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The August monthly meeting of the Public Health Council featured a series of Determination of Need (DoN) requests from area health care providers followed by three informational presentations on proposed amendments to current public health regulations.

A total of three DoN requests were taken up by the Council: a request for transfer of ownership of Kindred Hospital Park View in Springfield to Vibra Healthcare LLC; a request to amend a previously approved DoN from Steward St. Elizabeth’s Hospital in Brighton related to an expansion of its Critical Care Unit facilities; and a request to amend a previously approved DoN from Tufts Medical Center and Shields, LLC, to provide mobile PET-CT services in Framingham. The Council voted to approve each of the three DoN requests.

Following the Determination of Need discussion, the Council heard an informational presentation from Kevin Cranston, Director of the Bureau of Infectious Disease, on some proposed amendments to regulations related to the funding mechanism of the Pediatric Immunization Program operated by DPH.  Next steps in the process include a public comment period after which the Council will presented with final regulations for review and approval.

Image of the Public Health Council

Dr. Madeleine Biondolillo, MD, Director of the Bureau of Health Care Safety and Quality, then provided an informational briefing to the Council on proposed amendments to regulations on the licensing of Long-Term Care Facilities which would establish minimum standards for Dementia Special Care Units within these institutions, and on a separate basis would require these sites to use a web-based system for serious incident reports, replacing the current paper and fax protocol for filing these reports. The proposed amendments will next undergo a public comment period, and will then be brought back to the Council for a vote.

Dr. Biondolillo’s appearance before the Council continued, as she provided an informational presentation on proposed amendments to regulations governing the training and certification of Surgical Technologists in the Commonwealth. DPH will hold a Public Hearing on these proposed amendments in coming month.

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