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The Battery Atlanta July happenings are too hot to handle

June 24, 2020

Beat the heat with summer fun from select reopened restaurants and retailers at The Battery Atlanta! With longer evenings and higher temps ahead, all ages can experience unique dining and shopping options at the open, outdoor campus. Cobb County’s hottest lifestyle destination – designed for relaxation and recreation – offers a mix of outdoor events to keep visitors active as well as entertainment ranging from themed game nights to live music. Visitors craving a taste of summer can dine alfresco on patios or order takeout from chef-driven restaurants for a hassle-free and socially distant picnic on the Plaza Green. Haagen Dazs and River Street Sweets Savannah’s Candy Kitchen are serving up classic summer treats, and refreshing brunch libations are fan favorites at Superica, CRU Food & Wine Bar and Goldberg’s Fine Foods.   

Outdoor Activities:

Wellness Series: Yoga by Kaiser Permanente
Every Monday at 6:30 p.m.
Start the week off stress-free with an outdoor yoga class presented by Kaiser Permanente on the Plaza Green. This free event is limited to 25 people. Registration and the event participant waiver are available online. Participants are required to bring a mat and show ID upon arrival. Those unable to attend in person can follow along with the live stream on Facebook or recorded sessions on YouTube.

The Battery Atlanta Walking Trail presented by UnitedHealthcare
A brisk walk can curb cravings! Get out and get active on the 1.5-mile loop circling the campus.

Cornhole ATL Summer League
Every Tuesday at 6 p.m.
A tailgate favorite is now a league of its own! Spectators are encouraged to watch the action and cheer on league participants as they play games leading up to the season’s final tournament on July 28.

Farmers Market presented by United Healthcare
Every Sunday 1-4 p.m.
Families and friends are invited to stroll and shop a variety of handcrafted and homegrown products on the Plaza Green. Locals can also preorder items from select vendors, including David’s Garden Super Bee, Pearson Farm, The Cheese Straw House and The Cocktail House Shop.

Select Retail and Restaurant Promotions:

Singo Night at PH’EAST
Every Monday at 5 p.m.
Music lovers can test their knowledge in this version of bingo played with song titles and compete to win for $5 off their tab at the Asian food hall.

Kids Eat Free at Goldberg’s
Every Tuesday
Bring the kids for an after-school treat! A free kids’ menu item is available with the purchase of one adult entrée at the New York style deli and restaurant.

Wine Wednesday at Yard House
Every Wednesday
Wine lovers can celebrate making it to mid-week with half-off bottles of wine at this modern American gathering place for food and drinks.

‘Ketel One & ?’ at BURN by Rocky Patel
Every Thursday at 4 p.m.
Cool off with a refreshing botanical cocktail for just $8! Guests can enjoy new Ketel One Botanicals – a vodka distilled with real botanicals and infused with natural fruit essences.

Champagne Thursdays at CRU Food & Wine Bar
Every Thursday
Patrons can enjoy 50% off a bottle of bubbly. Guests are also invited to eat their fill of fresh artisan cuisine from the extensive lunch and dinner menu.

Live Entertainment at Sports & Social
Every Thursday – Sunday
A variety of live entertainment returns to the outdoor space Thursday through Sunday afternoons and evenings! 

The most up-to-date list of restaurant and retailer happenings are available on the website. Details and hours of operation are subject to change.

Life University creates groundbreaking chiropractic technology with PAT (Palpation and Adjustment Trainer)

June 24, 2020

Life University (LIFE) is yet again leading the way in chiropractic education with the creation of PAT (Palpation and Adjustment Trainer). Developed by the University’s Dr. Sid E. Williams Center for Chiropractic Research (CCR), PAT is an anatomically accurate, technology-based mannequin with the look, feel, size and weight of an average person.

