College of
Human
Medicine

College News: 2021

OCTOBER

  • Fourth-year student, Johana Peña, was featured in an article on The Washington Post titled "She’s a medical student. Her mom is a custodian at the hospital where she trained."
  • A study led by Claire Margerison, PhD, associate professor in the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, found that the expansion of Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act was linked to a lower chance of low-income individuals reporting that they experienced depression before pregnancy.
  • The following radiologists have joined Advanced Radiology Services and have been appointed clinical assistant professors in the College of Human Medicine: Jorge Alchammas, MD, neuroradiology (Warren); Alex Martin, DO, body imaging (Warren); Jeff Knake, MD, musculoskeletal imaging (Lansing/Owosso); and Samer Kannab-Aida, MD, body imaging (Warren).
  • The college welcomed 191 first-year medical students at the White Coat and Matriculation Ceremony in August. More than 11,000 people applied to the medical school last year, a 48 percent increase since 2009.
  • Through a grant funded by MSU Gran Fondo donations, Richard Neubig, MD, PhD, chair of the  Department of Pharmacology & Toxicology, and a team of researchers will study two compounds that could improve treatment for melanoma

SEPTEMBER

  • MSU doctors, including Rebecca Schein, MD, assistant professor in the Department of Pediatrics and Human Development, answer questions about flu season and vaccination for the flu and COVID-19.
  • Karen Kelly-Blake, PhD, assistant director in the Center for Bioethics and Social Justice and associate professor in the Department of Medicine, wrote an op-ed for Detroit Free Press titled “Getting vaccinated is an act of revolution for Black Americans.”
  • Robey B. Champine, PhD, MS, MPH, assistant professor in the Master of Public Health Program, highlights seven teaching and mentoring strategies to address issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion in the classroom.
  • Three years after its installation, an ArtPrize sculpture on the corner of Monroe and Michigan Streets along Grand Rapids’ Medical Mile still carries a strong message.
  • Andrew Bender, PhD, assistant professor in the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, is one of two MSU faculty recently selected by the Michigan Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center (MADRC) as recipients of a two-year award for Early Career Mentoring in Dementia. The MADRC’s P30 award from NIH was recently renewed to continue funding the center for the next five years. Under this new award, Dr. Bender was also recently appointed as a member of the MADRC Executive Committee and as a Co-Investigator of their NeuroImaging Core.
  • Watch "Trauma, Community Health and the Criminal Legal System," a webinar co-presented by the Michigan State University Center for Bioethics and Social Justice and the Henry Ford Health System Health Disparities Research Collaborative.
  • Second-year student scholar Danielle Keller discusses the sacrifices necessary to become a Spartan MD.
  • Alumni board President Ross Ramsey, MD ('09) shares his focus on service and community as a rural health physician.
  • Alumni couple’s giving spans three colleges and two cities, helping students and programs grow—both on campus, and in their hometown of Grand Rapids. Read more about Spartans Tim & Karen O'Donovan.
  • Michael Brown MD, professor and chair in the Department of Emergency Medicine, has been reappointed for another 3-year term as the leading member of the American Board of Emergency Medicine Key Advances Panel.
  • Read “Don’t Scapegoat Immigrants for the COVID-19 Pandemic Surge,” a blog written by Larissa Fluegel, MD, MHS, assistant professor of the Center for Bioethics and Social Justice, and Sean A. Valles, PhD, director of the Center for Bioethics and Social Justice.
  • Henry Ford Health System and Michigan State University unveiled the new unified brand of their partnership, Henry Ford Health + Michigan State University Health Sciences.
  • Michigan State University College of Human Medicine alumni board member and alumna Carmen Renee’ Green, MD ('87) has been named dean of CUNY School of Medicine (CSOM) at The City College of New York.
  • Community engagement is essential for public health projects. Rodlescia Sneed, PhD, MPH, assistant professor in the Division of Public Health, shares her experiences involving community engagement as a researcher and instructor and explains what makes it successful.
  • In a Q&A with MSUToday, Honglei Chen, MD, PhD, professor in the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, discusses his current research focused on the health of older adults and how losing their sense of smell may be an early indicator of Parkinson’s disease, dementia or other diseases.
  • Ping Wang, PhD, assistant professor in in the Precision Health Program, is among 23 early career scientists to win funding for research to accelerate the development of the next generation of imaging technologies as part of the inaugural year of Scialog: Advancing BioImaging.  

