Resumes Pack Some Punch

April 22, 2008
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Metro Health’s request to provide radiation therapy for cancer patients got the nod from the Alliance for Health’s Evaluation Board last week. It now moves on for review by the Michigan Department of Health’s Certificate of Need Commission. The Wyoming hospital gained the blessing in part by submitting confidential resumes of potential oncologists, dosimetrists and others who are needed to operate the program.

Metro Health and Saint Mary’s Health Care acknowledged last month that they are in discussions to operate the radiation oncology section of the center now under construction near the hospital in Metro Health Village at M-6 and Byron Center Avenue. Metro Health’s Brian Jepson, executive vice president of growth strategies, and Jim Childress, vice president of marketing and public relations, were on hand as Evaluation Board member Terri A. Weekley, who had previously raised questions about the plan, made the motion to approve it.

  • More than 400 people gathered at DeVos Place Tuesday for Grand Rapids Medical Education & Research Center’s 41st annual Community Health Research Day. Local medical professionals, hospital administrators, research directors, resident physicians and students pursuing medical, physician assistant, physical therapy and pharmacology degrees made more than 135 presentations on research and academic programs at the day-long event.

Phil B. Fontanarosa, executive deputy editor of The Journal of the American Medical Association and vice president of scientific publications for the American Medical Association, delivered the keynote address on “Biomedical Publication: ‘Top Ten’ Pearls and Pitfalls.”

Fontanarosa underscored the need to “spread the word” by disseminating scientific research findings through scientific journals and offered tips on authorship responsibilities, scientific writing strategies, article format, common mistakes, and the peer review editorial process.

  • The proposed energy legislation in Lansing is pushing businesses and organizations into one camp or the other.

The Grand Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce is opposed to it.

The Michigan Chamber of Commerce is in favor of it.

The Small Business Association of Michigan is opposed to it.

The Michigan Manufacturers Association is in favor of it.

The legislation would permit Consumers Energy and DTE to start charging ratepayers in advance for financing the cost of new generation plants they would like to build. It would also replace the so-called “choice law” passed in 2000, which allows Michigan electricity users to buy from suppliers other than Consumers or DTE. The new law would only allow 10 percent of Michigan electricity capacity to come from alternative suppliers.

Chuck Hadden, Michigan Manufacturers Association vice president of government affairs, said last week that it's time to replace the "hybrid law" passed seven years ago.

While the "hybrid" law helped keep electricity rates down, it lacks "certainty of getting new plants built," said Hadden in an audio recording put on the MMA Web site April 16.

"Some would say we don't need new plants but I would disagree with them. We could rely on plants out-of-state, but I think if we want to be able to control the outcome of our destiny, we need to have some control over those plants through our Michigan Public Service Commission. … So we need to have plants that are within the state."

We could put off building more plants in Michigan, but "as time goes on, prices increase," said Hadden.

"If we do nothing, the total cost to Michigan job providers is going to be somewhere in the area of $4 billion.”

The legislation would also "de-skew" the rate structure that now favors residential users. De-skewing "helps large users like manufacturers get lower rates," said Hadden. The legislation would also put standards in place "that will measure and report every year to the public how our utilities are doing" regarding their reliability and efficiency.

Hadden said some opponents of the legislation claim that "it will take Michigan back to the old utilities system of a command-control sort of system. And that's just not true. … Many of the points made in the legislation get the public involved."

"Right now, under the old system, utilities currently can build anything they want, right now, anywhere they want. … I think we'd better control that if we are going to end up paying for it some way or another."

Todd Anderson maintains that "competition is the best way to control prices."

Anderson is vice president of government relations at SBAM, which is opposed to the legislation. "To eliminate the big monopolies' competition just means they have a lot less incentive to keep prices low."

Anderson said he hopes that when the legislation goes to the Senate, they "hit the pause button, and really evaluate whether or not we want to take a huge step backward and eliminate competition" with the big utilities.

"One argument is that not very many people are using the competition, but we would argue everyone is benefiting from it" through "better customer service, lower prices and more innovation" by the big utilities.

Another argument is that "we need to end competition so the monopolies can finance a power plant, and we just don't accept that argument," he said.

"We believe if the case was that compelling, that they need more power, then they'd certainly be able to get financing. … If they produce more power, they make more money."

  • The official construction start of The Secchia Center, new home in Grand Rapids of the Michigan State University College of Human Medicine, will be held today. Instead of a gathering throng at the project site on “The Hill,” look for an assembly of well-wishers to congregate at 5 p.m. in DeVos Hall, where a live video transmission from the construction site will air brief ceremonies. A reception will follow, preceding “The MSU Evening of Celebration,” a concert featuring student and faculty artists from the MSU College of Music, from 7 to 8:30 p.m.

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