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Archive | Regionalization and Special Projects

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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.

 

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.

 

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

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.

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 through Sept 6

Also — no big anniversary is complete without a party! Please join us on Friday, October 13 from 3-5:30 for an anniversary celebration! Click here for flyer with all the details!

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.

About 2/3 of our staff in 2017!

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.


Opioid Task Force Complementary Medicine Meeting Materials

Below are the handouts and presentations from the 3/3/17 Healthcare Solutions and Treatment & Recovery Committees joint meeting on the effectiveness of Complementary and Alternative Medicines for Substance Use Disorder.

Karen Adams Acupuncture Presentation to OTF 3-3-17

OTF_CAM_LiteratureReviewPres

CAM handout 2: Further Reading on CAM for SUD

CAM handout 3: Acupuncture Evidence in Plain Language

CAM handout 1: Acupuncture Research

New Accounting Software Required

As it turns out, the rumors we kept hearing were true!  We received official notice that the Fundware accounting software used by the FRCOG and by the regional Town Accounting Program will no longer be maintained or supported by its parent company, Blackbaud, beyond December 31, 2017.  Staff are actively examining options for a post-Fundware operation, including searching for grant funds to pay transition costs, and considering opportunities for additional electronic efficiency improvements to modernize the Program.

To date, Accounting Program staff have viewed demonstrations of four different accounting software programs and are evaluating each in relation to the accounting needs of the Program member towns.  Throughout the process we are searching for software that is easy to use, improves staff efficiency while using the software, and continues to allow member towns with populations under 2,000 residents to benefit from the software without needing to purchase their own expensive software licenses.  With Fundware, all towns are able to participate in the Program under the umbrella of the FRCOG’s master license.

FRCOG has applied for state grant funding to purchase accounting and cash management software to be used for the benefit of all Program towns.  Individual software licenses can be prohibitively expensive for small town budgets.  Grant funding will help us modernize our accounting software and add cash management software that will help streamline the cash reconciliation process by more quickly and accurately sharing data between the town treasurer and the accountant.

Additionally, the grant application requests funding for consulting assistance to help develop and implement additional electronic efficiencies that will allow the Program to evolve into a more efficient centrally-located operation.  More robust software should offer the opportunity to improve efficiencies and help modernize the Program’s operation so we can spend less time traveling and more time doing accounting work for our towns.  We should hear whether or not we will receive the grant before the end of December, 2016.