4 Local Companies and Individuals Making a Difference in Health Care

These newsmakers are on the cutting edge of the medical community
pets for vets
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PAWS for Veterans Therapy Act

U.S. Rep. for Michigan Elissa Slotkin was the driving force behind the Puppies Assisting Wounded Servicemembers (or PAWS) for Veterans Therapy Act, which promises greater access to therapy dogs for veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder. The measure went into effect in January, establishing a multimillion-dollar Department of Veterans Affairs program. The five-year pilot program is starting off with five locations, one of which — if Slotkin has her way — will be placed in Ann Arbor and will work closely with local nonprofit Blue Star Service Dogs. Previously, the VA had covered only part of the cost of service dogs. Even this aid was available only to veterans with certain physical disabilities. PAWS requires that the VA cover the costs in full for all eligible veterans with diagnosed mental illness, regardless of mobility status. 

world wide clinical labz
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World Wide Clinical Labz

Detroit’s World Wide Clinical Labz partnered with Baebies medical technology company to introduce what it calls an “ultra-rapid” COVID-19 test. The new testing platform, Finder 1.5, launched in January and yields results in 17 minutes. That’s a one-hundredth of the typical 24-hour waiting period associated with the conventional rapid test. It also trumps the original in terms of efficacy, delivering 100 percent accuracy rates for both positive and negative results in recent validation trials by World Wide Labz. The laboratory administers the test through partners including independent physician groups and Wayne State University. It also offers Finder 1.5 for incoming and outgoing travelers at the Ambassador Bridge.

knee replacement
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Halley Orthopedics

Knee replacement is the most common surgery in the U.S., with 700,000 operations recorded by the American Association of Hip and Knee Surgeons in 2020 alone. And that number is only expected to grow. The procedure is also notorious for its lengthy recovery time and tendency to oblige prolonged opioid use. But a technology recently developed by Southfield-based Halley Orthopedics has the potential to ease these burdens. The smart machine and physical therapy technique that comprise the new X10 Therapy have been shown to cut recovery time by 80 percent, with patients regaining full strength and range of motion in just four to six weeks (as opposed to six months with traditional therapy). This is in addition to preventing pain and reducing the need for prescription drugs. The treatment is available in more than 30 states, including Michigan, and is covered by many insurance providers, such as Blue Cross Blue Shield and Medicare.

a girl like me
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A Girl Like Me 

Detroit native Tyra Moore was confused and unprepared when she found herself pregnant at the age of 15. Yet, she would survive the challenging situation — a feat she credits to the kindness of friends and neighbors. She was so inspired by their compassion that she resolved to extend that goodwill to others. “I made it my goal to formally create an organization that created the same community for girls who found themselves in similar situations.” So, in 2017, she founded A Girl Like Me — a local nonprofit organization that provides teen and young moms up to 25 years old with support and basic-needs items, such as soap, deodorant, menstrual products, diapers, formula, and baby gear. The organization recently expanded to launch a mentorship program for girls ages 11-17. It aims to teach health, confidence, and decision-making through coaching, life-skills workshops, and community service. The program, Moore says, serves a main tenet of the organization. “Our whole mission is focused on reducing teen-related pregnancy through education centered around sexual and reproductive health.”

This story is from the 2022 edition of Health Guide. Read more stories here