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VOL. 46 | NO. 31 | Friday, August 5, 2022

Live on the Green announces lineup

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The lineup for Live on the Green features both local favorites and noisemaking newcomers as the Labor Day weekend music festival returns to Nashville’s Public Square Park after a two-year pandemic-related hiatus.

Headliners for the five-day weekend event, Sept. 1-5, include longtime Music City resident and hitmaker Sheryl Crow, minimalist synth pop unit COIN, five-piece indie rock outfit Moon Taxi, electro-hip-hop veteran Santigold and British country soul innovator Yola.

Featured artists include Arrested Development, Cautious Clay, Colony House, Devon Gilfillian and Jenny Lewis. The full artist schedule is available at liveonthegreen.com.

Joining the 2022 lineup are the fan-voted winners of Lightning 100’s Music City Mayhem contest Fulton Lee, Nordista Freeze and Taylor Bickett. Lee and Nordista Freeze won the MCM contests in 2020 and 2021, respectively, but the festival’s postponement those years delayed their performances to this year.

The festival, produced by Tuned In Broadcasting/WRLT-Lightning 100, is free and open to the public, but VIP passes and reserved seating can be purchased at liveonthegreen.com/tickets.

Additional artists announced include Nikki Lane, Patrick Droney, Ruby Amanfu, Stephen Day, The Wild Feathers, Danielle Ponder, Seratones, Strung Like A Horse, Susto, The 502s, Bre Kennedy, *repeat repeat, The Brummies, The Criticals and The Foxies.

The lineup also includes Daisha McBride, Daniel Donato’s Cosmic Country, The Shindellas, The Watson Twins, Cecilia Cattleman, Ladycouch, Los Colognes, Sweet Lizzy Project, Tayls and Phillip-Michael Scales.

TDEC announces Fast Charge TN grants

The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation announced 12 entities will receive $5.2 million in total grant funding to install direct current fast charging infrastructure for electric vehicles along prioritized interstate or major highway corridors across the state.

The 12 projects will involve the installation of 32 total charging units at 13 sites. The program is part of a partnership between TDEC and the Tennessee Valley Authority to develop a statewide EV fast-charging network along Tennessee’s interstates and major highways to power the growth of EVs across the state.

Selected grantees include: City of Athens, Memphis Light, Gas and Water, BrightRidge (Johnson City), Paris Utility Authority, Brownsville Energy Authority, Sequatchie Valley Electric Cooperative, Columbia Power and Water Systems, Smithville Electric System, city of Dayton, city of Springfield, EPB of Chattanooga and Tullahoma Utilities Authority.

In addition, TVA anticipates funding 21 projects in Tennessee that will include the installation of 56 total charging units at 27 sites. This investment is part of TVA’s broader Fast Charge Network that aims to reduce barriers to EV adoption by deploying fast chargers at least every 50 miles along the interstates and major highways across its 7-state service territory by 2026.

The competitive grant program comprises the state’s fourth solicitation for projects under the Volkswagen Diesel Settlement Environmental Mitigation Trust. The purpose of the EMT is to execute environmental mitigation projects that reduce emissions of nitrogen oxides. Of the funded charging infrastructure, 10 chargers at three sites will be installed in former nonattainment areas for ozone and/or fine particulates (PM2.5) under National Ambient Air Quality Standards.

The program will complement the state’s use of its allocated funds under the National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Formula Program, which is funded by the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. The NEVI Formula Program aims to build out fast charging infrastructure along federally designated Alternative Fuel Corridors, which in Tennessee includes all of the two-digit interstate highways and the majority of U.S.-64.

South College offering low-cost dental services

South College Nashville has a dental hygiene clinic that provides cash-pay dental services with reduced prices to the public, including adults and children.

General appointments cost $12 for children ages 3-17 and $20 for adults. Veterans receive services at no charge. The general appointment for children includes cleaning, necessary radiographs, examination by the supervising dentist, fluoride treatment and any needed dental sealants. Adults receive cleaning, necessary radiographs, examination by the supervising dentist, fluoride varnish treatment and a cancer screening.

The clinic also offers additional services such as scaling and root planing for $20 per quadrant; mouth guards for sleeping or for athletes for $30 per arch; and teeth whitening for $65.

The clinic is located on the South College campus at 616 Marriott Drive, just north of Interstate 40, and has free, on-site parking. To make an appointment, call 629-802-3221 to be connected with a dental student to answer a few initial questions and schedule a visit. Consent and medical history forms are available online. The clinic takes multiple appointments Monday through Thursday at 8:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.