Life University Introduces Its Latest Innovation in Chiropractic Technology - PAT
Life University Introduces its Latest Innovation in Chiropractic Technology – PAT

PAT allows students to study the biomechanics of the chiropractor’s most important tool, the adjustment. Embedded pressure sensors measure location of contact on the mannequin as internal controls create intersegmental fixation at specific spinal regions. PAT will help students learn to locate vertebral landmarks by palpation, find restricted motion and perform adjustments with controlled amounts of force and speed, and along a specific vector. The complete system shows student performance in comparison to a benchmark. PAT allows students to receive immediate, objective feedback about the “where, how hard, how fast and in which direction” part of adjusting to develop these important skills necessary for care of patients.

Key features of PAT:

  • 3D-printed spine, pelvis and occiput surrounded by viscoelastic skin and soft tissue
  • 64 pressure sensors at key spinal landmarks from EOP to pelvis and sacrum
  • Software monitors pressure levels at each sensor and shows location of contact on screen.
  • Location labels on computer screen can be turned on or off.
  • Ability to zoom in to specific regions on computer screen
  • Screen indicates heavy or light forces, which can have sensitivity modified.
  • Strong enough to withstand thrusts, and when paired with force plate table or glove, can measure force profiles
  • Individual thoracic segments can be fixated. Right or left fixation capabilities within lumbar and cervical regions 

Life University is a health sciences institution most known for its Doctor of Chiropractic program, the largest single-campus chiropractic program in the world. LIFE also offers 15 undergraduate degrees as well as a pre-chiropractic, degree-seeking pathway. Three graduate degrees are available, encompassing areas of sport health science, clinical nutrition and positive psychology. Some degree programs are offered to distance learners through the College of Online Education.

LIFE’s campus in Marietta, Georgia, just northwest of Atlanta, is home to more than 2,700 undergraduate, graduate and professional students who come from all 50 United States and more than 45 countries.

For more information about Life University, visit LIFE.edu.

To view the electronic version of this press release, click here.

You can view all Life University press releases by clicking here.

About Life University

Founded in Marietta, Georgia in 1974, Life University is a health sciences institution most known for its chiropractic program, the largest single campus chiropractic program in the world. Life University is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) to award baccalaureate, master’s, and Doctor of Chiropractic degrees, and also has programmatic accreditation through the Council on Chiropractic Education (CCE), the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) and the Commission on Accreditation of Athletic  Training Education (CAATE). The mission of Life University is to empower students with the education, skills and values necessary for career success and life fulfillment, based on a vitalistic philosophy.

Kennesaw State’s summer enrollment reaches new high

June 24, 2020

An increasing number of students are taking summer courses to progress toward earning their degrees, adding up to the highest summer semester enrollment in Kennesaw State University’s history.

KSU’s summer enrollment has grown significantly over the past two years to more than 20,000 students this summer. That marks a 14 percent increase from last year’s summer enrollment and more than a 20 percent rise from just two years ago.

The higher enrollment is a result of Kennesaw State’s expanding its summer course offerings to provide more options for students, combined with targeted marketing efforts promoting the benefits of taking summer classes. After KSU transitioned successfully to remote learning during the spring semester, thousands of students chose to continue that momentum into the summer.

“I am impressed by our students who are enrolled in summer classes, for seeing the current reality of entirely remote learning as an opportunity rather than an obstacle to advance toward their academic goals,” Kennesaw State President Pamela Whitten said. “Summer coursework offers benefits such as easier access to high-demand classes and courses offered in a condensed format. During this summer’s unique circumstances, our faculty have shown their commitment to student success by adapting their courses to remote formats.”

Kennesaw State’s summer enrollment includes more than 17,000 returning students, a 14 percent increase in that category from the 2019 summer. In addition, more than 2,300 new students – incoming freshmen and transfers – are enrolled this summer, a 13 percent jump from a year ago.

Whitten pointed out that, along with enabling students to get ahead or stay on track to graduate, summer coursework can allow students to focus on a specific discipline or degree requirement. She added that although students have not been able to be on campus for classes or activities this summer, they have remained engaged through a number of online efforts by KSU faculty and staff, such as Facebook Live events and the weekly Research with Relevance feature.

