The Veridus Weekly 11-30-18

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The InFocus is still recovering from the Thanksgiving holiday . . . but don’t worry, we’ll be back next week!

Arizona Capitol Times recognizes Veridus associate with 2018 “Breakout” award



Veridus’ own Annie Vogt has been named among the Cap Times’ “Breakouts” of 2018. The inaugural award recognizes young professionals who are considered “rising stars” in Arizona’s political community.

See the full list here.
 

Forecast for Arizona's economy in 2019 includes more jobs, growth and 100,000 new people
Arizona Republic

If you liked Arizona's economy this year, more of the same appears in store for in 2019.

Barring a national recession — which doesn't appear imminent — Arizona will again rank among the top states for economic growth, job gains and population increases.

That prognosis, made Wednesday at Arizona State University's annual Economic Forecast Luncheon, envisions another year of national economic growth of around 2.5 percent, which would be about on par with 2018.

Arizona's jobless rate, now at 4.7 percent, could ease to 3.9 percent by the end of 2019, according to the forecast.

[...] Read more HERE.

Democrats won more seats in Arizona House than they have since 1966. Here's how that changes the state
Arizona Republic

Forget any assumptions you still have about the Arizona Legislature being a hotbed of deep-red conservatism.

The Legislature is about to undergo a personality makeover.

On Jan. 14, the next group of state lawmakers will be sworn into office. It will be unlike any state Legislature in decades because members will be closely split along partisan lines.

Democrats fell short on Election Day in their quest to flip a legislative chamber at the state Capitol, but they made historic gains.

They picked up up four seats in the Arizona House of Representatives, fueled by support by the #RedForEd teacher movement and apprehensions about President Donald Trump's tenor of politics.

Their gains came in suburban districts in east Phoenix, Ahwauktee Foothills and Chandler — areas that were once Republican strongholds.

Republicans will have a 31-29 majority in the House. That's the closest divide since Democrats last controlled the chamber in 1966, before a landmark court ruling redrew districts based on population.

It means that Republicans can't lose a single legislator's vote to create laws on a party-line vote. It also means lawmakers from either party can easily influence a close debate.

The man charged with leading the chamber's zero-margin majority is incoming House Speaker Rusty Bowers, R-Mesa, whose Republican colleagues recently elected him for the post.

He concedes the GOP's slim majority could lead to many unpredictable votes and coalitions.

[...] Read more HERE.

Number of Uninsured Children Rises for First Time This Decade
US News & World Report

AFTER YEARS OF STEADY decline, the number of U.S. children without health insurance rose by 276,000 in 2017, according to a Georgetown University report released Thursday.

While not a big jump statistically — the share of uninsured kids rose to 5 percent in 2017 from 4.7 percent a year earlier — it is still striking. The uninsured rate typically remains stable or drops during times of economic growth. In September, the U.S. unemployment rate hit its lowest level since 1969.

“The nation is going backwards on insuring kids and it is likely to get worse,” said Joan Alker, co-author of the study and executive director of Georgetown’s Center for Children and Families.

Alker and other child health advocates place the blame for this change on the Trump administration and the Republican-controlled Congress, saying their policies and actions cast a pall on enrollment.

The number of children without coverage rose to 3.9 million in 2017 from about 3.6 million a year earlier, according to census data analyzed by Georgetown.

The overall uninsured rate for people of all ages — which plummeted from 2013 to 2016 following the health law’s implementation — remained unchanged at 8.8 percent last year.

The share of children with employer-sponsored coverage rose modestly in 2017, but not by enough to make up for the drop in children enrolling in Medicaid or getting coverage from Obamacare insurance exchanges, Alker said.

[...] Read more HERE.

Veridus clients in the news
 
Phoenix businesses celebrate Small Business Saturday for holiday shopping
Arizona Republic

A select group of locally owned businesses in downtown Phoenix celebrated their annual small business shoppers' holiday Saturday, in an effort to have more people shop local.

