Thursday - October 1, 2020
Public Policy Tipoffs Involving Tennessee Newsletter for Sunday June 14, 2020 ( 33 items )  

ACLU: Court Rules Tennessee in Violation of Order Requiring Absentee Ballots for All Eligible Voters in 2020
NASHVILLE, Tennessee, June 12 -- The American Civil Liberties Union, a 501(c)3 non-profit that works to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties guaranteed by the Constitution and laws of the U.S., issued the following news release: A Tennessee judge has ordered the state to comply with a June 4 ruling that required it to make absentee voting available to every eligible voter for all elections in 2020 due to COVID-19. The American Civil Liberties Union, ACLU of Tennessee, and De  more

American Public Power Association Names 2020-2021 Officers
WASHINGTON, June 10 -- The American Public Power Association issued the following news release: Jolene Thompson, president and CEO of American Municipal Power, Inc. in Columbus, Ohio, was installed as chair of the American Public Power Association Board of Directors during APPA's Public Power Connect: Virtual Summit & Business Meeting. Colin Hansen, executive director of Kansas Municipal Utilities in McPherson, Kansas, is chair-elect for 2020-2021. Anthony Cannon, general manager and CEO of Gr  more

Chief Justice Bivins to Receive Tennessee Bar Association's Drowota Award
NASHVILLE, Tennessee, June 13 -- The Tennessee Bar Association issued the following news: Tennessee Supreme Court Justice Jeffrey S. Bivins will be honored next week with the Tennessee Bar Association's prestigious Justice Frank F. Drowota III Award. Bivins was chosen for his decades of service to the legal profession in Tennessee, including his unwavering support of Access to Justice and indigent representation reform, and most recently, his leadership of Tennessee's courts during the pandemi  more

Coalition of State Rheumatology Organizations Renews Opposition to Blue Cross Blue Shield of Tennessee Whitebagging Policy
SCHAUMBURG, Illinois, June 13 -- The Coalition of State Rheumatology Organizations issued the following news: Late last year, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Tennessee (BCBST) announced a sweeping policy that would mandate the use of a white-bagging acquisition system for a substantial number of covered lives in Tennessee. The policy would have, in effect, disallowed the use of buy and bill. CSRO was strenuously opposed to the policy (https://csro.info/news/2020-02-12-feldman-statement-on-bcbst-poli  more

Council of Chief State School Officers: State Education Chiefs Testify at Senate Hearing on Returning to School Safely
WASHINGTON, June 11 -- The Council of Chief State School Officers issued the following news release: Two state chiefs testified at the U.S. Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee hearing "COVID 19: Going Back to School Safely https://www.help.senate.gov/hearings/covid-19-going-back-to-school-safely." Matthew Blomstedt, Nebraska Department of Education commissioner, and Penny Schwinn, Tennessee Department of Education commissioner, discussed the successes and challenges their st  more

Families Against Mandatory Minimums Praises Tennessee Senate Passing Drug-Free School Zone Reform
NASHVILLE, Tennessee, June 11 -- Families Against Mandatory Minimums issued the following news release: FAMM Vice President of Policy Molly Gill released the following statement following the Tennessee Senate's passage of a bill to reform drug-free school zone laws (SB 2734). The bill now moves to the House, where a similar bill (HB 2517) has been advancing through the committee review process. FAMM urges the House to pass this reform and bring needed change to Tennessee. "Drug-free school zon  more

Kiri Ness, Ph.D., of St. Jude Receives Award for Outstanding Contributions to Professional Literature From American Physical Therapy Association
MEMPHIS, Tennessee, June 10 -- St. Jude Children's Research Hospital issued the following news release on June 9: Kiri Ness, Ph.D., a physical therapist and faculty member in the Department of Epidemiology and Cancer Control at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, has been named the 2020 recipient of the Helen J. Hislop Award for Outstanding Contributions to Professional Literature from the American Physical Therapy Association. The annual Helen J. Hislop Award honors a physical therapist wh  more

Meriwether Lewis Electric Cooperative & Tennessee Valley Authority Support Organizations Responding to COVID-19
CENTERVILLE, Tennessee, June 11 -- The Tennessee Electric Cooperative Association issued the following news: Concern for Community is one of the Seven Cooperative Principles by which Meriwether Lewis Electric Cooperative operates. Recently, it partnered with the Tennessee Valley Authority on a fifty-fifty matching grant to contribute $30,000 to community agencies supporting local residents during the ongoing COVID-19 crisis. Six-thousand was awarded in each MLEC served county to non-profit orga  more

