Lauren Alycia Kidd, also known as “Little Lauren,” was a home health aide.
Kidd died June 5, 2012, after a seven-year battle with lupus. She was 26.
She was born June 6, 1986, to Lisa and Joel Kidd.
Kidd was educated in the Philadelphia parochial and public school systems. She attended Preparatory Charter High School and graduated from University City High School in 2000. She attended Star Technical School and Philadelphia Job Corps where she completed the medical office assistant program in 2003.
Her family said Kidd was a joy to be around and she had a generous and kind spirit. She was not one to “hold her tongue” but she was always there to help, her family said. She was always ready to “take the kids” when she could.
Kidd had a special relationship with Christ and attended church with both of her grandmothers and her mother.
She enjoyed her Saturday morning dance classes and participating in the Philadelphia City Year program for Young Heroes while in school. She also loved to cook.
Kidd held various positions of employment. She worked at Save-A-Lot and ShopRite markets. Her most recent employment with Reliance Home Health Care as a home health aide gave her the most enjoyment.
She was preceded in death by her grandmother, Lenora Kidd and her grandfathers, Donald McCray II and Frank Battle.
In addition to her parents, Kidd is survived by her daughter, Ameena; godson, Miles; grandmother, Lillian McCray; best friends, Rita, Talea, Lavette, Lanieka; special friend, Aaron and other relatives and friends.
Services were held June 15 at Pinkett Tabernacle Friendly Church, 1915 North 21st Street.
Local firm provides energy-saving upgrade
Participating in the renovation of the Byrne Green Federal Complex enabled Mark Ulrick Engineers Inc. (MUEI) to work one of its largest projects to date.
MUEI, a Center City-based engineering firm, was awarded a $400,000 contract by the Keating Building Corporation for the HVAC and electrical design portions of the Byrne Green Building air handling unit replacement and photo voltaic cell installation in April 2010.
Funded with $22.7 million in Recovery Act stimulus dollars, the entire project converted the William J. Green Federal Building and James A. Bryne U.S. Courthouse into energy-efficient buildings.
MUEI was charged with replacing 32 multi-zone air handling units that were original equipment in Green Federal Building at 600 Arch St. The company’s services included HVAC load calculations, electrical load calculations, energy modeling, systems design and construction administration.
“This is our third largest project. This is our 25th year and for us it was a good project,” said Mark B. Washington, principal of MUEI.
“The teaming arrangement we had with Keating worked well. The stimulus money projects have afforded the opportunity to have some of our largest projects to date.”
The project enabled the company to bring Walter Brown, a mechanical designer, on board. Due to the economic downturn, Brown had been laid off from a larger architectural/engineering firm based in Philadelphia.
MUEI specializes in electrical, mechanical, plumbing and fire protection engineering.
Regional officials of the U.S. General Services Administration marked the completion of the Byrne Green Federal Complex renovation with a ceremonial ribbon cutting Thursday at the Green Federal Building.
The renovations of the Green Building entailed the replacement of HVAC components with high performance equipment, the installation of a sustainable roofing system and lighting upgrades with energy efficient fixtures and occupancy sensors.
The renovations of the Byrne courthouse involved renovations of public restrooms to include water conservation fixtures, lighting upgrades with energy efficient fixtures and the installation of solar panels on the roof to generate electricity.
“This is really the kind of thing that makes a difference in terms of comfort and energy consumption to ensure that these two buildings can perform their public services for many years to come,” David H. Ehrenwerth, GSA regional administrator said in regard to the renovations.
Independence Blue Cross has launched a $10 million foundation geared toward transforming health care in the Philadelphia region.
The IBC Foundation targets three areas: caring for the community’s most vulnerable; leading innovative approaches to health care and developing the health-care workforce of the future with an intense focus on nursing education.
“It is with great pride and enthusiasm that we announce the launch of the IBC Foundation,” said IBC president and CEO Daniel J. Hilferty.
