Author: Creative Programs and Systems - page 2

Flint Water Still Tainted with Toxic Lead

Just as we thought it was over, the Flint lead water crisis continues. During testing over the first half of this year, the level of lead in the city’s tap water has increased. State environmental officials attribute the spike to additional testing of businesses known to have lead in their service lines. 

The Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) recently shared the results of Flint’s Lead and Copper Rule testing, saying samples taken from 61 homes and businesses showed 90 percent registered lead readings of lead at or below 10 parts per billion (ppb).

The federal action level is currently set at 15 ppb, so the Flint results are lower than the 90th percentile. The most recent testing is the second consecutive water sampling period that showed an increase in samples higher than 15 ppb. The first half of 2022 registered at 10 ppb, while during the first six months of 2021, it was 3 ppb; the last half of 2021, 7 ppb. 

In Michigan, the threshold for lead will increase from 12 ppb to 15 ppb starting in 2025. Currently, all public water systems are required to test tap water for lead and copper. If levels are found above 15 ppb in the system’s 90th percentile, actions must be taken to remediate the metals.

As for Flint, city officials have acknowledged that the water testing system was deeply flawed before the crisis of 2016. Federal regulations required the water to be tested in homes with lead service lines, but Flint failed to focus on these situations. 

EGLE attributes the latest heightened test results to Flint’s increasing Tier 2 non-residential sites. Fewer homes have lead service lines, thanks to the city’s program to replace lead and galvanized steel water service lines in response to the crisis. More than 95 percent of Flint homes no longer have lead and/or copper in their service lines. 

However, this has now triggered the addition of non-residential testing sites. Kris Donaldson, EGLE’s clean drinking water public advocate, said, “As Flint nears completion of its lead service line replacement program, we are seeing clear evidence that the focus will need to shift to interior plumbing and continued education on how to reduce lead exposures in the home as outlined on the state’s MI Lead Safe website.” 

After the Flint water crisis, Michigan adopted the country’s toughest lead rules for drinking water in 2018. Now, all public water systems are required to replace an average of five percent of lead service lines every year for the next 20 years. 

Test and Remove Lead from your home or business’s drinking water with Reynold’s Water Conditioning equipment!  

Reynolds Water Conditioning was established in 1931 and is Michigan’s oldest water conditioning treatment company. Still owned and operated by the Reynolds family, we take pride in providing the highest quality products at a cost-effective price. If your tap water lacks the quality you deserve, contact us today at 800-572-9575.

Written by the digital marketing team at Creative Programs & Systems: https://www.cpsmi.com/ 

Novel Cancer Treatment Headed to McLaren Flint

An innovative new technology headed to Flint will be used to treat cancer with proton therapy. The McLaren Proton Therapy Center is the first to receive the new machine that treats patients upright, enabling cancer treatment with more precision. 

Leo Cancer Care developed the proton therapy called “Marie,” which will take up less space yet provide more accurate treatments since there will be less organ movement. 

The Proton Therapy Center in Flint will receive the first two upright units and be used within the next two years, pending FDA approval. The largest proton center in Michigan, the new machine will allow more patients to be treated. 

According to a news release from McLaren, proton therapy is a type of radiation therapy that uses protons to accurately target tumor cells and leave healthy surrounding cells undamaged.

Stephen Towe, CEO of Leo Cancer Care, said, “The goal of Leo Cancer Care and McLaren Proton Therapy Center’s collaboration is to bring proton therapy to more patients, and we know there are clear advantages with proton therapy. The McLaren Proton Therapy Center is well-positioned to become the first to potentially treat patients with the revolutionary Leo Cancer Care technology.”

Construction to add the “Marie” units to the Proton Therapy Center in Flint will start in the spring of 2023 and be fully operational by the fall of 2024.  

Acceletronics is an industry leader in delivering the best equipment performance and service reliability from CT Scanners and Linear Accelerators across all major brands and models. Call 610-524-3300 to learn more.

Written by the digital marketing team at Creative Programs & Systems: https://www.cpsmi.com/

EV Charging in the U.S Will Soon Become More Prevalent

The current administration is backing a plan to support the development of 500,000 EV chargers throughout the US. The goal is to ease range anxiety and speed up charge time. Here’s a quick summary:

  • The federal government has allocated 5 billion in spending to go to states to build and install EV chargers, primarily throughout interstate highways.
  • The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and the National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure program (NEVI) is the gateway for individual states to access this money. States submit their plan of action for review, approval, and disbursement of funding.
  • Each charging station must be for public use, allow open-access payment methods, include at least four DCFC plug-in units, work autonomously with all EV brands, and be within 50 miles of another charging station.
  • These DCFC chargers (direct circuit, fast charge) are commercial Level 3 EV chargers that must deliver 150kW of power and charge an EV within 15-45 minutes.