VU Hospital announces major expansion

Leaders with Vanderbilt University Medical Center announced plans for construction of the largest expansion to date for Vanderbilt University Hospital.

A new VUH inpatient tower will be built atop an existing parking structure located between 21st Avenue South and Medical Center Drive. Access to the new tower’s entrance will be through Vivien Thomas Way.

The project is scheduled to begin this summer and will take approximately four and a half years to complete.

When finished, the lobby entrance of the new 15-level, 470,000-square-foot tower will face 21st Avenue South while its west facade will be connected to VUH’s main structure, located across Medical Center Drive, by bridges spanning the street. The new VUH tower will provide additional adult inpatient beds, operating rooms, clinics and office space.

The additional space is needed to accommodate Middle Tennessee’s booming population and because VUH, the region’s largest tertiary referral center, already operates at more than 90% capacity most of the year.

“Prior to 2020, our health system was already experiencing the need for additional capacity to care for critically ill adult patients,” says Jeff Balser, M.D., Ph.D., president and CEO for VUMC and dean of Vanderbilt University School of Medicine. “The unprecedented demand placed on our people and facilities during the pandemic underscored the strategic importance for this new facility. This investment will position the Medical Center to better meet the needs of the increasingly diverse population we serve and strengthen our mission to improve the health of people throughout the region.”

Depending on the final floor configuration, the new VUH tower will add approximately 180 inpatient beds along with 10 operating rooms, radiology services, multiple specialty clinics, a spacious lobby and new administrative office space.

Also included in the overall project is a three-floor expansion (600 spaces) to the Central Garage, an adjacent parking facility.

The new VUH tower will be connected to the South Tower of adjacent building Medical Center East (MCE) on several floors. Included in the project is remodeling on the third floor of MCE, adding approximately 44,000 square feet of operating room space.

The last major addition to Vanderbilt University Hospital was completed in November 2009 with the opening of the Critical Care Tower, an 11-level expansion that added 102 patient beds and 12 operating rooms.

VU tracks COVID-19 vaccine responses

A collaborative team of Vanderbilt researchers has characterized the antigen-specific immune response to the Pfizer SARS-CoV-2 RNA vaccine.

The group used multiple single-cell technologies, unbiased machine learning, and traditional immunological approaches to track cellular and antibody responses in samples collected over time from a cohort of healthy participants. The findings, published in Nature Communications, could guide testing for vaccine response and booster timing.

“There is a lot of debate in the clinical immunology field about what is an appropriate vaccine response: What actually protects someone against disease?” says Erin Wilfong, M.D., Ph.D., instructor in medicine and one of three co-first authors of the paper with Kevin Kramer, Ph.D., and Kelsey Voss, Ph.D. “How do we know who’s had a good response, and who hasn’t? How do we know when people need a booster?”

When VUMC began vaccinating its workforce against SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, in December 2020, the collaborative team was in a unique position to explore these questions.

The researchers – including the groups of Jonathan Irish, Ph.D., Ivelin Georgiev, Ph.D., Rachel Bonami, Ph.D., and Jeffrey Rathmell, Ph.D., all co-senior authors of the Nature Communications paper – had been working together through the Human Immunology Discovery Initiative, which was funded in 2019 by a Vanderbilt Trans-Institutional Programs award.

“The TIPs grant brought together researchers with disparate technologies and expertise focused on trying to understand how the human immune response works,” says Rathmell, director of the Vanderbilt Center for Immunobiology, which coordinates HIDI.

Kramer, who was a graduate student in Georgiev’s lab, suggested that the group study the response to the SARS-CoV-2 vaccine in healthy volunteers who had not had the disease COVID-19.

“It’s challenging to find a setting where you can study the human immune response to something new,” Rathmell says.

“This was an opportunity for us to see what happens for the very first time with an entirely new class of vaccines, the RNA-based vaccines. From a basic science standpoint of ‘What do these vaccines do?’ that was very interesting.”

Mitsubishi Electric team supports Nashville Zoo

Forty-five employees of the Mitsubishi Electric U.S. elevator and escalator division recently volunteered their time, talent and energy at an employee event sprucing up the Nashville Zoo.

The Mitsubishi team spent time in three separate areas cleaning, gardening and painting, and a combined $15,000 was donated through the elevator and escalator Division’s partnership with the Mitsubishi Electric America Foundation.

The Nashville Zoo at Grassmere is a progressive and dynamic zoological park located 6 miles south of downtown Nashville.

Dedicated to saving species from extinction, it is the ninth-largest zoo in the country by landmass. The institution has significantly impacted several species by pioneering their care, protecting their habitats and collaborating on innovative breeding programs.

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