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New Navy Federal Branch Opens in Bowie

On Monday, August 12, Navy Federal Credit Union celebrated the grand opening of its newest branch office at 16409 Heritage Blvd., Bowie, MD 20716. This new location will be Navy Federal’s 336th branch world-wide, and their 48th in the Metro Washington DC area. This new branch will serve more than 5,000 Navy Federal members who live and work in the Bowie community, all part of the credit union’s commitment to improve upon exceptional service to members. And, in honor of the grand opening, the Baltimore region chapter of Blue Star Families was presented with a donation for $2500.

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MedStar Southern Maryland Hospital Center’s Department of Cardiology Earns Reaccreditation for Echocardiography

By CHERYL RICHARDSON
MedStar Southern Maryland Hospital Center

CLINTON, Md. (Aug 13, 2019)—The Intersocietal Accreditation Commission (IAC) has re-accredited MedStar Southern Maryland Hospital Center (MSMHC)’s Department of Cardiology for an additional term of three years.

“We began the accreditation process for IAC in November of 2018,” said Ora Reaves, MBA, RN, Director of MSMHC’s Cardiology Services.  “It was an intensive application and review process. The team in Non-Invasive Cardiology, our Echo Department, worked diligently to ensure all compliance requirements were met. This demonstration proves we are committed to quality patient care and the pursuit of excellence in Echocardiography. I am proud of the work we have accomplished at MedStar Southern Maryland Hospital Center.”

To earn reaccreditation, MSMHC had to undergo an extensive application and review process wherein the hospital had to have demonstrated compliance with published standards and a commitment to quality patient care in echocardiography.  IAC accreditation includes meeting both critical operational and technical components, as well as demonstrating competence on case studies and final reports.

“The dedication and commitment of the Division of Cardiology is once again recognized with the IAC reaccreditation of our superb Non-Invasive Services,” said William Suddath, MD, Chairman, Department of Cardiology at MSMHC.  “We are proud to be recognized for our high quality of care and service to the Southern Maryland community.  As a leader in Cardiovascular Care, it is a pleasure to once again recognize our physicians for their dedication, commitment to service and exceptional care of patients.”

“The tireless work put in by our wonderful clinical, ancillary support, and administrative teams has left an indelible mark on our Southern Maryland patient population and has been rewarded with an IAC reaccreditation,” said Alex Ryzhikov, MD, MSMHC’s Director, Noninvasive Cardiology and Director, Cardiac Rehabilitation.  “I’m extremely proud of everyone involved in this effort for continuing to deliver exceptional medical care to our community.”

“IAC accreditation is a seal of approval that patients can rely on as an indicator of consistent quality care and a dedication to continuous improvement,” said MSMHC President Christine Wray.  “I appreciate the hard work and dedication of the team who earned this accreditation.”

This news comes on the heels of MSMHC recently earning a five-year designation from the Maryland Institute for Emergency Medical Services System, which allows the hospital to receive critically ill heart attack patients transported by EMS providers.

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Comcast Announces Largest Ever Expansion of Its Internet Essentials Program to Reach All Low-Income Americans
Three Million Newly Eligible Households Include Those with Disabilities and Seniors In Eight Years, the Program Has Now Connected More Than Eight Million People From Two Million Households to the Internet at Home

By SAVANNAH ISNER
COMCAST

PHILADELPHIA, Pa. (August 6, 2019)—Comcast announced today it is significantly expanding eligibility for Internet Essentials, which is the nation’s largest, most comprehensive, and most successful broadband adoption program in America, to include all qualified low-income households in its service area. The expansion is the most significant change in the program’s history. The Company estimates that more than three million additional low-income households, including households with people with disabilities, are now eligible to apply. It estimates a total of nearly seven million households now have access to low-cost Internet service, which literally doubles the total number of previously eligible households. In addition, the company announced that, since August 2011, Internet Essentials has connected more than eight million low-income individuals, from two million households, to the Internet at home, most for the first time in their lives. Today’s announcement follows 11 prior eligibility expansions, including last year’s extension of the program to low-income veterans.