Town Center CID Announces 2020 Board

June 23, 2020
Steven Cadranel

At its latest board meeting, the Town Center Community Improvement District (CID) renewed board officers and three board posts.  In addition, the board appointed Steven Cadranel, president and founder of Arris Realty Partners, to serve in Post 5 for the CID board.

Renewed in the meeting are the three-year terms for Kelly Keappler, Darin Mitchell and Marie Moore. Keappler, president of Quintus Development, has served on the CID’s board since 2007 and currently serves as Chairman. Mitchell, executive director at Chase, has served on the board since 2014 and currently serves as Treasurer. Moore, general manager at Simon Property Group, has served on the board since 2016. Also, serving as Vice Chairman for another year is Dan Buyers, Partner and Senior Vice President of McWhirter Realty.

Cadranel, a life-long resident of Atlanta, will help support the CID’s mission to improve the Town Center district. He has more than 30 years’ experience developing, managing, and acquiring a variety of retail and mixed-use projects throughout the southern and eastern United States. Cadranel was instrumental in the creation of the Mall of Georgia and the foundation for what is now known as the Buckhead Shops Atlanta. He also developed the Cliftwood luxury multi-family property and its complimentary retail and restaurant center, located along Roswell Road in Sandy Springs.

Cadranel is a University of Georgia graduate with a business and real estate and urban development degree. He is a member of the International Council of Shopping Centers and the Atlanta Chamber of Commerce. Additionally, he serves as trustee and incoming vice chairman for the Kennesaw State University Foundation, board member and past president of the Marcus Jewish Community Center of Atlanta, and board member of the Jewish Federation of Greater Atlanta. He is a recipient of KSU Foundation’s Claris C. Bagwell award for Distinguished Service, the Erwin Zaban Entrepreneurial Spirit Award, the Erwin Zaban Bridge Builder Award, KSU Foundation’s Chairman’s Award, and he was the 2019 BB&T Harry Maziar Golf Classic tournament honoree.

Kelly Keappler, Town Center CID Board Chairman, says, “Steven is well-accomplished in his field and an enthusiastic volunteer in the communities that he serves. Those are great qualities for a member of our board. We work very collaboratively, and he will make a great addition to the team.”

When he is not working or volunteering, Cadranel and his wife of 34 years, Janet, enjoy spending time with their two children, family and friends, traveling and relaxing at their lake home retreat.

About Town Center CID

Founded in 1997, the Town CID is dedicated to the betterment of the Town Center area through transportation infrastructure, safety improvements, beautification and other projects that enhance property value by increasing interest and investment in the community. The Town Center CID utilizes funds from voluntary commercial real estate taxes to implement its projects. For more information, please visit www.towncentercid.com.

Fat Tuesday to join The Battery Atlanta this summer

June 23, 2020
International phenomenon daiquiri bar returns to Atlanta

The Braves Development Company announced today that Fat Tuesday will join The Battery Atlanta as its newest first-to-market concept. The original daiquiri shop specializes in frozen drinks offered in a casual, conversational atmosphere. Sweet, fruity and ice-cold blended cocktails will add to the offerings at the south’s preeminent lifestyle destination, as the daiquiri concept returns to Atlanta – home of its original location.

The Fat Tuesday experience at The Battery Atlanta will feature fan-favorite frozen specialty drinks including bestselling flavors – 190 Octane, Hurricane, Pina Colada, Strawberry, Jungle Juice, Bellini, Margarita and more. Guests will have the opportunity to combine flavors and choose from souvenir cups of various sizes. The Battery Atlanta’s unique open layout will allow visitors to walk-up and grab their favorite libations to-go.

Fat Tuesday, a sister concept of New Orleans Original Daiquiris, was launched in 1984 with the opening of the first retail unit in Atlanta, Georgia. The concept has grown into an international phenomenon with over 20 retail units throughout the United States, Mexico, Puerto Rico and Honduras in cities such as Miami, Key West, Las Vegas, Cozumel, San Juan and Roatan.

