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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

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

Commercial Wood Pellet Heat and Air Quality Workshop

Handouts from the 7/26 workshop presented by Dr. Rick Peltier of UMass Amherst and Marc Wolman of the Department of Environmental Protection are below:
Presentation by Mark Wolman, MassDEP
Presentation by Dr.Rick Peltier, UMass Amherst
Recorder article about workshopIMG_5863

Coalition Educates on Youth Marijuana Use

In November, MA residents will vote on the question of legalizing marijuana for recreational use.  Whether or not this legislation passes – and how this legislation is implemented if passed – will have a significant impact on the use of marijuana by young people.  The FRCOG’s Partnership for Youth, as part of their work with the Communities That Care Coalition, has developed a presentation on what we know about the effects of marijuana on young people, and what works in preventing youth use.  Partnership for Youth staff have provided this presentation at several community venues this spring, including as part of the Selectboard Essentials series.

In July staff hosted a “Training of Trainers” where they trained a small group of community leaders (including staff from Clinical and Support Options, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Greenfield’s Safe Schools Safe Streets Coalition, the Opioid Task Force, and the Collaborative for Educational Services) to be part of an informal Speakers Bureau on this topic.  If you are interested in learning more or in setting up a presentation for your community, please contact Kat at kallen@frcog.org.

Preventing Mosquito Bites

Public Health Nurse Lisa White recommends the following steps to “fight the bite” and avoid infection with West Nile Virus (WNV) and Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE or “Triple E”):

Applying Insect Repellent when Outdoors. Repellents with DEET, permethrin, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus or IR3535 are effective.  Be sure to use these according to the instructions on the product label and note precautions for use on infants and children.

Avoiding outdoor activities during peak mosquito hours. The hours from dusk to dawn are peak biting times for many mosquitoes.

Wearing long-sleeves, long pants and socks when outdoors to help keep mosquitoes away from your skin.

Draining standing water where Mosquitoes lay their eggs.  Empty any unused flowerpots and wading pools, store wheelbarrows upside down, and change water in birdbaths frequently.

Installing or repairing screens. Keep mosquitoes outside by having tightly-fitting screens on all of your windows and doors.

Protecting your animals.  Flush water troughs at least once a week and keep horses in indoor stalls at night with lights off to reduce their exposure to mosquitoes.

Zika virus, Dengue fever, Chikungunya are other mosquito-borne diseases you can get when traveling abroad.  At this time, only people traveling to places with ongoing Zika virus outbreaks or engaging in sexual activity with someone who has traveled to these places are at risk for getting these infections.  For up to date information about where Zika virus is occurring: http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/notices.

For more information on WNV, EEE, repellent use and other mosquito-borne illness prevention visit www.mass.gov/dph/mosquito or contact Lisa White, Regional Public Health Nurse for the towns of Buckland, Charlemont, Conway, Deerfield, Gill, Hawley, Heath, Leyden, Monroe, Rowe and Shelburne at 413-665-1400 x114.

Lisa White, the new public health nurse for Deerfield, takes a woman's blood pressure in her office in the Town Offices in South Deerfield. 07/03/22 Franz

Lisa White takes a woman’s blood pressure in her office in the Town Offices in South Deerfield. Recorder/Franz

Marijuana Workshop for Municipal Leaders

Local municipal leaders need to prepare themselves to have an opinion on the upcoming legalization ballot question. Join the Communities That Care Coalition and Greenfield Health Department for a 5/19 workshop on the shifting landscape of marijuana in Franklin County/North Quabbin, and an update on what we know now about the drug and its effects on developing brains.

Click here for more information on the workshop.

RSVP for the workshop by clicking here.

 

New MA Climate Change Report

Click here to review UMass’ new Climate Change Report, filled with great data and charts to help you think about the future of our community.

FRCOG FY17 Budget

In January the FRCOG Council endorsed the FRCOG’s FY2017 budget.  Budget highlights budget are:

  • 6% increase to health insurance, as voted by the Hampshire Insurance Trust.
  • OPEB payment of $150,000.
  • 2% Increase to staff wages.
  • Using new revenues and with no financial impact to towns, staffing in the Finance Department increased to include a part-time Grant Fiscal Manager.
  • Minor increases to audit costs, staff training and development, and special project costs.
  • Capital expense of $11,000 to purchase a new server and associated software and equipment.

This results in a small increase to the Regional Services Assessment of 1.7%.  There is also very little change to assessments for participation in the Municipal Service Programs:  Cooperative Purchasing, Cooperative Public Health Service, Town Accounting, and the Franklin County Cooperative Inspection Program.

View the Budget and/or the Budget Development Workbook, with detailed and transparent information about the FRCOG’s finances.  FRCOG staff are always available to meet with Select Boards and/or Finance Committees and attend Town Meeting to explain the FRCOG budget.  Please contact lindad@frcog.org with questions or if you would like us to attend any of your meetings.