The Cooperative Public Health Service
is a regional health department serving sixteen towns in Franklin County. We work to improve the public’s health through environmental health inspections, communicable disease investigation and prevention, code enforcement, education, wellness, and special programs.
The Boards of Health of the towns of Bernardston, Buckland, Charlemont, Colrain, Conway, Gill, Hawley, Heath, Leyden, Rowe, Shelburne, and Monroe share three Regional Health Agents through the district. The same towns, plus Ashfield,Erving, and Northfield, share a public health nursing program as well.
The CPHS has an Oversight Board that meets monthly and is made up of local officials from each member town. Click here for more information on the Board, including membership, meeting schedule, meeting agendas and minutes.
Health District Services
CPHS Public Health Nurses Lisa White and Meg Ryan provide the following services:
- State-mandated infectious disease surveillance, reporting and case monitoring, including assistance to residents and local agencies regarding the prevention and spread of disease and to assure appropriate treatment.
- Blood pressure, blood glucose and other preventative and diagnostic health screenings.
- Community vaccination clinics providing Seasonal Flu, pneumonia and tetanus/diphtheria. Home vaccination to residents in need.
- Emergency Dispensing Site and Flu Clinic coordination assistance planning, purchasing and medical inventory
- Mercury thermometer and sharps disposal and container exchange (through a collaboration with the Franklin County Solid Waste Mgmt. District).
- Skin testing for residents and town employees at risk for Tuberculosis.
The Public Health Nurses holds walk-in clinics assisting residents of any member town with a variety of health care needs (medication management, assessment and monitoring of health conditions, medication information) at the following times and places:
- Ashfield: First Congregational Church: first Food Pantry Tuesday of the month 3 pm to 5 pm (February 8, March 8, April 5)
- Conway: 1st Friday 9 am to noon. Conway Town Hall, home visits following.
- Erving: 1st Tuesday 9:30-11:30. Erving Senior/Community Center.
- Gill: 2nd Fridays, 10 to noon, Stoughton Place Community Room.
- Bernardston: 2nd Thursday 9:30-11:30, Senior Center
- Charlemont: 2nd Tuesday 10:30-12. Federated Church, 3rd Tuesday 4-5:30 during Good Neighbors Food Distribution
- Northfield: 1st Wednesday, 12:30-2:30, Senior Center in Town Hall
- Colrain: 3rd Wednesday, 4 to 6 pm, Griswold Memorial Library
- Shelburne: 4th Tuesday 10:30 am to noon, The Senior Center.
The CPHS Regional Health Agents work to ensure safe food for residents and visitors of our member towns through regular inspections, educational programs and policy creation. We inspect restaurants, bed and breakfasts, schools, farmers markets, home kitchens, farm stands, and temporary food establishments at fairs and festivals.
- The CPHS Oversight Board and each member Board of Health has adopted a food inspection policy, which can be viewed here.
- Click this link for information about the Massachusetts Food Protection Program .
- A copy of the State Food Code can be found here.
Septic Systems and Private Wells
Protecting our water resources is one of the most important environmental health functions of a local board of health. The Regional Health Agents review septic system plans and repairs to ensure public health and safety. Several CPHS member towns have adopted local septic regulations which require witnessing of Title 5 inspections and water testing.
- For a copy of the CPHS local septic regulations, click here.
- More information on Septic Systems can be found on the DEP Septic System website.
- For a list of local septic system inspectors, click here.
CPHS member towns also permit new private wells to protect the drinking water of local residents. The district’s towns have adopted local private well regulations, for a copy click here.
- More information for private well owners can be found on the DEP Private Well website and the EPA private well website.
Community Sanitation: Camps, Pools, Housing, and Lead
Boards of Health are responsible for protecting the public health by enforcing minimum state standards for community sanitation. The CPHS issues permits, conducts inspections, and initiates enforcement activities when needed to ensure the safety of our residents. These include permits for children’s summer recreational camps, public and semi-public pools and spas, lead determinations and inspections of unsafe housing. The CPHS also inspects and issues “Certificates of Habitability” under the Massachusetts Rental Voucher Program (MRVP).
- To request an MRVP inspection, click here for an application.
- CPHS also licenses and inspects Motels, Lodging Houses, Bed & Breakfast operations, Campgrounds, and other short-term vacation rentals, including short-term rentals listed using on-line services such as Airbnb, FlipKey, HomeAway, and others. For a letter explaining this requirement for short-term rentals, click here.
- More information is available on the Massachusetts Department of Public Health Community Sanitation website.