The exterior of the Studio, the newest building at the Porches Inn at MASS MoCA in North Adams. Photo courtesy Main Street Hospitality Group

Business Briefs: New building at Porches Inn; CHP adds behavioral health services; McHugh named GB principal assessor; Hawthorne Valley supplement line; food insecurity grant for Bennington College

In an effort to meet the needs of patients facing life stresses and more serious trauma needs, Community Health Programs has added behavioral health professionals at most of its medical practice locations.

The Porches Inn at MASS MoCA adds new building

North Adams — The Porches Inn at MASS MoCA will unveil a new, state-of-the-art multifunctional space called the Studio later this summer. The building will accommodate creative business meetings, social gatherings and weddings while also offering a fully equipped, advanced facility for listening to, performing and recording music.

Designed by Bensonwood of Walpole, New Hampshire, the Studio is 1,110 square feet of open space with glass walls on three sides, laminated timbers of Arctic spruce and slats of cedar exposed throughout, and capped by a copper roof. With space for up to 80 people, the Studio can be configured to host meetings, events, receptions and luncheons or dinners with an on-site chef’s catering kitchen. High-tech amenities were designed and installed by Meyer Sound of Berkeley, California, and include a powerful projection system featuring a 12-foot-high LED video wall, tunable acoustics, a ProTools recording system, and a Yamaha C7X piano. A geothermal heating and cooling system coupled with solar production, courtesy of Peterson Engineering in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, ensures the Studio will be a net-zero energy building.


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CHP adds behavioral health services at several practice sites

Dr. Leslie Fishbein. Photo courtesy Community Health Programs

Great Barrington — In an effort to meet the needs of patients facing life stresses and more serious trauma needs, Community Health Programs has added behavioral health professionals at most of its medical practice locations.

Led by supervising psychiatrist Dr. Leslie Fishbein, licensed clinical social workers are now on staff at CHP Berkshire Pediatrics and Neighborhood Health Center in Pittsfield, and at Lee Family Practice. Another social worker has been on staff at CHP’s Family Services location for several years but will now have more supervisory support. Staffing is underway for CHP’s practices in Adams and North Adams.

“Patients of all ages, including children, sometimes need mental health support that goes beyond what our primary care team can offer,” said CEO Lia Spiliotes. “Now, we can say, ‘Look, we can help you. We have someone right here for you to speak with. Let’s get you an appointment.’”


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Shaun McHugh named principal assessor in Great Barrington

Shaun McHugh. Photo courtesy Town of Great Barrington

Great Barrington — Shaun P. McHugh has been named principal assessor for the town of Great Barrington. McHugh, a Pittsfield native and certified residential appraiser with 25 years of experience, previously worked as the commercial assessor for the city of Pittsfield and also as a senior commercial reviewer for Tyler Technologies. He has been owner and president of Berkshire Appraisal, McHugh Appraisals and Berkshire Asset Management.

He has completed coursework with the Massachusetts Association of Assessing Officers, the Institute of Real Estate Management and the Certified Commercial Investment Manager Institute. He also completed the state of Connecticut Office of Policy and Management revaluation exam. His is a cum laude graduate of American International College with a bachelor’s degree in economics and finance.

In the community, McHugh served as the elected town justice in New Lebanon, New York, his town of residence, and as town constable. He has also coached Little League, Babe Ruth, high school varsity and American Legion baseball teams in New Lebanon.


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Hawthorne Valley Farm Store announces dietary supplement line

A sampling of the offerings in Hawthorne Valley Farm Store’s dietary supplement line. Photo courtesy Hawthorne Valley Association

Ghent, N.Y. — Hawthorne Valley Farm Store has introduced a line of store-brand organic dietary supplements to its wellness department as part of its Everyday Essentials program.

Starting in mid-June, over 30 store brand supplements will be on the shelf. The store has partnered with Vitamer Laboratories, a family-owned company based in Irvine, California, to manufacture the supplements. Vitamer uses science-based methods to develop its products, and lists all ingredients on its labels. The company also utilizes post-consumer materials to make a portion of its packaging and shipping materials as a way to minimize its environmental footprint. Each year, Vitamer donates 11 million children’s multivitamins to Vitamin Angels, a nonprofit organization that provides nutrition to women and children in need.


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Bennington College receives Mellon Foundation grant to study food insecurity

Bennington, Vt. — Bennington College has been awarded a grant of $1 million from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to launch a three-year collaborative effort with local partners to address the systemic causes of food insecurity in Bennington County.

Food insecurity—the inability to access affordable, nutritious food—affects one in eight Americans, or approximately 40 million people. The collaboration aims to both address the pressing problem of food insecurity in the area and to develop an interdisciplinary and responsive humanities curriculum with students, faculty and the community, creating a model from which other higher education institutions can learn and build.

The undertaking will be a partnership between Bennington College’s Center for the Advancement of Public Action and community, health and public education partners who have been working to address this issue for many years: Southwestern Vermont Health Care and Medical Center, Southwest Vermont Supervisory Union, and Greater Bennington Interfaith Community Services.