“This expansion is the culmination of an audacious goal we set eight years ago, which was to meaningfully and significantly close the digital divide for low-income Americans,” said David L. Cohen, Senior Executive Vice President and Chief Diversity Officer of Comcast NBCUniversal. “The Internet is arguably the most important technological innovation in history, and it is unacceptable that we live in a country where millions of families and individuals are missing out on this life-changing resource. Whether the Internet is used for students to do their homework, adults to look for and apply for new jobs, seniors to keep in touch with friends and family, or veterans to access their well-deserved benefits or medical assistance, it is absolutely essential to be connected in our modern, digital age.”

To be eligible to apply to the program, low-income applicants simply need to show they are participating in one of more than a dozen different government assistance programs. These include: Medicaid, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). A full list of these programs can be found at www.internetessentials.com. The Company already accepts applications from households that have a student eligible to participate in the National School Lunch Program, live in public housing or receive HUD Housing Assistance, including Section 8 vouchers, or participate in the Veterans Pension Program, as well as low-income seniors and community college students in select pilot markets.

According to U.S. Census data, households living in cities with the highest poverty rates, are up to 10 times more likely than those in higher earning communities not to have fixed broadband at home. For example, in Palo Alto, California, or Bethesda, Maryland—where poverty rates are very low—only about six percent of households do not have a broadband Internet subscription—94 percent are connected. But in Trenton, New Jersey, and Flint, Michigan—where poverty rates are way above the national average—60 percent or more of households do not have fixed broadband at home—that is, less than half are connected. That gap of more than 50 points defines the digital divide in this country.

Internet Essentials has an integrated, wrap-around design that addresses each of the three major barriers to broadband adoption that research has identified. These include: a lack of digital literacy skills, lack of awareness of the relevance of the Internet to every day life needs, and fear of the Internet, the lack of a computer, and cost. As a result, the program includes: multiple options to access free digital literacy training in print, online, and in person, the option to purchase an Internet-ready computer for less than $150; and low-cost, high-speed Internet service for $9.95 a month plus tax. The program is structured as a partnership between Comcast and tens of thousands of school districts, libraries, elected officials, and nonprofit community partners. For more information, or to apply for the program in seven different languages, please visit www.internetessentials.com or call 1-855-846-8376. Spanish-only speakers can also call 1-855-765-6995.

The most significant barrier to broadband adoption in low-income communities remains a basket of digital literacy deficits, lack of digital awareness, and fear of the Internet. To help address this barrier, since 2011, Comcast has invested more than $650 million to support digital literacy training and awareness, reaching more than 9.5 million low-income Americans. In addition, the company has either sold or donated more than 100,000 discounted and heavily subsidized computers to families and veterans that need one.

 

Comcast Corporation (Nasdaq: CMCSA) is a global media and technology company with three primary businesses: Comcast Cable, NBCUniversal, and Sky. Visit www.comcastcorporation.com.

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State’s Powerful Small Business Tool Offers 24/7 Access
FY2020 Procurement Forecast Now Available on Governor’s Office of Small, Minority & Women Business Affairs Website

By ALISON TAVIK
Governor’s Office of Small, Minority & Women Business Affairs

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (August 13, 2019)—The State of Maryland’s Procurement Forecast for Fiscal Year 2020 is now available on the Governor’s Office of Small, Minority & Women Business Affairs website. The database is populated with solicitations of $100,000 or greater that are expected to be advertised or awarded through June 30, 2020. It comprises both new and recurring contracts.

“This is a powerful business intelligence tool for small, minority, women and veteran business owners,” said Jimmy Rhee, Special Secretary of the Governor’s Office of Small, Minority & Women Business Affairs. “It provides insight on what is likely to be coming down the pipeline and helps vendors make connections with buyers at the agency level.”

Small businesses often seek contracting opportunities below $100,000. As a result, many state agencies include information on projected contracts between $15,000 and $99,999.

“Projects with lower dollar thresholds are a great entry point for firms looking to break into the state contracting arena,” Rhee said. “This tool is a valuable resource that many small businesses don’t even know exists.”

To heighten awareness, the Governor’s Office of Small, Minority, & Women Business Affairs demonstrates how to use the Procurement Forecast at their outreach and training events statewide.

Users can choose from six different options to focus their search. By downloading search results to Excel, an expanded date function is provided, to view the buyer’s name and contact information. To access the database, visit the Procurement Tab on the Governor’s Office of Small, Minority & Women Business Affairs website at https://gomdsmallbiz.maryland.gov/Pages/Forecasting.aspx.

 

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