“The convenient walk-up counter-serve layout at Fat Tuesday is perfect for visitors to grab a cold drink before or after enjoying one of the many shopping and entertainment options,” said Jeremy Strife, EVP of Development. “Our dining concepts are sought out especially for their uniquely curated beverage programs and Fat Tuesday’s popular frozen cocktails build on that trend.”

The 1,118 square-foot space will be located across from El Super Pan, on the corner of Battery Walk and Legends Place and is slated to open later this summer.

Applications for SelectCobb Small Business Relief Grants to close Friday, June 26

June 23, 2020

Click here for more information and to apply now!

Cobb County Government is partnering with SelectCobb to offer the county’s small businesses a funding opportunity to help mitigate financial hardships created by the coronavirus pandemic. The SelectCobb Small Business Relief Grants will provide up to $20,000-$40,000 grants for small businesses based in Cobb County to use on personnel, rent, utilities, and acquiring PPE to ensure the safety of their employees.

Applications will close on June 26, 2020 at 5:00 p.m. A full list of eligibility requirements and more information about the application process is available at www.selectcobb.com/grants.

“Maintaining jobs and promoting growth within Cobb County has been and always will be our number one priority for our small business community,” said Kevin Greiner, president and CEO of Gas South and Chairman of SelectCobb for the Cobb Chamber. “The SelectCobb Small Business Relief Grants will allow Cobb’s small businesses to stand strong during this pandemic and continue to meet necessary business expenses, as well as providing capital to acquire PPE and other resources to ensure a safe working environment for their employees.”

To be considered for the SelectCobb Small Business Relief Grant, small businesses must meet the following requirements:

  • Business must be an existing for-profit corporation, partnership, or sole proprietorship;
  • Business headquarters or primary location must be within Cobb County; 
  • Business must have 100 or fewer full-time, W-2 employees, i.e., employees working at least 30 hours per week or 130 hours per month;
  • Business must have been in continuous operation for a minimum of 1 year prior to March 13, 2020; 
  • Business must have a current business license issued by Cobb County Government, City of Acworth, City of Austell, City of Kennesaw, City of Marietta, City of Powder Springs, or City of Smyrna;
  • Business must be current on all local taxes;
  • Business may be home-based or located in an owned or leased commercial space;
  • Business must certify if they have received PPP funds as of time of application submittal; and
  • Business cannot be a publicly traded company.


Grant funding will be available in three different tiers based upon the number of full-time, W-2 employees employed by the company as of March 12, 2020. The tiers of grant funding include, up to $20,000 for 1 to 10 employees; up to $30,000 for 11 to 50 employees; and up to $40,000 for 51 to 100 employees.

“I’m gratified that the board came together to address an important segment of our community, the small business community,” said Chairman Mike Boyce after the vote.  “It demonstrates when it is all said and done, this board has the best interest of the county at heart. We work every day to do the best we can with the money we have—whether it is county money, state money, or federal money—we all have a duty to make sure the taxpayer’s money is spent appropriately and I think this is one action that reflects that.”

SelectCobb staff will review each application to ensure that all eligibility requirements are met. Once applications are closed, an independent committee of business representatives will review each eligible application and decide which companies will receive grant funds and how much will be provided, up to the maximum allowed by each tier. The committee will be comprised of individuals from all areas of Cobb, and will include a diverse group of industries being represented, including banking, certified public accountants, law, small business and county government.

The committee will review applications per Commission District so that all areas are equally represented in the number of companies being assisted. Once determinations are made, a public announcement of grants funds will be made by representatives of the selection committee, SelectCobb, Cobb Chamber, and Cobb County Government.

“Cobb County should be applauded for creating one of the largest small business grants in the region,” said Dana Johnson, executive director of SelectCobb. “I want to thank the Board of Commissioners for their leadership and commitment to ensuring that Cobb County remains one of the top destinations for small businesses.”

KSU donor endows scholarships to help those who help others

June 23, 2020

Retired businessman Mike Hammond is showing his appreciation for the nursing profession, and Kennesaw State University students are the beneficiaries.