“Building upon our deep commitment to our community, the foundation is poised to build healthier communities and spur innovation. By caring for the most vulnerable people in our community, enhancing the quality of health care for all and supporting groundbreaking innovations in health care, the foundation will help drive change in health care in our region for generations to come.”
The foundation’s creation was announced Thursday afternoon during the launch of IBC’s Nursing For Tomorrow Forum held at WHYY headquarters on Independence Mall.
Lorina Marshall Blake, IBC vice president of community affairs, will head the foundation.
The new foundation will focus on caring for the most vulnerable in the Philadelphia region by helping the uninsured get quality health care and supporting seniors and their caregivers. The newly created Blue Safety Net will provide $2 million in grants in 2011 to private nonprofit clinics that care for the uninsured and underinsured.
IBC announced foundation grants totaling $1 million to 15 clinics serving 70,000 patients in all five counties in the region.
The foundation’s second area of impact is directed at enhancing health-care delivery and will focus on developing the health-care workforce needed for the future. This work will concentrate on strengthening the region’s nursing workforce through a new $1.5 million initiative called Nurses For Tomorrow.
Nurses for Tomorrow will improve the quality of care in the region by increasing the supply of nurses and nurse educators through $1 million in scholarships awarded through 27 undergraduate nursing programs and 12 graduate nursing programs in the Philadelphia region. The Nurses for Tomorrow initiative will support the creation of three fellowships over the next two years to drive innovation in nursing education. The initiative will also establish continued education for nursing deans, nurse educators and administrators and support the development of a web-based resource for all area nursing schools.
“We are very excited about this new foundation and expanding our partnership with IBC ever further,” said Beverly Malone, CEO of the National League for Nursing, who joined IBC officials for the foundation’s launch.
“What can’t be overlooked is that IBC is not only continuing to support nursing education through scholarships, but again is leading the way in a manner no one else has thought to do.”
The foundation is launching a new Innovation Grant program that will provide $1 million to support projects and research that significantly advance the practice and delivery of health care. The foundation’s first Innovation Grant was awarded to the National Nursing Centers Consortium to enable area nonprofit clinics to use electronic medical records to provide more efficient and safer patient care.
The foundation’s website is now accepting applications for Innovation Grants at www.ibxfoundation.org.
Hilferty was joined at the foundation launch by Mayor Michael Nutter and Drexel University President John Fry, who highlighted IBC’s long partnership with Drexel.
A challenging economic environment has led Advance Bank to close the former Berean Bank branch in West Philadelphia.
The Baltimore-based banking institution closed the branch, located at 5228 Chestnut Street on October 14.
Berean, started in 1888, was among the oldest, continuously operated African-American financial institutions in the country when financial difficulties led it to merge in 2003 with Advance, which has a similar background.
Denise Jones Fraiser, Advance Bank’s senior vice president, said bank officials are not making any further comments about the branch closure.
However in a letter to customers, Jones Fraiser outlined the bank’s reasons for closing the branch.
“Our plan when merging with the former Berean Bank was to expand within the Baltimore and Philadelphia markets. The current economic environment does not support our original expansion plans. Because of a sustained decline in our national and the local economy, and a lack of sufficient business opportunities, we made the very difficult decision to close the Berean branch and to focus on building our Maryland operations where we have a larger network of branches,” Jones Fraiser wrote.
Deposits in the branch have fallen from $44.7 million in 2003, the year of the merger, to $19.3 million in June 2010, according to data from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.
The branch closure comes at a time when Black-owned banks have been losing traction. The number of Black-owned banking institutions has fallen from about 54 in 1994 to less than 30 in 2011.
“There are just fewer and fewer Black-owned banks although the demographics are compelling — a growing population and more highly educated growth rate,” said William Michael Cunningham, CEO of Creative Investment Research, Inc., a Washington, D.C.-based firm that specializes in minority banking.
Cunningham said Black-owned banks were hurt when mainstream banking institutions realized that African Americans had a large buying power.
“They discovered that there was a great deal of buying power within the African-American community,” said Cunningham.
