News Briefs

By Christina Fuoco-Karasinski

Shyft offers benefits to AARP Members
Shyft, the fintech-powered marketplace, launched an agreement to provide a discount to AARP’s nearly 38 million members using Shyft’s proprietary platform.
The agreement, according to Shyft, is expected to accelerate the company’s rapid growth, with the company now expecting net revenue growth of 330% for 2022 as it works to provide options for a demographic that is on the move.
Under the agreement, Shyft will exclusively provide AARP members who are moving homes or apartments with savings up to $250 on moving services through Shyft’s proprietary end-to-end moving platform.
Shyft customers, including AARP members can work with a Shyft move coach, who will help manage the customer’s move, and will have access to move insurance along with multiple financing options.
“We are extremely excited to be the exclusive provider of moving services for AARP members across the U.S. who deserve a stress-free, seamless moving process and the peace of mind their move will be handled correctly,” says Alex Alpert, Shyft founder and chief executive officer.
“With nearly 38 million members, there is no better way to reach the 50-plus consumer than with AARP.”
John Larew, AARP services president and chief executive officer, is thrilled about the partnership.
“We are pleased to announce a new AARP member benefit from Shyft that is designed to help AARP members move with more ease and peace of mind,” he says.
“This added benefit from Shyft helps members save money and find reputable, reliable movers.”
With 31 million people in the U.S. moving each year, the moving industry generates an estimated $86 billion annually. In 2020 people 65 and older accounted for 29% of all moves in the United States, while making up just 17% of the U.S. population.

Valley Fever Collaborative awarded $3.1M
The Valley Fever Collaborative, a UA Health Sciences-led partnership with ASU and NAU, was awarded $3.1 million in Regents’ Grant funding by the Arizona Board of Regents to start an integrated, statewide research project to identify, characterize and map hotspots and routes of exposure for Valley fever.
Valley fever is an infectious disease that affects thousands of people in Arizona every year. It is caused by Coccidioides posadasii, a fungus that lives in the soil of areas with hot summers, mild winters and little rainfall, such as the Southwest.
The fungal spores can be readily inhaled, which is how most Valley fever infections are believed to occur. Yet the amount of fungal burden in the soil and air, the degree to which these fungal spores travel, and the potential for new areas to be colonized with the organism are unknown.
“We know Arizona is responsible for two-thirds of all U.S. Valley fever infections, but just looking across the land we can’t tell which places the fungus grows or are the source of so many infections,” says Dr. John Galgiani, director of the Valley Fever Center for Excellence in the University of Arizona College of Medicine – Tucson and a member of the BIO5 Institute.
“This study will try to connect the dots between strains that cause people to get sick, where in the land they come from and what it is about those hot spots that makes the fungus thrive. With this new information, we might prevent infections at work sites or even for everyone who lives here.”
Six individual projects will take place using a Regents’ Grant funded by the Technology and Research Initiative Fund.

Sierra Tucson certified to help veterans
Sierra Tucson has completed certification that will allow its employees to better serve active-duty military members, veterans and their families.
The program, run through California-based nonprofit PsychArmor, certifies Sierra Tucson as a “Veteran Ready Healthcare Organization.” Staff members participated in a variety of data-driven and evidence-based virtual training courses that help enhance the level of connection between civilians and those who have ties to the military.
At the conclusion of the training, Sierra Tucson and its employees became certified through PsychArmor.
“Sierra Tucson continues to be a leader in healthcare and is committed to providing exceptional medical and clinical care for our Veterans and their loved ones,” says Valerie Kading, Sierra Tucson chief executive officer.
“Our Red, White and Blue program is a premier program designed to focus solely on our veterans and provide the support necessary to meet their unique needs and the needs of their loved ones. We are proud of our continued focus on and prioritization of this population, and we are pleased that our entire team is dedicated to providing veterans with culturally sensitive and competent care.”
The partnership between PsychArmor and the Acadia Healthcare Military & Family Support Services program will allow a number of Acadia facilities, which includes Sierra Tucson, to receive this certification.
PsychArmor is the only national institute that offers free online education to assist military service members, Veterans and their families and has a support center that is staffed by mental health experts.
“It’s more important than ever to be able to provide specialized care for those who have served our country,” says Dr. Michael V. Genovese, Acadia Healthcare chief medical officer.
“The rates of substance use disorders, depression and suicide are considerably higher for active-duty military members and Veterans than they are for the general population.
“We believe that PsychArmor’s exceptional resources will allow Sierra Tucson’s staff to cultivate a treatment environment that helps us better understand how to help these brave individuals.”
Sierra Tucson’s military treatment program helps service members and Veterans who are struggling with substance use disorders, such as an addiction to alcohol or other drugs, and mental health concerns, including posttraumatic stress disorder.