AUGUST

  • Third-year student Antara Afrin was selected to participate in the National Institutes of Health Medical Research Scholars Program (MRSP) class of 2021-2022. During her yearlong research experience at the NIH, Antara will receive robust, mentored training and will conduct research in areas matching her personal and research goals. As one of 50 MRSP scholars, Antara will participate in courses, journal club seminars, a structured lecture series, and clinical teaching rounds.
  • The Matriculation and White Coat Ceremony for the 2021 Entering Class is on Sunday, August 22, 2021 at 3:00 pm at the DeVos Performance Hall in Grand Rapids.
  • The Third Annual Michigan State University Precision Health Symposium will be held Thursday, September 30, 2021, in-person at the MSU Kellogg Center and via Zoom. Click HERE for details and to register.
  • Tom O’Halloran, PhD, MSU Foundation Professor, has been appointed director of the Elemental Health Institute.
  • John E. vanSchagen, MD, associate professor, has been named interim chair of the Department of Family Medicine. Dr. vanSchagen has been a senior associate chair in the department since 2014.
  • Eileen Hug, DO, Henry Ford Health System (HFHS) associate director for medical education has been appointed community assistant dean for the college’s new Detroit campus at HFHS, and Steve Kalkanis, MD, HFHS senior vice president and chief academic officer has been appointed associate dean.
  • Andrew Kim created the podcast Get to Know to meet and learn about his classmates during the pandemic, when in-person learning was very limited. His subjects are varied: a classmate who combines his interest in art and fashion with medicine, another who studied political philosophy before deciding on a career in medicine, and one who enrolled at age 40 after serving as a Green Beret medic.
  • Honglei Chen, MD, PhD, professor in the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, has been named a Michigan State University Foundation Professor in recognition of his outstanding research into the epidemiology of aging and neurodegenerative diseases.
  • College of Human Medicine students in the Latino Medical Student Association and the Student National Medical Association are teaching and inspiring kids at Baxter Community Center's Youth Mentoring Program.
  • 30 students and four faculty in the College of Human Medicine were inducted into the Gold Humanism Honor Society.
  • This year’s MSU Gran Fondo is on September 18 in Grand Rapids. This fun, non-competitive cycling event has a route for everyone. Ride solo, as a family or join a team on one of the scenic 80, 40, 25 or 10-mile courses. The ride supports the college's skin cancer awareness, prevention and research.

JULY

  • The number of family medicine residents with more than $250,000 in self-reported educational debt increased by 81% over a five-year period, according to a study led by Julie Phillips, MD, professor in the Department of Family Medicine.
  • A new rare genetic syndrome went from a collection of symptoms to a successful treatment in less than two years with the help of three professors in the Department of Pediatrics and Human Development, André S. Bachmann, PhD, Caleb Bupp, MD, and Surender Rajasekaran, MD. Related Media: FOX 17, Medical Xpress, Microsoft News, News Medical, The Today Show
  • Morteza Mahmoudi, PhD, assistant professor in the Precision Health Program, is leading an international team of scientists to develop a low-cost, practical biopolymer dressing that helps heal chronic wounds. Related Media: Medical Xpress, News Medical, ScienceDaily.
  • Disparities in colorectal cancer screening in African Americans result in a higher death rate among that segment of the population. Todd Lucas, PhD, C.S. Mott Endowed Professor of Public Health, and his research team will use a five-year, $1.7 million Research Scholar Grant from the American Cancer Society to study colorectal cancer screening and health equity.
  • Alyssa Vanderziel, MS, a PhD candidate in the Department of Epidemiology & Biostatistics and graduate research assistant in the Department of Family Medicine, was awarded an R36 from the National Institute on Drug Abuse of the National Institutes of Health. The R36 award will support Vanderziel’s research project “Cannabis Legalization and Use During Pregnancy: A Michigan Study.”
  • College of Human Medicine student Heather Martin completed a research project with Spectrum Health stroke neurologist Muhib Khan, MD, evaluating the impact of anticoagulation initiation in patients with stroke due to atrial fibrillation. Five manuscripts have been published in high impact journal such as Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry; Stroke and Annals of Neurology.
  • In an op-ed on Market Watch, Leonard Fleck, PhD, professor in the Center for Bioethics and Social Justice, writes about the FDA's approval of a new Alzheimer’s Drug. Related News: MSU Bioethics.

