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Business Briefs: Fairview team recognition; awards for Berkshire Healthcare; Girls Inc. receives grant; BTCF announces grants

Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation's Community Development Collaborations grantmaking initiative will support projects that promote and strengthen the conditions for economic opportunity, town center development and affordable housing in the foundation’s four-county region.

Fairview Hospital’s environmental services team receives national recognition

Great Barrington — “Doctors and nurses do their best to keep patients healthy, but they can’t provide the very best care possible without the facility being healthy,” stated Fairview Hospital quality director Dr. Alec Belman when he recently congratulated members of the hospital’s environmental services team for achieving American Hospital Association certification as Certified Healthcare Environmental Services Technicians.

Previously known as the housekeeping team, every member of the team completed 24 hours of required classroom instruction in the CHEST program, the content of which consisted of seven domains: cleaning and disinfection, waste handling, floor care, linen handling, infection prevention, safety, and communication. Fairview is the only rural hospital in Massachusetts that has completed the program.

The program was funded by a grant by the Massachusetts State Office of Rural Health, according to Doreen Hutchinson Fairview’s vice president of operations and patient care, who supported employees Kelly Holmes and Carly McKenney in attending a training seminar in order to return to Fairview to train the entire team.

Participants felt the program incorporated many existing skills and practices but also elevated the level of understanding of their roles, the environment, risks and effective techniques.


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Berkshire Healthcare earns national awards for customer, employee satisfaction

Pittsfield — Long-term care and senior living provider Berkshire Healthcare has been recognized by the National Research Corporation, capturing 11 out of 23 of the Massachusetts awards for exceptional customer and employee satisfaction.

Berkshire Healthcare’s Berkshire region Excellence in Action award winners are Kimball Farms Life Care and Kimball Farms Nursing Care Center in Lenox, and Williamstown Commons for customer satisfaction; HospiceCare in the Berkshires in Pittsfield and North Adams Commons for workforce satisfaction; and Mount Greylock Extended Care Facility in Pittsfield and PineHill Assisted Living at Kimball Farms for both customer and employee satisfaction.

To qualify for the award, nursing homes and assisted or independent living communities need to have completed a customer or workforce satisfaction survey. Winners must have also received a minimum of at least a 30 percent response rate, which must have scored the organization in the top 20 percent of qualifying skilled nursing facilities (10 percent for assisted living communities).


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The members of Girls In’c of the Berkshires’ 2018 Eureka! program summer cohort. Photo courtesy Gladys Allen Brigham Community Center

Jewish Women’s Foundation supports Girls Inc. Eureka! program with grant

Pittsfield — Gladys Allen Brigham Community Center CEO Kelly Marion has announced that the Jewish Women’s Foundation of Berkshire County has chosen Girls Inc. of the Berkshires’ Eureka! program to receive a $2,500 grant.

The Eureka! program gives girls the opportunity to explore STEM-related subjects through intensive, hands-on programming over five years. The first Eureka! cohort, made up of 14 girls entering eighth grade, was launched in July 2018. The girls immersed themselves in a four-week summer experience, studying a range of STEM subjects including physics, biology and environmental science with area professors at Berkshire Community College. The girls also participated in personal and career development activities, along with physical fitness to promote a healthy lifestyle. The cohort continues to meet throughout the school year to build upon what its members learning in school, to explore personal and career development activities, and to build relationships with program staff and each other. The cohort will begin a second immersive summer experience in July 2019.

The grant made by the Jewish Women’s Foundation will assist in the purchase of materials needed for focused activities of the cohort during school year meetings and to fund visits for the girls to tour STEM-related businesses in the Berkshires, museums with a STEM focus, and other programs that will add value to the Eureka! experience.


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Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation awards $39,000 in grants to support regional economic opportunity

Sheffield — Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation has announced $39,000 in grants to five organizations as part of its Community Development Collaborations grantmaking initiative. The initiative will support projects that promote and strengthen the conditions for economic opportunity, town center development and affordable housing in the foundation’s four-county region.

Berkshire County:
The Community Development Corporation of South Berkshire received $10,000 to convene business leaders to plan the expansion of existing businesses and the creation of new ones in southern Berkshire County that will provide living-wage jobs along with affordable housing options that are walkable to town centers. During two workshops, participants will use a community-supported industry strategy as a model to test the feasibility of offering locally produced products and services in the area and to explore housing concepts.

Columbia County, New York:
Philmont Beautification received $6,895 to develop a strategy to increase small-business ownership of mixed-use storefronts, with affordable housing on the upper floors, in Philmont. These topics will be discussed during a series of workshops that aim to revitalize the downtown area and fill vacant buildings as well as strengthen existing networks and partnerships. The project will be informed by an ongoing economic development planning project and master plan, and an economic and market trends analysis.

Dutchess County, New York:
Hudson River Housing received $8,805 to host a workshop in northeast Dutchess County that will build a better understanding of the housing needs of the rural workforce and share innovative affordable-housing models with local decision-makers, residents, nonprofits and business owners. Additional meetings will give community stakeholders the opportunity to discuss the impacts of affordable housing on the region’s economy. This project is a continuation of the work Hudson River Housing began in 2015 to open a dialogue about affordable housing in the county.

Litchfield County, Connecticut:

  • The Foundation for Norfolk Living received $3,800 to host a community conference on affordable housing at the Norfolk Hub. The project will outline the Foundation for Norfolk Living’s proposal to build a cluster of new net-zero energy homes in town to lower ownership costs and highlight the benefits of increasing the diversity of Norfolk’s population by providing affordable housing options. With support from state grant funding, the group opened an affordable housing complex in town earlier in 2018.
  • The Northwest Hills Council of Governments received $9,500 to launch pop-up community hubs in northwest Litchfield County town centers. Residents will be asked to share ideas on ways to support local businesses, attract young families to the area, give back to their communities, and meet the needs of older adults and teenage residents. The hubs will also provide information about affordable housing and jobs and job training locally. The executive director of the Norfolk Hub will act as an advisor to the project based on lessons learned from the Norfolk Foundation’s co-working and meeting space.



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