Welcome to my latest e-newsletter! Included in this edition are some important legislative and COVID-19 updates, along with a few resources I hope will prove helpful. Please do not hesitate to reach out to my office by phone at (517) 373-1788 or email at KyraBolden@house.mi.gov for questions about this or any other state-level issue.
State Representative, 35th House District
Please be on the lookout for my upcoming events. The best way for me to serve you is by making sure your voice is heard. You can watch live on Facebook and Zoom.
Join special guests Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson, Sen. Jeremy Moss, Sen. Rosemary Bayer and Voters Not Politicians for a virtual town hall on Monday, June 28, from 5-6 p.m.! To watch, please visit this link.
Help us inform our neighbors about community resources and what is happening in Lansing. Every week, from May until August, we will be knocking on doors to meet the community where they are. All COVID-19 precautions will be followed to protect everyone’s safety, including masking up. To sign up to knock or make calls, follow the link.
On behalf of the 35th House District of Michigan, I want to thank you for attending the virtual COVID-19 Town Hall: “The Vaccine is approved. What’s Next?” on March 26, 2021. We were able to spread awareness of the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and give further awareness about the three vaccine options. To view a recording of the town hall please click here:
Implicit Bias Training for Health Care Professionals
After working with Gov. Whitmer for over a year as the Democratic Vice Chair of the Joint Committee on Administrative Rules, rules have been instituted that will provide required implicit bias training to health care workers to improve health outcomes across the state. These are the promulgations that can be found in the official rule:
- Beginning one year after promulgation of this rule, an applicant for licensure or registration shall have completed a minimum of two hours of implicit bias training within the 5 years immediately preceding issuance of the license or registration.
- Beginning one year after promulgation of this rule and for every renewal cycle thereafter, in addition to completing any continuing education required for renewal, an applicant for license or registration renewal shall have completed a minimum of one hour of implicit bias training for each year of the applicant’s license or registration cycle.
- The implicit bias training must be related to reducing barriers and disparities in access to and delivery of health care services and meet all of the following requirements:
- Training content must include, but is not limited to, one or more of the following topics:
- Information on implicit bias, equitable access to health care, serving a diverse population, diversity and inclusion initiatives, and cultural sensitivity.
- Strategies to remedy the negative impact of implicit bias by recognizing and understanding how it impacts perception, judgment and actions that may result in inequitable decision making, failure to effectively communicate, and result in barriers and disparities in the access to and delivery of health care services.
The historical basis and present consequences of implicit biases based on an individual’s characteristics.
- Discussion of current research on implicit bias in the access to and delivery of health care services.
- Training must include strategies to reduce disparities in access to and delivery of health care services and the administration of pre- and post-test implicit bias assessments.
- Acceptable sponsors of this training include any of the following:
- Training offered by a nationally-recognized or state-recognized health-related organization.
- Training offered by, or in conjunction with, a state or federal agency.
Training obtained in an educational program that has been approved by any board created, for initial licensure or registration or for the accumulation of continuing education credits.
- Training offered by an accredited college or university.
- An organization specializing in diversity, equity and inclusion issues.
- Acceptable modalities of training include any of the following:
- A teleconference or webinar that permits live synchronous interaction.
- A live presentation.
Interactive online instruction.
- Submission of an application for licensure, registration or renewal constitutes an applicant’s certificate of compliance with the requirements of this rule. A licensee or registrant shall retain documentation of meeting the requirements of this rule for a period of 6 years from the date of applying for licensure, registration or renewal. The department may select and audit a sample of licensees or registrants and request documentation of proof of compliance with this rule. If audited by the department, a Page 4 Courtesy of Michigan Administrative Rules licensee or registrant shall provide the proof of completion of training, including either of the following:
- A completion certificate issued by the training program that includes the date of the training, the program sponsor’s name, the title of the program and licensee’s or registrant’s name.
- A self-attestation by the licensee or registrant that includes the date of the training, the program sponsor’s name, the title of the program and licensee’s or registrant’s name.
