Category Archives: Client News

$10M investment aims to transform Erie County

// // in Client News


As Erie County, wracked by persistent poverty, economic decline and low educational attainment, continues to take a renewed look at itself and its future, a $10 million joint investment announced Wednesday plans to transform the region by targeting critical areas of need.

The money will fund four projects across Erie County, specifically addressing education, youth, neighborhoods and innovation.

Officials with the Erie Community Foundation, the Erie County Gaming Revenue Authority and the Susan Hirt Hagen Fund for Transformational Philanthropy made the announcement Wednesday at an event attended by more than 125 cross-sector community leaders on the front steps of the foundation, 459 W. Sixth St.

Grants include $4 million to Mercyhurst University for the Downtown Erie Innovation District; $4 million to Empower Erie for an Erie County Community College; $1.5 million to the Erie School District for the “community schools” project; and $500,000 to Gannon University to revitalize sections of the city’s east and west bayfront neighborhoods.

The $10 million will be distributed over a three-year period as benchmarks are met, officials said.

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Mercyhurst, Syracuse announce innovative partnership

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The Ridge College of Intelligence Studies and Applied Sciences at Mercyhurst University announces a partnership with The School of Information Studies (iSchool) at Syracuse University intended to attract more students to today’s high-demand information management fields.


“A partnership between these two institutions, known for being among the top schools in information studies and intelligence studies in the country, is ripe with opportunities,” said Mercyhurst University President Michael Victor. “Both have a long tradition of leading innovation and change and we look forward to a fruitful collaboration.”


With acceptance in the iSchool’s “Fast Track” program, Mercyhurst undergraduates will have the opportunity for accelerated study toward a Master of Science degree in Information Management from Syracuse. Also available will be a Master of Science degree in Library & Information Sciences, including an optional specialization in School Media.


Read the full press release here.

House Resolution Recognizes Nurse Anesthetists

// // in Client News, Government

HARRISBURG (Jan. 26, 2016) — For the second consecutive week, the General Assembly formally honored the role and value of certified registered nurse anesthetists (CRNAs) in Pennsylvania. The House unanimously adopted a resolution (H.R. 650) today to recognize the work of advanced practice nurses who deliver safe, high-quality anesthesia care in a variety of health-care settings.


The resolution was sponsored by Rep. Stephen Barrar (R-Chester/Delaware), a long-time advocate for the state’s CRNAs. He sponsored a similar resolution last year. His resolution follows unanimous approval last week of a resolution sponsored by state Sen. Pat Vance (R-Cumberland/York).


“We’re so grateful for this recognition, and the continued support of champions like Rep. Barrar,” said Ann Culp, president of the Pennsylvania Association of Nurse Anesthetists (PANA), which represents more than 3,000 CRNAs and students in Pennsylvania.


Both resolutions coincide with the 17th annual “National CRNA Week,” which runs Jan. 24-30. PANA launched its own campaign, “CRNAs: Making a Difference One Patient at a Time,” which runs through February. Residents can learn more about CRNAs at, or on Twitter at @PANACRNA and Facebook at


In Pennsylvania, nurse anesthetists must obtain a bachelor’s degree, graduate with a minimum of a master’s degree from a nurse anesthesia accredited program, complete additional hours of clinical work (the average student nurse anesthetist completes almost 2,500 clinical hours) and pass a national exam in order to be able to practice. CRNAs must be a Registered Nurse (RN), and they must be recertified every two years. Nurse anesthetists’ recertification includes meeting advanced practice requirements and obtaining a minimum of 40 continuing education credits.


Because of this training and experience — CRNAs have a history spanning back to the Civil War — numerous medical studies show there is no statistical difference in patient outcomes when a nurse anesthetist provides treatment with or without anesthesiologist present. And, as health-care demands continue to grow, increasing the number of CRNAs will be a key to containing costs while maintaining quality care.


Learn more about CRNAs in Pennsylvania. Visit


TransCore to develop connected vehicle program for New York City

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by Transportation Infrastructure News Daily Reports


The New York City Department of Transportation recently selected TransCore of Nashville, Tennessee to develop its initial design for a Connected Vehicle Pilot Deployment Program that was awarded up to $20 million by the U.S. Department of Transportation last month.

TransCore’s TransSuite Traffic Management System will include Vehicle-to-Vehicle (V2V) and Vehicle-to-Infrastructure (V2I) technology in vehicles that frequently travel midtown Manhattan and midtown infrastructure. Up to 10,000 cars, busses and limousines will eventually be retrofitted with this innovative technology that may significantly reduce traffic congestion, lessen greenhouse gas emissions, and make drivers and pedestrians safer on the roads.

“New sensing and communication technologies are enabling an entirely new suite of applications to make our streets safer, even in the most densely populated areas,” TransCore Senior Vice President of ITS Solutions Michael Mauritz said.

New in-vehicle applications will notify drivers of speed limits, nearing red lights and work zones. Fleet vehicles will also get notifications related to their needs, including bridge clearances.

“We are honored to lead this effort, and applaud the city of New York and the Federal Highway Administration in setting a course others can follow,” Mauritz said.

There will be more information about future pilot deployments in the coming months.

Sen. Argall: Make it Easier for mid-sized grocers to sell beer

// // in Client News

(Credit to Andrew Staub/


A new proposal would give mid-sized grocery stores an easier path to selling beer in Pennsylvania, but the ripple effect it would have on other purveyors of malt beverages could generate enough opposition to skunk it.


