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The Kansan - Newton, KS
  • Local business buzz

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  • Save the date: Upcoming Newton Chamber eventsMark your calendar for these upcoming Newton Chamber events. Dec. 5: BizConnections Salvation Army (208 W. Sixth St.) 4:30 to 6 p.m. Dec. 6: 500 Main Place Christmas Open House 4 to 6 p.m. Dec. 11: BizConnections Central Homecare 4 to 6 p.m. Dec. 21: Breakfast with the ChamberKelly takes position on the KHA board of directorsSteven G. Kelly, president and CEO of Newton Medical Center, recently was elected as the 2013 chair-elect on the Kansas Hospital Association board of directors. The election took place during the association’s annual meeting in Overland Park. The 21-member governing body oversees the organization’s strategic activities. The Kansas Hospital Association is a voluntary, non-profit organization existing to provide leadership and services to its members. KHA membership includes 212 member facilities, of which 126 are full-service community hospitals. Founded in 1910, KHA maintains its vision of “an organization of hospitals working together to improve access, quality and the affordability of health care for all Kansans.”Praxis Mutual Funds praises commitment by HersheyPraxis Mutual Funds praised The Hershey Company’s announcement that by 2020 it will source 100 percent certified cocoa for all of its global chocolate product lines, as well as strengthen its programs to eradicate child labor in the cocoa industry. Praxis Mutual Funds (which are advised by Everence Capital Management) has been in conversation with Hershey on this matter since 2009, encouraging the company to address its cocoa sourcing in order to help increase pay for farmers, provide fair labor standards for workers and put an end to child slave labor. Praxis has led this dialogue with the Tri-State Coalition for Responsible Investment. Other participants include a number of members of the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility. This announcement comes on the heels of Hershey’s decision earlier this year to make its Hershey’s Bliss chocolate products with 100 percent cocoa from Rainforest Alliance Certified farms. Certified cocoa meets comprehensive sustainability standards to protect the environment, employees and communities. Hershey intends to use an independent, third-party certification system to ensure its cocoa is grown sustainably and without the use of forced and child labor. “Seventy percent of the world’s cocoa is grown in West Africa,” explained Chris Meyer, stewardship investing specialist for Praxis Mutual Funds and co-convener of the Hershey dialogue. “Tens of thousands of children are forced — often smuggled in — to work on cocoa plantations, especially in Ghana and the Ivory Coast.” While some smaller chocolate manufacturers already use certified cocoa, the vast majority of chocolate on the market in the U.S. does not meet these standards. In fact, certified cocoa currently accounts for less than 5 percent of the world’s cocoa supply. “This commitment from Hershey is a big step in eliminating labor abuses in West African cocoa plantations,” said David Gautsche, president of Praxis Mutual Funds. “We applaud Hershey, and will continue to encourage them and other chocolate manufacturers to address cocoa sourcing and labor standards around the world.” Praxis also is leading conversations with Kraft Foods Inc., the world’s largest chocolate manufacturer, in an effort to help that company strengthen cocoa sourcing policies and local development activities aimed at eliminating forced child labor and increasing income for smaller farmers.NMC chosen as recipient of WorkWellKS grantThe Newton Medical Center wellness team has announced NMC has been chosen as a recipient of a $1,000 grant from WorkWellKS. WorkWellKS is a state-wide initiative, funded by the Kansas Health Foundation and coordinated by the Wichita Business Coalition on Health Care that provides leadership and resources for businesses and organizations to support worksite health.Lettau to serve as a new nurse manager at NMCJessica Lettau, RN, accepted an offer to serve as the new nurse manager for the Maternal-Child Unit, effective Sept. 10. Lettau has replaced Shirley Ulrich, who retired from the department. Lettau first worked as a CNA for NMC in 1995 while attending Bethel College for her BSN. She worked at Kidron-Bethel as an RN following her degree in 1998. In 1999 she came to NMC as a staff nurse on the skilled unit and later that year transferred to the MC unit. While working as a staff nurse on the MC unit, she has taken on added job responsibilities and assignments, including education coordinator, discharge planner, child passenger safety technician and MC representative for both the Nursing Department Nursing Operations and Education Councils. 
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