics unique to youths. “When a community sustains its leadership development efforts and involves dispersed segments of its population, it trains more local leaders to take on and solve problems at their lowest levels,” Reed said. “That’s why communities need to keep growing and grooming their leaders.” But 71 Georgia counties, she said, have had no leadership development programs or only one in the past 10 years. Another 33 have had only two or three programs. “Georgia has just over 24,000 graduates of community leadership programs,” she said. “That’s less than 1 percent of the adults 20 to 49 years old.” Reed said the state’s communities simply have to develop new leaders. “The future is too uncertain,” she said. “The issues are far too technical. And the pace of change is much too fast to assume that only a handful of leaders can carry out all the complex tasks of contemporary leadership.” Ongoing leadership programs, she said, will help emerging local leaders: Learn more about leadership roles. Practice skills such as managing conflict, solving problems, making decisions and building relationships. Build the vital trust and respect for each other’s perspective that enables them to seek common ground in solving local problems. read more

  • Judge Tosses Retaliation Lawsuit by Fired NY Fed Examiner

    first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York A federal judge dismissed the claims of a former bank examiner at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York who says she was fired for refusing to change her finding that Goldman Sachs lacked a firm-wide conflict-of-interest policy.U.S. District Judge Ronnie Abrams in New York ruled late Wednesday that the assertion by Carmen Segarra that supervisors retaliated against her failed to fall within the whistleblower statute under which she filed her case.The law, enacted in 1989 after the savings and loan crisis to protect bank examiners from outside interference, covers an individual who “discloses protected information to a third party, not when she is asked to alter that information,” the judge ruled.ProPublica reported Segarra’s assertions about Goldman last year. In October, she filed a wrongful termination complaint naming the New York Fed and three of its officials.The judge dismissed the claims against the three officials, saying the law could only be used to file lawsuits against institutions and not individuals. Known as the “depository institution employee protection remedy,” it safeguards examiners who “provide information” about “any possible violation of any law or regulation.”In her ruling, Abrams also concluded that the Fed guidance Segarra cited—that Goldman Sachs have a firm-wide conflicts-of-interest policy—was only advisory and not a law or regulation. As such, it was not covered under the statute, the judge decided.The New York Fed hired Segarra in 2011 as part of an effort by the bank to ramp up its supervision of nine so-called “Too-Big-to-Fail” financial institutions, including Goldman. Segarra, a lawyer, was hired along with other examiners for her expertise in compliance and risk management.The new examiners were assigned to review the banks to see if they complied with a Supervision and Regulation Letter issued in 2008, known as SR 08-08. In 2009, a review by an outside Federal Reserve team had found problems with New York’s efforts to ensure that the banks it supervised followed the policy, which covers a variety of topics from money laundering to conflicts of interest.In her complaint, Segarra argued that numerous laws and regulations underpinned the guidance. She also claimed that her superiors violated the law by obstructing her examination.A spokeswoman for the New York Fed declined to comment on the ruling. In a statement last October, the bank said its personnel decisions “are based exclusively on individual job performance and are subject to thorough review. We categorically reject any suggestions to the contrary.”Goldman Sachs declined to comment.Abrams’ ruling also recounts how, earlier this month, the judge disclosed to the parties in the case that her husband, Greg Andres, a partner at the law firm Davis Polk & Wardwell in New York, was representing Goldman Sachs in an advisory capacity.During a telephone conference, Abrams asked lawyers for the Fed and Segarra if they wanted to her to recuse herself or consult with their clients. The revelation came the day before oral arguments on a motion by the New York Fed to dismiss the case.During the call, both sides declined to request a recusal. After the arguments, however, Segarra’s lawyer sent out a list of questions asking about the relationship of Andres with Goldman Sachs.In her ruling, Abrams said the questions came too late and gave the appearance that Segarra was shopping for another judge. “Such an attempt to engage in judicial game-playing strikes at the core of our legal system,” the judge wrote.Abrams had also previously worked at a law firm with the Fed’s lead counsel in the case, but the judge said that the two “didn’t work together closely.”“We are disappointed by Judge Abrams’ ruling, particularly in light of her clear conflict of interest,” Segarra said in a prepared statement. “We remain confident in the validity of our claims and will not stop until we have justice.”Segarra said that she plans to appeal.last_img read more

