The Berkshire County Boards of Health Association was founded in 1929 to promote education and coordination among the 32 Boards of Health (BOHs) in Berkshire County. It began as a loosely defined group that was essentially a networking system for BOH members and agents. In time, educational initiatives were begun on behalf of the whole county such as the certification process now in place for septic installers.
As the state and federal governments have begun to include Public Health workers in their definition of first responders, an increasing amount of pressure has been put on BOHs to improve their education, take an active role in emergency planning and liaise with police and fire departments. To this end, several grants have been directed towards local Boards of Health to increase their interoperability and preparedness. As this has happened, BCBOHA’s role in Berkshire County has grown. Federal grant money (from the Center for Disease Control) has come to Massachusetts and has then been parceled out to each county. BCBOHA is the Berkshire County association that has taken on the responsibility of overseeing this and other grants.
BCBOHA realizes how difficult it is for local Boards of Health to meet the regulatory and inspectional demands of their towns, and dealing with the many new state and federal requirements. Please contact us with any questions or comments about what we do and how we can help you.
BCBOHA holds twice-yearly dinner meetings with an educational component. Recent guest speakers have included DPH Commissioner John Auerbach; Barbara Coughlin RN, Health Educator; Priscilla Neves, RS, MEd, Director, MDPH Bureau of Environmental Health, Food Protection Program; Joseph A. Pieropan, Chief of the Appellate Division, Berkshire District Attorney’s Office; David J. Beaudin, Code Compliance and Enforcement Unit, Massachusetts Department of Fire Services; State Senator Ben Downing; and Marie Harpin, Berkshire Community Action Council, among others.
The Executive Committee is the governing body of the association. The Committee generally meets on the third Wednesday of each month, and the meetings are open to any Berkshire County Board of Health member interested in attending. Elections are held during the Association’s fall dinner meeting.