Mike Hammond
Mike Hammond

Hammond is providing financial aid to students enrolled in both the Wellstar School of Nursing and KSU Journey Honors College, through the Henry Michael Hammond Scholarship Endowment that was established at the end of last year. The Forsyth County resident was inspired to donate to a university with a nursing school as a thank-you for the exceptional care he received from nurses – a number of whom were Kennesaw State graduates – while being treated for health issues.

“I grew to appreciate and respect the role that nurses play in the health care system,” Hammond said. “They took care of my physical needs, but I also got the impression that they cared about me as a person. Knowing that they cared helped me recover and get better.”

Hammond arranged a visit to Kennesaw State through his friend Scott Bryant, KSU’s associate vice president for development, and came away impressed by the campus and the students, faculty and staff he met. In addition to his initial idea to fund nursing scholarships, Hammond met Dean Rita Bailey and learned about the innovative, interdisciplinary opportunities available to students in KSU Journey Honors College.

As a result, Hammond became the first external donor to utilize the matching opportunity from John and Rosemary Brown’s $10 million commitment for scholarships for Honors students. Hammond’s gift of $50,000 was matched 100 percent by the Browns and 50 percent by the KSU Foundation for a total endowment of $125,000 to support Honors students who are nursing majors.

Hammond, 71, who retired in 2006 after nearly 30 years in accounting and finance with General Motors Corporation, hopes that his donation will inspire other people to follow suit.

“I was not a CEO, I am not a billionaire, I am more or less an ordinary middle-class person who could do this,” he said. “And if I can do it, others can too. I encourage other people to support Kennesaw State in general, and Honors and nursing in particular.”

That type of support will help Kennesaw State continue to address Georgia’s need for qualified nurses. The state’s nursing shortage has reached a crisis level, according to the Georgia Department of Public Health.

“Our nursing students are high achievers, and Mike Hammond’s generous gift will make a difference in their lives for years to come,” said Yvonne Eaves, chair of the Wellstar School of Nursing. “After a few personal experiences with health challenges, Mr. Hammond explained to us that the nurses who cared for him really helped bring him back to good health. He wanted to pay it forward and thought that giving this endowed scholarship would be a great way to do just that.”

Hammond’s philanthropy also resonated with Alice Barry, the president of KSU’s Student Nurses Association. Barry won’t directly benefit from Hammond’s contribution since she is graduating in July, but she knows it will enhance other students’ training at Kennesaw State to become nurses.

“The generous donation from Mr. Hammond will allow deserving students to grow and develop their nursing skills to continue to provide excellent health care in Georgia,” Barry said. “It warms my heart to know that these nursing students will have the opportunity to become strong nurses and my future co-workers.”

After touring Kennesaw State and establishing his scholarship endowment, Hammond already is feeling part of the Owl family. He plans to expand on that this fall by making more trips to campus and spending time with students, faculty and staff. For example, Hammond – a self-described book lover – is interested in sitting in on a class that is part of the Great Books cohort in KSU Journey Honors College.

“I hope to be a frequent visitor to Kennesaw State,” he said.

Hammond also has endowed a need-based scholarship fund at his alma mater, Georgia Tech.

“I view Georgia Tech and Kennesaw State as complementary institutions, with both schools serving the region and beyond,” Hammond said. “Tech works to make the world better through technology, while KSU trains critically needed, caring nurses among many other disciplines.”

Prospective donors should be aware that the CARES Act of 2020 legislates enhanced tax benefits for charitable contributions. Interested parties should contact KSU’s Office of Development and their tax advisor.

United Community Bank Donates $10,000 to United Way

June 22, 2020

United Community Bank is proud to announce gifts totaling $10,000 to four United Way chapters throughout the bank’s southeastern footprint. The donations, which will help United Way further its mission and assist those in the community negatively affected by COVID-19, were made on behalf of customers who participated in the bank’s inaugural virtual Customer Appreciation Day activities. Receiving organizations include United Way of the Midlands (SC), United Way of the Greater Triangle (NC), United Way of Greater Atlanta (GA), and United Way of Rome and Floyd County (GA). 