JUNE

May

  • Richard Leach, MD, chair of the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Biology, has been appointed chair of the Henry Ford Medical Group’s Department of Women’s Health Services.
  • Morteza Mahmoudi, PhD, assistant professor in the Department of Radiology, is studying and raising awareness about the role of sex in the efficacy of vaccines that make use of nanomedicine.
  • Dennis Yamamoto, MD, (CHM '78) received the 2020 Clinical Teaching Award from the University of Nevada School of Medicine Reno.
  • Medical researchers have long known of a link between endometriosis and infertility in women, but precisely how the two are related remains unknown. But now a team that includes Jae-Wook Jeong, PhD, a professor of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Biology, backed by a federal grant, hopes to solve that mystery and find possible treatments. 
  • In a first-of-its-kind study, Honglei Chen, PhD, professor in the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, and his team found a possible link between poor sense of smell and a higher risk of pneumonia hospitalization. Related media: EurekaAlert!, Futurity, Latestly, MedicalXpress, Medindia, Science Daily, The Science Times.
  • In honor of May as Mental Health Awareness Month, Claudia Finkelstein, MDCM, director of Wellness, Resilience and Vulnerable Populations, offers tips on how each of us can reenter “normal” life.
  • Maji Hailemariam, PhD, assistant professor in the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Reproductive Biology, discusses her COVID-19 treatment experience in Ethiopia in an op-ed on NPR.
  • Bin Chen, PhD, assistant professor in the Department of Pediatrics and Human Development, was selected as a recipient of the College of Human Medicine Early Career Research Excellence Award. The award is presented each year to faculty members who have demonstrated early success in research.
  • Renee Branch Canady, PhD, MPA, assistant professor in the Master of Public Health Program, was recognized as a Notable Executive in Diversity, Equity and Inclusion by Crain's Detroit Business.
  • The second annual State of Flint Kids report was released this week by the MSU-Hurley Pediatric Public Health Initiative and the Greater Flint Health Coalition. To access the report and video, go to stateofflintkids.com.
  • Mona Hanna-Atisha, MD, director of the Michigan State University and Hurley Children’s Hospital Pediatric Public Health Initiative, urges parents to protect adolescents with the COVID-19 vaccine and testifies on safe water infrastructure before the U.S. Congressional Committee.
  • "As a working mother and student, it is my goal to show my boys the importance of education and the value of hard work," says Cristina Szelingowski, a student in our Master of Public Health program.
  • College of Human Medicine alum David Burkard, MD, (CHM ‘18) was featured in a nine-part series on health care employees working during the COVID-19 pandemic in Grand Rapids Magazine.
  • Two of the three major projects currently underway along the Medical Mile are part of Michigan State University’s Grand Rapids Innovation Park
  • Antara Afrin, LCE student at our Southeast Michigan campus, was elected as the Regional Research Liaison for Student National Medical Association (SNMA).
  • Teck Soo, MD, director of the Division of Neurosurgery, received the North American Spine Society (NASS) Outstanding Paper award for his study "The Effect of Ketorolac on Posterior Minimally Invasive Lumbar Spinal Fusion: An Interim Analysis from a Randomized, Double-Blinded, Placebo-Controlled Trial."
  • Second-year College of Human Medicine student Julia Pudar, and Brent Strong, an Honors College senior majoring in physiology in the College of Natural Science, analyzed a decade’s worth of stroke studies and found a glaring flaw: Women patients were significantly underrepresented.
  • Mel Trotter Ministries is partnering with MSU College of Human Medicine and Mercy Health Saint Mary’s, Metro Health – University of Michigan Health, Spectrum Health, and Grand Valley State University’s Kirkhof College of Nursing, to offer free medical services to its clients who are experiencing homelessness.
  • The International Center for Polyamine Disorders (ICPD) website with André Bachmann, PhD, professor of pediatrics and associate chair for research, is live.
  • In an article on FOX News 17 in Nashville, Interim Dean Aron Sousa explains how one can be sure they're not wasting their time getting the vaccine.
  • Bold Advanced Medical Future Health (BAMF) is expected to lease some 35,000 square feet in the new Doug Meijer Medical Innovation Building at the Michigan State University Grand Rapids Innovation Park. Related media: MLive, FOX 17.
  • Eric D. Achtyes, MD, director of the Division of Psychiatry and Behavioral Medicine, joined The Meijer Brain Health Minute in an ongoing message to erase stigma and judgement associated with mental/brain health illness and suicide.
  • Faculty, staff and students in the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics share that they've received their COVID-19 vaccine.
  • Kelly Hirko, PhD, assistant professor in the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, received a 2021 Partnerships for Innovative Research in Africa (PIRA) grant.
  • Third-year student Jennifer Chinchilla Perez discusses how her personal experience as the daughter of Guatemalan immigrants led to her involvement in the study "Lost in Translation: An OSCE-Based Workshop for Helping Learners Navigate a Limited English Proficiency Patient Encounter."
  • Larry Charleston, IV, MD, was recently recruited as a professor and director of the Headache and Facial Pain Division in the Department of Neurology and Ophthalmology.
  • The Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Biology received some of the highest total funding for research from the National Institutes of Health last year, a recent report found.
  • The MSU Center for Ethics and Humanities in the Life Sciences announced their new name: Center for Bioethics and Social Justice.