The plan is simple enough: State Sen. David Argall, R-Schuylkill, wants to lift the requirement that grocery stores with a footprint of 8,000 to 55,000 square feet must set up a restaurant within their walls to sell beer.


“They just don’t have that kind of extra space,” Argall said, explaining he wants to level the playing field for smaller outlets that compete against larger superstores.


Grocery stores don’t have a specific liquor license tailored to their business model. Instead, they must obtain restaurant liquor licenses — or “R” licenses — to sell beer.


To comply with current state law, supermarkets must cordon off at least 400 square feet for a restaurant that seats at least 30 people. Beer transactions must occur at a separate cash register in that area, commonly called beer cafés.


That might not be difficult for a chain such as Wegmans, which has long placed restaurants in stores that can exceed 100,000 square feet. But for Redner’s Warehouse Markets, a smaller employee-owned grocery chain based in Reading, plopping a beer café into its typical 50,000-square-foot space might not be as feasible.


To read the rest of the article from Mr. Staub click here.



Philadelphia’s University City Science Center FirstHand program wins award

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Congratulations to Ridge Policy Group client University City Science Center, whose FirstHand program for STEM-oriented middle schoolers won the “Most Innovative Hands-On Project” from the US2020 Program.  The mentoring group traveled to the White House on July 23rd to accept the award.


Official Press Release:

The University City Science Center’s FirstHand program has won a 2015 STEM Mentoring Award. Representatives of the FirstHand program travelled to The White House on July 23 to accept the award for “Most Innovative Hands-On Project” from the US2020 Program. FirstHand – which engages middle-school students in career-focused hands-on learning experiences with the STEAM subjects of Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math – was also a finalist in the Volunteer Experience category.

US2020 is a national public-private partnership with a mission to advance STEM education and mentoring. FirstHand was selected for this award by a panel of public and private sector leaders in STEM that received submissions from more than 80 organizations in 30 cities representing 13 states.

The awards ceremony was part of the first US2020 STEM Mentoring Symposium, which brought together leaders from the public, private, and social sectors to discuss common challenges, share best practices, and reaffirm STEM mentoring as a powerful tool for education reform.

“FirstHand is designed to give under-served middle school students in Philadelphia first-hand experiences with STEM subjects through experiential learning,” says Science Center President & CEO Stephen S. Tang, Ph.D., MBA. “We need to engage kids early if we want to keep the talent pipeline filled with students who are prepared to become the innovation workforce of the future.”

“We are honored to receive the ‘Most Innovative Hands-On Project’ award from US2020,” says FirstHand Director David Clayton. “This award affirms FirstHand’s unique approach and the Science Center’s commitment to career-focused STEAM Mentoring. We believe that FirstHand is creating something special at the Science Center, as we continue to open doors for the minds of tomorrow.“

FirstHand is supported by generous donations from Cognizant Making the Future, The Dow Chemical Company’s Dow Gives Program, The Lenfest Foundation, Lockheed Martin Corporation, OHAUS, Rainin Instruments LLC, Thermo Fisher Scientific, Startup PHL and Wexford Science + Technology, A BioMed Realty Company.

About the Science Center
The University City Science Center is a dynamic hub for innovation, and entrepreneurship and technology development in the Greater Philadelphia region. It provides business incubation, programming, lab and office facilities, and support services for entrepreneurs, start-ups, and growing and established companies. The Science Center was the first, and remains the largest, urban research park in the United States. Since it was founded in 1963, graduate organizations and current residents of the University City Science Center’s Port business incubators have created more than 15,000 jobs that remain in the Greater Philadelphia region today and contribute more than $9 billion to the regional economy annually. For more information about the Science Center, go to

About FirstHand
Equal parts Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math, FirstHand provides Philadelphia’s curious minds access to the knowledge and resources of the Science Center, the nation’s oldest and largest urban research park. FirstHand programming serves local youth from under-resourced schools and the teachers and professionals from their communities. FirstHand aims to spark an interest in the STEAM disciplines for students to explore and cultivate, now and throughout their lives. To learn more:

About US2020
US2020, a division of Citizen Schools, developed from a White House call to generate large-scale, innovative solutions to our STEM education challenges. Its mission is to dramatically scale the number of STEM professionals mentoring and teaching students through hands-on projects with a focus on serving underrepresented communities — girls, underrepresented minorities, and low-income children. US2020 is supported by national Co-Investors: Alcoa, CA Technologies, Chevron, Cisco, Cognizant, Discovery Communications, Raytheon, SanDisk, Tata Consultancy Services, and Texas Instruments, as well as the Carnegie Corporation of New York. Through partnerships at the national level and coalitions at the city level, US2020 has built a network of more than 250 organizations in 13 cities actively working to scale the STEM mentoring field, to align the field on common metrics, and to advance a focus on quality. To learn more, visit

Philadelphia’s Bike Share Program Hits the Street This Spring

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Independence Blue Cross, Bicycle Transit Systems, and the City of Philadelphia have teamed up to officially launch Philadelphia’s first bike share system.  Independence Blue Cross contributed $8.5 million to kick-start the program and will contribute $1.7 million a year for five years to help operate the system. In an interview with the Philadelphia Inquirer, IBC President & CEO Daniel Hilferty gave a nod to the commonsense partnership, “It’s a perfect match for us. We’re focused on helping people get healthy and stay healthy. What better way to do that than getting out and riding bikes?”


The program, aptly called Indego, gets rolling this spring with over 60 stations and 600 bikes available 24/7, 365 days a year.


For more information on the Indego program visit