“The white banks determined that they wanted to get that money,” he said, noting that these same banking institutions starting targeting African-American consumers with subprime mortgages and predatory loans.
Customers can still contact Advance Bank regarding their concerns around their checking/savings accounts and loans. Customers can transfer their account to the bank’s home office in Baltimore. They can also have funds wired into their account from another financial institution and their accounts can be accessed through telephone banking, online banking or at an ATM.
Customers who seek to close their account can mail their request to the bank’s headquarters at 4801 Seton Drive, Baltimore, Md., 21215.
Customers who have mortgage loans with the bank must mail their payments to: Payment Processing Center, P.O. Box 986, Newark, N.J. 07184-0986.
For customers who have commercial loans, payments can be mailed to 4801 Seton Drive, Baltimore, Md., 21215. For information about commercial loans call 1-866-550-0400.
For customers who have checking accounts, the bank will continue to honor checks as long as the account is kept open and there are sufficient funds to cover the checks.
For customers who have scheduled automatic payments from their checking accounts, do not need to take action if they decide to keep the account. Customers who decide to close their account need to contact any merchant with which they have scheduled automatic payments and provide them with account information at their new bank.
Customers who have direct deposit do not need to take action if they decide to keep their account with Advance. Customers who decide to close their accounts need to contact any agency with which they have scheduled a direct deposit and provide them with their account information at their new bank.
For general inquiries call 1(866) 550-0400.
Pennsylvania’s preterm birth rate is improving but there is still work to be done.
The state earned a “C” on the 2011 March of Dimes Premature Birth Report Card, an assessment that compares the state and the nation’s 2009 preliminary preterm birth rates with the organization’s goal of 9.6 percent of all live births by 2020.
Since 2006, the state’s preterm birth rate has dropped from 11.8 percent to 11.5 percent, according to the March of Dimes.
“It points out that even though we’re made some improvements in reducing preterm births we still have a way to go, which is why the March of Dimes is so important both in educating about prematurity and being able to support research into the causes of premature births,” says Dr. Larry Kaiser, president and CEO of Temple University Health System.
Kaiser noted that Philadelphia sees higher numbers of premature births because of its large proportion of uninsured women.
“We know that uninsured women have a higher incidence of premature birth and sometimes that is because of health-related problems and sometimes it’s a result as a lack of prenatal care,” he said.
“We’ve done a pretty good job with smoking during pregnancy and reducing the number of late preterm births but there’s still a higher incidence in the uninsured.”
Premature birth is the leading cause of newborn death and babies who survive an early birth often face breathing problems, cerebral palsy and intellectual disabilities. The problem costs the United States more than $26 billion annually, according to the Institute of Medicine.
Dr. Jay S. Greenspan, a neonatologist and chair, March of Dimes program services committee says tackling prematurity takes a multi-prong approach.
“The problem is very complex, so unlike some other problems that the March of Dimes has tackled such as polio or spina bifida, this has many aspects to it that even go beyond a medical issue to a social issue and a disparity issue.”
Greenspan noted that the rates of prematurity are directly linked to the health of the nation’s women of childbearing age.
“The healthier the young women are in the country, generally, the lower the prematurity rate,” Greenspan says.
“Combating prematurity includes living a healthy lifestyle, combating stress and thinking ahead about becoming pregnant.”
To help address the issue in Pennsylvania, the March of Dimes is investing $4.2 million for a range of new programs.
Dolores T. Smith, March of Dimes, state director of program services, gave an overview of some of pilot projects that will impact Philadelphia.
Under one project, postpartum education is being offered to mothers of preterm newborns in an effort to reduce repeat preterm birth. This program is underway at the neonatal intensive care units of Abington Memorial, Thomas Jefferson and Pennsylvania Hospitals.
“We recognize that the woman at highest risk for pre-term birth is a woman who has already had a pre-term birth,” said Smith.
After women are educated about their risk factors, they are encouraged to visit a maternal fetal medicine specialist who can assess their medical records and closely monitor them before and during their next pregnancy.
