Spotlight on: William Burns, Tax Office Managing Partner, BDO

By Yolanda Rivas

2 min read JULY 2019 — Accountants and financial professionals play an important role in the global economy and business model, taking on an array of roles within organizations in all industries. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics the employment of accountants and auditors is projected to grow 10 percent from 2016 to 2026, faster than the average for all occupations. 

Accountants can bring a significant perspective of the economy and industries growth. Our ‘Spotlight on’ for this week brings a perspective of what are the industries looking for in regards to advisory and how the local accounting companies impact the labor pool.

BDO offers a wide range of services including advisory, audit/assurance and tax services. Which are most in demand in Philadelphia?  

The core services that we provide in Philadelphia are audit and tax, which is where we are seeing the most demand. Our recent acquisition of AC Lordi will allow us to bolster what we can do regarding advisory and scale us up to the next level. We have seen an increase in demand for our services from healthcare, life sciences, and manufacturing and distribution. In addition, we have seen an influx of people reaching out for advice regarding maximizing the benefits of tax reform. We expect to see an increased demand for advisory services related to tax reform, especially surrounding Opportunity Zones.

What are BDO’s efforts to recruit talent from the local pool?

Six years ago, BDO merged a select group of geographically close practices, retiring a number of partners and ushering in a new class. We now find ourselves in a position where we can grow exponentially in one of the largest markets in the country. Our focus on targeted growth means we are constantly adding talent as we look to expanding our tax specialties.

There is always a hunt for qualified talent. To combat that, we try to over-hire at the entry level. Turnover in our industry is relatively high and by attracting more students at the front end we have more opportunity to offer them higher positions when people decide to leave. We have partnerships with local universities and we recruit on a regional and national level. We also have a program to identify and attract students to the region from all over the nation.

What Impact does technology have on the accounting and financial sectors?

Technology has a huge impact on how we operate, since most of what we do is software driven. Data analytics is making us more efficient and many firms are using it as a tool within their audit and tax practices. Those firms that aren’t focused on using and developing technology are going to lag behind.

To learn more about our interviewee, visit:

https://www.bdo.com/about/us-locations/philadelphia-office 

Philly Life Science Leaders Boosting Infrastructure, Partnerships

by Yolanda Rivas

 

2 min read July 2019 — With more than 800 related companies and a rich network of health and education systems, the life sciences sector in Greater Philadelphia is growing at a steady pace. All the activity is driving local organizations to develop new infrastructure and local partnerships to cater the burgeoning segment. One prime example: uCity Square 

“There’s nothing like it right now in the Philadelphia region,” Steve Zarrilli, president and CEO of the University City Science Center, told Invest:. A community for entrepreneurs and innovators, uCity Square is an example of the recent efforts to connect businesses, residents, institutions and innovators to form a growing hub in Philadelphia.“Spark Therapeutics and Invisible Sentinel are two of the companies located in University City, and we recently announced that Amicus Therapeutics is creating one of its research centers here as well. These and other companies at uCity Square will play a significant role in the growth of Philadelphia’s life sciences sector,” Zarilli said. 

More than 80 percent of all companies in the life sciences industry have a presence in the Greater Philadelphia region. As stated in Invest: Philadelphia 2019, health-focused sectors provided an economic impact of $88.5 billion for Pennsylvania in 2016 and an economic output of $24.6 billion total between 2011 and 2016 for the Greater Philadelphia region.

Numerous research, biotech and medical devices organizations contribute to the role of life sciences as a key player in Philadelphia’s economy. The pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) is an example of that impact, with more than 3,400 people employed at its Upper Providence research and development facility. According to GSK Vice President of Medicine Opportunities Research Unit David Payne, the site is the company’s hub for pharmaceutical R&D in the United States, and represents 40% of its global pharmaceutical R&D workforce. 

As part of its efforts to contribute to the local life sciences sector, GSK continues to look for partnerships and alliances. “We want our U.S. R&D hub at Upper Providence to be a magnet for talented scientists, researchers and physicians. This is a great research center for innovators to build their careers. Every function required in the ‘molecule to medicine’ journey is represented at our hub, providing opportunities for employees to broaden their R&D knowledge and enable career progression and diversification,” Payne said.