April

March

  • MSU highlighted Spartan women making history in honor of Women's History Month, including Mona Hanna-Attisha, MD, director of the Michigan State University-Hurley Children’s Hospital Pediatric Public Health Initiative.
  • In honor of Endometriosis Awareness Month, Stacey Missmer, ScD, professor in the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Biology, discusses her Women’s Outcomes Research and Knowledge (WORK) Study which explores girls’ and women’s experiences with pelvic pain and the care they receive.
  • MSU College of Human Medicine announced the new Flint Spartan Master of Public Health Scholarship to support the public health workforce in the Flint community. Related media: MLive.
  • A team of medical students, pediatric residents and Flint Southwestern High School staff have been working together to deliver more than 12,000 period supplies as part of the Period Poverty Project. Related Media: ABC News 12, Flintside, MLive, Mid-Michigan Now.
  • Lansing campus student Christine Schafer received the Spartan Volunteer Service Award at the virtual 2021 Michigan State University Outreach and Engagement Awards Ceremony on February 24.
  • MSU recognized the achievements of Ade Olomu, MD, professor in the Department of Medicine, and Madeleine Lenski, MS, research specialist in the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, with distinguished awards for their contributions to the university and their fields of research.
  • Gold Humanism Honor Society members Andrew-Huy Dang and Emmanuella Joseph organized this year’s “Thank a Resident Day” for all seven campuses with virtual “thank you” cards designed to send to residents along with Starbucks gift cards.
  • Callie Langenderfer, who oversees psychiatry clerkships for the Colleges of Human and Osteopathic Medicine, has received national recognition and honored with the 2021 Excellence in Clerkship Administration Award.
  • Second-year Leadership in Rural Medicine students Kang Liao, Quynh Kieu, and Ben Wexler traveled to Soaring Eagle Casino in Mount Pleasant to help administer COVID-19 vaccines. They join 13 other LRM students who travel long distances to rural communities to help with the Mid-Michigan vaccine effort.
  • Sabrina Ford, PhD, associate professor in the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Biology, discusses how to bridge the racial disparity gap in cervical cancer through improved provider-patient communication and the use of technology. Related media: Bioengineer, Eurek Alert!, Medical Xpress, News Medical, ScienceMagazine.
  • The Division of Public Health welcomed Gurbaksh Esch, MD, as the inaugural Pediatric Public Health Initiative Alice Hamilton Scholar. Esch will participate in a two-year post-residency position for pediatricians with Michigan State University-Hurley Children's Hospital Pediatric Public Health Initiative.
  • Supratik Rayamajhi, MD, associate professor in the Department of Medicine, will serve as Interim Chair effective March 1, 2021.
  • The staff of McLaren Flint supported Spartan Street Medicine by helping the Flint campus students collect self-care kits for those experiencing homelessness. Many McLaren individuals and departments participated with a friendly rivalry ensuing between PAT and ICU, with ICU winning the trophy. The volume of items donated was tremendous.
  • College of Human Medicine student Douglas Snow is this year’s NRHA/John Snow Inc. Student Leadership Award winner.