Currently, the US has about 46,000 EV chargers and around 150,000 gas stations. The conditions of this plan could pose a challenge for utilities, requiring the enhancement of electrical infrastructure that possibly includes battery storage. Whatever shortfalls, this program is an excellent jumpstart to incentivize private investors.

To learn more, reference the U.S. Dept. of Energy.

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State Electric Company is a leader in the electrification of the nation. Our highly educated and experienced team of professionals uses industry-leading software technology and has partnered with manufacturers to deliver affordable solutions for all your electrical needs. State Electric Co. is also an exclusive distributor for Enel X JuiceBox EV chargers for residential and commercial use. We are fully licensed, insured, and bonded to install charging stations for homes, offices, hotels, and more. With our extensive knowledge in renewable energy, our team provides customers – large or small – with efficient electrical solutions. Contact us today to learn how we can safely and affordably meet your energy needs.

Written by the digital marketing team at Creative Programs & Systems: https://www.cpsmi.com/

Particle Accelerators Create Potential Cancer Treatment in Lansing

A Lansing company called Niowave has begun producing actinium-225, a silvery metal isotope that barely exists on Earth, with a superconducting linear accelerator. The reason? This isotope is a promising cancer treatment; however, researchers don’t know its full potential due to the absence of clinical trials. 

Niowave has secured a $5 million deal with Fusion Pharmaceuticals to start production in 2024.  Between Russia, the United States, Germany, and Canada, there are only two curies (unit of measurement for radioactive materials) of actinium-225. Niowave plans on making one curie per week. 

In 2019, the federal government gave Niowave $15 million, and another $13 million last year, to produce molybdenum 99, which is used for medical imaging. Since other countries subsidize its production, making a profit from molybdenum 99 is tricky. 

After working with uranium for years, the federal government determined Niowave could function safely with another highly radioactive element, radium, to create actinium-225. 

Cancer therapy isotopes emit beta particles, which can destroy cancer cells but also kill healthy cells around them. Actinium-225 delivers more targeted alpha particles, which can emit more energy at a shorter distance.

Justin Wilson, an associate professor of chemistry and chemical biology at Cornell University said, “If you can get those alpha particles to the cancer cells, they have the capability of doing more damage but in a more confined region. Which, in theory, could prevent hitting healthy cells that maybe aren’t part of the small metastatic lesion.” 

Eric Burak, chief technical officer at Fusion Pharmaceuticals, states that they are working on formulating three separate drugs that use actinium-225. He said the isotope is “One of the rarest elements in the entire planet, and, with more companies interested in its therapeutic potential, everyone is scrambling for actinium supply.” 

Fusion Pharmaceuticals are investing $5 million to help Niowave create actinium-225 in exchange for a guaranteed share of the end result. 

Niowave’s superconducting linear accelerator has been moved to a concrete room as radium is extremely radioactive. 

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RadParts is the world’s largest independent distributor of OEM replacement parts. We specialize in low-cost parts for repairing linear accelerator and radiation equipment. Our mission is to provide high-quality, user-friendly, low-cost parts and support for linear accelerators and radiation equipment. Contact RadParts at 877-704-3838 to learn more.

Written by the digital marketing team at Creative Programs & Systems: https://www.cpsmi.com/

Killer Business Cards

You might think business cards have lost their marketing advantage. But no, they are in high demand, especially with small businesses. A business card is an invitation to your front door and represents your company. So, don’t skimp on quality. First impressions are the make or break in obtaining new customers. Follow these simple tips to design a killer business card that’s sure to impress.

Keep your print quality professional – Maintain a minimum typography size and keep at least 5 mm from the trim. Stay with at least 300 dpi for the best quality image of your print.

Quality matters – Spend a bit extra on nice card stock paper. Everyone knows a cheap business card when they see one. The better the quality, the more apt someone will be willing to slip it into their wallet or purse instead of the garbage.

Don’t use clip art. Instead, use a photograph or better yet, seek the service of a graphic designer who can create something awesome. If you want to stand out from the competition, you can’t reuse someone else’s design. Put creative thought into your industry, determine what will resonate with potential customers, and strive to meet that.  