Murfreesboro Electric Merger With Middle Tennessee Electric Membership Cooperative Approved by Tennessee Valley Authority
MURFREESBORO, Tennessee, June 11 -- The Tennessee Electric Cooperative Association issued the following news: The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) has approved the proposed merger between the Murfreesboro Electric Department (MED) and Middle Tennessee Electric (MTE), it was announced. "This represents the coming together of two excellent electric utilities that have coexisted very well in Murfreesboro for the past 80 years. We're confident the result will be an even stronger entity with increa  more

National Cotton Council: Dicamba Availability Critical to Cotton Production Stability
MEMPHIS, Tennessee, June 10 -- The National Cotton Council issued the following news release: The National Cotton Council (NCC) is grateful for EPA's quick action enabling cotton producers to use existing stocks of three dicamba formulations this season following the recent court decision to vacate the products' registrations. The EPA's cancellation order (https://www.epa.gov/ingredients-used-pesticide-products/final-cancellation-order-three-dicamba-products) issued on Monday, and further note  more

Oak Ridge Associated Universities Virtual Professional Development Reaches Teachers Nationwide
OAK RIDGE, Tennessee, June 10 -- The Oak Ridge Associated Universities issued the following news release: Educators around the country had to make a huge pivot from the classroom to virtual learning environments when coronavirus pandemic protection measures closed schools. ORAU's K-12 Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics team had to follow suit with this summer's teacher professional development programs https://oraustem.com/educator-programs/index.html It's a big change that has b  more

Online Forum on Diversity and Inclusion Attracts More Than 750 From Vanderbilt University Medical Center Community
NASHVILLE, Tennessee, June 12 -- Vanderbilt University Medical Center issued the following news: "We stand at a crossroad," C. Wright Pinson, MBA, MD, Deputy CEO and Chief Health System Officer for Vanderbilt University Medical Center, said Friday during an online discussion with the VUMC community. As the COVID-19 pandemic enters its fourth month, as millions of Americans are out of work, and as the country is gripped by the deaths of black citizens in police custody, this can be a time of fe  more

St. Jude Children's Research Hospital: Cytokine Implicated in HLH Treatment Resistance
MEMPHIS, Tennessee, June 13 -- St. Jude Children's Research Hospital issued the following news release: Scientists at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, UCSF Benioff Children's Hospitals and Baylor College of Medicine are investigating how to best treat hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis (HLH), a rare immune disorder. Their work, appearing as an advance online publication in Blood, details how combining two drugs may be a good treatment for HLH. "For the last 20 years, treatment for HLH ha  more

Teamsters: Teen Students Lead Nashville's Largest Ever Protest Against Racist Police Violence
NASHVILLE, Tennessee, June 9 -- The International Brotherhood of Teamsters issued the following news release: A huge gathering of protesters led by students congregated at the Bicentennial Capitol Mall State Park in downtown Nashville the evening of Thursday, June 4, to protest the horrific murder of George Floyd and the overall issue of racist police violence. The Bicentennial Mall Park is composed of 19 mostly grassy acres with plaques commemorating area history from ancient Indigenous times   more

Tennessee Bar Association: Bristol Herald Courier Honored With 4th Estate Award
NASHVILLE, Tennessee, June 13 -- The Tennessee Bar Association issued the following news: The Bristol Herald Courier is being honored with the TBA's Fourth Estate Award for its multi-part series "Critical Mass," which examined the jail overcrowding problems in Sullivan County. The award will be presented on June 18, during the Tennessee Bar Association's (TBA) 2020 Virtual Convention. "The series promoted a better and deeper understanding of the overcrowding problem from a variety of angles an  more

Tennessee Bar Association: Memphis Lawyer Recognized for Legal Writing in Tennessee Bar Journal
NASHVILLE, Tennessee, June 13 -- The Tennessee Bar Association issued the following news: Memphis lawyer Alexander Hall will be presented with the prestigious Justice Joseph W. Henry Award for Outstanding Legal Writing on June 18, during the Tennessee Bar Association's (TBA) annual convention. The award was established nearly 40 years ago, and is given each year to the lawyer who writes the most outstanding article that is published in the Tennessee Bar Journal for the preceding year. Named fo  more

