Washington State University Health Sciences Launches Life Sciences Incubator, sp3nw, Supported by $250,000 Grant From Bank of America – Press Release

SPOKANE, Wash.–(Business Wire)–Washington State University (WSU) Health Sciences today announced the launch of Spinout Space in Spokane (sp³nw), a new life sciences incubator that will launch start-up companies. As part of this launch, the Bank of America Charitable Foundation confirmed its support for sp3nw with a $250,000 grant, allowing sp3nw to begin incubating WSU research and innovation into biotech, pharma, diagnostics, and medical device companies, while also connecting regional entrepreneurs with WSU faculty expertise.

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“There is a long-unmet need in the state of Washington for an entity like sp3nw to identify, support, incubate and accelerate early-stage life science and health care companies,” said Glenn Prestwich, WSU President’s Distinguished Professor, and director of sp3nw. “With Bank of America’s support and commitment to creating economic advancement across the state, sp3nw can now begin to spin out companies from WSU technologies, while also connecting emerging life sciences companies to WSU researchers and experts.”

With its extensive networks of affiliates and mentors, sp3nw offers something truly unique to WSU and community bio-entrepreneurs. The collaborative program makes it easier to commercialize discovery and invention. The resulting products will catalyze global health care innovation, while also driving economic opportunity and job growth in the region.

sp3nw, its partners and supporters join a growing movement to apply life sciences beyond the laboratory. Organizations are coming together to bring life-saving and life-enhancing products to market faster and at a reduced cost. The resulting products will catalyze global health care innovation, drive economic growth, and create high-value jobs.

The grant provided by Bank of America is intended to advance economic mobility by supporting nonprofit organizations serving education and workforce, community development and basic needs. In addition to funding from Bank of America’s $1 billion, four-year initiative, year to date, the bank has deployed more than $830,000 to 32 local organizations across Eastern Washington and Northern Idaho to address basic community and health needs.

“The health and humanitarian crisis brought on by the coronavirus illustrates the importance of health care innovation. This grant represents our confidence in sp3nw’s mission to provide vital support for local entrepreneurs and researchers bringing life-changing technologies to market,” said Kurt Walsdorf, Bank of America Spokane and Idaho market president. “At Bank of America, we believe this innovative incubator model will help foster economic growth that further anchors Eastern Washington’s prominence in our state’s fast-growing health care industry while creating sustainable, local, high-wage jobs in the Inland Northwest.”

This project ties to the foundational land-grant mission of WSU and its health sciences campus, where service to the community is bolstered by students’ access to life-changing education and research. These future physicians, nurses, pharmacists, and researchers then bring the benefits of innovation to the health care needs of the citizens of Washington.

“Bank of America’s generosity and support are enhancing quality of life and economic vitality, while

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How a soccer club won a $1.2 million grant from DeVos’s Education Department to open a charter school

Here’s a new, rather remarkable story about charter school grants recently awarded by the Education Department — including one for more than $1 million that went to a soccer club in Pennsylvania that had no experience running a school.

Betsy DeVos wearing glasses and smiling at the camera: U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos speaks Thursday at the Phoenix International Academy in Phoenix. (Matt York/AP)

© Matt York/AP
U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos speaks Thursday at the Phoenix International Academy in Phoenix. (Matt York/AP)

This is one of a number of pieces I have run in recent years about the Federal Charter School Program, which has invested close to $4 billion in these schools since it began giving grants in 1995.


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Charter schools, a key feature of the “school choice” movement, are financed by the public but privately operated. About 6 percent of U.S. schoolchildren attend charter schools, with California having the most charter schools and the most charter students.

Charters had bipartisan support for years, but a growing number of Democrats have pulled back from the movement, citing the fiscal impact on school districts and repeated scandals in the sector.

Charter supporters say the 30-year-old movement offers important alternatives to traditional public schools, which educate the vast majority of U.S. students, and that the movement is still learning. Opponents say there is little public accountability over many charters and that they drain resources from traditional districts.

Research shows student outcomes are, overall, largely the same in charter and traditional public schools, although there are failures and exemplars in both.