  • 9 Reasons your friends are joining credit unions

    first_img 27SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr More and more people are discovering all the great things credit unions have to offer and are becoming members. As not-for-profit institutions, credit unions are made of real people doing their best to look out for the community. Here are some of the top reasons your friends are joining credit unions:They add value to the community. From organizing drives for local causes to the Miracle Match philanthropic program, which provides financial assistance to Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals across the nation, credit unions genuinely care about their members—and their actions speak volumes. With a positive social mission, they seek to add value—not take away—from individuals and communities.They’re committed to the cause. Credit unions go above and beyond to improve the financial well-being of their members. With apps by CO-OP such as RealPay, a person-to-person payment app; and Sprig®, which serves as a virtual credit union and combines multiple banking accounts, credit unions are committed to providing resources to help you stay on top of your finances. continue reading »last_img read more

  • NAFCU addresses pros, cons of marijuana banking in new resource

    first_img continue reading » ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr To help credit unions understand the compliance risks associated with serving marijuana-related businesses (MRBs), NAFCU has released a new resource featuring some pros and cons on the issue.NAFCU’s new resource comes just as a House Financial Services subcommittee is set to hold a hearing today on providing banking services to MRBs. Ahead of the hearing, NAFCU Vice President of Legislative Affairs Brad Thaler sent a letter noting credit unions’ hesitation to provide financial services to MRBs because of the risk.“NAFCU does not have, and is not taking, a position on the broader question of the legalization or decriminalization of marijuana at any degree at the federal or state level,” Thaler wrote. “However, we do support Congress examining what legislative steps can be taken to provide greater clarity and legal certainty at the federal level for credit unions that choose to provide financial services to state-authorized MRBs and ancillary businesses that may serve those businesses, in states where such activity is legal.”last_img read more

  • Governor Tom Wolf, First Lady Frances Wolf Join Commission for Women to Honor Female Veterans During Women’s History Month

