When you think of the word “dirtbag,” what image comes to mind? Maybe a crusty climber perched in the back of a DIY van-house eating Chef Boyardee out of the can with a pocketknife? That certainly sounds about right, at least from what a quick cruise through the #dirtbag Instagram feed will tell you. Barefoot hula-hoopers. River rats. Surf bums. Couch surfers. They all seem to fit the bill for a grade A dirtbag.But what if I tossed the word “entrepreneur” into the mix? While a dirtbag entrepreneur may seem like just another oxymoron (like tight slacks and jumbo shrimp) the fact of the matter is the outdoor industry is ripe with them: from renowned climber-surfer Yvon Chouinard and his company Patagonia to paddler Eric Jackson and his kayak manufacturing company Jackson Kayaks, those outdoor brands on your clothing tags weren’t just started by dirtbags – they were started by innovative pioneers who combined their love of the outdoors with a steadfast commitment to providing quality tools for adventure. Although a booming interest in adventure sports contributed to serious growth among brands, the little guys are still out there making gear that competes with even the biggest cats on the market. Misty Mountain and Organic Climbing are two of those smaller companies who just so happen to be producing some of the highest quality climbing gear in the industry right in our backyard. From the crag to the shop and back again, these dirtbag climbers might have spent more nights sleeping under the stars than in a bed, but their stories are a testament to the greatness that can come out of following your passions.Misty Mountain – Valle Crucis, N.C.Mike Grimm, Co-owner of Misty Mountain Home Crag: Linville Gorge, Ship RockIntroduction to Climbing“A really good friend of mine had gone to summer camp and went rock climbing. That was 1980. He knew very little about it, but we got a rope, got some shoes, a little bit of gear, and just climbed basically by trial and error. Fortunately the errors weren’t too…erroneous.”The Birth of Misty Mountain“Our equipment choices early on were so barren,” Grimm says. “You couldn’t go to the store and buy a climbing harness. There wasn’t the store and there wasn’t the harness if there was.”Although Grimm was not the original founder of Misty Mountain, he joined the company’s mastermind, Woody Keen, in 1985, the year the business was officially incorporated. At the time, the standard climbing harness was a “Swiss-seat,” which was fashioned from either rope or webbing by way of adjustable knots. Woody’s first harness prototype, the Fudge, introduced a buckle to the harness and was such a success that it quickly became the standard for organizations like Outward Bound.Grimm was just a college student at the time but he had a very tangible obsession with climbing. Just over a decade later, he would buy Woody’s share of the company and become co-owners of Misty Mountain with longtime friend and climbing partner Goose Kearse.“When you’re sitting on a belay ledge, you have a lot of time to think about how [your harness] could be better,” says Grimm, who is now responsible for the design and production of Misty Mountain’s harnesses. “I’m the number one guinea pig,” which for Grimm means long hours behind the sewing machine eventually translate to long days on the rock testing equipment and embracing Misty Mountain’s humble beginnings in the mountains of western North Carolina.Organic Climbing – State College, Penn.Josh Helke, Founder of Organic Climbing Home Crag: Hunter’s RockIntroduction to Climbing“We used to live in a river valley in Minnesota, so there were tons of cliffs on our property,” says Helke. “Growing up, climbing was what we did as family trips.”The Birth of Organic ClimbingAfter college, Helke and his wife decided to do the most logical thing for two adventurous people who wanted to climb, travel, and scout locations for graduate school: they lived on the road.For one year, the couple traveled across the country, living, working, and playing out of the back of their Toyota Tacoma. They hit all of the major rock climbing hubs, from southern Utah to western Colorado and Wyoming. It was then, during their time in Wyoming, that Helke decided he wanted to start producing his own climbing gear, specifically bouldering pads.“In the late ‘90s, there were definitely people that bouldered, but they were typically people that were a little more anti-establishment,” he says. “I’ve seen [bouldering] grow from a skateboarding, alternative culture to a pretty mainstream sport.”In 2004, Josh officially incorporated Organic Climbing and that same year, both Rock & Ice and Climbing Magazine wrote up stellar reviews of Organic’s bouldering pads which sent business through the roof.“It very quickly turned real,” Josh remembers. “All of a sudden, I wasn’t going climbing everyday and I couldn’t keep sewing everything in a spare bedroom.”He moved the business to Philadelphia when his wife, a geologist, was offered a job in the area. Organic’s bouldering pad is still their flagship product and has quickly become the standard pad in the bouldering scene.“It sounds cliché but to anyone looking to start [an outdoor gear company], stick with your gut,” he says. “When I started, everyone we talked to said it was impossible to make all of our products in the U.S. Now, we’ve had 10 years of amazing success. So don’t worry about what others think. Throw convention out the door and keep going.”