Design with purpose – A business card does not have much room for print. So, deciding the card’s purpose and focusing on it is vital. For example, are you trying to get your brand noticed? Then get your point across by laying it out. Or perhaps, you want to increase traffic and get contact calls to come in. Then, you’ll want the content to showcase your open availability, etc. A print designer is the most qualified person to design and lay out the fundamentals without getting lost in the presentation.

What a business card is used for – The bottom line is to increase revenue. Wherever you go, if someone indicates an interest in your business, you have an easy mode of reference. Remember, sometimes less is more. You don’t have to overcomplicate things; just show confidence. Think about Amazon or McDonald’s; their symbols are amazingly simple, an arrow shaped like a smile and a large M. The ideas are endless!

If you need assistance designing and printing custom business cards, call the pros at Econo Print!

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At Econo Print, we strive to deliver the highest-quality printed products possible. We produce top-rated goods in a timely fashion at a competitive price. Listening to our clients and helping them achieve their business goals is our top priority. We are proud of the strong roots we’ve built in the community and pride ourselves on using cutting-edge technology. Our products, commitment to service, and level of expertise exceed our clients’ expectations. Contact us today to learn how we can help launch your business to the next level.

Written by the digital marketing team at Creative Programs & Systems: https://www.cpsmi.com/

Camping During the Fall Season: 7 Basic Tips

With the shifting weather patterns, camping during the fall season can be tricky. How you prepare for your outing can make the difference between a great trip and a disastrous one. Read on to learn some important tips for a spectacular excursion in the great outdoors.

Morning Joe

Morning coffee is not essential by any means, but it sure makes your trip more pleasant. A warm cup of joe is a must-have for most adults, especially while enjoying the cold fall brisk woods. To make coffee in the old days, cowboys poured some grounds into a pot with hot water. Better yet, dump some grounds into a filter, slowly pour hot water over it, and stir. Don’t forget to pack some cream and sugar!

Clothing

Fall is unpredictable, so preparing for hot or chilly weather is critical. Be sure to dress in layers so you can peel off a coat, etc., if it’s warm or stay bundled up if it’s cold. Attempt to wear clothing that wicks moisture away; it’s important to remain dry (even from sweat) to stay warm. Have a change of clothing in case something gets wet. This way, you have an alternative outfit while you wait for items to dry.

Water

Water is a must-have on a camping trip. It’s a vital resource for hydration, cooking, and cleaning. A human can survive two weeks without food but only two days without water. Always carry an emergency water filter to remove contaminates from natural waterways such as rivers and lakes. If you don’t have a proper water filter, at the very minimum, boil drinking water to help prevent getting extremely sick.

Tent Location & Safety

Finding the perfect campsite is key to staying safe and dry. Ensure your tent is in a high and dry location and far enough from the campfire so it does not pose a risk. Find a spot using foliage or some other natural barrier to help protect you from mother nature’s wind or rainstorms.

Tarp

Having a tarp is just good sense when camping. For starters, it can be used as a backup shelter in case your tent is destroyed. But with a tent, place a tarp underneath it to prevent the tent’s floor from getting wet. Do not sleep directly on the tent’s floor either; use a cot or a pad. Or find fresh pine boughs to layer for cushion and warmth.

Emergency Plan

Always have a backup plan and another in case the first falls astray. Cell phones and batteries are a must but count on a lack of signal and dying batteries. For example, to start a fire, have a lighter, matches, and a flint starter to get one going. Using smoke is the most effective signal to call for help other than a cell phone. Adding pine boughs helps to create smoke billows after you’ve started the fire.

Fire

Keep heat for a fire on the ready by stacking a small pile of wood and gathering kindling like birch bark, pine cones, dry leaves, and small twigs. To get a fire started, carve out a small area of the ground to contain it. Place some kindling in the center, select small to medium-sized pieces of wood, and balance them against each other at an angle. Slowly add more wood until the fire is burning nicely and hot.  

Need supplies? Wolf Survival Gear has long-term food, outerwear, camping gear, and essential survival tools for the great outdoors. 

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Wolf Survival Gear is a hub for your prepping and survival needs. We are your trusted resource for concerned families, avid hunters, or serious preppers. Make us your one-stop-shop and prepare now, before you’ll need it later.

Written by the digital marketing team at Creative Programs & Systems: https://www.cpsmi.com/

Identifying Poison Oak

More people spend time outside when the weather is warm and nice, but with that comes the risk of running into a poisonous plant. Do you know how to identify poison oak or what to do if you or someone comes in contact with it?

