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FRCOG signs the Stigma Pledge

Massachusetts is in the midst of a heartbreaking crisis of addiction and overdose, and one of the most important things we can all do to prevent further deaths is reduce the stigma experienced by people with substance use disorder. Only 1 in 12 people people with this disorder seek treatment — can you imagine if numbers were similarly low for diabetes?
FRCOG’s staff have signed the Boston Medical Center Stigma Pledge and will work to make sure we use non-stigmatizing language. Join us!

To learn more about the Pledge, click here.

To review an “Addictionary” of stigmatizing and non-stigmatizing language, click here.

FRCOG 2017 Annual and Town Reports Are Here!

The FRCOG is pleased to present the 2017 Annual and Town Reports, highlighting the work and accomplishments of our programs and Franklin County communities.  Please click on the image above or this link to access the reports.

 

New Heating Oil Requirements improve air quality, sulfur emissions

FRCOG’s Fuel Bids for FY19 now dictate Ultra Low Sulfur Diesel instead of #2 Heating Oil.  This phased-in law goes into full effect as of July 1, 2018.  In our state alone, distillate oil contributed nearly 30,000 tons of SO2 emissions in 2008; the new regulation will reduce this amount to less than 1,000 tons in 2018 – reducing the allowable amount of sulfur from 500 parts per million in 2014 to only 15 ppm as of July 1 of this year.   Costs are estimated to be slightly higher – perhaps 2-3 cents per gallon.  The cleaner burning fuel will reduce service/cleaning costs in equipment which should mitigate the overall cost increase.  The reduction of these fine sulfur particles will impact our respiratory and cardiovascular health, especially for the elderly and children, and  significantly improve visibility (haze).   FRCOG Fuel Bids will open on May 14 and there are 23 participants for FY19.  More info on FRCOG Collective bids is at https://frcog.org/bids

MassHealth Accountable Care Organization Info

There is an enormous change in the health care received by many people in Franklin County and the North Quabbin going on, as all MassHealth participants join Accountable Care Organizations. FRCOG, the Opioid Task Force, the Community Health Center and others are working to ensure the best possible outcomes for local residents in this promising but complicated shift in how the state funds health care for some of our most vulnerable residents.  Interested in learning more? Here are some helpful resources:
ACO Policy Brief
Insurance Navigation Help Listing for our region
Primary Care Practice ACO list for our region
MassHealth Enrollment Guide

Franklin County and North Quabbin representatives of primary care practices, human service agencies, hospitals, alternative medicine practitioners, and others meet on 4/27 with representatives of MassHealth.

Franklin County Municipal Directory

The FRCOG is pleased to make available the all-new digital municipal directory, with contact information for every board and department in every town. Our thanks to town hall staff for providing the information.

Click here to access the directory.

 

Legal Marijuana: Municipal Options and Next Steps

Margaret Hurley, Municipal Division Chief of the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office,  joined 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. Notes from that session are here: Retail MJ Muni Info Session Notes 2017.9.7

Another great resource is the Massachusetts Association of Regional Planning Agencies Recreational Marijuana Resource Page.

Flu Clinics 2018

FRCOG’s Cooperative Public Health Service (CPHS) and the Mohawk Area Public Health Coalition (MAPHCO) are pleased to offer influenza vaccines (with no insurance co-pay) to area residents at Flu Clinics at various locations throughout the fall. Information on each individual clinic is available via a link below the schedule.

CPHS Clinics: 

Tuesday, September 18, 9 to 11 a.m.  South County Senior Center

 Friday, October 5, 9 to 11 a.m. Conway Town Hall/Council on Aging

Tuesday, October 9, 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. Charlemont and Hawley Councils on Aging at Charlemont Federated Church

Friday, October 12, 9 to 11 a.m. Stoughton Place Apartments, Gill

Saturday, October 13, 10 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.  Deerfield Elementary School, South Deerfield

Wednesday, October 17, 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. Gill Elementary School

Tuesday, October 23, 8:30 to 10:30 a.m. The Senior Center, Shelburne Falls

Tuesday, October 23, 1 to 2 p.m. Highland Village Apartments, Shelburne Falls

Wednesday October 24, 5 to 7 p.m. Heath school building, 18 Jacobs Road

Monday, October 29, 6 to 8 p.m Mohawk Regional School, 26 Ashfield Road, Buckland

Tuesday, November 6, at polls: 7 to 9:30 a.m. and 5 to 7 p.m. Leyden Town Hall

 Wednesday, November 7, 3:15 to 5:30 p.m. Conway Grammar School

Bring your insurance cards – most forms of insurance are accepted – or, if you do not have a billable insurance, bring $20 for the fee for adults and $10 for kids.  Both injectable and flu mist formulas for kids will be available this year.  Regular or Senior High-Dose formulas available for those over age 65.

Contact Lisa White, RN, Regional Public Health Nurse of FRCOG, at 413-665-1400 x114 for updated schedule and more information or visit this page regularly.

Other Town Clinics will be posted here as we get information on them: 

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.

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.