by: Olga DowWe are heading into the year 2015, the same year that Marty and Doc set the time circuits for in Back to the Future Part II.Released in 1989, Hollywood’s vision of the future was mind blowing. The National Weather Bureau predicted rainfall to the second, cars filled up on gas without assistance and a bottle of soda was available to purchase for a mere $50.As exciting as some of it would be, we should be thankful that inflation doesn’t have us paying $50 for a soft drink like the movie predicted.Five ways to financially plan for the new yearIt’s important, however, to remember that inflation does happen, retirement will take place and emergencies will come up – and we need to be as prepared as possible. The start of a new year is always a good time to look ahead, especially when it comes to your finances. 9SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr continue reading »
continue reading » ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr Take out your phone and pull up your favorite maps app. Search “mortgage lending near me.” Now search “car loans in (your city, state).” Do you see your credit union?If the answer is no, don’t sweat it, we’ll cover everything you need to know in order to get your credit union found. And if the answer is yes, congratulations — but there’s probably still a thing or two you could learn. Either way, this blog is for you.As consumers, we often turn to online directories to find and learn more about local businesses that offer the products and services we need. In fact, 86 percent of consumers rely on the internet to find a local business.Businesses put in work to make sure that they appear when you search for relevant terms in the area. If you want your credit union services to show up, you must put in the work too.
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August 16, 2016 Statement Harrisburg, PA – Governor Wolf released the following statement on the resignation of Attorney General Kathleen Kane:“What has transpired with Attorney General Kane is unfortunate. Her decision to resign is the right one, and will allow the people of Pennsylvania to finally move on from this situation.“I have full faith and confidence in the employees of the Office of the Attorney General and know that they will continue to perform its most important functions including protecting consumers and prosecuting criminals. Moving forward, I will work with both Republicans and Democrats in the Senate regarding any potential appointment of an Attorney General.”# # #Like Governor Tom Wolf on Facebook: Facebook.com/GovernorWolf Governor Wolf Statement on the Resignation of Attorney General Kane SHARE Email Facebook Twitter
The joint venture will be overseen by a board of managers consisting of three representatives appointed by Natixis and three representatives appointed by Moelis, the companies said.The investment committee will be chaired by Martin St. Pierre, who was most recently global chief executive GAPC and previously global head of credit trading at Natixis. Meanwhile, Aquila Capital has joined forces with index provider ECPI to offer sustainable investment products, mainly in the real asset sector.Aquila Capital said it had formed a strategic partnership with ECPI which would allow them to combine their skills to sell a series of co-managed sustainable investment solutions.Paolo Tolla, president of ECPI, said: “It’s important that the financial community recognises the importance of environmental, social and governance criteria as part of their investment choices, not only for the financial rewards connected to them but also for their moral significance.”Roman Rosslenbroich, chief executive of Aquila Capital, said there was growing demand for sustainability-driven real asset investments. French bank Natixis and Moelis Asset Management are setting up a joint investment management venture called Chamonix Partners Capital Management.Chamonix will initially manage Vallee Blanche Fund Alpha, a $1.3bn (€950m) fund, which will buy a portfolio of US dollar and euro-denominated structured product assets from Natixis’ Gestion Active des Portefeuilles Cantonnés (GAPC).Natixis said the transaction would be a true sale by GAPC, with the funds’ limited partners wholly external to Moelis and Natixis. As well as its initial investment portfolio, Chamonix will aim to raise and manage other funds to buy additional assets and enter into financing deals, the joint venture partners said.