    first_img March 27, 2019 Governor Tom Wolf, First Lady Frances Wolf Join Commission for Women to Honor Female Veterans During Women’s History Month First Lady Frances Wolf,  Governor’s Residence,  Press Release,  Women’s History Month Harrisburg, PA – Governor Tom Wolf, First Lady Frances Wolf, and Maj. Gen. Tony Carrelli, Pennsylvania’s adjutant general and head of the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs, today joined the Pennsylvania Commission for Women to host the fourth annual Female Veterans Day Ceremony in celebration of Women’s History Month. During the event, held at the Governor’s Residence in Harrisburg, 16 women from across the commonwealth were recognized for their military service and selfless sacrifice to Pennsylvania and to the nation.“Today is a day to celebrate women veterans in every branch of the military,” Governor Wolf said. “We have women from the U.S. Army, Air Force, Navy, Navy Reserve, Pennsylvania National Guard and Marine Corps — all here so we can thank them and let them know their hard work and sacrifice is truly appreciated. The commitment these women have made to their country and our commonwealth means so much to us. This day is about expressing our gratitude in one small way.”“For nearly 250 years, spanning from the Revolutionary War to today’s conflicts, women have played vital roles in our military,” said Carrelli. “The 16 women who we honor today represent the patriotism and commitment to country that more than 60,000 Pennsylvania female veterans have demonstrated through their military service.”“On behalf of the Pennsylvania Commission for Women, we are honored to join Governor Wolf, First Lady Frances Wolf, and Adjutant General Tony Carrelli to honor these brave women for their service,” Commission Chair Randi Teplitz said. “One of our biggest missions as a commission is to support female service members and veterans, and this event – which continues to grow in size each year – is one way we can elevate these inspiring women and the vitally important ways they contribute to keeping Pennsylvania, and our nation, safe.”The following women were honored for their service:• MinJae Back (Philadelphia) Major MinJae Back enlisted in the U.S. Army as a pharmacy technician in 2003. In 2008, she commissioned as a second lieutenant in the Military Intelligence Corps. She deployed to Afghanistan in 2010 in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. Her next deployment was to South Korea, where she managed daily ground intelligence updates of North Korean activities and acted as the Korean interpreter for the unit. Major Back currently serves as an assistant professor of military science at Drexel University.• Dana Boyer (Lebanon County) Major Dana Boyer enlisted as a private in the Pennsylvania Army National Guard in 1996. In 2004, she commissioned as a second lieutenant into the Quartermaster Corp. She deployed to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Upon her return home, she was selected to be the commander for the 131st Transportation Company, which she led in Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. As a result of her deployment to Afghanistan and the loss of three fellow soldiers, Major Boyer is currently organizing to have a Fallen Hero Memorial built at Fort Indiantown Gap, slated to break ground this spring.• Kathryn Cuff (Northampton County) Kathryn Cuff served on active duty in the U.S. Army from 1994 to 2006 as a Generator Mechanic and as an Intelligence Analyst, achieving the rank of Staff Sergeant. During that time, she earned multiple decorations, including the Purple Heart. Upon separation from the Army, Kathryn started working as an Army Civilian in 2007 at Tobyhanna Army Depot and was then promoted and reassigned to Picatinny Arsenal in New Jersey.• Mary Donahue (Delaware County) Mary Donahue joined the U.S. Marine Corps as a private in 1954 and retired as a captain in 1975. She was commissioned in 1966 while serving at Parris Island during the Vietnam War. Captain Donahue worked in various roles, eventually becoming Staff Secretary to the Commanding General in Okinawa. She was then transferred to Quantico, Virginia, where she served as Adjutant at the Women Marine Company. She finished her career at Marine Barracks in Philadelphia, retiring after 21 years of service.• Barbara Ellis (Crawford County) Barbara Ellis joined the U.S. Army Student Nurses Program as a private in 1958 and was promoted to corporal before graduating in 1960. After passing the state boards for nursing, Barbara became a second lieutenant in the U.S. Army Nurse Corps. She was stationed at various locations stateside, and then sent to Yokohama, Japan where she cared for wounded soldiers coming from Vietnam. In total, she spent six years serving overseas. She retired as a major in 1978.• Teresa Gallagher (Cumberland County) Colonel Teresa Gallagher is a retired helicopter pilot for the Pennsylvania Army National Guard. Gallagher was commissioned as a second lieutenant in 1983 through her college’s ROTC program. She began her flying career in 1985, after graduating from flight school. In 2009, she deployed to Iraq as the 28th Combat Aviation Brigade Commander. Concurrent with her military career, Gallagher served as a science teacher at ABRAXAS Juvenile Detention Center and the Scotland School for Veterans’ Children. She is currently employed as an Instructional Systems Designer for the Department of Defense.• Linda Handley (Monroe County) Linda Handley is a native of Allentown, and returned to the Lehigh Valley in 2015 after spending the last 30 years in San Diego. Linda first entered the U.S. Navy as a Radioman, later becoming an Information Systems Technician. Starting her Naval career as an E-1, she progressed rapidly through the ranks — ultimately attaining the high rank of Master Chief. She has been assigned to many different types of ships and completed successful tours aboard eight Naval Vessels.• Charlotte Kinney (Cumberland County) Charlotte Kinney served in the U.S. Army – both active duty and reserves — from 1963 to 1994. She retired as a lieutenant colonel. She started her career in the Woman’s Army Corps College Junior program, and was commissioned upon graduation. When the Woman’s Army Corps was disbanded in 1974, she was reassigned to the Adjutant General Branch. Charlotte’s purpose in joining the Army was to be a chaplain, although at the time women were barred from that job. However, she was instrumental in helping to open the doors for women and while stationed in the Pentagon, she had the privilege of revising the Chaplain’s regulation to allow women into the Chaplains Corps. Charlotte was never able to become a chaplain, as it was too late in her Army career to attend seminary. Charlotte is currently completing her Master’s degree at Evangelical Seminary in Myerstown.