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The December monthly meeting of the Public Health Council featured the consideration of one Determination of Need (DoN) request, two votes on final amendments to existing regulations, and an informational presentation to the Council on a key DPH community initiative.

First, the Council took up a request from Steward St. Anne’s Hospital Corporation for a significant change to approved but not fully implemented DoN. The original Determination of Need  involves a three-story addition/renovations to replace existing medical/surgical beds at the main hospital campus in Fall River. The requested amendment to the DoN seeks to build out the shell space to accommodate a new cardiac catheterization program and outpatient cardiology services. Following a discussion, the Council voted to table the request for 3-6 months pending further consideration.

Following the DoN discussion, the Council took up a request from the Department for final approval of proposed amendments to regulations related to the implementation of the Massachusetts Immunization Information System (MIIS). As part of the discussion, the Department provided a summary of comments received during a public hearing/comment period on the proposed amendments which closed at the end of October. Following a discussion, the Council voted to approve the final amendments to regulations.

Next on the agenda was a request from DPH to approve final regulations related to the licensing and operation of Adult Day Health Programs in the Commonwealth. The Department presented an overview of public comments received on the proposed regulations, after which the Council voted to approve the regulations as final.

Finally, the Council heard an informational presentation from the Department on the full range of its activities in promoting prevention and wellness in communities across the Commonwealth, including the Department’s Cancer Prevention, Mass in Motion, and Prevention and Wellness Trust Fund programs.

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