Besides the demand for qualified professionals, there is also a need for infrastructure development to support the region’s scientists, entrepreneurs and life sciences companies. As Zarrilli explains, the Science Center’s goal is “to build an additional 3 million square feet of office, lab, residential and retail space over the next seven to 10 years, to further define the leading-edge community we envision at uCity Square. We will do our part to help make Philadelphia a leader in gene therapy and other areas of life sciences.”

As the growth in Philadelphia’s life sciences sector continues, it will impact different areas and draw more entrepreneurs and companies to the region. According to Zarrilli, the advances in the life sciences arena, especially in therapeutics, will lead to additional advancement in areas such as medical devices and digital health. “Life sciences is clearly the strongest area of innovation in Philadelphia, but it will spawn activity in other areas that are complementary.”  

To learn more about our interviewees, visit their websites:

University City Science Center: https://sciencecenter.org/ 

GlaxoSmithKline: https://us.gsk.com/en-us/ 

uCity Square: https://ucitysquare.com/ 

Philadelphia Readies the Fireworks for Iconic July 4 Bash

by Yolanda Rivas

2 min read July 2019 — When it comes to celebrating America’s birthday, few do it like Philadelphia. From spectacular fireworks displays and public concerts to festivals and parades, the City of Brotherly Love has one of the biggest and most popular Fourth of July celebrations in the nation. 

 

Among the most iconic local celebrations is the six-day Wawa Welcome America festival. With over 50 free multicultural events, the city, chambers of commerce, tourism organizations, local universities and dozens of public and private organizations come together to celebrate the nation’s birthday.

“The Wawa Welcome America festival continues to enhance Philadelphia’s national reputation as a must-visit destination, with show-stopping, diverse and most importantly, entertainment experiences that are open to the public,” Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney said in a written statement. 

To offer families and guests an enhanced experience, the activities this year will have a new layout design for the July 4th Party on the Parkway and July 4th Concert & Fireworks. “Spending the day with us on the Parkway will be better than ever before; we are really excited to have our guests take advantage of this expanded layout,” explained Welcome America Inc. President and CEO Michael DelBene, in a statement outlining the event. 

Attendees will also have free entrance to 22 local museums, attractions and cultural institutions during the 2019 Wawa Welcome America festival. This year marks the largest number of museums participating in the festival’s 27-year history. 

The activities on the 4th of July will start with the Celebration of Freedom Ceremony at Independence Hall, presented by the City of Philadelphia’s Office of the City Representative and Independence National Historical Park. The event will include a reading of The Declaration of Independence and a performance by the Philly POPS® BIG Band. Mayor Jim Kenney will present the fourth annual Magis Award and convenience-store chain Wawa will announce the recipient of The Wawa Foundation Hero Award. 

After this ceremony, 4,000 marchers, floats, and military personnel will begin the Salute to America Independence Day Parade. From noon to 7 p.m. visitors can enjoy numerous entertainment activities across five blocks at Benjamin Franklin Parkway. 

This year’s concert, produced by Live Nation Philadelphia and Comcast NBCUniversal, will feature performances from GRAMMY® Award-winning singers Meghan Trainor and Jennifer Hudson. 

“The City of Philadelphia is proud to welcome GRAMMY® Award-winning superstars Meghan Trainor and Jennifer Hudson to our great city, as well as shine a spotlight on Philadelphia native Patti LaBelle along with the hundreds of talented entertainers performing leading up to July 4,” said Mayor Kenney.

The Celebration of Freedom Ceremony and Salute to America Independence Day Parade will be broadcasted by NBC10 and Telemundo62 on July 4 at 10 a.m. and 11 a.m., respectively. NBC10 will also broadcast the Wawa Welcome America July 4th Concert and Fireworks live from 7-10 p.m.

“This year, we embrace time-honored traditions to celebrate the city’s diverse neighborhoods, thriving creativity, and global appeal. With over 50 free, family-friendly events, we invite everyone to join the fun, and commemorate our nation’s independence,” said DelBene. 

For more information, please visit: 

Wawa Welcome America: https://welcomeamerica.com/ 

Philly POPS®: https://www.phillypops.org/ 

Meghan Trainor: https://www.meghan-trainor.com/ 

Jennifer Hudson: https://jenniferhudsononline.com

Baby boomer retirees keeping accountants, advisers busy

By staff writer

June 2019 — As the baby boomer generation retires from the workforce, the need for business succession planning continues to grow. This is keeping at least one group busy: accountants and advisers.

