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The February Public Health Council meeting featured two Determination of Need (DoN) requests from area health care facilities; final votes on two proposed amendments to regulations, and an informational presentation on planning for the 2014 arbovirus season.

First, the Council considered a Determination of Need request from Caritas St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center in Boston for a significant change to an already approved but not yet implemented DoN project. The change would involve additional renovations in the facility’s Seton Pavilion which would update and expand the surgical suite and post-anesthesia care unit there. Following a discussion with representatives from St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center, the Council voted to approve the DoN request.

The Council then took up a Determination of Need request for a transfer of ownership of Winchester Hospital, Inc. with respect to a change in its corporate control. Specifically, Winchester Hospital will become a part of Lahey Health System, Inc. through a member substitution, whereby Lahey Health System, Inc. will become the sole member of Winchester Healthcare Management, Inc., which is the sole member of Winchester Hospital, Inc. and its 16 outpatient satellite locations. The Council voted to approve the DoN request.

Following the DoN discussions, DPH Associate Commissioner Madeleine Biondolillo summarized the results of the public comment period for proposed regulations to establish minimum standards of care for Dementia Specialty Care Units within health care facilities, and how DPH revised the proposed amendments to reflect those concerns. Following a discussion, the Council voted to approve the amended regulations.

Associate Commissioner Biondolillo then presented on the proposed rescission of one existing regulation and the amendment of other regulation to reflect changes in organ procurement and donation in Massachusetts facilities brought about by the Uniform Anatomical Gift Act passed by the Legislature in 2012. The Council voted to approve the requests for rescission and amendment of regulations.

Finally, the Council heard an informational presentation (Part 1Part 2Part 3Part 4Part 5) from the program staff and scientists in the Bureau of Infectious Disease on planning for mosquito-borne disease prevention and mitigation strategies for the 2014 arbovirus season.

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