Thursday, March 23, 2017

A new franchise possibility for Idaho Falls?

The Pizza Press in Pasadena, Calif. The chain has announced plans to expand, possibly into Idaho.
It’s been kind of slow on the franchise restaurant front — a source of endless fascination for BizMojo readers, I know — but I ran across this in PR Newswire this morning and thought it might be a live one for any enterprising would-be franchisee.

According to the report, The Pizza Press Marks Fifth Anniversary With Plans for Nearly 150 New Stores & International Expansion by End of 2018,
The Pizza Press, a company based in Anaheim, Calif., is planning 30 new openings this year, including locations in Texas (Austin), Nevada (Las Vegas) and North Carolina (Chapel Hill, Raleigh). “The company is actively looking to expand into Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Utah, Arizona, New Mexico, Georgia, Florida, South Carolina, and Canada,” it says.

So there you have it. Does the greater Idaho Falls area need another pizza restaurant, you ask? Silly! There’s always room for one more.

Should the chain ever come here, it will be the second restaurant with a newspaper theme. Black Bear Diner, which opened earlier this year, also goes with this gimmick. As a former newspaper person who can actually remember the sensation of banging on a manual typewriter, I find this sort of cute but mostly sad.

Anyway, The Pizza Press. You first heard of them here.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Iteris opening office in downtown Earl Building

Iteris' Vantage Vector detection sensor
Iteris, Inc., a company based in Santa Ana, Calif., that specializes in traffic management and agricultural systems, is opening an Idaho Falls office in the Earl Building on Park Avenue. Development of the project has been managed by Thomas Investments and Thomas Development Co. of Boise.

Dating back to 1969, Iteris is the global leader in applied informatics for transportation and agriculture, collecting, aggregating and analyzing data on traffic, roads, weather, water, soil and crops to generate precise informatics that lead to safer transportation and smarter farming.

Its markets roadway sensors and vehicle detection systems for traffic intersection control and traffic data collection. Its products include Vantage series video detection system (such as VantageView, Vantage Vector), SmartSpan and SmartCycle, VersiCam, Pico, and Abacus.

In addition, the company’s transportation systems segment focuses on transportation engineering and consulting services, information systems and decision support systems. Its iPerform segment is concentrated on transportation performance measurement. In 2013, the company launched SmartCycle, which can detect vehicles and bicycles accurately with a single video detection camera facing a dedicated approach.

In agiculture, Iteris produces systems that process weather and agronomic data with land-surface modeling and machine learning to help farmers and agronomists simulate field conditions and determine how new products may perform on a crop. Growers can leverage the company's ClearAg Advisories to determine best times to plant, spray, fertilize and harvest.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

EIRMC, Blue Cross of Idaho, reach 'in network' agreement on private, ACA policies

Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center and Blue Cross of Idaho have reached an agreement that significantly impacts consumers who purchased Blue Cross of Idaho individual health coverage either privately or on the Idaho Healthcare Exchange. These two Blue Cross products are known as “Hometown East” and “Connected Care.”

There are two important elements to this agreement:

  • Emergency services provided at EIRMC will be covered as an in-network benefit. This includes basic ER care; intensive care (ICU); pediatric intensive care (PICU) for children; neonatal care (NICU) for babies; and emergency surgery as a result of an ER visit. ( EIRMC is the only hospital in Idaho Falls with Emergency Services, and the only hospital in the state with a Level I ICU.)
  • All other referral -based services obtained at EIRMC will be covered as in-network by Blue Cross of Idaho. Examples include -- but are not limited to -- maternity services; cancer treatment; cardiovascular services, including heart surgery; medical imaging procedures such as X-Ray, MRI, CT-scans; mammography; physical therapy; wound care; electro-physiology; stroke care; neurosurgery; in-patient behavioral health care.

Employees with Blue Cross of Idaho insurance through their workplace are not impacted by this change, as they have always been covered as “in network.”

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Two new permit applications for Idaho Falls projects worth watching


Recently we pointed out that the permit action in the city of Idaho Falls Building Office was bound to pick up now that the weather is getting warmer. Since then, two new permits have been applied for that we think ought to be of interest to the ever-patient BizMojo Idaho faithful.