• Rachel Lefebvre (Lehigh County) Rachel Lefebvre is a board-certified healthcare executive with national and international expertise leading integrated healthcare systems. Currently, Rachel serves as a Vice President of Operations with Lehigh Valley Health Network, overseeing two hospital campuses. Prior to this role, she had a long career in the U.S. Air Force, retiring as a colonel in 2017 with nearly 26 years of service. Rachel distinguished herself by commanding three different medical groups in both the U.S. and in a combat zone. She also served multiple tours in the Pentagon and held a variety of leadership positions throughout her career.• Nancy Lescavage (Dauphin County) Nancy Lescavage served in the U.S. Navy for over 35 years and rose to the rank of rear admiral while holding a variety of leadership, business, education, clinical, and legislative liaison roles. She most recently served as the Deputy Secretary for Quality Assurance at the Pennsylvania Department of Health. In her military career, some of Nancy’s significant accomplishments include: serving as director of Tricare Region West, serving as director of the Navy Nurse Corps, and serving as commanding officer of Naval Hospital Corpus Christi. Her Washington experience also includes service as a Congressional Fellow in the Office of the Chairman, Senate Defense Appropriations where she was recognized as an authority on the legislative process.• Beth Rooney (Montgomery County) Beth Rooney was selected as one of the first women for U.S. Navy flight training, and entered Aviation Officers Candidate School in 1977. She earned her pilot wings in 1979. Beth was one of the first women to fly tactical jets. She taught aeronautical engineering at the U.S. Naval Academy from 1988 to 1991. She retired from the Naval Reserve as a commander in 2002.• Jeannette South-Paul (Allegheny County) Dr. Jeannette South-Paul served in the U.S. Army for 21 years beginning with ROTC, and retiring as a colonel. During her time of military service, she worked as an Army physician – her last duty station was at Walter Reed Army Medical Center. Currently, Dr. South-Paul is the first woman and the first African-American to serve as the permanent chair of a department at the School of Medicine at the University of Pittsburgh. Dr. South-Paul’s research focuses on maternal-child health, particularly teen pregnancy.• Danielle Watkins (Lebanon County) Chief Warrant Officer 3 Danielle Watkins enlisted in the Pennsylvania National Guard in March 2001 while attending nursing school, and was assigned to the 131st Transportation Company as a tractor trailer driver. In 2003, she deployed to Kuwait and Iraq. Upon graduating from nursing school, Danielle became employed with the Lebanon VA Medical Center and worked on a medical-surgical unit. She was then selected to serve as the nurse case manager on the Operation Enduring and Iraqi Freedom Team, and was responsible for care coordination and outreach for returning veterans. After nine years of enlisted service, Danielle attended Warrant Officer Candidate School and Army Rotary Wing Aviation School – and went on to become a Blackhawk pilot. She deployed to Afghanistan in 2012. She continues to serve, and is currently on a military leave of absence from the VA, serving an AGR tour at Fort Indiantown Gap.• Maureen Weigl (Dauphin County) Retired Colonel Maureen Weigl joined the U.S. Army in 1993, serving as a human resources officer, recruiter, and project manager in Iraq. She went on to become a Deputy Division Chief in the Army National Guard. She also served as the Executive Assistant to the Vice Chief of the National Guard Bureau in Washington, D.C., ensuring he was ready to serve as a member of the Joints Chiefs of Staff. She sits on the Board of Visitors for the Widener University Commonwealth Law School’s Veterans Initiative and on the Lieutenant Governor’s Veterans Task Force. She currently serves as CEO of a veteran-owned recruiting firm based in Harrisburg.• Deborah Wilkins (Westmoreland County) Sergeant Major Deborah Wilkins entered into active military service with the U.S. Marine Corps in 1990 as a Motor Transport Operator. She completed ten years in the Marines, attaining the rank of staff sergeant. In 2000, Deborah joined the Pennsylvania Army National Guard’s 28th Military Police Company where she served for thirteen years. Sergeant Major Wilkins has deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom, and Operation Enduring Freedom, earning both the Bronze Star and Combat Action Badge. She also recently returned from a deployment to Kuwait, and is currently in her 30th year of military service.• Claudette Williams (Monroe County) Claudette Williams is the president of her borough council, a police commissioner, former chair of the Monroe County Democratic Committee, and is a retired 30-year U.S. Army sergeant major. Personal endeavors of overcoming statistics and accessing higher goals led her to achieving the rank of sergeant major — a position attained by less than one percent of the Armed Forces. Her missions included serving in Operation Iraqi Freedom, Operation Enduring Freedom, and Operation New Dawn. Here at home, Claudette is the first woman of color to be elected as president of the Mount Pocono Borough Council. She also serves as a police commissioner for the Pocono Regional Police and once again is the first African American to hold that position.The Pennsylvania Commission for Women, which was created by Executive Order and consists of volunteer members, is responsible for advising the governor on policies and legislation that impact women; supporting economic and civic opportunities for women; encouraging mentoring programs for girls and young women; identifying programs and opportunities for the benefit and advancement of women; and serving as a resource center for Pennsylvania women and girls. To learn more about the Pennsylvania Commission for Women, visit the Commission’s website or follow the Commission on Facebook.center_img SHARE Email Facebook Twitterlast_img read more