For the second time this year, Cranston raced to victory lane in Saturday’s IMCA RaceSaver Sprint Car feature atop the 3/8-mile Dodge City Raceway Park in southwest Kansas. Next up for the Rebels will be their only visit to Colorado on Saturday, June 8 as they invade El Paso County Speedway in Calhan. Luke Cranston returned to victory lane at Dodge City Raceway Park following the Saturday Sprint Car Clash. (Photo by Lonnie Wheatley) Feature results – 1. Luke Cranston; 2. Ty Williams; 3. Jake Martens; 4. Taylor Velasquez; 5. Steven Richardson; 6. Jeremy Huish; 7. Ray Seemann; 8. Zach Blurton; 9. Kade Hagans; 10. Brian Herbert; 11. Tracey Hill; 12. Koby Walters; 13. Cale Cozad; 14. Kyler Johnson; 15. Kris Moore; 16. Shane Sundquist; 17. Brandon Sprott; 18. Jordan Knight; 19. J.D. Johnson, 20. Tyler Knight; 21. Aaron Ploussard; 22. Cody Lampe; 23. Chad Salem; 24. Ross Essenburg. Cranston slipped away in the final rounds with Williams holding on for runner-up honors. Jake Martens battled past Taylor Velasquez to snare the show position. After a pair of aborted starts, Williams and Cranston led the 24-car feature field to the green flag with the ensuing 25 laps run off in non-stop fashion. Williams gunned into the early lead and paced the field for the initial 15 circuits. DODGE CITY, Kan. (June 1) – Luke Cranston is finding the showdowns pitting the Precise Racing Products DCRP Sprint Cars versus the POWRi United Rebel Sprint Series to his liking. In the 25-lap DCRP vs. URSS Sprint Car Clash, Cranston chased down early leader Ty Williams in traffic on the 16th round and went on take the checkered flag by nearly a half straightaway. The Keizer Wheels Hard Charger Award went to Steven Richardson starting 14th and finishing fifth. By Lonnie Wheatley Cranston closed in to challenge for the point as traffic came into play after a dozen circuits and pounced on opportunity in traffic to take command on the 16th round.
Mumbai: The national selection panel’s meeting to pick squads for the West Indies tour has been pushed to Sunday amid intense focus on skipper Virat Kohli’s availability and veteran Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s future. The meeting was scheduled for Friday but was postponed following Committee of Administrators’ (CoA) directive that the chairman of the panel, instead of BCCI secretary, will convene it.”There are some legal modalities that need to be followed due to the rule change and it took some time. Also the BCCI’s cricket operations team needs to apprise the chairman of the availability of the captain for the meeting. The fitness reports of the players will be available on Saturday evening,” a senior BCCI functionary told PTI.The 38-year old Dhoni, whose finishing abilities with the bat has been on the wane, would be the centre of discussion amid speculation that the Jharkhand player is contemplating retirement even though he hasn’t spoken about it till now.Dhoni’s selection or omission would be an indicator of things to come in the future. India are set to play T20s, as many ODIs and two Tests in a full-fledged tour to the Caribbean islands, starting August 3.Considering next year’s T20 World Cup to be held in Australia, the selectors might opt for the young Rishabh Pant, who is seen as heir apparent to Dhoni.Dhoni was dropped from the T20 series against West Indies and Australia last October and there is a strong chance that he won’t be included this time around too.Pant was recently called up as replacement for an injured opener Shikhar Dhawan in the World Cup, from where India were ousted in the semifinal stage.Another issue that would surely be debated is the availability of Kohli, who has been on the road for a while.There is a school of thought that the skipper could be rested considering the long domestic season ahead, which begins in September, and in this scenario Rohit Sharma could be handed captaincy for the shorter formats.However, with the two Tests being part of the ICC Test Championship, Kohli could be included in the Test squad. A similar approach could be taken for pacer Jasprit Bumrah.The MSK Prasad-led panel would also work on restructuring the middle-order as it was one of the primary reasons for India’s exit from the World Cup semi-final. Stabilising the number four spot is the need of the hour going ahead.It is expected that picking the middle-order could lead to the biggest debate as the panel has a few choices among Karnataka’s Mayank Agarwal and Manish Pandey and Mumbai’s Shreyas Iyer, who has been knocking the doors after scoring heavily in domestic cricket.Pandey scored a match-winning 100 for India A against the West Indies A in an unofficial third ODI and after Ambati Rayudu’s sudden retirement and Vijay Shankar’s failure to nail the number four spot, the focus will be on the trio.Also, the selectors may consider the talented young Punjab batsman Shubhman Gill