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How culture and leadership helped ventilator maker Ventec meet huge demand in COVID-19 response

Chris Kiple, CEO of Ventec Life Systems, alongside one of the company’s ventilators. (Stuart Isett Photo)

To rapidly increase a company’s production 8-fold is daunting. To ramp up 80-fold is almost unimaginable.

It’s also what Chris Kiple had to do last spring as CEO of one of the nation’s few ventilator manufacturers. As COVID-19 was taking hold of America, the head of Ventec Life Systems quickly began increasing production at the company’s facilities in Bothell, Wash.

Ventec and GM, 2 months later: How a startup took on the ventilator shortage, and where it stands now

But he knew it wouldn’t be enough. He reached out to General Motors in mid-March to see how the two might partner to meet escalating demand. Health officials feared shortages would force them to make difficult decisions about which patients would have access to the potentially life-saving devices and which would not.

At the time,

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  • November 21, 2020
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Multiple vaccines could boost immune response, says Prof leading UK trials

New clinical trials are taking place to identify a third potential coronavirus vaccine
New clinical trials are taking place to identify a third potential coronavirus vaccine
Coronavirus Article Bar with counter ..
Coronavirus Article Bar with counter ..

Multiple vaccines could be used to boost the immune response to coronavirus, the professor leading the latest UK clinical trials has said. 

Professor Saul Faust, director of the NIHR Southampton Clinical Research Facility and chief investigator for the Janssen phase-three trial, said different responses brought about by vaccines could work together to shield people from the disease.

Speaking about the importance of manufacturing more than one coronavirus vaccine, Prof Faust told the Today programme: “Over time we’ll learn how to use those vaccines together. It could be that giving one vaccine and then another gives you an even better and longer immune response.”

It comes as around 6,000 volunteers take part in new clinical trials at research sites n Southampton, Bristol, Cardiff, London, Leicester, Sheffield, Manchester, Dundee and Belfast.

It

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  • November 16, 2020
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Intercultural Roots Launch New Response Project RIPPLES on World Mental Health Day

Featuring seven artists from seven continental time zones, Ripples reaches out to people across the world asking the question ‘What matters to you?’

Intercultural Roots Launch New Response Project RIPPLES on World Mental Health Day

This weekend, International Roots launched their new initiative Ripples to create a global collage of hopes, challenges and the things that matter to people the most. The project aims to amplify diverse voices across the seven continental time zones by creating a platform for artistic responses to the simple provocation: ‘What matters to you?’. International Roots have commissioned seven initiating artists from seven different continental time zones, and this weekend they invited the first artistic responses at sunrise on World Mental Health Day (10th October). These seven artists started a conversation by sharing their interpretation of the theme, and the public from around the world are invited to join their next moment on 24th October which will be a noon, whatever time zone you’re in.

People are

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  • October 12, 2020
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Girl Scouts offers new opportunities in response to pandemic | News

HAMPTON — Girls interested in Scouting in Henry County are invited to bring a friend to the Let’s Go Fly A Kite event set for Saturday, Oct. 24. Girls will be able to build and fly a kite while learning more about Girl Scouts.

Kite-building sessions will be held at McBrayer Park, 100 Central Ave., Hampton, and are scheduled as follows:

• 10 a.m. – kindergarten and first-graders (Daisies)

• 11 a.m. – second- and third-graders (Brownies)

• 12 noon – fourth- through eighth-graders (Juniors and Cadettes)

All attendees will be required to wear a mask. For more information or to sign up, contact Joni McRae, area executive, at [email protected] or 404-906-4123.

In Rockdale County, parents who want more information about Girl Scouts may attend a virtual information meeting Tuesday, Oct. 6, 6:30 p.m. For more information, contact Tiquette White at [email protected]

Girl Scouts is adapting this fall as the

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  • October 2, 2020
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Pence defends outbreak response, pushes against shutdowns

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — Vice President Mike Pence on Tuesday defended the Trump administration’s guidance to states on ramping their economies back up amid the spread of the coronavirus, saying it was based on the best information at the time and a spike in recent cases shouldn’t mean more shutdowns.

“We really believed that was essential, that every American take these steps, and so that we would prevent our hospitals … from being overwhelmed,” Pence said of the administration’s 45-day recommended social distancing guidelines. “And the American people did their part. … We flattened the curve.”

Pence, who heads up a White House task force that communicates regularly with governors on the pandemic, was in South Carolina at the invitation of Gov. Henry McMaster, a longtime Trump supporter, to discuss processes for reopening schools this fall. They participated in a roundtable discussion with officials including Education Secretary Betsy DeVos and

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