February

  • The deal to bring the Perrigo offices to the MSU Grand Rapids Innovation Park was recognized as the winner of the Economic Development Category in the 2021 MiBiz Deal of the Year Awards. The effort was led by Health Innovation Partners, a real estate and development joint venture between Rockford Construction Co. Inc. and Rockford Development Group, Walsh Construction Co. Inc. and Walsh Investors, Murphy Development Group LLC and Michigan State University.
  • In an interview with Lansing State Journal, College of Human Medicine student Michaela Rice describes her experience receiving the COVID-19 vaccine.
  • Debra Furr-Holden, PhD, associate dean for Public Health Integration and Charles Stewart Mott Endowed Professor of Public Health, works to build trust in the COVID-19 vaccine.
  • A study by researchers Adam Oostema, PhD, associate professor in the Department of of Emergency Medicine, and Mathew Reeves, PhD, professor in the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, shows an increase in cardiac arrest deaths linked to people not seeking care during pandemic.
  • Robert C. Smith, MD, MACP, University Distinguished Professor and professor of Medicine and Psychiatry, writes about improving the mental health care of those close to you, in an article on Psychology Today.
  • Kathy Steece-Collier, PhD, professor in the Department of Translational Neuroscience, was selected as the 2021 recipient of the MSU Innovation of the Year Award for her work in the development of gene therapy-mediated therapeutics for individuals with Parkinson’s disease.
  • Students from the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics organized the MSU Blood Drives in collaboration with the Red Cross.
  • Interim Dean Aron Sousa, MD, joined MSU Today with Russ White to talk about the College of Human Medicine as a pioneer in the area of community-based medical schools.
  • In honor of Rare Disease Day, FOX 17 shared the story of Marley Berthoud, who was diagnosed with Bachmann Bupp syndrome, a gene-linked disorder discovered by Andre Bachman, PhD, associate chair for research in the Department of Pediatrics and Human Development.
  • Mona Hanna-Attisha, MD, director of the Michigan State University-Hurley Children’s Hospital Pediatric Public Health Initiative, discusses the work of Flint Lead Free, a multidisciplinary group of partners striving to make Flint a lead-free city.
  • Howard Schubiner, MD, clinical professor in the College of Human Medicine, joined The Doctors to talk about his documentary, "This Might Hurt."
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  • The Center for Ethics and Humanities in the Life Sciences has appointed Sean Valles, PhD, as director and Karen Kelly-Blake, PhDas assistant director.
  • University Distinguished Professors Asgi Fazleabas, PhD, and Provost Teresa Woodruff, PhD, have been honored as Distinguished Fellows by the Society for the Study of Reproduction.
  • Eric Achtyes, MD, director of the College of Human Medicine’s Division of Psychiatry and Behavioral Medicine, and Leslie Pelkey, MD, chief medical officer for Cherry Health, are the lead investigators in West Michigan for two phase 3 clinical trials of a vaccine developed by The Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson. Related media: FOX 17, Spoke.
  • The People Behind the Early Detection Program is a three-part series sharing the stories of the College of Human Medicine’s people behind the scenes whose hard work and long hours enabled the university to launch the Spartan Early Detection program.
  • Alison Bernstein, PhD, assistant professor in the Department of Translational Neuroscience, received an Outstanding New Environmental Scientist Award from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences.
  • Debra Furr-Holden, PhD, associate dean for Public Health Integration and Charles Stewart Mott Endowed Professor of Public Health, joined MSNBC to explain why equal access needs to play a more serious role in the vaccine distribution process. In other news, Dr. Furr-Holden answers questions about medical distrust in black communities and in an article on USA Today, she discusses the importance of requiring data collection toward equity.
  • In celebration of Valentine's Day, a few of the college's alumni couples shared their SpartanMD Love Stories.
  • College of Human Medicine student Michaela Rice describes her experience receiving the COVID-19 vaccine in an article in Lansing State Journal.
  • A study helmed by the late Dr. Viviane Labrie of Van Andel Institute (VAI) alongside peers at VAI, Beaumont Health, Michigan State University College of Human Medicine, and Oregon Health & Science University, links gut microbes to Parkinson’s Disease.
  • David Morgan, PhD, professor in the Department of Translational Neuroscience, was selected as an Alzheimer’s Association Excellence in Neuroscience Mentoring Award Recipient at the first Alzheimer’s Association International Conference®, Neuroscience Next. 
  • College of Human Medicine student Donna Tran was selected to participate in MSU Leadership Institute's Leadership Academy and was elected to be the 2021 National President of the Asian Pacific American Medical Student Association (APAMSA).