Through other programs, the March of Dimes will fund efforts to provide interconceptional education during well-child pediatric visits; participating medical providers in Philadelphia will be trained on providing group prenatal care as well.
In addition, March of Dimes is funding research projects at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Temple University, St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children, Lankenau Institute for Medical Research and the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania.
The March of Dimes says its 2020 preterm birth goal can be achieved by giving all women of childbearing age access to health care coverage, implementing proven interventions to reduce the risk of an early birth, such as not smoking during pregnancy, getting preconception and early prenatal care, progesterone treatments for women who are medically eligible, avoiding multiples from fertility treatments, avoiding elective Caesarian sections and inductions before 39 weeks of pregnancy and by funding new research on prevention of preterm birth.
As a part of Prematurity Awareness Month, the March of Dimes Pennsylvania Chapter will hold Day of Gratitude events at hospitals and neonatal intensive care units across the state.
The March of Dimes and organizations from Australia, Africa and Europe will observe World Prematurity Awareness Day on November 17.
An estimated 13 million babies are born preterm, and of those, one million die as a result of their early birth, according to an October 2009 March of Dimes report.
Throughout November, the following buildings and bridges in Philadelphia will be lit purple as a symbol of hope to the babies and families fighting premature birth: One Liberty Place, Strawberry Mansion Bridge, The Ben Franklin Bridge, The CIRA Centre, PECO Energy Building, Two Liberty Place and Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine.
Paul S. Terry Jr., former president of Terry Funeral Home, died March 7, 2012, at Chestnut Hill Hospital, after a short illness.
He was 73.
Terry was a graduate of West Philadelphia High School, received his bachelor’s degree from Lincoln University, Oxford, Pa., and completed Eckels College of Mortuary Science. Upon graduation in 1960, he became a member of the family business.
Terry Funeral Home dates back to 1938 when his father, Paul S. Terry Sr. and mother, Frances E. Tyson Terry, started the family owned business in Pleasantville, N.J. Terry assumed the role of head funeral director in 1974 when his father became adviser to the operation. After his father’s death in 1986, Paul Jr. became president, and operated Terry Funeral Home with his younger brother Thompson Terry Sr. who preceded him in death in 1997. In 2000, he sold the business and retired. Terry Funeral Home had taken on a new president, Gregory T. Burrell, and Terry remained as a consultant until 2009.
Though the funeral home was the main focus in Terry’s life, he did make time for family and many service and social organizations. In 1987, Terry married his wife, Nellie Booker Terry; they enjoyed a rich life together until her death in 2011. They delighted in travel and being seen during the social season at fundraisers and galas.
Though Terry was a native Philadelphian he was very proud of his ties to his descendants in Pleasantville, N.J., and Reading, Pa. It was at Charles Evans Cemetery that Terry always made a point of maintaining the family plot for all holidays. The site dates back to the early 1800s.
He was most known for his work with Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., The Philadelphia Chapter of the National Association of Guardsmen, The Frontiersman, The Commissioners and the Olde Philadelphia Club. As a member of the Olde Philadelphia Club, he was voted in as vice president. He was the first person in the club’s history to be voted into office, under the age of 35.
He is survived by his nephews, Thompson Terry Jr. and Gordon Terry; cousins, Edward Terry and James McKee; stepdaughter, Faye Campbell; and other relatives and friends.
The first viewing will be held March 18 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Terry Funeral Home, 4203 Haverford Avenue. A transition service will be held March 18 at 6 p.m. at Mt. Olivet Tabernacle Baptist Church, 647 North 42nd Street.
A second viewing will be held March 19 from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. at Mt. Olivet Tabernacle Baptist Church. Funeral services will follow at 11. Burial will be in Charles Evans Cemetery.
An initiative is underway to increase well-baby pediatric visits during an infant’s first year of life.
The Maternity Care Coalition has partnered with the National Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Coalition, Merck and the National Medical Association to launch Healthy Beginnings for Babies.