 

“Over the past few years, we’ve seen significant growth in the need for succession and exit planning services due to the concentration of businesses that are owned by baby boomers who are retiring on a daily basis,” Christopher Meshginpoosh, managing director of Kreischer Miller, told Invest:. “Many of the owners of our clients are trying to fill their bench of future leaders or determine which exit options make sense for them in light of their long-term goals,” he said.

Although boomers are staying longer in the workforce and they continue to drive the U.S. labor market, business owners who were born between 1946 and 1964 are having a hard time transitioning their companies to the next generation of owners. According to Deutsche Bank Research an estimated 10,000 people turn 65 each day, which is the standard age for retirement. The Census Bureau estimates that by 2030, all baby boomers will be older than age 65.

“There is potential for a talent void as baby boomers leave the workplace. This represents a tremendous opportunity for younger professionals as they are presented with more career opportunities,” James Bartolomei, Principal at HBK CPAs & Consultants, told Invest:.

The increased number of boomers retiring each day presents several challenges for employers, including the need to provide the right tools for every party involved in the transition process. “Companies need to make sure they have mentoring and training programs in place to allow a smooth and effective transition from one generation to another,” Bartolomei said.

Some accounting and advisory firms, such as Kreischer Miller, have seen a great deal of interest in the formation of employee stock ownership plans (ESOPs), which has driven them to develop a deep expertise in that area.

“In the right situations, ESOPs provide a tax-efficient method for owners to gradually transition ownership to their employees, allowing the business to continue to thrive as an independent organization,” Meshginpoosh said.

According to Generational Equity, there were some 12 million baby boomers who owned a business in 2015, and 70 percent will be retiring over the next couple decades.

Although the exit of the boomers from the workforce presents numerous challenges for the economy overall, it translates into opportunities for the youngest generations. Many Philadelphia accounting experts are positive about the market.

“The fundamentals that our clients are showing us are great. Earnings are good, the businesses are solid and they’re growing organically as well as through acquisitions. Overall, the Philadelphia economy is expanding and we’ll continue to see a lot of private equity pumped into the Philly market,” Christopher Bruner, managing partner of EY, told Invest:.

For more information about our interviewees visit:

Kreischer Miller: https://www.kmco.com/

HBK CPAs & Consultants: https://www.hbkcpa.com/

EY: https://www.ey.com/en_gl

 

Philadelphia Grows Online Education Presence

By staff writer

June 2019

2 min. read

Credit: Neumann University

Over the last several decades, online education has been growing, not only at for-profit universities, where it once thrived, but at public academic institutions as well. An average of one- third of students in the United States are taking at least one online course. Invest: Philadelphia met with several leaders of local higher-education institutions to understand which online programs are attracting the most attention in the area.

A recent report from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) showed that approximately 49% of the 1.3 million students enrolled at private for-profit institutions were enrolled exclusively in distance education courses in fall 2017. On the other hand, 19% of the 4.1 million students at private nonprofit institutions and 11% of the 14.7 million students at public institutions were enrolled in distance courses.

Health sciences and data and cyber analytics are some of the online courses that are experiencing growth in the Philadelphia area.  

“We started an online program for doctors in pharmaceutical and healthcare marketing, and last year we received the endorsement of the American Osteopathic Association,” Joseph DiAngelo, dean of Erivan K. Haub School of Business, Saint Joseph’s University, told Invest:.

Similarly, Arcadia University is expanding its online courses in the health sciences area.

“At Arcadia, we have a big focus on health sciences innovation, with nationally-ranked programs in our physical therapy and physician’s assistant degrees. Both of these degrees will see investments in a hybrid online version of the programs, which will make us one of the very few institutions in the world delivering those programs through an online platform,” Ajay Nair, President of Arcadia University told Invest:.

A survey entitled Grade Change: Tracking Online Education in the United States showed that the percent of academic leaders who rated the learning outcomes in online education as the same or superior to those in face-to-face instruction grew from 57% in 2003 to 74% in 2013. In addition, most survey respondents agree that students require more responsibility and discipline to take online courses, and the abandonment of the courses remains one of the challenges of online education.

Jefferson University recently announced the country’s first ever graduate-level certification for blockchain for healthcare. The online course is focused on exploring the fundamentals of blockchain and related technologies that can be leveraged to improve healthcare and empower patients. Upon completion of this program, students will be able to advance in their careers as Business Analysts, Technology Engineers, Hospital Administrators, Data Analysts and more.

