Public Health

BRPC delivers public health and wellness support through coordination of regional partnerships such as the Berkshire Public Health Alliance and BOAPC.

public-health

Initiatives

BOAPC

The purpose of the Berkshire Opioid Abuse Prevention Collaborative (BOAPC) is to implement local policy, practice, systems, and/or environmental changes to prevent the misuse and abuse of opioids and to prevent and reduce unintentional deaths and non-fatal hospital events associated with opioid poisonings throughout the 32 municipalities in Berkshire County.

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Berkshire Public Health Alliance

The mission of the Berkshire Public Health Alliance (BPHA) is to promote, preserve and enhance Berkshire County’s public health by meeting community needs, improving capabilities and providing equitable access to affordable public health services

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Public Health Emergency Preparedness Planning

The Berkshire Regional Planning Commission acts as a fiduciary agent for emergency planning and response activities.

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public-health

Projects

Age Friendly Berkshires

The 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 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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Berkshire County Boards of Health Association (BCBOHA) Support Services

The Berkshire Regional Planning Commission (BRPC) staff will continue to provide services to Berkshire County Boards of Health Association (BCBOHA) programs such as Septic Installer Certification Courses, Chokesaver to restaurants and other educational and other programs/services and support as needed and requested by the Berkshire County Boards of Health and the BCBOHA Executive Committee.

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Berkshire Public Health Alliance

The Berkshire Regional Planning Commission (BRPC) is serving as the Host Fiscal Agent for the Berkshire Public Health Alliance. The Berkshire Public Health Alliance is a group of 24 municipalities that signed an Intermunicipal Agreement enabling participating municipalities to share public health staff, programs and services to improve the delivery of public health services through regional cooperation.

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COVID-19 Emergency Funds for Municipalities

Emergency funding for COVID-19 public health response. Funding is for the 24 Berkshire Public Health Alliance municipalities and five unaffiliated communities.

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COVID-19 Regional Public Health Nursing

Emergency funding for COVID-19 public health nursing.

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Community Health Improvement Plan

This grant will support the County Health Initiative (CHI) in developing and implementing a Community Health Improvement Plan (CHIP) for Berkshire County.

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FDA Food Safety Best Practices for Retail Inspections

BRPC staff and Berkshire Public Health Alliance inspectors will provide a research report on best practices and strategies for small, rural communities in meeting FDA Standard 3 (utilization of HACCP principles to control risk factors in a retail food inspection program). BRPC staff, inspectors and members will complete a model set of plans, policies and procedures that consider local risk factors for Alliance members to adopt which will meet Standard 3. BRPC will work with one or more communities to modify, adopt and implement written policies that meet Standard 3 and update their online assessment information.

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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 Safety Retail Standards 2020

These grants will allow the assessment or re-assessments of a Berkshire County municipality in accordance with FDA Food Safety 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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HIV Capacity Development & Planning

The purpose of the Berkshire County Community Engagement & Response Program is to work with the existing emergency preparedness coalition and newly-engaged community partners, including people living with HIV (PLWH) and those who are actively working with injection drug users (IDU), to do a series of community workshops, design a blood-borne pathogen (HIV) community response plan, and to test that plan at an exercise. This HIV community response plan will reflect Berkshire County's unique geographical and demographical needs and the specific needs of people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWH) and active drug users; it will also be used in future years as a template upon which to build a more comprehensive blood-borne pathogen outbreak community response plan.

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Opioid Abuse Prevention

The Berkshire Regional Planning Commission (BRPC), through the Berkshire Public Health Alliance is coordinating the Berkshire Opioid Abuse Prevention Collaborative. The purpose of the Berkshire Opioid Abuse Prevention Collaborative (BOAPC) is to implement local policy, practice, systems, and/or environmental changes to prevent the misuse and abuse of opioids and to prevent and reduce unintentional deaths and non-fatal hospital events associated with opioid poisonings throughout the 32 municipalities in Berkshire County.

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Opioid Affected Youth Initiative

The four-county Western Massachusetts collaboration will transform the systems serving emerging adults to prevent opioid misuse, address the needs of young adults currently addicted to opioids, and increase their health outcomes as they transition into adulthood.

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Opioid Death Reduction

Boston Medical Center (BMC) was awarded $89 million in funding to lead a research study with the goal of reducing opioid deaths by 40% in some of the most heavily impacted Massachusetts communities. BMC’s study is part of a bold, trans-agency effort to speed scientific solutions to stem the national opioid crisis. The approach of BMC's study will be to partner with 16 communities across the state to test the impact of a community-engaged intervention with an integrated set of evidence-based practices delivered across healthcare, behavioral health, justice, and other community-based settings. Berkshire Regional Planning Commission, via the Berkshire Opioid Addiction Prevention Collaborative, is the fiscal agent and the coordinator of the Pittsfield site.

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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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Overdoes Data to Action

The focus of the Overdose Data to Action grant will be to develop and implement post-overdose engagement strategies for the Northern Berkshire region; these best practices will then be "rolled out" to other regions of Berkshire County.

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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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Pittsfield Grey to Green

These project funds are provided through the Massachusetts Healthy Community Fund and are committed to removing barriers to health, incuding structural and institutional racism, poverty and other power inbalances, through community-centered policies, systems and environmental changes approaches. The Pittsfield Grey to Green Project will engage the community and prioritize green planning in a social and racial justice context. Partners include Habitat for Humanity and Working Cities, 18 Degrees and the City of Pittsfield.

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Public Health Shared Services

This grant will allow the Berkshire Public Health Alliance to operate more effectively and efficiently by allowing for the hire of a part-time administrative assistant, as well as scheduling software and the expansion of on-line permitting.

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Regional Food Safety and Inspection

The objective of this program is to create an enhanced regional local regulatory environment for food inspections in nine or more communities through online permitting, standardized forms, policies and procedures, enhanced training of food inspectors and sharing of inspectors.

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Regional Public Health Inspection Program

The Berkshire Regional Planning Commission (BRPC) is serving as the fiduciary agent to the Berkshire Public Health Alliance to implement a regional Public Health Inspectional Program in selected Alliance towns.

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Regional Public Health Nursing Program

The Berkshire Regional Planning Commission (BRPC) is serving as the fiduciary agent to the Berkshire Public Health Alliance to implement a regional Public Health Nursing Program in selected Alliance towns.

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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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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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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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Vaccination Exercise Series

The project will conduct an exercise series exploring how to hold public vaccination clinics during a pandemic.  This grant will allow the Public Health Program to review existing Emergency Dispensing Site Plans, conduct a Tabletop exercise in the summer and then hold three or more seasonal flu clinic drills in the fall to test the plan.

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public-health

Reports

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