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Board of HealthJune 15, 2016
Meetings & Notices
City of North Adams
Board of Health
Wednesday, June 15, 2016
Conference Room #202
June 15, 2016
Members Present: Brendan Bullett (Chairperson)
John Meaney, Kevin Lamb
Others Present: James O’ Brien, Director of Health / Code Enforcement, Melissa Martin (BOH Secretary), Mayor Richard Alcombright, Wendy Penner (NBCC), Jennifer Kimball (Berkshire Regional Planning Commission), Cheryl Zoll (Tapestry Health), Liz Whynott (Tapestry Health), Katrina Mattson (Tapestry Health), Sarah DeJesus (Tapestry Health), Tammy Daniels (IBerkshires)
Brendan Bullet made a motion to accept and waive the reading of the minutes of the previous meeting, seconded by John Meaney. Unanimous vote.
Liz Whynott (Tapestry Health Needle Exchange) Director O’Brien inquired about what kind of model will be used for the Needle Exchange. Liz replied that is still up for discussion. However, a fixed sight would be nice to start off. After speaking with Kenna Waterman, we could collaborate with her, possibly sharing that site. In rural areas, pier to pier models are often successful way to go. Which means getting people from the community that know users or people that are at high risk and building trusts in their relationships. This was successful in Northampton and Holyoke. Another model could be that they are mobile, depending on resources and funding. Meeting people in their neighborhoods and doing events. In addition to syringe exchange, other services including substance use treatment, training, distribution of Narcan, testing and counselling. Director O’Brien stated that if a fixed sight was found, it would be the quickest way of getting things up and running. We would apply with DPH. Kenna’s area is centrally located and she is familiar with the community. Director O’Brien inquired about sharps collection being included in this particular model. Liz replied, yes. Member Meaney inquired about Kenna’s site, where is it? Wendy Penner replied she is right down the hall from the coalition, Main Street, 2nd floor. Member Meaney asked if they thought there might be any obstacles with DPH. Liz replied no. Does the board send a letter to the DPH, that states we are moving forward with approval process? Cheryl Zoll, replies yes, something official from the City. Director O’Brien asked that if they were licensed in other communities or just approval from DPH? They are allowed to be in the town through DPH with rules and regulations but no licensing required. Wendy asked if the letter should be signed by the mayor also to avoid any confusion over local approval. Cheryl stated that it would not hurt. Jennifer Kimball stated she has a letter template that is specific designed for this. Member Meaney asked if we need a public hearing? Jennifer stated no, only board approval. Jennifer reads the letter template. Director O’Brien asked if they had done anything with emergency preparedness, because they were using a controlled substance. Cheryl replies that is a good question and would find out. Member Meaney stated that these programs are establishing their own emergency plan; we want to make sure that your emergency plan integrates into the overall plan. Chairperson Bullett inquired about engaging the community and how do they plan to do so. Liz responded a lot of it will depend on the funding and resources and realistically they may only be open part time with minimal staff. The most effective way is to find trusted people that they may already have a relationship with and find easily by spreading the word to recruit people to come to our site. They do want to go out and meet people if they are unable to come to our site, if that’s possible. It takes a while to trust within the community, and then it continues to expand. Social media and advertising also helps.
