COVID-19

In response to COVID-19, FRCOG offices are closed from March 24 – April 7.

Staff are working remotely.

Building, plumbing and wiring inspectors are responding to emergencies only.

All meetings, workshops and forums are cancelled or have been changed to a call-in or video format.  Please look for emails from FRCOG staff about specific meetings or on our calendar https://frcog.org/events/category/meetings-and-events/.

Email is likely the most efficient way to reach staff.  You can find our email addresses and other contact information here: https://frcog.org/about/staff/

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COVID-19 Activity at FRCOG and Municipal Resources

Here at the FRCOG we are working on the global Coronavirus outbreak and resulting cases of COVID-19 illness, and how to prepare for potential cases in our communities in a number of ways. We have created a municipal resource page at:  https://frcog.org/covid-19-resources/ This page is a list of links to important and frequently-updated resources for different municipal roles, including boards of health, first responders, and select boards.

The FRCOG’s Emergency Preparedness Program has two initiatives underway:

The Mohawk Area Public Health Coalition has activated a Joint Information Committee to align messaging from local boards of health to their municipal partners and residents. The committee co-chairs are Carolyn Shores Ness, Deerfield Board of Health, and Norene Pease, Shutesbury Board of Health. The Committee’s goal is to provide credible information sources, and to provide actions citizens can take to protect themselves. The Committee also requests that local officials share any public messaging your community is creating or sharing so that they may better align the regional messaging. You can see this week’s message at the COG’s COVID-19 page.

Staff have developed and shared a resource page for Long Term Care, EMS, Hospitals and Public Health at the Western MA Health & Medical Coordinating Coalition’s website at region1hmcc.org The HMCC Duty Officer is actively responding to concerns and resource requests from partners in healthcare and public health.

The FRCOG ‘s health district, the Cooperative Public Health Service, serves 14 towns. CPHS Public Health Nurse Lisa White is in contact with senior centers, schools, and others as part of preparing for the local response to any person who is screened as having or being exposed to COVID-19, which will be managed through the MAVEN database we already use for infectious disease surveillance. Our response in coordination with DPH and providers may include developing systems for daily monitoring of temperatures of quarantined residents, investigating contacts, and conducting clinical investigation and reporting for individuals who have tested positive for COVID19. Additional staff capacity to manage future cases has been identified, and CPHS is working with its boards of health to help them prepare for town-level activities.

On a side note, FRCOG is working to advocate for attention to the needs of our communities in responding to this outbreak: Lisa White was at the State House last week testifying before the Public Health Committee on rural COVID-19 preparedness status and needs.

And finally, we are examining the FRCOG’s own Continuity of Operations Plan and  having a discussion with the COG’s governing committees to discuss work-from-home protocols in the case of either personal or community quarantines. We are happy to share any protocols we develop with towns.

Please check the COVID-19 page regularly for updates and staff contacts.

FRCOG E-Newsletter Debuts

Click here to read our Winter Newsletter or subscribe to future issues.

FRCOG Autumn Newsletter

connrivWe are pleased to release this season’s issue of the FRCOG Newsletter. Please let us know if you would like it emailed to you by clicking here, and read the information-packed issue here: 2015 autumn newsletter

Health District Annual Meeting

The Cooperative Public Health Service celebrated its second birthday with over 50 representatives from member towns and state and regional partners at an Annual Meeting on October 30 at the Mohawk Park Restaurant in Charlemont.   Many thanks to all who attended, including member Boards of Health, Select Boards, Town Administrators, representatives from Baystate Franklin Medical Center, UMass College of Nursing, the Department of Public Health, the Communities That Care Coalition, the Opioid Task Force, local school nurses and senior center partners!     Special thanks to the band, Small Change, and to Paul, Deb and the Mohawk Park staff for a great evening.

Annual Meeting Materials:
CPHS Year in Review Slide Show2014 and a one-page version:  CPHS Year in Review Highlights
CPHS Community Health Needs Assessment 2013_14
Lyme Update 10_30_14
Opioid TF Update to CPHS 10 30 14
Health and policy memo for towns
Additional materials from the meeting will be posted here over the coming days.

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Communities That Care Speaks in DC

FRCOG Partnership For Youth Co-Coordinator Kat Allen is a speaker this week at the National Forum on Hospitals, Health Systems, and Population Health in Washington DC.   The Forum is sponsored by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, as part of its long term mission to create a culture of health in the United States.  Kat is addressing the work of the Communities That Care Coalition, and how other hospitals and communities can work together to make a measurable difference in public health outcomes.  For more on the Coalition, click here.

Acting Surgeon General Boris Lushniak addresses the Forum

Acting Surgeon General Boris Lushniak addresses the Forum

FRCOG's Kat Allen and Acting Surgeon General Boris Lushniak

FRCOG’s Kat Allen and Acting Surgeon General Boris Lushniak

Kinder Morgan responses to FRCOG

Materials from Kinder Morgan about the proposed pipeline can be found by clicking here. They include the presentation from the July 24, 2014 public meeting and a response to questions posed by the FRCOG after the meeting.

Kinder Morgan representatives present at a public meeting at Greenfield Community College on July 24, 2014

Kinder Morgan representatives present at a public meeting at Greenfield Community College on July 24, 2014

Together We’re Ready: Massachusetts Prepared

A number of recent events have forged a spirit of togetherness throughout Massachusetts. The pride and community that residents feel across the state has inspired a renewed sense of camaraderie.

The Department of Public Health and the Franklin Regional Council of Governments are excited to celebrate Emergency Preparedness Month. We’re encouraging statewide action and teamwork to prepare your family and help your neighbor. Check out this Youtube video to see how you can get yourself and your family prepared for an emergency.

Opioid Task Force presents to FRCOG Council

Task Force Coordinator Marisa Hebble takes questions from Council Members

Task Force Coordinator Marisa Hebble takes questions from Council Members

At their July meeting, FRCOG Council Members received an update from Marisa Hebble, Coordinator of the Franklin, Hampshire and North Quabbin Opioid Education and Awareness Task Force.

To view the presentation, click here.