  • Friday people roundup

    first_imgPenSam, Allianz, Prudential, Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec, Invesco, Spence & Partners, JLT Employee Benefits, LawDeb Pension TrusteesPenSam – Torsten Fels, director and the other half of the two-person management team at PenSam Group, is to succeed Helen Kobæk as chief executive. Kobæk, the longstanding chief executive of the Danish labour-market pension provider, is to retire in July after almost 31 years leading the business. Benny Buchardt Anderson, PenSam’s investment director, is to succeed Fels as director.Allianz – Jacqueline Hunt is to take over responsibility for Allianz’s asset management and US life insurance businesses, succeeding Jay Ralph, who is leaving to devote more time to his family. Separately, Günther Thallinger will assume responsibility for investment management, as well as Global Life and Health, from Maximilian Zimmerer, who will retire. Thallinger currently serves as chief executive at Allianz Investment Management.Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec – The Canadian pension fund is to open an office in Delhi, committing $150m (€136m) to renewable energy investments in India. Marangoly Anita George will head the Indian office. She was previously senior director of the World Bank Group’s global practice on energy and extractives. Before then, she was director of infrastructure and natural resources at the International Finance Corporation, a member of the World Bank Group and head of Siemens Financial Services in India. Invesco – Henning Stein has been appointed head of institutional marketing for the EMEA region. Henning, based in Zurich, joins from Deutsche Asset Management, where he headed up EMEA marketing for the Active business and the company’s academic foundation.Spence & Partners – Hugh Nolan has been appointed as director. He joins from JLT, where he was chief actuary. He also sits on the Council of the Society of Pension Professionals and is chair of the DC committee of the Association of Consulting Actuaries.JLT Employee Benefits – Phil Wadsworth has been appointed chief actuary. He previously held the role of chief actuary from 2003 to 2013. He takes over from Hugh Nolan, who has joined Spence & Partners as director. Separately, Andrien Meyers has been appointed as a senior investment consultant. He joins from the London Borough of Lambeth, where he was treasury and pensions manager.LawDeb Pension Trustees – David Curtis has joined the trustee director team, joining from Standard Chartered Bank, where he was pensions and benefits group head. Before then, he was responsible for pensions at Alstom and Siemens UK.last_img read more

  • Veolia trustees appoint Schroders to fiduciary management mandate

    first_imgSchroders has been appointed to a £880m (€1bn) fiduciary management mandate by Veolia UK Pension Trustees Limited.The mandate is for the company’s largest defined benefit pension schemes. Veolia is an energy, water, and waste management firm.Robert Hunt, chairman of Veolia UK Pension Trustees Limited, said: “The Veolia Trustees look forward to a rewarding partnership with Schroders in the management of the pension scheme assets and our overriding aim of reducing both risk and deficit in the schemes.“The professionalism demonstrated by the Schroders team has been a source of great encouragement for the Trustees.” Consultants LCP facilitated the tender process.Schroders will provide investment strategy advice and implementation. It transitioned the assets to the new investment arrangements during the first quarter of 2017.Peter Harrison, group chief executive at Schroders, said: “We are delighted to have been selected to manage the Veolia pension schemes’ investment strategies in a fiduciary management arrangement.“The trustees have adopted a new governance framework that enables swifter decision-making with a specific focus on managing pension fund deficit risk.”last_img read more