Healthy Beginnings for Babies launched in three urban areas, Philadelphia, Baltimore and Chicago.
“The program really hopes to increase the number of moms who are taking their babies for well-baby care and ensuring that all babies get the vaccinations they need during the first year,” said Karen Pollack, MCC’s director of programs.
“What we find in working with families is that there are a lot of things that make it difficult for moms to get kids to the doctor.”
MCC staff is working to educate parents about the importance of well-baby visits by distributing educational materials and conducting outreach through health fairs and other activities.
MCC is distributing a booklet for parents titled “Guide For Baby’s 1st Year” that offers information on child development issues, what parents can expect for pediatric visits during their babies first year, questions to ask their health professionals and a scheduling chart for well-baby visits and immunizations.
Well-baby appointments enable medical providers to ensure that a baby is healthy and developmentally on track. During the appointments, a baby’s growth is charted and the baby is given a physical examination. The healthcare provider will also check the baby’s general development, provide nutritional information and administer vaccinations.
“When babies aren’t getting all their immunizations, and when they’re not regularly going to a healthcare provider, there is a concern about potential developmental delays or it makes them at greater risk for exposure to different illnesses,” says Pollack.
Founded in 1980, MCC focuses on improving maternal and child health and well-being.
Funeral services have been scheduled for Moses Walker Jr.
Walker, 40, was a 19-year veteran of the Philadelphia Police Department.
He was shot and killed on Saturday, Aug. 18, 2012, shortly after finishing his shift at District 22.
Moses entered the Philadelphia Police Academy in March 1993 as a recruit. In August 1993, he was promoted to the rank of police officer and like many rookie officers, was assigned to foot patrol in the Department’s Center City District. After walking the beat in Center City for several months, he was assigned to the 22nd District on March 31, 1994. Moses would find a home patrolling the streets of North Central for the next 18 years. He was known by both his fellow officers and the residents he served as a courteous, polite and humble man.
His service extended past the police department. He was also an active member of the Deliverance Evangelistic Church where he served as a deacon. There, he was known as an optimistic man who always saw the good in people.
He is survived by his mother and five siblings.
A viewing will be held Aug. 26 from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. at Deliverance Evangelistic Church, 2001 Lehigh Avenue.
A second viewing will be held Aug. 27 from 7 a.m. to 10 a.m. at Deliverance Evangelistic Church. Services will follow at 10 a.m. Burial will be held in Fernwood Cemetery, 6501 Baltimore Avenue.
The Fraternal Order of Police Lodge #5 will hold a fundraiser to support Walker’s family on Aug. 27 from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. at 1336 Spring Garden St.
Texas police are hunting a suspected serial rapist who appears to be targeting alumnae members of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.
Four sorority members in their mid-50s to early 60s were raped in their suburban Dallas homes over the past 11 months.
The most recent attack occurred around 9:15 p.m. Oct. 21 in Corinth, Denton County, police said. Besides that attack, two of the rapes occurred in Plano and the other in Coppell, both of which are in Dallas County.
As of Monday afternoon, police did not have any new leads. The Plano, Coppell and Corinth police departments are investigating.
“We don’t know the association of the victims to the suspect, but we are diligently working with the other agencies involved to see if we could get some new leads and new information on the case,” said Andre Smith, a Plano police public information officer.
Plano police released photos and video of a man who could be connected to the attacks.
According to Plano police, the suspect is described as a Black male, late 30s to early 40s, 5 feet 7 to 6 feet tall, 250 to 300 pounds with a heavy build. He has a thin, well-trimmed beard and possibly a receding hairline, police said.
All of the assaults occurred at the victims’ residences and during the assaults, the suspect indicated that he knew information about them.
In an official press release posted to the organization’s website, Delta Sigma Theta urged members in the Dallas area to take precautionary measures. The organization has been cooperating with Dallas law enforcement agencies.
