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Commissioner Bharel congratulates Dr. Al DeMaria, Infectious Disease Medical Director and State Epidemiologist, for 29 years of service to the Department. Dr. DeMaria is retiring at the end of the month.

Commissioner Bharel congratulates Dr. Al DeMaria, Jr., Infectious Disease Medical Director and State Epidemiologist, for 29 years of service to the Department. Dr. DeMaria is retiring at the end of the month.

The May monthly meeting of the Public Health Council included consideration of a Determination of Need (DoN) request, an update on proposed amendments to regulations currently in process, a series of informational presentations on various DPH initiatives, and finally a farewell to a true institution at the Department, Dr. Al DeMaria.

First, the Council took up a Determination of Need request from Baystate Health Inc. of Springfield for a substantial change in service for build-out of ambulatory surgery operating rooms and associated pre- and post-operative care rooms at Baystate’s satellite, Baystate Orthopedic Surgery Center. Following a discussion, the Council voted to approve the request.

Next, the Council received an informational briefing on the status of proposed amendments to 105 CMR 700.000, Implementation of M.G.L. c. 94C.

Following that, DPH staff presented a pair of briefings on important DPH initiatives underway:

  • An overview and demonstration of the Population Health Informational Tool (PHIT)
  • An overview of the Board of Certification of Community Health Workers (CHW), and an update on the CHW Certification Process

Finally, the Council bid farewell to Infectious Disease Medical Director and State Epidemiologist Dr. Al DeMaria who is retiring from state service at the end of this month. In honor of Dr. DeMaria’s service, the Department announced the establishment of the Dr. Al DeMaria Jr. Public Health Achievement Award.    The award will be given annually in recognition of an exceptional employee who has worked in public health for the majority of his or her career and at DPH for at least 10 years, and who has made significant contributions to DPH over the time of their employment.

Dr. DeMaria was quite fittingly named the first recipient of his namesake award.

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