“The past few months have been tough for our customers and communities, but we were proud to support through our participation in the Paycheck Protection Program, and now through a gift to the incredible United Way,” said Keri Wise, Head of Retail Sales. “Showing appreciation for our customers is a long tradition at United Community Bank, and we are proud that we were still able to engage with them virtually, share positivity and support those in need.”

Each of the four United Way locations will receive $2,500. Between May 1-15, United asked customers to connect with them on Facebook in various ways for the benefit of the community. Customers could increase the donation by sharing ‘good stories’ of uplifting acts in the community like sewing masks for local hospitals or donating food to neighbors in need.

About United Community Banks, Inc.

United Community Banks, Inc. (NASDAQ: UCBI) is a bank holding company headquartered in Blairsville, Georgia, with executive offices in Greenville, South Carolina. United is one of the southeast region’s largest full-service financial institutions with $13.1 billion in assets, and 149 offices in Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee. It operates principally through United Community Bank, its bank subsidiary, which specializes in personalized community banking services for individuals, small businesses and companies. Services include a full range of consumer and commercial banking products, including mortgage, advisory, and treasury management. Respected national research firms consistently recognize United Community Bank for outstanding customer service. For five of the past six years, J.D. Power has ranked United Community Bank first in customer satisfaction in the Southeast. In 2019, Forbes magazine included United in its inaugural list of the World’s Best Banks, and in 2020, recognized United for the seventh consecutive year on its list of the 100 Best Banks in America. United Community Bank also received the 2019 Greenwich Excellence Award for overall satisfaction in Middle Market Banking in the South and Small Business Banking Excellence Awards for both overall satisfaction and cash management in the South. Additional information about UCBI and the Bank can be found at www.ucbi.com.

Shefali Patel Joins United Community Bank

June 19, 2020

 United Community Bank is pleased to welcome Shefali Patel to its growing Metro Atlanta team. As Senior Vice President/Commercial Relationship Manager, Patel will focus on multiplying United’s presence in the metropolitan area through the management and development of a robust commercial portfolio. 

“Shefali’s knowledge of banking and the central business community make her a great addition to the team,” said Sharon Thompson, President of Central Atlanta for United Community Bank. “With a strong presence on the East and West sides of Atlanta, expansion into the heart of the city is one of our main focus areas. We are cultivating a strong team of bankers to help us achieve this goal and could not be more pleased to welcome Shefali.” 

Patel comes to United with nearly two decades of banking experience. In her previous role, she was responsible for developing banking relationships with companies that held $3 to $100 million in revenues. Her specialties include SBA 7(A) and 504 loans, C&I loans, equipment loans, asset-based lending, financing for medical practices, express loan programs, and lines and loans for operating companies. 

“I am excited to join United Community Bank and continue to serve clients in Atlanta,” said Patel. “As a banker, I enjoy working with and meeting people from all walks of life. Helping my clients achieve their financial goals brings me joy and I am honored to now do so with a bank that prioritizes the customer experience.” 

Born and raised in India, Patel has lived in Atlanta since the early 2000’s. She is a graduate of Wayne State University and a commercial credit training program. She and her husband Jay have one son, Neil. 

About United Community Banks, Inc. 

United Community Banks, Inc. (NASDAQ: UCBI) is a bank holding company headquartered in Blairsville, Georgia, with executive offices in Greenville, South Carolina. United is one of the southeast region’s largest full-service financial institutions with $13.1 billion in assets, and 149 offices in Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee. It operates principally through United Community Bank, its bank subsidiary, which specializes in personalized community banking services for individuals, small businesses and companies. Services include a full range of consumer and commercial banking products, including mortgage, advisory, and treasury management. Respected national research firms consistently recognize United Community Bank for outstanding customer service. For five of the past six years, J.D. Power has ranked United Community Bank first in customer satisfaction in the Southeast. In 2019, Forbes magazine included United in its inaugural list of the World’s Best Banks, and in 2020, recognized United for the seventh consecutive year on its list of the 100 Best Banks in America. United Community Bank also received the 2019 Greenwich Excellence Award for overall satisfaction in Middle Market Banking in the South and Small Business Banking Excellence Awards for both overall satisfaction and cash management in the South. Additional information about UCBI and the Bank can be found at http://www.ucbi.com. 