This piece, like a number of earlier ones on charters, was written by Carol Burris, a former New York high school principal who serves as executive director of the Network for Public Education, a nonprofit group that advocates for public education.

Burris, who opposes charter schools, was named the 2010 Educator of the Year by the School Administrators Association of New York State, and in 2013, the National Association of Secondary School Principals named her the New York State High School Principal of the Year.

I asked the Education Department to comment on the grant to the soccer club, about which Burris writes, but did not get an immediate response. I will add it if I do.

By Carol Burris

In late September 2020, amid the covid-19 pandemic, the U.S. Department of Education awarded nearly $6 million to five organizations to open new charter schools. One of the five awardees was “The All Football Club, Lancaster Lions Corporation,” located in Lancaster, Pa. The club had no experience running either a private school or a charter school, yet nevertheless pitched the AFCLL Academy Charter School for a grant from the federal Charter School Program (CSP).

The CSP awarded the football club $1,260,750 to be spent within its first five years, even though their submitted application only received 70 of 115 possible points by reviewers — a failing grade of 61 percent. And the club did not have permission from the local school board to actually open the school.

That award of tax dollars to an unauthorized charter school shines a light on how the

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Akron Public Schools receives $1.5 million grant for college and career readiness programs

AKRON, Ohio – United Way of Summit & Medina announced Tuesday it has secured a $1.5 million grant from the Hewlett Foundation that will go toward college and career readiness programs at Akron Public Schools.


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Akron’s College and Career Academies began in 2017 and are now offered at each high school, providing students with vocational training and other field-specific opportunities in one of about 60 career paths. The grant money will go toward expanding the academies, including in Akron’s elementary and middle schools, and supporting the programs which have moved online this year due to the coronavirus pandemic, the United Way of Summit & Medina said in a news release.

The United Way and school district are also seeking to make students more engaged in their learning and to enlist the support of parents and the community by sharing information about student learning and involving them in decision-making.

“Their grant award in the amount of $1.5 million will go a long way to address the social and emotional needs of our students as we navigate our way out of the current COVID-19 pandemic,” said Superintendent David James. “Having United Way of Summit & Medina serve as the fiscal agent for this grant is indicative of the partnership that we share in serving our community in reaching our Bold Goals.”

The district established its so-called Bold Goals in 2017 in collaboration with the United Way. Bold Goal 1 calls for 65% of third-graders to be reading at or above their grade level by 2025, and Bold Goal 2 calls for 90% of high-schoolers graduating in four years and 60% being college- or career-ready.

James discussed the district’s progress in reaching the Bold Goals during his State of the Schools address in February. From 2016 to 2018, the percentage of third-graders reading at their grade level rose from 37.9% to 49.5%, and the district’s graduation rate increased from 74.3% to 79.8%, he said.

“Making sure that our students feel empowered as they learn and grow makes a difference in how they perceive themselves well after graduation,” said Jim Mullen, president and CEO of United Way of Summit & Medina. “Also, having parents and the community play a role in the education process shows the students that learning is more than just the student-teacher relationship. We all have a stake in our students’ futures. United Way is proud to continue to grow our partnership with Akron Public Schools and thankful for the support of the Hewlett Foundation.”

This is the first time the Akron school district has received a grant from the California-based Hewlett Foundation, which was founded in 1966 by Flora and William R. Hewlett, co-founder of the Hewlett-Packard computer and software company. The foundation reported awarding more than $450 million in grants in 2019 to support causes including education, environmental preservation, performing arts, economic development and women’s health.


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$11M NIH grant will fund biomedical research at University of Delaware


IMAGE: University of Delaware Professor Joe Fox (top right) leads the Center of Biomedical Research Excellence that has won a second phase of funding from the NIH. Newly added to the…
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Credit: Composite image by Jeffrey C. Chase

Biomedical research at the University of Delaware has fresh fuel for the next five years, as the National Institutes of Health has renewed a Center of Biomedical Research Excellence (COBRE) grant for a second phase, worth more than $11 million.