850zip, a community development organization promoting locally owned businesses, teamed up with American Express to celebrate Small Business Saturday at Portland on the Park in Phoenix with a scavenger hunt, a DJ and local artists.

The neighborhood is just north of Roosevelt Street and Central Avenue in downtown Phoenix. Nine businesses participated in Saturday's festivities.

[...] American Express created Small Business Saturday in 2010 as a way to help small businesses get more customers, and the celebration has since become an annual shopping tradition on the Saturday following Thanksgiving.

“What began nine years ago as an effort to support local stores during the holiday shopping season has become the Shop Small movement, bringing together millions of shoppers, small businesses of all kinds, civic leaders and organizations in thousands of towns and cities across the country,” said Elizabeth Rutledge, chief marketing officer at American Express.

[...] Read more HERE.

Education notes: BASIS educator named 'Charter Teacher of the Year'
Arizona Daily Star

BASIS Tucson North’s John Rosinbum has been named the Arizona Charter Schools Association 2018 Teacher of the Year.

Rosinbum teaches AP U.S. history and AP research courses at BASIS. The Charter School Association honored Rosinbum, saying he goes the extra mile to help his students and the BASIS network grow to their full potential — whether that’s by organizing the annual Senior Tricycle Race or by serving as a subject adviser for BASIS.

“He is extremely reflective and intentional with every aspect of his teaching craft, reviewing student results and making adjustments: day-to-day, unit-to-unit, and year-to-year,” the Charter Schools Association wrote in a press release.

Rosinbum started teaching at BASIS six years ago after earning his doctorate from Arizona State University.

[...] The Arizona Science Center is accepting applications for its all-expenses-paid Science Teacher Residency training program.

The program, funded by a grant from the Helios Education Foundation, kicks off in January with five days of expert-led instruction at the Science Center. To qualify for the training, teachers must work for Title I-qualifying schools with majority Latino and/or Native American students.

[...] Read more HERE.
 
Legacy junior high students offered exciting new courses
Chamber Business News

Legacy Traditional Schools will offer Coding 101 and VEX Robotics courses to its junior high students beginning Jan. 2019.

The Coding 101 course will be offered at Legacy schools in Laveen, Surprise, Casa Grande, Glendale and Gilbert.

“The coding elective focuses on computer science standards that were just released recently and approved by the Arizona Department of Education,” Brittany Ayo, subject matter expert over math and computers for Vertex Education (service provider to Legacy Schools), said.

She said, “they learn how to code, they learn JavaScript, they learn how to create web pages, they work on block coding, they work on Python.”

Legacy will also offer a VEX Robotics course at its Avondale, Maricopa and Gilbert campuses.

Ayo explained that students who take the course will build VEX Robots using tools and programming. The students can use a remote control, or they can use coding to make it move without a remote.

“Students work on problem-solving skills. They get to work on teams. They get to work on their leadership skills and design the robots by themselves,” Ayo said.

The new courses do not begin until next semester, but students and parents are already showing interest.

“We’ve had a high number of interest of our students and parents that are wanting their child to be in this elective,” Ayo said. “We’ve already offered it to those campuses as an option, and our enrollment is at capacity in those classes. We have 34 students already enrolled at many of those schools because they want to learn coding or robotics.”

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, computer and information technology (IT) occupations employment is projected to grow 13 percent from 2016 to 2026, which is faster than the average for all occupations.

Coding and VEX Robotics courses for junior high students can prepare them to pursue high demand computer and IT occupations when they enter the workforce.

“We want to build twenty-first century learners and look toward those STEM-related fields in the workforce,” Ayo said. “We want to set them up for success so that they’re knowledgeable in technology and able to problem-solve in the real world.”

[...] Read more HERE.
 
NAIOP Arizona elects new officers, board members
AZ Big Media

The Arizona Chapter of NAIOP, the Commercial Real Estate Association, elected officers and board members for 2019 at its November 6 board meeting.

