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Celebrate FRCOG’s 20th Anniversary!

We are pleased to announce that July 1, 2017, marked the FRCOG’s 20th birthday.  In the two decades since the FRCOG Charter was enacted by vote of all 26 Franklin County towns, we have been honored to work on behalf of all of you on many diverse projects, including town accounting, brownfields redevelopment, teen substance abuse prevention, health and building inspection, and planning for healthy and vibrant communities.  All summer we will be celebrating our history of working together as a region by digging into our archives to highlight what the towns of Franklin County have achieved together through the FRCOG.  You can follow our daily posts of historical milestones on Facebook  and on Twitter

Not on social media? You can see the posts here: 20th anniversary posts up to July 12

Also — no big anniversary is complete without a party! Please plan to join us on Friday, September 8, in the afternoon for a celebration and Open House (more details TBD)

FRCOG’s front office in the Courthouse… now the District Attorney’s office.

Our staff in the early 1990s, when we were still the Franklin County Commission.

Our staff in 2014 at our new home in the John Olver Transit Center

Communities That Care Coalition explores the health effects of social injustice

The Communities That Care Coalition’s spring meeting focused on health equity and social justice. Kat Allen provided background information about CTC’s approach and work on social justice. The 2017 Sarah Cummings Leadership Award went to Nicole Zabko for her decade of service as Director of the Greenfield Department of Health, and for her collaboration with groups across the county, including active involvement in Communities that Care.

Jeanette Voas shared a very accessible and interesting presentation on what the social determinants of health are and how they result in health disparities. Powerpoint slides are available here.

Stand Up, a Community Action group for youth of color, engaged the whole audience in an experiential activity about racial inequity. Stand Up members stayed and participated in discussions during the rest of the meeting, providing input based on their experiences in the community as youth of color.

Kent Alexander and Rachel Stoler led the group in discussions about racial disparities and health equity after a viewing excerpts from Unnatural Causes and a TED talk by Dr. Camara Jones.

 

 

Summer Reading: FRCOG 2016 Annual Reports are available online

FRCOG’s Annual Reports for 2016 are online and available!

Click here to see the full regional report.

Click here to find  your town’s appendix. These appendices include just the town-specific work done, and were distributed to each town bound into the back of the full Regional Report.

COG staff member Bob Dean’s photo of Zerah Fiske Road in Shelburne – a location used in the movie The Judge

The Town of Montague’s new skate park at Unity Park

Franklin County/North Quabbin Community Health Improvement Plan

On April 7 the FRCOG was pleased to host a broad group of community based organizations, health care providers, local and state government representatives, school officials, and public health professionals for the release of the region’s first Community Health Improvement Plan, in conjunction with the release of the 2017 National County Health Rankings. The FRCOG has been working for over a year with a dozen other organizations to assess health needs, identify evidence-based interventions, and prioritize strategies. 

To review the Community Health Improvement Plan, a list of the partners,  and the slides from April 7, visit: http://frcog.org/program-services/regionalization-special-projects/chip/

For more information on the County Health Rankings, visit www.countyhealthrankings.org 

United Way’s Sandy Sayers introduces the CHIP.

Baystate Franklin Medical Center CEO Cindy Russo reviews the CHIP’s clinical care priorities.

Representative Paul Mark on legislation to improve health outcomes.


How to Avoid Home Electrical Accidents

Most electrical hazards can be prevented with common sense and good wiring.  For most people, preventing an electrical accident means not plugging too many things into a feeble extension cord or not using a hair dryer while taking a bath.  While these are valid and important precautions, there are many other potential home electrical safety hazards.

Follow the link below for important information from the FRCOG’s Electrical Inspector, Tom McDonald, about some of the most common causes of electrical accidents which will help you appreciate the considerable power – and potential danger – of electricity and how to use this power safely.

Avoiding Home Electrical Accidents

FY18 Budget under development

The FRCOG Finance Committee will be developing the FRCOG’s FY18 budget through the months of December and January.  The budget will be presented to the full Council at the end of January and, once endorsed, sent to all member towns in early February for municipal budgeting purposes.   Early identification of issues to be addressed during the development of the FY18 budget include:

  • Expected staff retirements in FY17, 18 and 19 that will potentially result in increased retiree health insurance costs and transition funding.
  • Potential increase to health insurance costs, especially with the current ambiguity of National Health Care (Obama Care) and possible reverberating costs to all health care systems.
  • Transition to new accounting software that could result in one-time technical support or IT costs.
  • Need to diversify grant sources to be less reliant on federal funding.

As always, the need to create a budget so far in advance results in some uncertainties, perhaps more true this year, but the Finance Committee has become adept at projecting conditions and developing budgets that maintain quality services at the most affordable cost to member towns.  To learn more about the FRCOG budget, refer to the FRCOG Budget Development Workbook.

Flu Clinic Schedule

Flu season is here — do your part to build community immunity!  For information on the symptoms and treatment of influenza, and information about the vaccine, visit http://www.cdc.gov/flu/

Ready to get your vaccination?  The eleven towns of the Cooperative Public Health Service health district have released their regional flu clinic schedule!

To download a flyer for a particular clinic:
all-flu-clinics-poster-2016-v3
gill-flu-clinic
leyden-flu-clinics
mohawk-flu-clinic
shelburne-flu-clinic
charlemont-hawley-flu-clinics
charlemont-hawley-flu-and-rabies  (just the 10/29 date)
conway-flu-clinics
deerfield-flu-clinics

all-flu-clinics-poster-2016-v3

cphs-fy17-members-by-type

Low-Cost Food Safety Certifications

The Cooperative Public Health Service health district is pleased to offer three opportunities this fall for residents and businesses to improve their food safety skills and build their resumes.  On October 7, the evenings of November 3,7, and 9, and during the day on January 27,  CPHS Food Safety Agent Randy Crochier will teach  a low-cost ServSafe, Allergen, and Chokesaver certification for people living or working in food service establishments in CPHS health district towns:  Buckland, Charlemont, Conway, Deerfield, Gill, Hawley, Heath, Leyden, Monroe, Rowe and Shelburne.  Residents of other towns will be accommodated as space allows.

CPHS Member Boards of Health are offering these workshops to both improve food safety in their towns and build employment skills for local residents. These certifications are made possible through the support of the FDA’s Voluntary National Retail Food Regulatory Standards Program, which has awarded the health district a five year food safety grant.

Information about how to register can be found here:

ServSafe Flyer 10-7-16

servsafe-flyer-11-3-7-9-16

servsafe-flyer-1-27-17