This COBRE grant is focused on Discovery of Chemical Probes and Therapeutic Leads and is led by Joseph Fox, professor in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry and the Department of Materials Science and Engineering.

The work of this team of scientists is focused on discovery of new molecules that can be used to study and treat diseases such as breast cancer, renal cancer, Crohn’s disease, tuberculosis and Legionnaires disease.

“Interdisciplinary collaboration is a hallmark of UD research, and this renewal grant from the National Institutes of Health recognizes the successful track record and the continued excellence of an exceptional team of biomedical researchers and its leader, Professor Joe Fox,” said University of Delaware President Dennis Assanis. “Their work will advance the development of new therapies for treating diseases that have afflicted so many. We congratulate this team and look forward to the exciting developments to come.”

The research team will be based at UD’s Science, Technology and Advanced Research (STAR) Campus.

“By locating aspects of this program in the Ammon Pinizzotto Biopharmaceutical Innovation Center at STAR Campus, UD will coalesce a vibrant community of researchers working in drug discovery, development and manufacturing further cementing UD’s leadership in pharmaceutical innovation,” said Charles G. Riordan, vice president for research, scholarship and innovation.

Five new researchers have been added to the grant in this phase, including Catherine Fromen (chemical and biomolecular engineering); Jeff Mugridge and Juan Perilla (chemistry and biochemistry); and Ramona Neunuebel and Karl Schmitz (biological sciences).

The grant extension also will further expand the center’s capabilities with development of a Proteomics Core to allow custom synthetic chemistry, Fox said.

The first phase of the grant produced many advances, including 11 major NIH grants, and led to new techniques now used for drug-discovery work by major pharmaceutical companies and research groups around the world.

“This has had an impact on science and human health,” said Fox. “It is exciting for the outstanding cohort of colleagues who will benefit from this grant. Some of our most successful faculty were hired and supported during Phase 1. There are some real rock stars in there. It has been great. And the idea that we’ll be able to do this again is exciting to me.”

The first-phase grant cohort included Catherine Leimkuhler Grimes, Joel Rosenthal, Donald Watson and Mary Watson (chemistry and biochemistry); April Kloxin (chemical and biomolecular engineering); and Edward Lyman (physics and astronomy and chemistry and biochemistry). The first phase also supported pilot project funding to nine additional research groups and supported the

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UW receives $23.5M grant to build and deploy fleet of robotic ocean-monitoring floats

UW oceanography professor Stephen Riser, left, and a colleague drop a float in the Southern Ocean in 2017 in order to collect chemical, physical and biological observations as part of the SOCCOM Project. (SOCCOM Photo)

The University of Washington is receiving a large chunk of a massive new grant from the National Science Foundation to build and deploy robotic ocean-monitoring floats to be distributed around the globe. The instruments will help scientists monitor the chemistry and biology of the world’s oceans for decades.

The NSF approved a $53 million, five-year grant on Thursday for a consortium of oceanographic institutions. About $20.5 million goes to the UW to build and deploy 300 of the 500 total floats, with another $3 million for maintenance.

Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI); Scripps Institution of Oceanography; the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution; and Princeton University are part of the effort along with the UW.

“This will be one of the largest awards that NSF has ever given in ocean sciences,” said Stephen Riser, a UW professor of oceanography. “It will allow us to create and deploy an ocean observing system that will operate for decades and will influence our ideas about the carbon cycle, in the same way that the basic Argo program has helped our understanding of the physics of ocean circulation.”

The floating ocean sensors can control their buoyancy to change their position. They spend most of the time at 1 kilometer (0.6 miles) depth, then occasionally drop to 2 kilometers (1.24 miles) depth and then rise to the surface to transmit data to computers on shore. (MBARI Graphic / Kim Fulton-Bennett)

The network of floats, called the Global Ocean Biogeochemistry Array, or GO-BGC Array, will collect observations of ocean chemistry and biology from the surface to a depth of 2 kilometers, or 1.24 miles, according to UW News. When the floats rise every nine days to the surface they will transmit data that will be made freely available to the public within a day of being collected for use by researchers, educators and policymakers around the world.

