News Briefs: Free flu shots; BMC’s Cancer Center named to cancer care collaborative; Housatonic infrastructure grant; compressor station health forum; new branch managers at Greylock

Free flu shots for Great Barrington residents

Great Barrington — The town of Great Barrington and the Berkshire Public Health Alliance will be holding flu clinics Wednesday September 30 at the Housatonic Community Center from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and later in the day at the Town Hall in Great Barrington from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.. On Thursday October 1 there will be an additional flu clinic at the Claire Teague senior center at 917 Main Street from 1pm to 3pm. All residents 6 months of age and older are welcome. There is no charge for residents to receive the vaccine; however if you have an insurance card, please bring it with you. If you have any questions, please call 413-442-1521 ext 37.

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BMC’s Cancer Center named to cancer care collaborative

Boston — Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Brigham and Women’s Hospital have announced that they have agreed to name Berkshire Medical Center Cancer Center as the first member of the new Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women’s Cancer Care Collaborative (DF/BWCCC) following review by the Massachusetts Health Policy Commission. Membership in the Collaborative will signify Berkshire Medical Center’s commitment to excellence in cancer care by meeting a wide array of standards and best practices. In addition, Berkshire Medical Center staff will have access to educational opportunities and medical specialists at Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women’s Cancer Center in Boston.

As part of the membership process, DF/BWCCC clinicians and other specialists conducted an extensive review of Berkshire Medical Center’s outpatient medical oncology practices and procedures, including patient safety protocols, nursing and pharmacy practices, chemotherapy administration, and information systems.

The Collaborative will primarily review practices and standards at Berkshire Medical Center and provide educational opportunities for caregivers. However DF/BWCCC physicians may provide medical oncology specialty second opinion clinics on-site at Berkshire Medical Center. The practices and procedures of DF/BWCCC members are reviewed annually to ensure that high standards are maintained. New innovations in patient cancer care will be identified as they evolve and can be rapidly implemented.


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$3 million invested in Housatonic infrastructure

Great Barrington — The Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development has awarded the town of Great Barrington $842,569 in additional Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds for stormwater improvements and housing rehabilitation in the village of Housatonic.

This CDBG grant will enable the town of Great Barrington to continue its work on infrastructure improvements in Housatonic village that started in 2008 with $647,000 in CDBG funding for streets and sidewalks and was followed by a 2014 CDBG grant of $803,000 for drainage design and housing rehabilitation and $997,000 in town capital funds for street paving, drainage work, park upgrades, and energy improvements.

The most recent grant of $842,569 will be spent by the town on stormwater improvements on Front Street near Main Street where the existing stormwater system overloads the sewers and storm drains and overflows into the basement of the Monument Mills. The plan calls for a properly sized system to be bored under the railroad tracks and a stable new outfall to be constructed at the riverbank. The design is already permitted and construction will start in the spring of 2016.

A portion of the funding will also allow the Town to continue its Housing Rehabilitation Program for low- and moderate-income homeowners. The program is underway thanks to a 2014 CDBG grant, but the need for more funds is significant. The additional funds will allow the assistance of several more homeowners.

Town Planner Christopher Rembold said, “Many years of planning and a great deal of cooperation made this award a reality. We are able to assist homeowners in need, and we are able to continue our infrastructure work that is so critical to maintaining a lively village.” Rembold thanked the town’s Department of Public Works and the Berkshire Regional Planning Commission (BRPC) for their assistance. BRPC helped write the application and will administer the grant.

Rembold added that the engineering work is being completed, and the project will be put out to bid this winter, with the infrastructure work to begin in the next construction season.


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Health forum to discuss impacts of compressor station

Averill Park, N.Y. —  Save Burden Lake will present a forum on the health impacts of living within 10 miles of a natural gas pipeline compressor station on Wednesday, September 30 at 7 p.m. at the Burden Lake Country Club. The guest speaker for the event will be Sheila Bushkin-Bedient, MD, MPH, a member of the Institute for Health and the Environment at SUNY Albany.

For more information contact Cherisse Young at (518) 527-8757


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Greylock appoints branch managers in Great Barrington, Lenox

Pittsfield — Greylock Federal Credit Union has announced that current Great Barrington Branch Manager Jane Curtin has been appointed as manager of its soon-to-open Lenox branch. Stephanie Carlson will be promoted to Branch Manager at the Great Barrington branch.

Curtin has been Branch Manager in Great Barrington since 2013 after having spent more than 24 years with another local bank, including 11 years as a branch manager. She will start her new position when the Lenox location opens later this year. Carlson has been the assistant branch manager in Great Barrington for two years. Previously she was a member service officer at the branch since it opened in 2003. She will transition into her new role as Branch Manager in late October.