Tennessee Bar Association: Roundtables, Law School Mixers Provide Networking Opportunities
NASHVILLE, Tennessee, June 10 -- The Tennessee Bar Association issued the following news: The TBA's virtual 2020 Convention, which will take place entirely online the week of June 15, will offer several opportunities for lawyers to gather for roundtable discussions. Sessions include a Law Firm Managing Partners Roundtable on Monday, an In-House Counsel Roundtable and General Practice Roundtable on Tuesday, and a Diversity and Inclusion Roundtable on Wednesday. Check out all the roundtable opti  more

Tennessee Bar Association: Virtual CLE Event - Intellectual Property Law Forum - July 15 & 16
NASHVILLE, Tennessee, June 13 -- The Tennessee Bar Association issued the following news: The Intellectual Property Law Forum originally scheduled for April 17 will now be a virtual CLE event, held over two days, July 15 - 16. The TBA's IP Section Executive Council has put together a compelling program to discuss IP with vices front and center. The first day of the program will provide accounts of bad actors running afoul of trade secret law, provide insight into the life of hackers and finis  more

Tennessee Bar Association: Visit Our Virtual Sponsor Booths, Enter Drawing to Win
NASHVILLE, Tennessee, June 13 -- The Tennessee Bar Association issued the following news: The TBA's virtual convention is being provided to members at no charge next week thanks in part to the generous support of our sponsors. Check out our sponsors' virtual exhibit booths throughout the week and participate in our Sponsor Trivia to be entered in a drawing to win a $100 Amazon gift card. We will draw two winners at the end of the day next Friday! The answers to the trivia questions will be em  more

Tennessee Coronavirus Fears Are Valid Excuses for Mail-In Voting, Motion Could Give Millions Their Vote and Preserve Their Health
WASHINGTON, June 13 -- The Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law issued the following news release: The Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law filed a motion today in the District Court for Tennessee urging the court to rule in its favor and uphold a judge's earlier order allowing mail-in voting for those concerned about in-person voting during the COVID-19 pandemic. Nearly five months after the first case of the highly contagious coronavirus was diagnosed in the United States,   more

Tennessee Department of Tourist Development Wins Super Association of National Advertisers Reggie Award
NEW YORK, June 9 -- The Association of National Advertisers issued the following news release: A brand activation campaign for the Tennessee Department of Tourist Development, created by VMLY&R, has won the top prize -- the Super REGGIE -- in the 2020 ANA REGGIE Awards competition. The award was presented June 5 at the ANA REGGIE Awards Virtual Half-Day Conference. In mid-May, 69 gold, silver, and bronze REGGIE awards were presented to brands and their agencies honoring the best Brand Activati  more

Tennessee Electric Cooperative Association: Gibson EMC, Tennessee Valley Authority and CoBank Partner to Support Local Food Banks
TRENTON, Tennessee, June 11 -- The Tennessee Electric Cooperative Association issued the following news: Gibson Electric Membership Corporation in partnership with the Tennessee Valley Authority and CoBank will contribute a total of $45,000 over the months of April, May, June and July to the food banks that serve Gibson EMC's members and communities. Already, Gibson EMC has donated $20,000 to our local foodbanks. TVA has agreed to contribute $15,000 and CoBank has agreed to contribute $10,000.   more

Vanderbilt Transplant Center Sets Monthly Record
NASHVILLE, Tennessee, June 9 -- Vanderbilt University Medical Center issued the following news: The Vanderbilt Transplant Center performed ()https://www.vanderbilthealth.com/transplant/ 73 transplants in May, setting a Medical Center record for the most transplants in a month. Sixteen of those were heart transplants -- also a monthly record -- cementing VUMC's status as the busiest heart transplant center in the country. "In any month this would be an extraordinary achievement, but in a month   more

Vanderbilt University Medical Center Obstetric Anesthesiology Named a Center of Excellence by the Society for Obstetric Anesthesia and Perinatology
NASHVILLE, Tennessee, June 10 -- Vanderbilt University Medical Center issued the following news: Vanderbilt University Medical Center's Division of Obstetric Anesthesiology has been designated as a Center of Excellence (COE) by the Society for Obstetric Anesthesia and Perinatology (SOAP). The designation is for institutions and programs that demonstrate excellence in obstetric anesthesia care and to set a benchmark of superior care that adheres to evidence-based practices and national and inte  more

Vanderbilt University Medical Center Office of Health Equity Holds Webinar on Racism, Health and Health Care
NASHVILLE, Tennessee, June 11 -- Vanderbilt University Medical Center issued the following news: Despite advances in medical care, African Americans continue to experience disproportionately high rates of illness and death because of a well-entrenched system of "structural racism." The nation is now focused on the deaths of black citizens in police custody but systemic racism permeates every facet of American society including health care, according to panelists who participated in a webinar p  more