The first, applied for March 3, is for work at 1976 West Broadway, a project called Iron Oak Retail Center, 5,200 square-foot retail building. The job value is estimated at $390,000, and the applicant is  Construction Solutions Co.. The owner is JET Real Estate Holdings, which shares the same Ammon address as Construction Solutions. If you want to see what the city has available online, here’s the link:
https://trakit.idahofallsidaho.gov/etrakit3/printPermit.aspx?permitNo=COM17-0025

Here is more information about the property from LoopNet, including a rendering:
http://www.loopnet.com/Listing/20140108/1976-W-Broadway-Idaho-Falls-ID/

The second permit application, far more tantalizing, perhaps because of its mysterious name — “Project X” — comes from our friends at Snake River Landing Development. It is for new construction at 1220 Event Center Drive. No square footage detailed, but the job value is estimated at $1.1 million, which would indicate it is not the long-anticipated Event Center. We will be staying on top of this one. Permit information is here:
https://trakit.idahofallsidaho.gov/etrakit3/printPermit.aspx?permitNo=COM17-0023

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Greater Idaho Falls Chamber picks new CEO

Robert “Chip” Schwarze has been selected as the Greater Idaho Falls Chamber of Commerce’s new chief executive officer, starting March 1. Schwarze succeeds Michelle Holt, who stepped down after three years as CEO to accept a position at Eastern Idaho Technical College.

“Chip has extensive experience in leadership, and we are excited about the vision that he will bring to the chamber and our community,” said Eric Hess, chairman of the chamber’s board of directors.

Schwarze most recently worked as district director of the Boy Scouts of America in Olympia, Wash., where he was the lead administrator for three districts covering all of southwestern Washington. A graduate of Brigham Young University-Idaho, he has ties to the Idaho Falls area, as he previously worked as a financial advisor and sales manager in Idaho Falls for several years.

“As a former small business owner, I know what business leaders look for in their chamber,” he said. He and his wife have five grown children, three of whom reside in the Idaho Falls area.

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

EIRMC announces Frist Humanitarian, Excellence in Nursing award winners

Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center has announced its Frist Humanitarian Awards, given annually by each Hospital Corporation of America (HCA) hospital. The award is named after the late Dr. Thomas Frist, Sr., HCA’s founder, and given to an employee, physician and volunteer.

EIRMC also announced its Excellence in Nursing Awards recipient, given in two categories: Professional Mentoring and Compassionate Care.

Frist Humanitarian Award (Physician) – Dr. Andrew Garrity, emergency room physician

Dr. Andrew Garrity
Dr. Andrew Garrity is a board-certified emergency medicine physician, and has been a member of the EIRMC medical staff for 18 years. His nomination spoke of his willingness to serve his patients and highlighted that no task is too simple, even getting blankets or drinks for his patients. In his nomination, several stories were offered to illustrate his compassion and kindness.

“A patient we had seen many times before was getting ready to go to jail after his medical clearance. He was a thin man and one who lives a hard life. The patient was standing with his arms cuffed behind his back, no shirt or shoes and pants falling down. As the scene unfolded, some of the ER staff were wondering what the cops were going to do about his pants. Dr. Garrity just walked up, said ‘Partner let’s do up your belt,’ cinched up his belt and walked away. One of the ER staff grinned and said ‘I want to be just like Dr. Garrity.’”

Another time, an older couple came in to receive care one evening. A diagnosis was given and prescriptions written. Upon discussing the plan of care with the patient and his wife, it was brought to light that they were on a limited income and getting these prescriptions would be a huge burden to the patient. Dr. Garrity handed the chart to the nurse and said ‘Please give them this envelope and do not tell them it was from me.’It was money for them to be able to get their prescriptions filled.”

As a Frist Award winner, EIRMC will make a donation in Garrity’s name to his charity of choice, the Idaho Falls Soup Kitchen.

Frist Humanitarian Award (Employee) – Kirie Brown, R.N., director of education & wellness

Kirie Brown
Kirie Brown serves as the director of education and wellness at EIRMC and was nominated by several staff members in her department. Each nomination was unique, but all mentioned how impressed they have been with her dedication to community and global service.

Brown has traveled several times to third world countries to teach neonatal resuscitation to doctors and nurses. To date, she has been to Nepal, China, Belize, Jordan, and parts Africa to teach people life-saving care methods for their infants right after birth. She often uses her own funds to make these trips possible.

As a Frist Award winner, EIRMC will make a donation in Kirie’s name to her charity of choice, the EIRMC Auxiliary.