and Mumbai’s Prithvi Shaw. But Shaw’s hip injury could come in the way of him being considered.A determined Gill has been among the runs in the West Indies tour for India A. Gill and Shreyas could make the cut.It could also be end of the road for the experienced Dinesh Karthik and Maharashtra all-rounder Kedar Jadhav, who failed to perform in the World Cup.If Dhawan, who was ruled out of the World Cup owing to a thumb fracture, is deemed fit, he would, in all probability, open with Rohit.Other regulars, including K L Rahul, Hardik Pandya, Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal, could retain their places in the limited-overs squads.Teenage leg-spinner Rahul Chahar could be among the rookies who are at least discussed given the good run he is having with the A team in the West Indies right now. The 19-year-old is a cousin of Deepak Chahar, a fairly established first-class name who has played an ODI and a T20 for India.Among the new faces, Delhi speedster Navdeep Saini could make the team as he has impressed in the ongoing India A tour of West Indies and even picked a fifer.The selectors could also look at the likes of Khaleel Ahmed, Deepak Chahar, and Avesh Khan apart from regular pacers Mohammed Shami and Bhuvneshwar Kumar, who could be retained.Khaleel being a left-arm pacer adds variety to the attack.The choice of wicket-keepers for the Tests would be watched with interest as Pant did the job in the last series India played in Australia.With a fit-again Wriddiman Saha, who is considered the best in the country, it remains to be seen if the selectors bring him back or look to the future in Pant.The T20 Internationals are scheduled from August 3 to 6, while the ODIs will take place from August 8 to 14. The two-Test series will be played from August 22 to September 3. For all the Latest Sports News News, Cricket News News, Download News Nation Android and iOS Mobile Apps.
The Latest: Pegulas donating $1.2 million to fight COVID-19 March 25, 2020 The companies say they intend to restore jobs and compensation “once our business resumes to its normal state from this unprecedented stoppage.”The Bruins were the last team in the NHL to offer help to gameday employees who lost work because of the coronavirus pandemic — and then only if postponed games aren’t made up. The team is owned by Jeremy Jacobs, who is the chairman of the NHL board of governors and a member of the Hockey Hall of Fame. According to Forbes Magazine, the Jacobs family is worth $3.3 billion.___Golden State Warriors star Stephen Curry is teaming up with Dr. Anthony Fauci for a question-and-answer discussion about the coronavirus.Curry, a two-time NBA MVP, will host the chat on his Instagram account Thursday — (at)StephenCurry30. Fauci is Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. Woodward said his wife isn’t currently working in a hospital. She finished a nursing contract at the end of February in Arizona, where they live, and is going back to school for another license.The Woodwards are also joining Rangers general manager Jon Daniels and his wife, Robyn, to provide meals to health care workers at Medical City of Arlington and Dallas.___The United Center is going to be turned into a logistics hub to help with Illinois’ response to the novel coronavirus.The United Center and the surrounding area will be used for front-line food distribution, first responder staging and collecting medical supplies. Kim Pegula says she and her husband Terry wanted to provide immediate assistance to “those in need and fighting on the front lines.”Money from the teams’ charitable foundations will got to the newly formed Western New York COVID-19 community response fund supporting the region’s non-profit agencies.Money also is going to several local food banks and assistance for health officials in purchasing protective gear and medical equipment.___Rio de Janeiro’s soccer body has extended its prohibition on professional matches in the state to the end of April. The initial suspension is valid until the end of March. Associated Press The club’s statement Wednesday says that postponing the two-week grass-court tournament would not come “without significant risk and difficulty” because of the surface.Playing without fans has been ruled out. Wimbledon hasn’t been canceled since World War II.