Vanderbilt University Medical Center's REDCap Serves Pandemic Response Around the World
NASHVILLE, Tennessee, June 10 -- Vanderbilt University Medical Center issued the following news: REDCap, the research data management tool created and powered by Vanderbilt University Medical Center, is serving extra duty as research teams and public health authorities around the world grapple with the COVID-19 pandemic. The press of activity is loosely reflected in the results of two automated web searches posted on REDCap's website: as of June 8, a Google News search (https://www.google.com/s  more

Vanderbilt University Medical Center: C.diff Captures Blood Cell Cofactor to Build Defensive Shield
NASHVILLE, Tennessee, June 11 -- Vanderbilt University Medical Center issued the following news: In a cruel twist, the bacterium Clostridioides difficile (C. diff) makes us bleed and then uses our blood to defend itself against us. Vanderbilt University Medical Center scientists have identified a C. diff protein system that senses and captures heme (part of hemoglobin) to build a protective shield that fends off threats from our immune system and antibiotics. The findings, reported in the jour  more

Vanderbilt University Medical Center: New Physician Spotlight - Edward Yaghmour
NASHVILLE, Tennessee, June 10 -- Vanderbilt University Medical Center issued the following news: Anesthesiologist Edward (Ted) Yaghmour, MD, joined Vanderbilt University Medical Center in November, practicing in the Division of Multispecialty Adult Anesthesiology and directing both the Acute Pain Service and Adult Regional Anesthesia. "We were delighted to recruit Dr. Yaghmour because he is a prominent leader in our specialty," said Warren Sandberg, MD, PhD, professor and chair of Anesthesiolo  more

Vanderbilt University Medical Center: Opioid Prescriptions After Childbirth Linked to Increased Risk of Overdose, Persistent Use
NASHVILLE, Tennessee, June 10 -- Vanderbilt University Medical Center issued the following news: Women who are prescribed opioids after childbirth have an increased risk of persistent opioid use or other serious opioid-related events, including overdose, in their first year postpartum, according to a new study by Vanderbilt University Medical Center researchers. This is true regardless of whether the woman had a vaginal delivery or a cesarean section. The study (http://annals.org/aim/article/d  more

Vanderbilt University Medical Center: Robotic Technology Speeds Arrhythmia Gene Classification
NASHVILLE, Tennessee, June 13 -- Vanderbilt University Medical Center issued the following news: Vanderbilt University Medical Center investigators have used high-throughput robotic technology to rapidly study and classify variations in a gene linked to heart rhythm disorders and cardiac conditions. The findings, reported in the American Journal of Human Genetics (https://www.cell.com/ajhg/fulltext/S0002-9297(20)30162-2), support continued use of the technology to understand genetic mutations   more

Vanderbilt University Medical Center: Staph's Activation of Blood Clotting
NASHVILLE, Tennessee, June 10 -- Vanderbilt University Medical Center issued the following news: Acute bacterial endocarditis -- infection of the inner lining of the heart -- is most often caused by the bacteria Staphylococcus aureus ("staph") and has up to a 40% mortality rate. Staph bacteria circulating in the blood adhere to heart valves and secrete the virulence factor staphylocoagulase (SC), which activates the clotting factor prothrombin to build clot-like "vegetations" on the valves. A   more

Vanderbilt University Medical Center: When Rankings are Unfounded
NASHVILLE, Tennessee, June 9 -- Vanderbilt University Medical Center issued the following news: Patient satisfaction survey scores are not an appropriate metric to differentiate performance among anesthesiologists -- that's the title and gist of a study (https://www-sciencedirect-com.proxy.library.vanderbilt.edu/science/article/pii/S0952818019320380#aep-article-footnote-id1) in the Journal of Clinical Anesthesia by Robert Freundlich, MD, Gen Li, MS, Jonathan Wanderer, MD, and colleagues at Vand  more

Vanderbilt, AstraZeneca Sign New COVID-19 Antibody Agreement
NASHVILLE, Tennessee, June 10 -- Vanderbilt University Medical Center issued the following news on June 9: Vanderbilt University and the global biopharmaceutical company AstraZeneca have signed a new agreement that will enable AstraZeneca to advance two coronavirus-neutralizing antibodies discovered by the Vanderbilt Vaccine Center (VVC) into clinical development as a potential combination therapy for the prevention and treatment of COVID-19. The agreement announced (https://www.astrazeneca.co  more