The floats will help scientists monitor carbon, oxygen and nitrate in the ocean through all seasons and will improve computer models of ocean fisheries and climate. They also will monitor and forecast the effects of ocean warming and ocean acidification on sea life.

UW oceanography professor Stephen Riser, top left, in his lab with oceanography students and a disassembled model of a SOCCOM ocean-monitoring float. (UW Photo / Dennis Wise)

Scientists can use satellites and research vessels to monitor oceans, but data-collection is limited as is time at sea, leaving large regions of the Earth’s oceans unvisited for decades. A single robotic float costs the same as two days at sea on a research ship and can collect data autonomously for over five years, in all seasons.

“These observations will provide an unprecedented global view of ocean processes that determine carbon cycling, ocean acidification, deoxygenation and biological productivity — all of which have a critical

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Tulane University researcher gets grant to study weed invasions, and more metro college news | Crescent City community news

TULANE ECOLOGY: The U.S. Department of Agriculture has awarded a $455,000 grant to Tulane University researcher Emily Farrer to study weed invasions, which pose a major threat to the productivity of rangelands. Farrer is an assistant professor in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology. She will look at how noxious weeds may use microbes and pathogens to facilitate invasions and harm native forage grasses.  

TULANE DIGITAL DESIGN: Students in the School of Professional Advancement at Tulane University won a total of 29 awards on the local, district and national levels across three American Advertising Federation competitions during spring and summer 2020. Katherine Stern won two national ADDY awards: gold for Dove Kids packaging and advertising, and silver for a Housemates app. In district competition, Stern won three additional gold ADDYs, including one for sports playing cards; and Lauren Andress won a silver ADDY for Peristyle Café packaging. Regional winners are:

  • Best of show: Krystle Weber
  • Gold ADDYs: Grady Bell, Lauren deBautte, Claude Richard, Stern, Anna Toujas and Weber.
  • Silver ADDYs: Andress, Corey Guerra, Nicole Macon, Richard and Stern
  • Bronze ADDYs: Megan Calvin, deBautte, Hannah Gregory, Kathryn Hume, Stacie Pomes, Stern and Toujas.

NUNEZ COMMUNITY COLLEGE: Registration is open for the winter intersession at Nunez Community College, which will run from Dec. 14 through Jan. 8. The schedule currently includes 11 fully web-based courses; additional courses will likely be added. To see the schedule of classes, visit www.nunez.edu/future-students. Registration assistance is available by calling (504) 278-6467. Registration for Nunez’s spring 2021 semester opened Oct. 26.

UNIVERSITY OF HOLY CROSS: Free telecounseling is available from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Thursday from the University of Holy Cross. To schedule a session, call (504) 398-2168.


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Chicopee laser company, 2 Springfield colleges to create research and education facility with $2.5 million state grant

CHICOPEE – A local business that specializes in creating and supplying high-tech lasers will partner with Westfield New England University to establish a research and development center and strengthen the school’s education program with the help of a $2.5 million state grant.

The project that will join Convergent Photonics with the university is the fourth of its kind statewide and the first in Western Massachusetts. Springfield Technical Community College will also be involved in the program.

“It is such an amazing project. I’m so glad they picked Chicopee for it,” Mayor John L. Vieau said. “This will give them an advanced labor force with skilled workers.”

The award was announced in a small event at the company’s headquarters on 117 East Main St. Mike Kennealy, state director of Housing and Economic Development, Western New England President Robert Johnson, State Reps. Joseph Wagner and Jose Tosado, company leaders and others attended. The money comes from the state’s Massachusetts Manufacturing Innovation Initiative.

The funding will allow the company and the university to purchase equipment so each can create a high-power semiconductor laser lab that will be used to support the development of innovative technologies and for the education of engineering students who want to go into the field of photonics. It will have a strong research component to it, officials said.