Poison oak can vary by season and location. Generally, this toxic plant is found in the southeast and west coast of the United States and can cause allergic reactions year-round. 

Atlantic poison oak is found throughout the east coast and in several non-coastal states such as Tennessee, Arkansas, West Virginia, Oklahoma, Kansas, Missouri, Illinois, New Jersey, and Florida. Meanwhile, pacific poison oak exhibits yellow or green flowers with clusters of green-yellow or white berries. It can grow on shrubs and vines along the pacific northwest and California. 

Poison oak is often confused with poison ivy. Can you tell the difference?

Poison Oak

Leaves are rounded and irregular in shape

Can have up to nine leaflets

Dull or shiny green in color

Leaves are hairy on both sides

Does not climb, typically grows as a shrub

Poison Ivy

Leaves are jagged and uniform in shape

Only has three leaflets

Bright green in color with a red center

Has fuzzy-bottomed leaves

Usually grows as a vine

Both poison oak and poison ivy can grow in sunny or shady forests and woodlands.

Poison oak can cause a skin rash in nearly 85 percent of the population. Limit exposure to poison oak by wearing long sleeves, pants, boots, and pants while traversing woodlands or previously unexplored areas. If you might have been exposed to poison oak, wash your contaminated clothing separately in hot water with detergent. 

Wash the exposed skin with soapy water and apply an antihistamine ointment to soothe itching and inflation. Using an ice pack for a short duration may help symptoms, along with a dose of over-the-counter Benadryl. See your doctor or call 911 if symptoms seem severe or you have trouble breathing, fever, and/or if the rash spreads to the face or eyes.

Wolf Survival Gear is a hub for your prepping and survival needs. We are your trusted resource for concerned families, avid hunters, or serious preppers. Make us your one-stop-shop and prepare now, before you’ll need it later. 

Written by the digital marketing team at Creative Programs & Systems: https://www.cpsmi.com/ 

Kohler Generators

Power outages are common during severe weather and can affect many aspects of your home or business. An absence of electricity can affect your lighting, water, heating/cooling, and so much more. Without essential utilities, you could face a dire situation. 

Relying on the electrical grid can be tricky, especially if you live in an area that frequently loses power. So what’s the answer? A Kohler home backup generator. 

These permanently installed generators are located outside your house (similar to an air conditioning unit) and switch on automatically when you lose power. There are no extension cords or gasoline refueling required. Whole-home generators connect to your building’s liquid propane or natural gas. 

Some examples of appliances that can lose power include: 

Refrigerator/Freezer
Your food is typically the first casualty in a power outage. Try to keep the door closed as long as possible and avoid opening it unnecessarily. 

Electronics
Think smartphone, television, computer, tablet, etc. Though most of your electronics might be battery-powered, but with no way to charge them, you can wave bye-bye to them for a while. 

Heat/Air conditioning
Power outages don’t care whether it’s freezing or sweltering outside. Avoid frozen/broken pipes or melted food in the pantry by keeping your HVAC working properly.

Lights
It’s hard for us to imagine living without lighting. Do you have candles, flashlights, and kerosene lamps throughout your house? 

Water
Running water is used for a multitude of activities: cleaning, flushing, drinking, showering, and more. If your house is on a sump pump, your water is at risk of running bone dry during an outage. 

Kohler offers several different models of generators for homes and businesses. If a whole-home generator isn’t for you, they also provide portable generators, which run on gasoline or liquid propane and can supply power for small plug-in appliances. 

Generator costs vary depending on your power and installation needs. The best time to install a generator is now; before you need it later. 

Are you looking to install an automatic backup generator? Contact State Electric Company today!   

State Electric Company is a leader in the electrification of the nation. Our highly educated and experienced team of professionals uses industry-leading software technology and has partnered with manufacturers to deliver affordable solutions for all your electrical needs. State Electric Co. is also an exclusive distributor for Enel X JuiceBox EV chargers for residential and commercial use. We are fully licensed, insured, and bonded to install charging stations for homes, offices, hotels, and more. With our extensive knowledge in renewable energy, our team provides customers – large or small – with efficient electrical solutions. Contact us today to learn how we can safely and affordably meet your energy needs. 

Written by the digital marketing team at Creative Programs & Systems: https://www.cpsmi.com/ 

Cataract Surgery with Irregular Corneas

Irregular corneas can throw a wrench into one of the most common, successful, and safest procedures throughout the United States: cataract surgery. Happy patients are ever present thanks to advances in lens design and preoperative refractive calculations. But there are challenges with patients who present irregular corneas, which can lead to cataract surgery complications. 

