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Read the FRCOG Quarterly Updates!

Here are the updates we gave our Council members at their quarterly meeting on July 20 – full of information on the work of the staff and committees over the last quarter!

2017 JULY updates

Legal Marijuana: Municipal Options and Next Steps

Join us on September 7th for a review of what the final legislation says and what next steps are for select boards, planning boards, and boards of health.

Register by CLICKING HERE.

First West Nile Virus found in mosquitos in Franklin County

Press Release about WNV risk in Franklin County from DPH.   Recorder article on West Nile Virus.

Please spread the word to residents to: (1) wear bug spray,  (2) repair torn screens, (3) prevent ALL standing water around houses. For more information on mosquito-borne diseases check out the Mass DPH website at www.mass.gov/dph/mosquito 

Kudos to the Deerfield and Greenfield Boards of  Health for their leadership in this arena!

Flu Clinics

This page will be updated regularly during the upcoming flu clinic season to reflect the flu clinics organized by FRCOG’s Cooperative Public Health Service (CPHS) and the Mohawk Area Public Health Coalition (MAPHCO).

Everyone six months of age or older needs a flu vaccine. When we all are vaccinated, we build community immunity that protects the elderly, children, and those with compromised immune systems from the terrible effects of influenza.

Peak Month of Flu Activity
1982-1983 through 2015-2016

For information on prevention, symptoms, and treatment of influenza, visit www.flu.gov

For more information on the CPHS, click here.

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 August 4

Also — no big anniversary is complete without a party! Please tentatively hold October 20, 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

Report available on local residents’ access to food.

Food access in Franklin County and the North Quabbin is complex. While farm fields and food venues abound, many people struggle to get enough nutritious food to eat. In Franklin County, over 10% of people and 18% of children are food insecure.

​In order to effectively implement strategies to improve residents’ access to healthy food, the Partnership for Youth conducted focus groups with residents, seniors and youth to assess the food access landscape from the perspective of those who experience greater challenges in accessing food. The publication Food Access in Franklin County and the North Quabbin reports on findings from those focus groups. This work was made possible through Mass In Motion funding from the MA Department of Public Health. 

Food Access Report

 

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

 

Food Access & Public Health Infographics Released

New infographics illustrate the links between income, food access, diet, activity and health and focus primarily on Franklin County data. Funding for the development of these infographics was made available by Mass in Motion. The complete set of infographics is available here.

This infographic highlights the link between lack of good access to food and public health.

This infographic highlights the link between lack of good access to food and public health.

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