Our investments in advanced manufacturing are targeting immediate projects, such as the response to COVID-19, but also longer-term projects like the new (Lab for Education and Application Prototyping) in Chicopee,” Kennealy said. “This partnership between a growing company like Convergent and a tech-oriented university like Western New England will create the opportunity to build on that foundation and will take ongoing collaboration and training in this sector and across this region to the next level.”

Convergent Photonics, which has been operating since the 1960s, supplies high-power lasers used for multiple uses including for cutting and welding in the machine tool industry worldwide. The new lab will help the company develop high-powered equipment for medical systems and fiber lasers used as optical power supplies in data centers that are the backbone for telecommunications, surgical, and industrial applications, officials said.

“We are very glad and proud to be part of the … initiative which will reinforce the historical presence of Convergent Photonics in Western Massachusetts and foster the development of a new generation of engineers in integrated photonics which is one of the most important key enabling technologies the 21st Century,” said Paolo Sanna, the president of Convergent Photonics.

The entire project is expected to cost about $4.1 million. The company also investing funds in the collaboration.

“One of the issues is it is difficult to find engineers (who specialize in laser technology) at the masters and bachelor’s level,” said Neeraj Magotra, chairman of the department of electrical and computer engineering for Western New England. “STCC puts out a lot of good laser technicians.”

Western New England University, Springfield Technical Community College and Convergent Photonics have previously worked together to assist

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Captor Capital Announces Grant of Stock Options

TORONTO, Oct. 20, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Captor Capital Corp. (CSE: CPTR; FRANKFURT: NMV; STUTTGART: NMVA; USOTC: CPTRF), (“Captor” or the “Company”), announced today the grant of 1,975,000 stock options to directors, officers, and consultants in accordance with the Company’s stock option plan. All options vest on their date of grant and each option entitles the holder to purchase one (1) common share of Captor at a price of $0.30 per common share for a period of three (3) years from October 19, 2020

About Captor Capital Corp.

Captor Capital Corp. is a Canadian vertically integrated cannabis company listed on the Canadian Securities Exchange, the OTC, and the Frankfurt and Stuttgart stock exchanges. Captor provides recreational marijuana products to consumers, as well as other high demand cannabis-based goods. The Company follows a strategy of acquiring cash flowing established companies and organizations with growth potential that require capital to scale. Captor currently has a number of revenue generating cannabis assets including a majority ownership stake of Captor Retail Group Inc. The Company also owns Mellow Extracts, with a launch date to be determined.

Gavin Davidson,
Captor Capital Corp.
[email protected]

Forward-Looking Statements


This press release contains or refers to forward-looking information and is based on current expectations that involve a number of business risks and uncertainties. Factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from any forward-looking statement include, but are not limited to availability of investment opportunities, economic circumstances, market fluctuations and uncertainties, uncertainties relating to the availability and costs of financing needed in the future, changes in equity markets, inflation, changes in exchange rates, and the other risks involved in the investment industry and junior capital markets. Forward-looking statements are subject to significant risks and uncertainties, and other factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from expected results. Readers should not place undue reliance on forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements are made as of the date hereof and the Company assumes no responsibility to update them or revise them to reflect new events or circumstances other than as required by law.

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University of Texas creates new stuttering center with $20 million grant from Home Depot co-founder

a group of people posing for the camera: Kids at Camp Dream Speak Live from the Lang institute practice speaking into a microphone. The camp helps kids who stutter communicate more effectively. The Arthur M. Blank Center for Stuttering Education and Research will be able to have more camps, eventually in 10 countries. [University of Texas Moody College of Communication]

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Kids at Camp Dream Speak Live from the Lang institute practice speaking into a microphone. The camp helps kids who stutter communicate more effectively. The Arthur M. Blank Center for Stuttering Education and Research will be able to have more camps, eventually in 10 countries. [University of Texas Moody College of Communication]

Austin and the University of Texas will soon have the largest center for research and education on stuttering.

On Monday, UT announced a $20 million legacy grant given to the Moody College of Communication to establish the Arthur M. Blank Center for Stuttering Education and Research.

The grant will be paid over 10 years and is from the family foundation of Atlanta Falcons owner and Home Depot co-founder Arthur Blank, a fellow stutterer.