COVID-19 Updates & Resources
Ascension Michigan Southfield Community Vaccine Clinic
In partnership with the City of Southfield, Ascension has launched a Southfield Community Vaccine Clinic in the Southfield Pavilion located at the Southfield Municipal Campus, 26000 Evergreen Road. To register for a vaccine appointment, visit ascensionhealth.inquicker.com/vaccine. No appointments needed. Individuals who are 16-17 years of age must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian and will need to select “Pfizer vaccine” when setting up their appointment online.
For all vaccine-related questions, contact Ascension Health Connect at (866) 501-DOCS (3627).
COVID-19 Vaccine Help
If you know someone who doesn’t have access to the internet and they’re eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine or need help with vaccine translation services, call 2-1-1 and press ‘5’ for free, confidential assistance.
House Bill 4486
My House Democratic colleagues and I are sounding the alarm to highlight the urgent action needed to pass House Bill 4486, which will protect vulnerable residents who are in danger of losing access to life-saving care. I am a proud co-sponsor and strong supporter of this bill.
Starting July 1, reimbursements rates for specialized rehabilitation services will be slashed by 45% — leaving thousands of critically injured Michigan citizens without the care they paid for and need to survive.
House Democrats are calling for a cost-neutral solution to this looming crisis that requires auto insurers to reimburse providers at the same rate as they do providers in a hospital setting.
I stand for protecting vulnerable victims, and my House colleagues and I will continue to fight on behalf of accident survivors and all Michigan consumers.
New Federal Programs to Expand Internet Access for Michiganders
We know that many families here in Michigan still do not have access to reliable, high-speed internet. This makes learning and working in the 21st century increasingly difficult. As we have all had to rely on virtual tools to get through the COVID-19 pandemic, it is more important now than ever to bridge the digital divide and equip Michiganders with the tools they need to succeed. These exciting federal programs will be instrumental in expanding access to crucial broadband services.
Emergency Broadband Benefit
This program will provide a discount of up to $50 per month off a qualifying household’s internet bill (and up to $75 per month for households on tribal lands). In addition, some internet service providers are also providing discounts on the purchase of internet-capable devices, like laptop computers.
More than one million Americans enrolled in this program during its first week. Some of the most common ways that families qualify are:
- They participate in SNAP, Medicaid, Supplemental Security Income, Federal Public Housing Assistance, or Veterans and Survivors Pension Benefit.
- They experienced a substantial loss of income since Feb. 29, 2020, and had a total household income in 2020 below $99,000 for single filers and $198,000 for joint filers.
- They received a federal Pell Grant in the current award year.
- They were approved for benefits under the free and reduced-price school lunch program or the school breakfast program.
- They meet the eligibility criteria for their internet service provider’s pre-existing low-income or COVID-19 program.
Visit www.GetEmergencyBroadband.org to learn more and enroll, call (833) 511-0311 between 9 a.m. and 9 p.m. any day of the week, or sign up directly with your internet service provider.
Broadband Infrastructure Grants Available through NTIA
The National Telecommunications and Information Administration has released the rules for the Broadband Infrastructure Grant program that was created under the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021. This program will provide a total of $288 million in grants to public-private partnerships established to expand broadband service.
Emergency Connectivity Fund Grants Soon to Be Available through FCC
The Federal Communications Commission has released a report and order providing details about the Emergency Connectivity Fund created under the American Rescue Plan, which will provide $7.1 billion in grants that can support schools and libraries in providing connectivity to students, school staff and library patrons who would otherwise lack access to connected devices and high-speed internet service sufficient for remote learning.
June Business and Frontline Worker of the Month
I am proud to announce that DENSO International America, Inc. was named the June Business of the Month and Sarah Brown-Derbah, from Haley Funeral Directors, was named the June Frontline Worker of the Month! Congratulations to our winners, and thank you for all that you have done for our community.
Help us recognize both a front-line worker and local business. Please send your nominations to me here: Suggest a Tribute
This past weekend on June 19 we celebrated Juneteenth. Juneteenth is a holiday celebrating the emancipation of those who had been enslaved in the United States. Originating in Galveston, Texas, it is now celebrated annually on June 19 throughout the United States.
June is Pride Month in the United States, a time to remember history and celebrate how far we’ve come in advancing the rights of LGBTQ+ people, but also to reinvigorate our efforts to continue the fight for equality and against discrimination and hatred.