___NASCAR says in a memo to teams that one of its employees at track at Atlanta Motor Speedway two weeks ago has tested positive for the coronavirus. The employee was not identified and NASCAR said the individual has been receiving medical care and all potentially exposed have been told to self-quarantine. Curry posted his plans on his Twitter account with an invite to all to submit questions. ___Clemson coach Dabo Swinney is open to the NCAA allowing more football practices after spring ball was cut short because of the coronavirus pandemic.The Tigers got in nine sessions after starting practice Feb. 26 before all spring activities, including their Orange and White scrimmage, were canceled.Swinney is not in favor of extending fall camp, instead suggesting a sort of NFL-style mini-camp depending on how many spring workouts the team got before spring activities were canceled. ___Mary Roman, a world-class senior athlete who held numerous national age records in track and field, has died of complications from COVID-19. She was 83.Mayor Harry Rilling of Norwalk, Connecticut, made the announcement. Roman, who also served for 20 years as Norwalk’s city clerk, died Monday night at Norwalk Hospital. A childhood polio survivor, Roman began competing in senior track events in 1989 and won hundreds of medals, mostly in the throwing disciplines. At various times, she held the American record in the shotput in the women’s 65-69, 70-74 and 75-79 age groups. “I haven’t been home in a year and half,” the 24-year-old Murphy told The Associated Press on Wednesday. “It’s been forever. That’s the silver lining to all the madness. My parents are home and I suddenly get to spend a lot more time with them. I’m looking forward to it.”Murphy’s coach Dave Durden, one of the head coaches for the U.S. team in Tokyo, essentially wrapped up the season after Tuesday’s announcement by the International Olympic Committee. He met with his each of his swimmers and told them to take a few weeks off.“That’s closure for now,” Murphy said. “We’re taking a step back and trying to create a plan and refocusing toward 2021.”Murphy says he’s got a mask, gloves and wipes for his cross-country flight, which comes at a time when much of the world is locked down.___ The league says exceptions can be made only “for urgent economic reasons.”The league also says it’s too early to decide when matches can resume.___More AP sports: https://apnews.com/apf-sports and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports,Tampa Bay Lightning advance to face Dallas Stars in Stanley Cup finals, beating New York Islanders 2-1 in OT in Game 6 “Maybe if they said everybody could have 12 on-field sessions,” Swinney said. “So that means we would get only three just to make it equitable. But some of these schools who got none, they could get 12.”___Texas Rangers manager Chris Woodward and his wife Erin, a trauma nurse, have recorded a message thanking first responders and health care workers.The message was sent to the Texas Hospital Association and Medical City of Arlington and Dallas.“We’re just trying to say thank you to all of these people on the front lines,” Woodward said Wednesday. “The first responders are first on the scene to a lot of these things. … The doctors, nurses, everybody, they’re putting themselves at risk for all of us.” The second edition of the UAE Tour, a major early season stage race, was canceled with two stages left. Riders and support staff for all 22 teams were isolated, though nearly all of them now have been cleared to leave the country.___The All England Club says it is still evaluating whether to postpone or cancel Wimbledon because of the coronavirus pandemic and plans to make a decision next week.That’s when the club’s main board is scheduled to hold an emergency meeting.Main-draw play at Wimbledon is slated to start June 29 and preparations for the tournament are supposed to begin in late April. She was once the nation’s top-ranked thrower and ranked eighth in the world in the weight throw in the 75-79 age group. In 2016, she was named Connecticut Masters Games Athlete of the Year. Former Norwalk Mayor Richard Moccia told Hearst Connecticut Media that he didn’t think he ever met a person who didn’t like Mary Roman.”___Aqueduct has extended the suspension of live horse racing through at least April 5 because of the impact of the new coronavirus in New York.As a result, the $750,000 Wood Memorial has been postponed. No make-up date has been determined yet for the major Kentucky Derby prep that was to be run on April 4. NASCAR was at Atlanta scheduled to race March 15 without spectators. But two days prior to the race, NASCAR postponed Atlanta and last weekend’s race at Homestead-Miami Speedway, which instead was converted into a virtual iRacing event broadcast on Fox Sports 1 with 35 drivers. NASCAR has suspended its season through May 9 and will race at least five more iRaces, televised on Fox, during the stoppage.___Now that the Tokyo Olympics have been postponed for up to a year because of the coronavirus outbreak, world-class athletes have plenty of free time.American swimming star Ryan Murphy, who won three gold medals at the 2016 Rio Games, is planning to fly home to Jacksonville, Florida,from his training base at Cal-Berkeley. Last Thursday, the New York Racing Association suspended racing at Aqueduct after confirmation that a backstretch worker who lived and worked at Belmont Park tested positive for COVID-19. The Belmont backstretch is home to 585 workers who tend to the daily care of more than 1,300 horses stabled on the property.The pandemic has affected other prep races for the Kentucky Derby, which itself was postponed from May 2 to Sept. 5. The Sunland Derby in New Mexico and Blue Grass and Lexington stakes in Kentucky have been canceled, along with the UAE Derby. The Arkansas Derby was pushed back from April 11 to May 2. For now, the Florida Derby on March 28 and Santa Anita Derby on April 4 are still scheduled.___NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has instructed the 32 teams to close their facilities to all but a select few employees by 6 p.m. Wednesday. Rio is home to defending Copa Libertadores winners Flamengo.Brazil has more than 2,400 confirmed cases of the new coronavirus, and 57 people have died.___The Boston Bruins say they are putting 68 full-time employees on temporary leave and cutting the pay of 82 others who work for the team or Delaware North, which owns the TD Garden.The moves — which the Bruins called “temporary business stabilization measures” — are effective April 1. In a memo to the teams, Goodell said the restrictions meant as a safeguard against the new coronavirus will be in force until at least April 8. Then the league will re-evaluate, using advice from medical experts and health authorities. The few exceptions include trainers and doctors treating players, security and technology personnel.The NFL has gotten some pushback for not postponing the draft scheduled for April 23-25 while the rest of the sports world is largely shut down. The league is developing a new format because it has scrapped the public events set for Las Vegas. ___The Belgian soccer league says clubs should not apply for temporary layoffs for their players despite matches remaining suspended because of the coronavirus outbreak.The league asked clubs not to burden the government’s temporary unemployment scheme for employees forced out of work because of the lockdown measures implemented in Belgium. Share This StoryFacebookTwitteremailPrintLinkedinRedditThe Latest on the effects of the coronavirus outbreak on sports around the world:___The owners of the NFL’s Buffalo Bills and NHL’s Buffalo Sabres are committing $1.2 million to supporting local charities and health officials dealing with the new coronavirus pandemic. At various times, she held the American record in the shot put in the women’s 65-69, 70-74 and 75-79 age groups. She also was once the nation’s top-ranked thrower and ranked eighth in the world in the weight throw in the 75-79 age group.___Argentine cyclist Max Richeze has been released from a hospital in the United Arab Emirates, where the UAE Team Emirates rider spent 18 days after testing positive for the coronavirus following the cancellation of the UAE Tour.Richeze wrote on Instagram that two tests for COVID-19 had come back negative and he was discharged Wednesday.That status of Richeze’s teammate, Fernando Gaviria, remains unknown after he also tested positive for the virus. Two staff members for UAE Team Emirates also tested positive, and the entire team remains in voluntary quarantine. The NHL’s chief medical officer expects the coronavirus pandemic to get worse before it gets better.Dr. Winne Meeuwisse says the virus “really just entering the rapid acceleration phase” in North America. That makes it unclear when hockey might resume.He says the league is thankful only two players have tested positive for COVID-19 so far and its hopeful weeks of isolation will prevent more from contracting the virus. Players and staff have been told to self-quarantine until at least April 4.There is no timeline for when players might be able to start working out in small groups or report to team training facilities. Meeuwisse says the trajectory of the coronavirus outbreak in the U.S. and Canada will determine when that might be possible.Varying recommendations and lockdown regulations across the league’s 31 markets could impact how the NHL proceeds. Meeuwisse and deputy commissioner Bill Daly are still unsure whether fans would be allowed in for potential games when they resume. “On behalf of the Chicago Bulls, Chicago Blackhawks, our athletes, our front offices and our dedicated United Center personnel, our thoughts and support are with the people of this great city and state,” a spokesman for the United Center said in a release. “Together, we will get through this.”___Mary Roman, a world-class senior athlete who held numerous national age records in track and field, has died of complications from COVID-19, the mayor of Norwalk said. She was 83.Roman, who also served for 20 years as Norwalk’s city clerk, died Monday night at Norwalk Hospital, Mayor Harry Rilling said.A childhood polio survivor, Roman began competing in senior track events in 1989 and won hundreds of medals, mostly in the throwing disciplines.
