Berkshire Public Health Alliance

The Berkshire Regional Planning commission serves as the fiduciary agent for Berkshire Public Health Alliance.

CONTACT US: Berkshire Public Health Alliance 1 Fenn Street, Suite #201 Pittsfield, MA 01201, Phone: 413-442-1521 ext# 37  Fax: 413-442-1523

Berkshire Public Health Alliance
The Berkshire Public Health Alliance is collaboration among 22 Berkshire Communities who have signed an Inter-Municipal Agreement to provide professional public health services and programs for the Member communities.  The mission of the Alliance is to improve the delivery of public health services and thereby improve the overall health and well-being of Berkshire County residents.  The Alliance was established and is supported by the District Incentive Grant Program offered by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health.  It was established in the fall of 2011 by the 22 Berkshire municipalities of Adams, Alford, Becket, Clarksburg, Dalton, Egremont, Florida, Great Barrington, Hancock, Lanesborough, Mt. Washington, New Marlborough, North Adams, Peru, Richmond, Sandisfield, Savoy, Sheffield, Washington, West Stockbridge, Williamstown, and Windsor.  The Berkshire Regional Planning Commission serves as the Host Agency (fiduciary agent) for the alliance.  Initial Alliance efforts have concentrated on providing inspectional services and public health nursing services to member municipalities. 

Public Health Nursing Services
The Public Health Nursing program seeks to provide member communities with access to comprehensive, professional Public Health Nursing services.  The Public Health Nursing provides wellness programming, flu clinics, disease screenings and disease investigations for those who are challenged by location, mobility, and income.  The nurses are promoting the wellbeing of the community and creating partnership to prevent disease, reducing the effects of chronic diseases, lowering premature death rates and improving quality of life for many.  In addition the nurse monitor the MAVEN (Massachusetts virtual epidemiologic network) reporting that municipalities are required to conduct.

Public Health Inspectional Services
The Inspectional Service program seeks to provide member communities with access to trained, qualified Health Inspectors.  Alliance Health Inspectors work under the direction of the municipal Boards of Health to provide technical services.  These services are all those required of Boards of Health, including Title V (on-site septic) inspections, food establishment inspections, camp inspections, swimming pool inspections and housing inspections. 

Opioid Abuse Prevention Collaborative
The Berkshire Public Health Alliance is coordinating the Berkshire Opioid Abuse Prevention Collaborative.  With funding support provided by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health the Berkshire Opioid Abuse Prevention Collaborative will develop and implement local policies, practices, systems and environmental changes to prevent the misuse or abuse of opioids, prevent or reduce unintentional deaths and non-fatal hospital events associated with opioid poisonings and increase the capacity of municipalities to deal with the growing problem. 

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This effort builds upon the ongoing work being done in the communities by partners to this effort.  The key community organizations include those in the Berkshire Youth Development Project (Northern Berkshire Community Coalition, the Pittsfield Prevention Partnership and the South Berkshire Community Coalition / Railroad Youth Project).  In addition to the 21 Alliance municipalities, the City of Pittsfield and the Tri-Town Health Department (Lee, Lenox and Stockbridge) are also strong partners in this effort.  Other organizations indicating support and participation include Berkshire Health Systems, Berkshire Sheriff’s Department, Berkshire United Way, Brien Center, Berkshire County DA Office and the Drug Free Task Force, Multicultural Bridge and North Adams Regional Hospital.

This effort will implement the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) agency’s Strategic Prevention Framework.  This Framework contains 5 steps:  1.) Assessment of needs, resources to address the problem and gaps in service delivery;  2.) Mobilization of existing resources or capacity building to address gaps;  3.) Development of a comprehensive plan that identifies strategies;  4.) Implementation of strategies to prevent the misuse or abuse of opioids, prevent or reduce unintentional deaths and non-fatal hospital events associated with opioid poisonings; 5.) Evaluation.

Opiates and heroin abuse is a huge and rapidly growing problem in Berkshire County.  It was recently referred to as a budding epidemic by a representative to our local Drug Task Force.  This collaborative effort seeks to stop this problem before it gets out of hand.

DO YOU HAVE UNUSED or UNWANTED MEDICATIONS? NEED A PLACE TO DISPOSE OF SYRINGES?

Dropped off unused or unwanted medications or syringes at the locations listed in this Flyer.

Food Safety

Berkshire Regional Planning Commission on behalf of the Berskhire Public Health Alliance are working together to improve food safety in the region by supporting communities in joining the FDA Voluntary Program Standards and completing food safety self-assessment along with training and outreach.