This month’s meeting of the Public Health Council featured a pair of informational presentations on proposed amendments to existing regulations, and the consideration of a Determination of Need (DoN) request from one Massachusetts health care facility.
First, the Council took up the request from Milford Regional Medical Center to construct a two-story addition to its main building which would include a conversion to all private rooms in the Medical/Surge units, a new and expanded Intensive Care Unit (ICU), a new Emergency Department, additional parking and other renovations. Following a discussion, the Council voted to approve the DoN request.
The Council then heard an informational presentation from Carlene Pavlos, Interim Director of the Bureau of Community Health and Prevention, on some proposed amendments to existing regulations to support screening and monitoring of children’s weight in Massachusetts schools through measurement of Body Mass Index (BMI). The proposed amendments would eliminate the requirement for schools to mail parents or guardians their child’s BMI results, while granting local school committees or local boards of health more flexibility to fashion their own reporting policies. Parents and guardians would still have the option to request the BMI data for their child. The next step in the process is for DPH to gather feedback from parents, schools and other stakeholders at a public hearing, which is not yet scheduled. Following that, DPH will incorporate those findings into a final set of proposed amendments which will be presented to the Council for a vote.
Finally, Bureau of Infectious Disease Director Kevin Cranston and State Medical Director Dr. Alfred DeMaria provided an informational presentation to the Council on proposed amendments to rescind regulations that currently require serological tests for syphilis prior to the issuance of a premarital medical certificate. These regulations are no longer relevant because the Massachusetts General Law (MGL) statute which required the syphilis test has since been repealed. Public hearings will be scheduled to garner feedback from residents and stakeholders on the proposed recission, after which DPH will return to the Council with final amendments on which to vote.
Weekly Flu Report, November 21, 2014 posted on Nov 21
This week’s flu report indicates that rates of flu-like illness remained relatively stable as compared to last week’s numbers. It’s safe to say that we’ll see these rates rise in the coming weeks and months – and with the holiday season approaching, now’s a great time …Continue Reading Weekly Flu Report, November 21, 2014
The Holidays Are Fast Approaching! posted on Nov 18
The holiday season brings a lot of fun, but can be stressful at times. Try focusing on seeing things through your child’s eyes. Chances are the traditions and memories you make are what children will grow up to remember, not the gifts or fancy meals. …Continue Reading The Holidays Are Fast Approaching!
Weekly Flu Report, November 14, 2014 posted on Nov 17
The latest weekly flu report shows an increase in the rate of flu-like illness in Massachusetts over the past seven days. This is to be expected at this time of year in New England, and it’s a great reminder that if you haven’t gotten vaccinated yet, there …Continue Reading Weekly Flu Report, November 14, 2014