Previous Projects

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Projects

Age Friendly Berkshires

Berkshire Regional Planning Commission (BRPC) staff will continue to build upon and expand the work of the Berkshire Age-Friendly Vision 2020 Task Force. The goal is to create an age-friendly county.

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Age Friendly Berkshires Covid-19 Outreach & Support

The Berkshire Regional Planning Commission (BRPC) Age Friendly Berkshires will be working with AFB Committees, municipalities, regional nonprofits and businesses to support residents thru the Covid-19 pandemic, by coordinating and connecting residents to existing or new services and supports in the community.

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Age Friendly Berkshires Land Use Planning

Overall, current housing stock and residential neighborhood fabric do not adequately support senior residents as they age in most Berkshire County municipalities. Many seniors are "over-housed" in large family-sized homes, without more appropriate alternatives in their communities. This project proposes to address some of the zoning shortfalls that exacerbate this issue, and to encourage growth that follows the Massachusetts Sustainable Development Principles. Model bylaws, using the Smart Growth/Smart Energy Toolkit and other best practices will be drafted. BRPC will then work intensively with three municipalities (Egremont, Sheffield and North Adams) of varying population sizes, needs and resources, to implement up to two regulations each to encourage the production of sustainable housing to meet the needs of older adults aging in the community. This project will be easily adaptable to other municipalities.

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Age Friendly Berkshires Loneliness & Social Isolation

The Berkshire Regional Planning Commission (BRPC) under contract with BTI for Age Friendly Berkshires will be working with AARP MA to hold a Community Conversation on Loneliness & Social Isolation on Thursday, May 28 from 10-12 via ZOOM.

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Age Friendly Berkshires Transit Options for Elders

This project will allow Age Friendly Berkshires to 1) Building awareness among residents in a 6-town sub-region (Becket, Washington, Dalton, Hinsdale, Windsor and Peru) about available transit options for elders, the disabled and other non-drivers 2) Survey residents and municipal leaders about their own/their town’s transit needs 3) Engaging residents/Towns in co-creating a solution(s).

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Age Friendly Berkshires Volunteer Fair

This grant from AARP, will support Volunteerism as a means to increase community connections, health and well-being for participants; to match potential volunteers with local non-profits and municipalities who have open positions that need to be filled; to make better use of nonprofit networks and regional media while increasing community connections; to strengthen existing Volunteer databases; to train potential volunteer or municipal board members to serve their communities.

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Age Friendly Berkshires Website

This grant from AARP, Massachusetts will enable Age Friendly Berkshires to create a dynamic, user-friendly website.

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Berkshire County Business Owners Education Disaster Response

Berkshire Regional Planning Commission (BRPC) and the Berkshire Medical Reserves Corp. will work together to recruit new members into the Berkshire Medical Reserve Corps and to educate business owners in Berkshire County about their possible roles during a disaster response. BRPC will host a Leadership Breakfast at the Hotel on North for potential new members, with a business resiliency expert as a guest speaker. Participating businesses and organizations will also learn about major disaster risks in Berkshire County, and will learn about local emergency response groups that they can become part of.

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Berkshire HIV Engagement Program

The Berkshire County HIV Engagement Program (B-HIVE) builds upon existing outreach networks, prevention and harm reduction programs to coordinate and implement prevention messaging, strategic peer/street outreach that promotes HIV prevention, testing, and connections to care.

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Children in Disasters Phase II

Berkshire Regional Planning Commission (BRPC) will aid under this project to prepare organizations to reunite children with their families in emergencies. Phase II will focus on outreach and education regarding the Plan.

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County Health Rankings Event

This project will allow the County Health Initiative (CHI) to build capacity, and to sponsor an event corresponding with the release of the 2019 County Health Rankings.

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Emergency Shelters for Special Populations

In previous response exercises, it was reported that there was a gap in first responders' ability to meet the access and functional needs of the population. This gap has also been identified in several real-world responses. Berkshire Regional Planning Commission (BRPC) will focus on meeting access and functional needs of the population in everyday incidents and large-scale incidents such as MCI or large-scale disaster response.