“Since receiving news of these incidents, our primary concern has been the safety of our members,” said Delta Sigma Theta national president Cynthia M. A. Butler-McIntyre.
“While it is not yet confirmed that these victims were targeted because of their affiliation with the sorority, we are erring on the side of caution and are advising our members in the Dallas area to take the necessary precautionary measures. We encourage members to be alert, remain aware of their surroundings and to call the police if they see anything suspicious or feel threatened.”
The organization encouraged members to follow safety precautions issued by law enforcement agencies until the suspect has been captured. Members of the sorority in the Dallas area were advised to remove sorority paraphernalia from their vehicles, key chains, homes and offices. They were also encouraged to refrain from wearing clothing or accessories that identify them as members. Members were also reminded to be aware of their surroundings and ensure that their homes are locked and secure at all times.
Additional safety precautions include removing personal information, including day-to-day whereabouts, from Facebook, Twitter and other social media outlets.
“Delta Sigma Theta has a strong presence and long history of service in the Dallas area and worldwide,” said Butler-McIntyre.
“To think that our members are being targeted is disturbing and extremely disheartening. Until the individual responsible for these crimes is brought to justice, we will continue to remain in close communication with one another and law enforcement officials in the respective jurisdictions.”
Eldridge Witherspoon Smith Jr., also known as “Butter,” was Temple University’s first African-American director of admissions.
Smith died Oct. 25, 2011. He was 72.
Smith was born to the late Eldridge W. Smith Sr. and Josephine A. Smith on Aug. 21, 1939, in Philadelphia.
He was raised and educated in Philadelphia. He attended Philadelphia public schools, graduating from West Philadelphia High School at the age of 16; he then received a bachelor’s degree in Elementary and Special Education from Cheyney University in 1964. As a strong believer in continuing his education, he went on to attend Temple University to complete his master’s of education degree in School Counseling in 1974.
Smith was brought up attending and serving in church with his parents. He accepted the Lord as his personal Savior at a young age and actively served within the ministry as a Sunday school teacher and youth leader at St. Matthew AME Church.
In May of 1969, Smith wed Theresa King and from this union two children were born, Whitney Michele Smith and Evan Wade Smith.
Professionally, Smith pursued several careers with the Opportunities Industrialization Center and Phiko Ford before beginning his career with Temple University.
In 1969, he was appointed as associate director of the Temple Opportunity Program, which recruited academically talented students from low-income families. In 1976, he was given the assignment to reorganize and manage Temple’s Student Resource Center, a unit that provided support services to students with the help of federal, state and university funding.
In 1977, Smith was appointed as Temple’s associate director of admissions. After a nationwide search and selection from more than 100 applications, Smith was confirmed as Temple’s first African-American director of admissions in 1984. Local newspapers and Jet magazine acknowledged this honor.
He finished his tenure at Temple as a director, consulting on special assignment in the Office of Community Relations at Temple University Hospital, until retiring in 1995.
After taking time to enjoy his retirement, Smith desired to continue his service in education and later entered the Philadelphia School System where he worked with special needs high school students and adults until his retirement in June of 2010.
Smith was a strong advocate of education, and he helped many young people get into college. Many of these students were first generation college students and found success when they were recommended to meet with him at Temple for an opportunity of admission.
He married Norma Jean Hill on Nov. 28, 1987.
In his spare time, Smith enjoyed spending time with his family and friends, and socializing and watching sporting events as he was an ardent fan of the Philadelphia Eagles and Sixers basketball team.
Smith is survived by his wife, Norma Jean Smith; daughter, Whitney Smith Williams (John); son, Evan Wade Smith; brother, Robert Smith; stepsons, Richard and Robert Hill; grandchildren, Jayda, Ryan and Nia Faith; step granddaughter, Chardé Hill; niece, Dianne Robinson; and other relatives and friends.
Services will be held Friday, Nov. 4 at Vine Memorial Baptist Church, 5600 West Girard Avenue. Viewing is at 10 a.m. Services to follow at 11. Burial is in Eden Cemetery.