The 2019 Executive Committee of NAIOP Arizona is Molly Carson, Chairman, Ryan Companies US, Inc.; Jim Wentworth Jr., Vice Chairman, Wentworth Property Company, LLC; Cathy Thuringer, Treasurer, The Trammell Crow Company; Rusty Kennedy, Programs Chair, CBRE; Danny Swancey, Secretary, ViaWest Group; Andrew Cheney, Immediate Past Chairman, Lee & Associates Arizona; and Larry Pobuda, Immediate Past Chairman once removed, The Opus Group.

New 2019 Board Members are CJ Osbrink, Newmark Knight Frank; Danielle Feroleto, Small Giants; and Cooper Fratt, CBRE, representing the Developing Leaders. Returning members of the Board of Directors include Phil Breidenbach, Colliers International; Bryon Carney, Cushman & Wakefield; Keith Earnest, VanTrust Real Estate LLC; Jeff Foster, Prologis; Tom Jarvis, Willmeng Construction; John Orsak, Lincoln Property Company; Darren Pitts, Velocity Retail Group; and Candace Rosauro, Jokake Construction.

[...] NAIOP comprises 19,000+ members and provides strong advocacy, education and business opportunities through a powerful North American network. It is the leading organization for developers, owners, investors and related professionals in office, industrial, retail and mixed-use real estate.

Read more HERE.

Cigna Foundation Grant to Help Improve Health of Native American Moms and Babies Through Prenatal Care, Drug and Addiction Education and Recovery

BLOOMFIELD, Conn. & BILLINGS, Mont.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The Cigna Foundation announced it will provide a $100,000 grant to the St. Vincent Healthcare Foundation in Billings, Montana to help improve the health outcomes of Native American women and babies through increased access to early prenatal care, drug education and intervention when needed. The grant addresses drug addiction that has reached into Native American communities.1

[...] Previously, the Cigna Foundation provided grant funding to St. Vincent Healthcare Foundation to support an American Indian Health Disparities Coordinator who serves as a community health worker. St. Vincent’s chose Kassie Runsabove, a Native American, for this role to work as an advocate and cultural liaison, and to be responsible for implementing projects to identify and reduce health disparities.

The new Cigna Foundation grant provides an additional year of funding to help St. Vincent’s further its mission to improve the cultural competency skills of maternal health care providers, and to work with tribal community partners to provide prenatal education on healthy nutrition, stress management, and other healthy lifestyle topics. The St. Vincent’s program is expected to result in measurable outcomes, including:

[...] Read more HERE.

CVS Health Completes Acquisition of Aetna, Marking the Start of Transforming the Consumer Health Experience

Combined company brings together capabilities of two leading organizations to establish innovative health care model

Care delivery will have a local focus that will make a complicated system simpler for all, helping people achieve better health at lower cost

Combination expected to generate significant value for shareholders through synergies and revenue-enhancing


Woonsocket, RI (November 28, 2018) – CVS Health (NYSE: CVS), a company that is leading the transformation of health care, today announced that it has completed its acquisition of Aetna (NYSE: AET), establishing CVS Health as the nation’s premier health innovation company.

“Today marks the start of a new day in health care and a transformative moment for our company and our industry,” declared CVS Health President and Chief Executive Officer Larry J. Merlo. “By delivering the combined capabilities of our two leading organizations, we will transform the consumer health experience and build healthier communities through a new innovative health care model that is local, easier to use, less expensive and puts consumers at the center of their care.”

Added Merlo, “As the front door to quality health care, our combined company will have a community focus, engaging consumers with the care they need when and where they need it, will simplify a complicated system and will help people achieve better health at a lower cost. We are also leading change in health care by challenging the status quo with new technologies, business models and partnerships. In doing so, we will continue to deliver on our purpose of helping people on their path to better health.”

The combined company will connect consumers with the powerful health resources of CVS Health in communities across the country and Aetna’s network of providers to help remove barriers to high quality care and build lasting relationships with consumers, making it easier for consumers to access the information, resources and services they need to achieve their best health.

[...] CVS Pharmacy will continue to participate within the pharmacy networks for other PBMs and health plans.

[...] Read more HERE.
 
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