Neumann University also is moving to a significant online education offering, as Chris Domes, president at Neumann University, told Invest:. “In the last few years, we ramped up our online programming and we just invested in an instructional designer who will help the faculty to enhance online learning for our students. We are moving all our graduate programs to become either fully online or blended,” he said.  

The 2019 Online Education Trends Report from BestColleges showed that school administrators’ predictions about which programs will grow have remained fairly steady for the past two years. They are seeing opportunities for programs in healthcare, business, and computer science.

For more information about our interviewees visit:

Erivan K. Haub School of Business, Saint Joseph’s University: https://www.sju.edu/academics/haub-school-business

Arcadia University: https://www.arcadia.edu/

Neumann University: https://www.neumann.edu/

Jefferson University: https://www.jefferson.edu/

 

 

Philly Builders Nailing New Trends

By staff writer

June 2019

Philadelphia’s construction sector has been experiencing a boom over the last couple of years. The influx of millennials and a mix of renovation and new construction projects have been altering the city’s construction industry. Along with these changes, industry professionals are seeing a variety of new trends in the market. Invest: Philadelphia met with local industry leaders who shared some of the new construction trends that are having the most impact on the city.  

Among the leading growth drivers is prefabricated modular building, Robert Cottone, president and CEO of IMC Construction, told Invest:. “IMC is engaged in a number of applications for prefabricated hospital rooms, bathrooms and panelized construction. This type of construction has significantly increased compared to years past. Modular construction can be efficient; often, quality control is improved, and deliverables are expedited,” he said.

Todd Lofgren, executive vice president and general manager at Skanska USA Building, Inc., agreed with Cottone. “There is a lot of opportunity with innovation and prefabrication in our industry,” he said in a separate interview with Invest:.

Also trending is the Integrated Project Delivery (IPD) method, which is a collaborative approach that integrates the owner, design and construction teams and key subcontractors to optimize project results, increase value, reduce waste and maximize efficiency.

“We’re seeing that clients are looking to partner with construction managers earlier in the construction project where the construction manager can have an influence on the design of the building, the budget, and the schedule,” Lofgren said. “This allows the construction manager and the architect to work together as a team to ensure the quality of the project. Skanska’s Inspira Health hospital is being built under the IPD method and is Skanska’s largest IPD project in North America,” he added. The Inspira Medical Center Mullica Hill is a $349 million hospital project in New Jersey.

Philadelphia’s history is reflected in its diverse historic and modern architecture. The Comcast Technology Center, the Laurel apartment building in Rittenhouse Square and uCity Square Philadelphia are just some of the examples of the most recent innovative projects in the city. The University of Pennsylvania is also working on a state of the art hospital facility to offer improved healthcare delivery. “We are also on Penn Medicine’s New Patient Pavilion, Penn First, which is a $1.5 billion high-tech hospital. We have one of our top budget managers working in that project and we aim for Penn First to be the most modern hospital in the country,” Blane F. Stoddart, President and CEO of BFW Construction Project Management told Invest:.

Another example is the DWELL apartment complex at 2nd Street, which is expected to be completed by December 2019. “The project will include 198 apartments and 120 of the units will be modular, which is a concept that seems to be getting more of a push in Philadelphia because of increasing construction costs,” Scott Zuckerman, principal at Domus Construction told Invest:. “Modular construction and smaller, efficiency-style apartments are trends we’ll continue to see in Philly.”

The modular process not only reduces the time frame and costs, it is also friendly to the environment since it generates less waste, creates fewer site disturbances and allows for tighter construction.

Renovation projects that are turning existing spaces into new inventory are another trend, particularly in Center City’s retail construction segment. Converting existing warehouses into spaces with other uses is also gaining steam as the construction boom continues to build momentum.  

For more information on our interviewees, visit their websites:

IMC Construction: http://imcconstruction.com/

Skanska USA Building, Inc.: https://www.usa.skanska.com/

Domus Construction: http://www.domusinc.net/

BFW Group LLC: https://bfwgroup.net/

 

American Heritage Keeps Growing, Giving Back

By staff writer

May 2019

American Heritage Credit Union has made the news many times lately — and the pace of breaking developments is only going to speed up as the esteemed Philadelphia institution continues growing at a rapid clip. Yet the financial institution’s focus will never change a key aspect of its operations, according to CEO and President Bruce K. Foulke.