In an effort to increase efficiency and cater health care more toward students, USC has decided to switch its student health insurance plan from Anthem Blue Cross to Aetna Student Health insurance beginning in the fall.In good health · Officials from the University Park Health Center re-evaluate student health insurance every five to six years. – Courtney Sandlin | Daily Trojan All students at USC are required to have health insurance, but those who can show proof they have other insurance do not have to get insured through the university.Student health insurance at USC is offered through a third-party health insurance provider, and officials at the University Park Health Center re-examine the university’s health insurance plan every five or six years, according to Cathy DeFrancesco, senior clinical administrator for the UPHC.“The reason we wanted to shop the market was because it was time and we listened to our students’ feedback about Anthem,” DeFrancesco said. “Some students complained that they didn’t feel that the customer service was student-oriented.”Aetna, Anthem and three other health insurance companies pitched their plans last month to a student health advisory committee comprised of health administration officials, graduate and undergraduate representatives and USC officials.In the end, DeFrancesco said, Aetna’s health insurance plan stood out as the best option for students.“One of the reasons I think they did so well in the [bidding] process is that all the customers are students, and that’s a big change from Anthem,” DeFrancesco said.While Anthem is a large health provider for both individuals and groups — such as universities — Aetna Student Health serves only students and is more familiar with the ins and outs of a college, DeFrancesco said.With the switch to Aetna, however, the health insurance rate will jump from $985 to $1040 yearly. This rate increase, however, also comes with an increase in the yearly coverage limit, which will grow from $500,000 under Anthem to $750,000 with Aetna.Also new with Aetna, referrals to doctors outside USC will be electronic and immediate so students will not be left hanging if their paper referral doesn’t come through, DeFrancesco said.“Right now, sometimes students will show up at the specialist’s office and the carrier does not have record of the referral in place,” she said.Working with Aetna’s advanced information technology, the UPHC also hopes to institute an online waiver system to help students speed up the process of opting out of USC student health insurance.“Getting the waiver done was a bit of a pain,” said Jessica Hsueh, a sophomore majoring in business administration. “It took a while for my parents to mail me all the paperwork, and I was afraid I wasn’t going to get my insurance waived on time.”In choosing the new plan, administrators also considered health insurance for graduate students, which has been complicated in the past, according to Jenny Farah, the graduate student representative on the student health insurance advisory committee.“A lot of the concerns that I got from students that were graduate student-specific were the costs of adding dependents to their plan, and if many of them have children and they are reliant on the school’s plan,” Farah said.Based on input from graduate students and the committee, the new plan will allow dependents to join Aetna Student Health for 60 percent less than what Anthem had charged, DeFrancesco said.Robert Ward, a junior majoring in computer science and business administration, said any change in health care efficiency will help both graduates and undergraduates.“Health care is obviously a big issue right now, and if USC can do anything to make it easier for students to get access to medical services, it’s a good thing,” Ward said.