Frist Humanitarian Award (Volunteer)– Dan Ashworth

Dan Ashworth
Dan Ashworth has been an EIRMC volunteer for four years and has volunteered over 2,300 hours of his time. A former member of the U.S. Navy, he remains passionate about helping his fellow veterans. He serves on the Board of Directors of the Vietnam Veterans of America and also works with several other organizations including the American Legion, Disabled American Veterans and the Veterans Mobility Corporation (VMC). At the VMC, Dan helps to provide powered wheelchairs to veterans who would otherwise not have access to them.

While volunteering at EIRMC, Ashworth met the family of a veteran who was undergoing a leg amputation. The veteran would need a powered wheelchair after his recovery but had no means to obtain one. He was able to connect the veteran to VMC and he was given the organization’s 71st wheelchair.

A EIRMC, Ashworth volunteers in the Surgical Waiting Room, where he helps keep families informed of what is going on with their loved ones. This is a key role and provides families with much needed comfort during what would otherwise be a stressful time.

As a Frist Award winner, EIRMC will make a donation in Dan’s name to his charity of choice, the Veterans Mobility Corp.

Excellence in Nursing, Professional Mentoring – Kathy Fatkin, Ph.D, AHIP, R.N., Medical Librarian

Kathy Fatkin
Kathy Fatkin has been the medical librarian at EIRMC for 20 years and is a strong advocate for nursing excellence at EIRMC. She is known for encouraging fellow employees to always continue learning and even pursue advanced degrees
and serves as an exceptional mentor to many of our staff.

Her commitment to continual learning and professional growth led her to seek a doctoral degree in library science. She worked full time during the seven years that it took to finish her program. She spends many hours mentoring individuals who are currently working on advanced degrees. She also makes herself available to any nurse or staff member with clinical questions, assisting them with finding answers and providing patients with the best care possible.

Fatkin serves as the executive sponsor of the research arm of the EIRMC Shared Governance Council and utilizes her knowledge to advance nursing practices throughout the hospital. In so doing, she ensures that policies and decisions are in line with best evidence based practices.

As an Excellence in Nursing winner, EIRMC will make a donation in Fatkin’s name to her charity of choice, the National Park Foundation.

Excellence in Nursing, Compassionate Care – Malinda Barker, R.N.

Malinda Barker
Malinda Barker is a clinical supervisor in the EIRMC Post Anesthesia Care Unit in Perioperative Services. Her nominators described her as a selfless and kind person who cares greatly for her co-workers. She has a reputation for bringing in treats and goodies from her garden on holidays, birthdays, and other days, even on days off.

Her nomination called her a “tireless advocate for her patients.” Because of the area she works, Barker’s patients are coming out of anesthesia and not awake during her interactions with them. Rather than let that stop her, she goes out of her way to make sure each patient has the best experience possible and actively looks for ways to improve each patient’s experience. No job is too small, and nothing is too much to ask of her.

As an Excellence in Nursing winner, EIRMC will make a donation in Barker’s name to her charity of choice, City of Refuge.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

"Grid Game" headlines 2017 Engineering Your Future event

The Grid Game got its start as a simulator of the power swing equation created for the Idaho Universities’ Resilient Control Systems class in Fall of 2013.
In recognition of National Engineers Week, Idaho National Laboratory (INL) and the Center for Advanced Energy Studies (CAES) are sponsoring the Engineering Your Future STEM Workshops and GridGame Competition event today from 4-6:45 p.m. at CAES, 995 University Boulevard.

The event is aimed at local high school and college students, and will feature booths, a prize drawing, the GridGame Competition, and several interactive STEM workshops on subjects including wind energy, electric vehicles, mechanical engineering, virtual reality, unmanned aerial systems and INL internship opportunities.

The GridGame is a desktop simulation developed by INL that allows students to experience what it is like to manage a power grid in the face of adverse conditions. During the competition, players will use the digital control panel simulation to try to obtain the most revenue from their microgrid by optimizing the use of resources (e.g., storage, generation, loads) while combating hackers trying to sabotage their control systems. In addition to competing against each other, teams will try to beat a challenge team led by Jackie Flowers, Idaho Falls Power’s head honcho.

The team with the highest score in the competition round will be invited to attend the Eastern Idaho Engineers Week Banquet Friday at the Idaho Falls Shilo Inn.

National Engineers Week takes place each February during the week of Washington’s birthday, Feb. 22.

For more about the grid game, here’s a story that ran in 2015: GRID GAME TEACHES STUDENTS ABOUT ELECTRIC GRID COMPLEXITY, RESILIENCE.