  • Ziyech agrees personal terms with Chelsea

    first_img Loading… Ajax accepted Chelsea’s bid for the Dutch-born Moroccan on February 13, and Ziyech has now agreed terms on a five-year deal that will see him become a Premier League player on July 1. Ziyech, who was instrumental in the Dutch champions’ run to the Champions League semi-finals last season, will remain with Ajax until the end of the season.The left-footed provider said he was ‘delighted and proud’ to have signed for ‘such a huge club’, telling the official Chelsea website: ‘I am looking forward to next season and hope we can achieve great things together.’Despite Ajax bowing out of this season’s Champions League after finishing third in the group Chelsea qualified from, Ziyech showed his future fans a tantalising glimpse of his effervescent talent by setting up three of the goals as Ajax drew 4-4 at Stamford Bridge on November 5.Chelsea coach Frank Lampard laughed off suggestions that the performance had driven him to bid for Ziyech, and club director Marina Granovskaia welcomed the new signing by referencing the clashes between the two sides in Europe.Describing Ziyech as ‘a key target’, Granovskaia pointed out: ‘He has consistently been one of the most dangerous attacking players in Europe in recent years, which we saw first-hand in our two games against Ajax in the Champions League.’Ziyech’s four assists in the Champions League are the most any player has recorded in the competition this season.Discussing a player who has scored nine goals in all competitions this campaign, Lampard said: ‘I have spoken a lot this season about games where we have had a lot of the ball but haven’t had that final bit.‘Hopefully next season he’s a player that can bring us quality with his crossing, passing – that final pass – and shooting and scoring.‘The quality he’s got, hopefully, will be there for the fans to see.’Lampard admitted to being dazzled by Ziyech’s performance as Ajax earned a 1-0 win against Spurs in the first leg of the semi-final tie that they eventually lost in the final seconds of the return at the Johan Cruyff Arena.Ziyech has been a prolific provider of goals and assists during three-and-a-half years with AjaxRead Also: UCL: Three decisions for Lampard as Chelsea tackle Bayern Munich‘I was particularly impressed when I saw him play against Tottenham in that game,’ Lampard explained.‘I’ve followed him pretty closely since. I’ve watched him a lot and know about him.‘He ticks a lot of boxes and I’m delighted that we’re in a position where we can say he’ll be out player next season.’Ajax are currently three points clear at the top of the Eredivisie, in which Ziyech has 12 assists and six goals so far this season.FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmail分享 Promoted Content10 TV Characters Who Were Destined To Become IconicThailand’s 10 Most Iconic Landmarks6 Stunning Bridges You’ll Want To See With Your Own EyesThe 10 Best Secondary Education Systems In The World9 Facts You Should Know Before Getting A Tattoo15 Photos Of Amazingly Beautiful MutationsWho Is The Most Powerful Woman On Earth?You’ve Only Seen Such Colorful Hairdos In A Handful Of AnimeBest Car Manufacturers In The World5 Of The World’s Most Unique Theme Parks7 Universities In The World Where Education Costs Too Much10 Risky Jobs Some Women Do Chelsea have finalised a deal to sign Ajax playmaker Hakim Ziyech on July 1 by agreeing personal terms with the £37million midfielder, describing the 26-year-old as a ‘key target’ for the club during the January transfer window.Advertisementlast_img read more

  • Bacolod rolls out pioneering mobile swab testing unit

    first_imgThe Bacolod-made swab mobile was designed by Saril, a mechanical and biomedical engineer with 20 years of experience in creating biosafe laboratories and facilities in the Asia-Pacific, including those utilized during the severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and H1N1 influenza outbreaks. BACOLOD City – The city government here launched the first-ever biosafe swab testing mobile in the country as part of the local initiatives to ensure protection for health workers in the battle against coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). “A patient who wants to be tested would likely go to the hospital. This may expose the patient to up to nine health workers, putting the medical staff’s health at risk. With this unit, we can limit the exposure to only two health workers, who would be further protected by the biosecurity measures put in place within the van,” Saril said. It will be used by personnel of the City Health Office during contact tracing missions, replacing ambulance vehicles as the means of transportation of the health teams.  “The swab mobile will go to the people to prevent transmission. Equally and probably more important is the safety of our health workers. We don’t want to see a spectacle that our health workers will be endangered. This is very safe,” the mayor said.  While the physical design of the swab mobile may be easily replicated, he stressed the most important factor in developing the unit is the biosafety measures. “I hope the swab mobile will give our health workers the confidence that they are safe as they go about their duties swabbing for samples,” she added. Saril came home to Bacolod for good last year, and the younger Leonardia met him in April while working on the development of sanitation chambers for the city. He said a similar mobile unit was used during the SARS outbreak to protect health workers from unnecessary exposure during the specimen extraction. The first of the two units designed by Saril, which was blessed and turned over at the Bacolod Government Center, was donated by the Bacolod Filipino-Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry Inc., Bacolod Filipino-Chinese Junior Chamber of Commerce and Industry Inc., and Chamber Volunteer Fire Brigade with businessmen Willy Au, Alfredo Barcelona, Alfonso Choa, and James Chua Romie Cortez.center_img Kara initiated the project through a partnership with Bacolodnon engineer Joseph Saril. This means that a series of tests and final validation based on industry standards must be done before a unit is deemed safe for use, Saril said. Loren Kara said she pushed for the project as she was alarmed by the number of doctors and nurses in Metro Manila who had succumbed to Covid-19. “With all the experience I had abroad for so many years, it’s time to come home and put it to use here. I feel lucky to have the chance to help,” he added. As of Thursday, Bacolod has 11 positive cases of Covid-19, including the two seafarers, who arrived in the city April 28. Of the number, three have already died. (PNA) Mayor Evelio Leonardia led city officials during the unveiling rites on Thursday hosted by his daughter Loren Kara. The second unit, which will be donated by the BioPower Group, will be launched soon. PHOTO COURTESY OF THUR YAPlast_img read more