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The center will house the university’s current clinics and research centers: the Michael and Tami Lang Stuttering Institute, the Dr. Jennifer and Emanuel Bodner Developmental Stuttering Laboratory, and the Dealey Family Foundation Stuttering Clinic.

Currently, the center serves 500 people ages 3 years to adult, but it will be able to scale up to helping 3,000 people a year. Additional funding will add four satellite centers, the first one in Atlanta. Director Courtney Byrd has not determined the location for the other three centers.

Another goal in the next 10 years is to serve 10 countries, mainly through summer camps. Byrd said those are like boot camps on overall communication, plus they provide social interaction and peer relationships with fellow stutterers. Often it is the first time a camper has been with another stutterer.

Rethinking stuttering

The Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation is investing its money in UT because its stuttering and research program takes a different approach from traditional interventions for stuttering.

“I think those things are OK, but they don’t really get at the freedom, the freeing of the inner person, the inner soul, the inner spirit, the inner mind, the intellect of what each person has to say and feel,” Blank said in a news release.

Instead of trying to “fix” the stutter, the Lang institute works with people to improve their communication skills. Students learn to make eye contact, practice public speaking, use breathing techniques and disclose that they stutter.

Stuttering is a neurophysiological disorder that causes people to process speech and language differently. Stuttering is often genetic.

What is happening inside the brain and the rest of head is not the same for every person who stutters, but some describe it as feeling like the muscles in their neck tighten.

Arthur Blank et al. posing for the camera: Last fall, Courtney Byrd, left, met with Arthur Blank, right, when he was in Austin looking at different donations to the University of Texas. His family foundation is giving UT’s Moody College of Communication a $20 million grant to establish the Arthur M. Blank Center for Stuttering Education and Research. [University of Texas Moody College of Communication]

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Last fall, Courtney Byrd, left, met with Arthur Blank, right, when he was in Austin looking at different donations to the University of Texas. His family foundation is giving UT’s Moody College of Communication a $20 million grant to establish the Arthur M. Blank Center for Stuttering Education and Research. [University of Texas Moody College of Communication]

The center also is trying to change the stigma around stuttering and better educate stutterers and the

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Himes Announces Southwestern Area Health Education Center Grant

Press release from the Congressman’s office:

Oct. 16, 2020

Today, Congressman Jim Himes (CT-04) announced that Southwestern Area Health Education Center will receive a $448,895 grant from the Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Public Health and Science and Office of Minority Health. The grant will work to treat the impact of trauma among racial and ethnic minority communities over the course of three years.

“Identifying and treating the impacts of trauma is essential for the health of Southwest Connecticut’s residents and community,” said Congressman Jim Himes. “The COVID-19 crisis has exacerbated the impact of trauma on mental health as Americans are disconnected from friends, family, and other support systems. Southwestern Area Health Education Center’s work is more important than ever to combat stigma about mental illness and provide resources during this pandemic.”

“The “Be the Change — Connecticut” project will enable Southwestern Area Health Education Center and its partners to activate a statewide network of agencies and community members to address the impact of trauma on health and wellbeing,” said Fernando Morales, Executive Director of the Southwestern Area Health Education Center. “The award will also expand the organization’s capacity and reach in providing health education to Connecticut residents.”

According to Southwestern Area Health Education Center, The Be the Change—Connecticut project will develop and implement a Community Health Worker model to address social determinants of health associated with incidence of Adverse Childhood experiences (ACEs) in Connecticut’s racial/ethnic minority populations and communities located in Opportunity Zones throughout the state, including Native American tribes in Eastern Connecticut and the Greater Bridgeport area. The project will mobilize a cadre of partners to conduct educational sessions on the relationship between social determinants of health and trauma, risk and protective factors, and approaches to preventing and addressing ACEs, including utilizing Earned Income Tax Credit. Community Health Workers will also connect participants in education and outreach to support services. Click here to learn more about the Southwestern Area Health Education Center.

This press release was produced by the Congressman’s office. The views expressed here are the author’s own.

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