KSU engineering professors collaborate with Wellstar to decontaminate N95 respirator masks

June 19, 2020

Faced with a shortage of N95 respirator masks used heavily by healthcare professionals amidst the coronavirus pandemic, a team of Kennesaw State University engineers assisted Wellstar Health System nurse leaders, operations, facility engineering, sterile processing and a project manager in developing an operational plan for their newly built UVGI room to decontaminate masks for reuse.

Using a process known as ultraviolet germicidal irradiation (UVGI), Kennesaw State professors Andrew Hummel and Awatef Ergai and recent graduate Austin Crawford, lent their expertise to assist Wellstar Health System in creating an operational plan designed to disinfect N95 respirator masks. The UVGI process works by exposing the masks to ultraviolet C (UVC) light, which is absorbed by DNA and protein molecules to effectively kill any contaminants with the proper amount of exposure.

“Being entrenched in this pandemic has caused us to look at some innovative and creative solutions to meet the anticipated supply need,” said LeeAnna Spiva, assistant vice president of nursing operations and practice at Wellstar.

Wellstar decontamination

Sharlene Toney, executive director for professional practice, added the collaborative work is paramount in keeping front line healthcare team members safe.

Leveraging an existing relationship with KSU’s Wellstar College of Health and Human Services, Spiva contacted the University in March seeking help in outlining a process using UVGI. She was introduced to Hummel, an assistant professor of nuclear engineering in the Southern Polytechnic College of Engineering and Engineering Technology. Crawford and Hummel helped Wellstar think through opportunities for failures, such as electricity loss, etc. The room, which measures 14-by-20 feet is filled with 11 UVC light bulbs at Kennestone Hospital, where more than 100 masks at a time can be decontaminated. With the equipment in place, the KSU team ran calculations in order to quantify the amount of UV exposure in the room in order to achieve decontamination levels.

“There is a great deal of satisfaction in knowing that we can use our skills to engineer a solution that can better the lives of frontline healthcare professionals who work tirelessly to fight this virus,” Hummel said. “We are pleased to arrive at a solution that is both safe and cost effective.”

With the UVGI room at Kennestone Hospital in place, Wellstar professionals turned to Ergai to help improve process flow and eliminate any room for error. Having completed postdoctoral work at the Healthcare Systems Engineering Institute in Boston, Ergai said she was uniquely positioned to consult in a medical setting. She worked with the Wellstar team to identify ways to hang the masks throughout the UGVI room effectively and identified potential process failures that the Wellstar team addressed.

“I’ve been mainly interested in designing a system that would work for the healthcare systems without adding any unnecessary steps and making it streamlined without any work-arounds,” said Ergai, who teaches industrial and systems engineering. “This is particularly important for high-stress times where our healthcare professionals are extremely exhausted.”

Wellstar decontaminationCrawford, who earned his degree in electrical engineering in May, assisted Hummel by taking measurements in the UVGI room at Kennestone Hospital to confirm geometrical model effectiveness. He was inspired to join the project by his sister, a nurse in Macon, Ga., who tested positive for COVID-19. Through his undergraduate co-op, Crawford gained extensive experience in light modeling, which he used heavily in the Wellstar project.

The collaborative efforts have led to two Institutional Review Board (IRB) research studies to generate new knowledge regarding COVID-19 pandemic in the healthcare environment. 

Using the same approach as the UVGI room at Kennestone Hospital, a UVGI box has since been installed at Wellstar Cobb Hospital with Hummel’s guidance.

“Kennesaw State’s engineering faculty were collaborative partners and instrumental in defining safe filtration standards and processes,” said Roseann Pena, vice president operations at Wellstar Kennestone.