“All our efforts are driven to directly benefit our members and give back to the communities where our members and employees live and work,” said Foulke, who has seen American Heritage’s assets grow from $4 million to more than $2.5 billion during his 40-year tenure. “That’s the heart of American Heritage.”

Last year, the $2.5 billion, member-owned financial cooperative with locations across Philadelphia, Bucks, Montgomery, Delaware and Camden counties was named the top credit union in Pennsylvania by Forbes and the market research firm Statista. Recently, it was named “Best Place to Work” in the extra-large companies category by the Philadelphia Business Journal.

It’s on many national top-50 and top-100 credit union lists, too. “We began as a small credit union in Philadelphia 70 years ago,” said Foulke. “We were the only financial institution in a two-mile radius in our part of Philadelphia when we started. Today, we have more than 38 locations in the Philadelphia area.”

But that doesn’t mean that American Heritage has become like the other financial powerhouses in the state, he added. “Credit unions offer a special experience compared to a traditional banking institution. We’re a non-profit organization, and our members are also our owners. So we don’t have shareholders we need to satisfy. Whether it’s in the form of lower fees, better technology, or better rates, we’re focused on solutions that make our members’ lives better.”

Indeed, American Heritage is making big investments in delivering best-in-class convenience. The credit union continues growing its branch network throughout the Philadelphia and South Jersey region with more and more locations — all with surcharge-free ATM access to the public.  Additionally, it gives free ATM access to members at more than 30,000 locations.

American Heritage has also made significant investments in innovative, transformational technologies. It was the first financial institution in the tri-state area to introduce video tellers, for example. Its technology offers “personalized service and extends our hours, which allows our members to make transactions on a schedule that meets their needs,” said Foulke, who added that American Heritage’s Personal Automated Tellers are being implemented throughout the credit union’s network in branches, workplaces and in drive-thru locations.

A key benefit that comes with the implementation of new technologies, he said, is the increased connectivity with experts and personnel in different locations, as well as later hours. “We’re also adding video conferencing to all our offices so that members can have that personal interaction with our financial experts right at their fingertips, no matter where their branch of choice is located,” Foulke said.

Both the video conferencing and the Personal Automated Tellers are helping American Heritage become less transactional and more consultative — which in turn improves its personalized service. That type of attention and community focus will remain American Heritage’s priority despite technological advancements, Foulke said.

“The Philadelphia area is a region of unique neighborhoods, and although in recent years we have enjoyed significant growth in our technology, membership base, workplace partner relationships and expansion into the suburbs and New Jersey, we don’t forget our roots and the communities from which we were built.”

Indeed, American Heritage invests heavily in local neighborhoods through donations, volunteer hours and lending programs. In fact, American Heritage was the first credit union in the country to start its own Foundation, Kids-N-Hope, which has contributed more than $2 million since its inception to underwrite health programs, schools, child programs, parks and recreational activities throughout Philadelphia and its suburbs.

In addition, “our lending programs have helped businesses grow, creating jobs and revitalizing badly needed parts of our city,” Foulke said. “Through our lending efforts to families, businesses and non-profits, we’ve been able to provide true economic development opportunities.”

“Despite all the success and growth that American Heritage has enjoyed, our members can still contact me directly through our website or by calling me.  I still welcome the personal interaction with our members. Ultimately, the impact that our credit union, its members and employees have had on the community is my greatest source of pride.”

For more information about our interviewees, visit their website:

American Heritage Federal Credit Union: https://www.americanheritagecu.org/

 

 

Salus University Awards Medal of Honor to University President

By Salus University

April 2019

Elkins Park, Pa. – It takes a special community to ensure that Salus University continues to be a leader in health science education, just like its founding College, the Pennsylvania College of Optometry (PCO), set out to do 100 years ago. That’s why on Friday, April 26, 2019 at the Science History Institute, 10 individuals will be awarded the first-ever Salus University Presidential Medals of Honor to commemorate an important milestone: 10 years of the establishment of Salus University.

The award ceremony will be part of a larger centennial celebration of PCO. The new recipients for the medals were nominated by the University’s Centennial Committee. Each recipient was chosen for their significant contributions to their profession and/or for their service to the institution.

Among those to receive the first-ever Salus University Presidential Medals of Honor is Michael H. Mittelman, OD, MPH, FAAO, FACHE, Salus University president.