Cheryl mentioned the Outreach Program. Sarah DeJesus stated building relationships with people and other groups in the community and letting people know about our services. Wendy inquired about outreaching to individuals refusing transport and have they reached out to such individuals? Liz replies, the state wide Narcan program have done studies that show the increase to call 911 has increased. In Northampton, they are working with the Police Department. When the police department engages with something related to heroin, whether its crime or overdose, they follow up within 48 hrs. They have partnered as a referral source. So the individuals and / or families come to Tapestry for Narcan and further education if they are not already engaged in treatment. They are doing this in Northampton and Springfield. Director O’Brien inquired about education for families because sometimes that gets lost. They collaborate with Kenna and Learning to Cope. Educating families definitely needs to be addressed, stated Director O’Brien. Cheryl mentions that isolation is the worst thing for somebody that is struggling with addiction. Mayor Alcombright thanks Tapestry for coming back to the board and thanks the board for entertaining this discussion once again. As a community, we talk about this as a problem or addition and people want to see a positive outcome, and move in a better direction. He continues with if we want things to change or get better, we can’t thumb our noses and turn away from any reasonable types of solutions that come before us for addicts and their families. Addiction is a family disease, he stated. The mayor states that the benefits that Tapestry can bring with their program. He continues with commending the community, because of the smoothest opening of a methadone clinic in the world. He mentions that the board of Health is the authority for approvals, but the next level would be Planning Board with questions like where, when, etc. His hope is that if the board moves forward, the community is as receptive to this as they were with other support programs. Wendy mentions that Hep C is the silent epidemic. It is happening because of needle sharing. Chairperson Bullet asked about any statistics that show that this helps. Liz replies with needle exchange clients are 5 times more likely to engage in the treatment. The only requirement is that you are 18 years of age to participate in needle exchange in the country. Studies show needle exchange is good with engaging people into treatment. Relapse is part of it, and not letting them fall. Chairperson states that is definitely needed in the community and there is a problem. The mayor mentions that Tapestry has been with us a very long time. The city is very happy with Spectrum health. Ultimately, it’s the decision of DPH for the needle exchange. Chairperson Bullett, for the North Adams Board of Health to allow a qualified and appropriate organization to operate a Syringe Service Program in the City of North Adams. Unanimous Vote.
After discussing late fees on invoices for licenses and providing information from Pittsfield and Williamstown. The board decided to table until the next meeting in August and asked if the Director and I obtain more information from Adams and Greenfield.
Reports of the Director & Code Enforcement Officer:
Since the last meeting, there have been 33 Certificates of Compliance and 1 Re-Inspection for a total of 34, generating $1,020.00.
On 5/20/2016, the director inspected a new Butcher Shop at 746 State Road, (David Brazeau). He informed the board that he attended a Hep C Conference on 5/24 and a Marijuana Conference on 5/25. He also informed the board that the schools have all been inspected with a minor violation at Greylock Elementary with their walk in cooler. It will be addressed when the school shuts down.
On 6/2/2016, a trash complaint at 1539 Massachusetts Avenue, this is a repeat violation and this time a $100 violation ticket was implemented and will be re-inspected in 30 days of the violation date. The violation regarding Martin Walden at 36 Temple Street, proceeding with the courts because he has not paid his violation ticket. On 6/2/2016, a site inspection was conducted at 17 Allen Drive (Wheel Estates), abandoned property. This was a fire and the owner started to remove then had issues with the park and has abandoned the property. The park is trying to remove the mobile home. The director informed them that they need the signoffs on the demolition application. On 6/6/2016, an inspection occurred at 218 Corinth Street of an abandoned property. On 6/6/2016 a complaint at 107 Veazie Street of high lawn and trash. Mountain One now owns this property thru foreclosure. A clean and lean was conducted by the city at 319 Kemp Avenue, owner Tim Sunn, property manager is Safeguard Properties. They did mow the lawn but left the trash and swimming pool. On 6/12/2016, a complaint regarding no water and 5 dogs at 20 Apache Drive (Wheel Estates) The director noticed that there was water left at the site, dogs barking but no one came to the door. He left a notice on the door and will follow up. On 6/13/2016, the director attended a REPC Drill hosted by the ambulance. Director O’Brien informed the board that all restaurant inspections have been inspected by Mark Vadnais and all are up to date with only minor violations and some missing certificates that Mark will follow up with.
Meeting adjourned 5:30pm.
Next regular meeting will be August 17th. No meeting in July.
Melissa J. Martin
1. Approval of Minutes (May 18, 2016)
2. Liz Whynott (Tapestry Health Needle Exchange)
3. Late Fees on Invoices for Licenses
4. Director & Code Enforcement Reports
Brendan Bullett, Chairperson