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FDA Food Safety—National FDA Conference

The Berkshire Public Health Alliance Senior Inspector to attend a national FDA Conference on Food Safety to be held in Denver, CO.

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FDA Standardization Services

The Berkshire Public Health Alliance Senior Inspector to provide oversight and mentorship to the Franklin County Cooperative Services Inspector.

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Food Assessment

The Berkshire Public Health Alliance, as part of its food protection program, will reassess the food protection programs of at least two previously assessed municipalities, and assess at least one new municipality, in conjunction with the FDA's Retail Standards Grant Program.

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Food Protection Assessments

The Berkshire Public Health Alliance, as part of its food protection program, will continue to assist communities in self-assessments of their food protection program and provide technical assistance on meeting Standards 2 and 7 of the FDA Federal Standards.

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Food Standards Training

The Berkshire Public Health Alliance to continue to work both one-on-one with municipalities, as well as offering training, to allow Berkshire County Boards of Health to meet Standards 2 and 7 of the FDA Food Standards.

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Health Boards Best Practices

This project will allow the Berkshire Public Health Alliance to create templates and standards for board of health best practices to support uniform, efficient and effective board of health offices. The Alliance will work with several smaller towns to implement practices.

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Massachusetts Health Officers Association Technical Assistance

This grant will allow the Berkshire Public Health Alliance to provide technical assistance to small Boards of Health in areas where they are struggling. Several focus groups will be held with Boards of Health to determine areas that are challenging, materials will be gathered into a guide and in-person field assistance will be provided.

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Opioid Prevention Northern Berkshire Region

This funding will be used to support the Berkshire Opioid Addiction Prevention Collaborative’s post-overdose engagement work in the Northern Berkshire region.

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Opioid Response in Rural Communities

The Berkshire Regional Planning Commission, through the Berkshire Public Health Alliance is coordinating the Berkshire Opioid Abuse Prevention Collaborative. 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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Outdoor Recreation and Exercise Equipment

Berkshire Regional Planning Commission (BRPC) will develop an accessible walking path behind the Dalton Senior Center Council on Aging Building. BRPC will also purchase ADA compliant seating, chess tables and outdoor exercise equipment for adults to use. These amenities are expected to increase use of this park by all ages.

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Peer Technical Assistance Network Summit

The Berkshire Regional Planning Commission (BRPC) will participate in the Peer Technical Assistance Network Summit related to aging population.

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Pittsfield Food Pantry Accessibility

The Berkshire Regional Planning Commission (BRPC) Age Friendly Berkshires will be working with the City of Pittsfield Disability Commission and AdLib to assess food pantry sites for accessibility by persons with disabilities and review the transportation network in the neighborhoods in which the pantries are located, with an eye toward improving access to pantries for food-insecure residents.

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Regional Shelter Exercise

The Western Region Homeland Security Advisory Council (WRHSAC) Training and Exercise Committee has allocated funds to exercise the Regional Shelter Plans adopted last year. There will be exercises coordinated with each of the three Regional Emergency Planning Committees in Berkshire County.

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Senior Villages

This project will allow BTI/BRPC to study the feasibility of applying the national Village to Village Network model to a low-income, rural population. The project will focus on the north county municipalities of North Adams, Adams, Clarksburg, Florida and Savoy.

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Spontaneous Unaffiliated Volunteer Training

This project will transition the already developed Spontaneous Unaffiliated Volunteer (SUV) training developed for the Western Region Homeland Security Advisory Council (WRHSAC) and transition it to the more engaging and user-friendly format of Adobe Captivate. The trainings are available on the WRHSAC website.

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Spontaneous Unaffiliated Volunteer Website Training

This project will transition the already developed Spontaneous Unaffiliated Volunteer (SUV) training developed for the Western Region Homeland Security Advisory Council (WRHSAC) and transition it to the more engaging and user-friendly format of Adobe Captivate. The trainings are available on the WRHSAC website.

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Timed Up and Go (Tug) Assessments and Matter of Balance

The Berkshire Public Health Alliance Public Health Nursing Program will offer Timed Up and Go (TUG) testing at flu clinics in the fall, and five Matter of Balance (MOB) classes in public health nursing contracted communities in the Spring.

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