Irregular corneas are considered either obstructed, which means a scar in the visual axis is occluding the patient’s view, or distorted, which means the shape of the cornea is irregular. 

Surgeons must figure out what sort of asymmetry is present in the patient’s eye before they can perform a successful surgery. By mapping the cornea, surgeons can closely examine the surface to reduce adverse outcomes. 

Irregular astigmatism can result from damage to the cornea due to an infectious or inflammatory process that affects the shape. Ocular surface disease is the most common form of corneal irregularity, including tear film instability and dry eye disease. Dry eyes can dramatically affect refractive outcomes in patients. Other typical origins of irregular corneas include keratoconus, anterior basement membrane dystrophy, and Salzmann’s nodular degeneration. In patients with these conditions, the surgeon will need to see improvement on a topography prior to lens selection and surgery. 

In specific cases for patients with regular astigmatism, the solution can be simple: pick out a toric lens. Unfortunately, this is not an option for many corneal disease patients. Scleral lenses are an option for patients who have irregular astigmatism. These come in both hard and soft forms, and a newer option such as the Prose device, which boasts more specific patient customization.

Before the patient can have cataract surgery, treatments for corneal issues should be addressed and fully healed. If any of the underlying issues (dry eye, for example) return, a more intense regimen is administered to ensure the disease turns around more quickly. 

Rohr Eye & Laser Center offers the most advanced technology available to provide personalized and extraordinary care to our patients. Whether your goal is to maintain or improve your natural vision, we are here to help you. Call us at 877-579-0202 to learn more.

Written by the digital marketing team at Creative Programs & Systems: https://www.cpsmi.com/ 

Safe Summer Activities for Hands & Wrists

Warmer weather means more time outside with family, friends, and pets. Outdoor activities generally include lots of hand and wrist movement, which can equate to joint pain. Pool time, backyard barbecues, or cornhole tournaments can be challenging for people who suffer from hand and wrist issues. Thankfully, there are ways around these hurdles. 

Carole Dodge, a certified hand therapist at Michigan Medicine at the University of Michigan said, “Activity promotes activity. You get more lethargic when you don’t move and engaging with others is fun.” 

Read on to discover some fun ways to ensure your hands and wrists are feeling good this summer. 

Water Resistance
Pools are great for water resistance, which helps with achy joints. Dodge says, “The pool is great for swimming, walking back-and-forth, or any kind of upper- or lower-body exercise. Try playing ring toss or diving for pennies. If you have a pool noodle, you can squeeze it for hand-strengthening exercises. It’s a great way to focus on the fun and not the exercise so much.” 

Backyard Games
Ping-pong and cornhole are popular backyard games and can be fun for all ages. According to Dodge, “If you have hand pain, look for firmer bean bags. Some can be squishy, but the ones that are more filled are easier to grip. Utilizing the bigger joints and muscles will be less painful,” when it comes to using your whole arm versus only wrists or hands. Look for paddles or rackets that have a larger or wider handle for a more ergonomic grip. 

Board Game, Anyone?
Checkers, jigsaw puzzles, Scrabble, and the like are all great outdoor patio games. They’re a good distraction away from computer, smartphone, and tablet screens. Since the pieces for these games are small and light, people who suffer from hand or wrist joint pain should be able to play with ease. 

Flower Therapy
Gardening can be challenging for those who suffer from hand and wrist pain, but it’s one of the most easily modifiable. Raised beds put much less stress on the body, as kneeling on the ground is unnecessary. Avoid twisting your body or stretching in awkward positions if you choose to sit. Make sure you take ample breaks and utilize joint-friendly tools such as gloves with rubberized palms or wet the soil to ensure pulling weeds is easier. Use a hose nozzle that does not require squeezing and lightweight hoses that can move around easily.    

Do you suffer from hand and/or wrist pain? If so, call us today to schedule a free consultation.

Michigan Hand & Wrist was founded in 2001 with the mission to provide the highest-quality care for patients seeking surgical or non-surgical hand or upper extremity relief. Our goal is to exhaust all non-operative measures before discussing or moving on to surgical interventions. We offer on-site physical therapy from therapists committed to improving your quality of life. Our individualized treatments are modern, progressive, and exceptional. Call us at 248-596-0412 for further questions. 

Written by the digital marketing team at Creative Programs & Systems: https://www.cpsmi.com/