January

  • Crain's Detroit Business highlights the development of Michigan State University's Grand Rapids Innovation Park.
  • Henry Ford Health System and Michigan State University signed a final primary affiliation agreement to conduct joint research and clinical care, collaborate more on health student education and develop a long-term plan to build a research institute and a regional health campus in Detroit. Related media: Crain's Detroit Business, The Detroit News, Lansing State Journal, WKAR.
  • Gilbert "Gil" D. A. Padula, MD ('97, College of Human Medicine), has been named Chief Medical Officer at University Hospitals St. John Medical Center.
  • MSU’s health colleges commemorated Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day with a virtual event “Racism: A Public Health Crisis.”
  • Dan Hardie, MD (CHM 83) alumnus of the Marquette Family Medicine Residency Program, retired from his family medicine practice after 34 years of service to the community.
  • After receiving her COVID-19 vaccine, Mona Hanna-Attisha, MD, director of the Michigan State University and Hurley Children’s Hospital Pediatric Public Health Initiative, encourages others to do the same in an interview on ABC News 12.
  • Esteban López, MD, MBA (CHM '99) has been named to the Addus HomeCare Corporation board of directors.
  • The Center for Ehthics and Humanities in the Life Sciences presented a Bioethics Public Seminar featuring three MSU alumni who offered their insight and expertise on “Controversies and Complexities in LGBTQ Health Care.” 
  • An international team of researchers led by Morteza Mahmoudi, PhD, assistant professor in the Department of Radiology, has developed a new method to better understand how nanomedicines interact with patients’ biomolecules. Related media: Science Daily.
  • Eric Achtyes, MD, MS, director of the Division of Psychiatry and Behavioral Medicine at the College of Human Medicine, and director of research at Cherry Health, is hopeful as COVID-19 vaccine candidate nears FDA approval. Related media: FOX 17, Spoke.
  • Crain's Detroit Business highlights the development of Michigan State University's Grand Rapids Innovation Park.
  • Perrigo and Michigan State University’s Grand Rapids Innovation Park enter a formal partnership connecting the university’s clinical and research expertise with Perrigo’s product innovation, manufacturing scale and retail partnerships.
  • A new partnership will connect Michigan State University’s clinical and research acumen with Perrigo Co. plc’s expertise in product innovation, manufacturing scale and retail distribution. Related media: DBusiness Magazine, BiospaceBloomberg, CisionMiBizThe Herald-Palladium, Yahoo Finance. 
  • J. Adam Oostema, MD, associate professor in the Department of Emergency Medicine, and Mathew Reeves, PhD, professor of in the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, conducted a study that found out-of-hospital cardiac arrests increased during the pandemic. Related media: Michigan Radio, Futurity.
  • In an article on FOX 17, Cara Poland, MD, professor in the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Biology, discusses the increase in overdoses nationally.
  • Michigan State University College of Human Medicine announced the return of its non-competitive cycling event, the MSU Gran Fondo, for September 18, 2021. Related media: FOX 17, FOX 47.