“The Salus Board is thrilled that Dr. Mittelman is being recognized for his achievements at PCO, Salus as well as being an ‘ambassador’ for the school while serving in the Navy,” said Jo Surpin, Salus University Board Chair. “As president he has provided the leadership necessary to continue the transition from PCO to Salus University while preserving our legacy.”

Dr. Michael H. Mittelman served with distinction for more than three decades in the United States Navy in a succession of increasingly responsible, mission-critical command positions, and achieving the rank of Rear Admiral (Upper Half) and serving as Deputy Surgeon General. He was a trailblazer for optometry in the military as the first Navy aerospace optometrist, the first optometrist to command a major naval hospital; the first and only clinician to lead the Navy Medical Service Corps; the first non-medical doctor to serve as a combatant command surgeon in the U.S. Pacific Command; and the first non-medical doctor to serve as the command surgeon for the U.S. Joint Forces.

After 33 years, Dr. Mittelman retired from the U.S. Navy, a Rear Admiral and former Deputy Surgeon General, and returned to his alma mater to become Salus University’s sixth president in 2013. Dr. Mittelman is a Fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives and the AAO. He is a past recipient of the Distinguished Service Award from the AOA and of the Armed Forces Optometric Society’s Orion Award.

The full list of the awardees and their bios can be found on the University’s Centennial website: salus.edu/centennial.

About Salus University Salus University, founded as the Pennsylvania College of Optometry in 1919, today is a diversified, globally recognized professional academic center of learning that offers a wide range of degree programs in the professions of Optometry, Audiology, Physician Assistant, Public Health, Blindness and Low Vision Studies, Biomedicine, Occupational Therapy and Speech-Language Pathology. Salus operates four clinical facilities in Philadelphia and Montgomery counties that provide highly specialized vision, hearing and balance, and speech-language pathology services. The University has more than 1,200 students and more than 14,000 alumni worldwide. For more information, please visit www.salus.edu.

Organizations Work Hard to Improve Access to Healthcare in Philadelphia

By staff writer

March 2019

Although Philadelphia is already known to be a city of medical firsts — including the first medical school, first hospital and first medical library in the United States — its public and private healthcare entities continue creating new and innovative partnerships to fight health inequities and improve access to healthcare.

The Health of the City 2018 report from the Philadelphia Department of Public Health showed that although most key health indicators in Philadelphia continue to improve, disparities in key health outcomes persist, particularly for racial/ethnic minorities and those experiencing poverty.

“As we assess the areas that need us most, our focus areas have been north, west and southwest Philadelphia, and we’re spending a lot of time and resources on creating communities of health in those underserved neighborhoods,” said Jennifer Davis, senior vice president and executive director of the American Heart Association in Philadelphia told Invest:.

Throughout the years, the American Heart Association has established strong partnerships with faith-based organizations, schools and community centers in order to educate and better serve the community in areas ranging from heart health and diabetes care to healthy cooking and physical fitness.

In addition, organizations such as The Renfrew Center, a treatment center for eating disorders, have created solid connections with insurance companies and a full continuum of care in the Philadelphia area.

“Mental health coverage has been a major focus area for us,” said Samuel Menaged, founder and partner of The Renfrew Center. “As the pioneer in the field of eating disorders, one of our missions is to take responsibility for expanding public awareness and understanding about mental health.”

Today, the Renfrew Center Foundation advances eating-disorder education, prevention, research, advocacy and treatment, and works to bring about better access to treatment.

Philadelphia is home to the second-largest university population in the U.S., and institutions of higher education also play a significant role in the healthcare arena. For example, in December 2018, Drexel University’s College of Medicine was given a $1.5 million, three-year grant to address the opioid epidemic.

“As an academic health center, we reach at-risk individuals in the community for evaluation and then offer evidence-based treatment,” said Daniel Schidlow, dean and senior vice president for medical affairs at Drexel. “Our research and educational programs will help the college develop new models of care to help curb the epidemic.”

There’s still much work to be done. Philadelphia’s 2018-2022 Community Health Improvement Plan (CHIP) identified two priority areas that need urgent attention: Improving access to, and utilization of, primary care; and a more robust effort to address social and economic determinants of health issues. The Invest: team will continue covering these efforts and many others focused on bringing about better health care access to all Philadelphians.

For more information on our interviewees, visit their websites:

The Renfrew Center: http://renfrewcenter.com/

Drexel University College of Medicine: https://drexel.edu/medicine/

American Heart Association in Philadelphia: https://www.heart.org/en/affiliates/pennsylvania/philadelphia