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Members of Fairview's Environmental Services Team display certificates in a ceremony attended by representatives of all departments.

Berkshires Beat: 'CHEST' Program Elevates Environmental Services Team at Fairview Hospital

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CHEST award

Fairview Hospital's new Environmental Services Team has achieved the American Hospital Association certification as Certified Healthcare Environmental Services Technicians (CHEST). Previously known as the Housekeeping team, every member of the new Environment Services Department had to complete 24 hours of required classroom instruction. The CHEST Program content consisted of seven domains: Cleaning and Disinfection, Waste Handling, Floor Care, Linen Handling, Infection Prevention, Safety, and Communication. Fairview Hospital is the only rural hospital in Massachusetts that completed the staff development program.

"Doctors and nurses do their best to keep patients healthy, but they can’t provide the very best care possible without the facility being healthy," said Fairview's Quality Director, Dr. Alec Belman. The program was funded by a grant by the Massachusetts Office of Rural Health, said Fairview Operations VP, Doreen Hutchinson, who supported two employees, Kelly Holmes and Carly McKenney, who both attended a training seminar by the American Hospital Association in order to return to Fairview to train the entire team.

Following a recent ceremony, staff from throughout the hospital congratulated the members of the Environmental Services team, recognizing how environmental services technicians play an essential role in patients' experience of care, as well as, ensuring patient safety and satisfaction and contributing to a clean and quiet healing atmosphere that leads to improved outcomes. Participants felt the program incorporated many existing skills and practices but also elevated the level of understanding of their role, the environment, its risks and effective techniques.


Christmas tree pickup schedule

Christmas tree pickup in the month of January in the city of Pittsfield will accompany the regular trash pickup schedule. A breakdown of the schedule includes the following servicing information:

· The week of Jan. 7, Republic Service will pick up trees on Monday and Friday routes.

· The following week of Jan. 15, they will pick up along the Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday routes.

· During the week of Jan. 21, Republic will resume tree collection with Monday and Friday routes.

· Lastly, the week of Jan. 28, they will pick up trees according to the Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday routes.


Community Outreach Volunteer Training

The Northern Berkshire Neighbors program of the Northern Berkshire Community Coalition is seeking community-minded individuals to take part in a free Community Outreach and Civic Engagement training program. Ideal participants must be committed to strengthening the Northern Berkshires by exploring how they can get involved, make a positive impact and learn how to assist residents in accessing available services.

The training will take place over a six-month period and meet every Thursday from 5:30 to 8 p.m. beginning Feb. 14, 2019. As part of the training, participants will learn about the many health and human service providers and community organizations in the northern Berkshire region. In many instances they will become the critical link between services and residents. In addition, participants will engage in workshops and training on topics such as different styles of leadership, effective communication and marketing, professional writing, community organizing through assessment and mapping, conflict management, and other related topics.

Coupled with the training, participants will create and implement a community service project utilizing the skills and information received during the training that will either meet a community need or build upon an existing asset. Following graduation, Northern Berkshire Neighbors will support participants as they work towards making impactful contributions to their communities and neighborhoods, and in some cases, contributing directly to the work of nbCC. Application submissions are now being accepted through Jan. 18, 2019. For more information, call 413-663-7588 or send an email.


Williamstown scholarships

The Williamstown Municipal Scholarship is for town residents enrolling or enrolled in accredited academic programs in the 2019-20 school year, including non-traditional students who are going back to school or continuing their education, and traditional students, who will have completed at least one year of education post high school by fall 2018.

Applications can be found on the town's website, or in the town treasurer's office. The deadline  to apply is Friday, Jan. 4, 2019, at 4:30 p.m. These modest scholarships are intended to help support residents' educational goals, enhance their skills, or prepare them to re-enter the workforce. Current high school seniors, because they are eligible for other scholarships, will not be considered.

Williamstown Municipal Scholarships are funded by the residents of Williamstown, through tax-deductible donations. Donations may be made along with property tax bills or by check payable to the Williamstown Town Treasurer, 31 North Street, Williamstown, MA 01267.


Good Neighbor Scholarship

Southern Vermont College in Bennington, Vt., has expanded its Good Neighbor Scholarship once again in Massachusetts for qualified students at the Berkshire Arts and Technology Charter Public School in Adams and Hoosac Valley High School in Cheshire. The Good Neighbor Scholarship is a renewable scholarship of $11,000 per year. BART and Hoosac Valley join high schools in Bennington and Windham Counties in Vermont along with several schools in Northern Berkshire County and select Rensselaer County schools in New York.

For students to be eligible for the Good Neighbor Scholarship, they must be permanent Massachusetts residents for at least two years and enrolled or have graduated within the past two years from a member school. Official transcripts must be received by SVC’s Office of Admission before awarding the Good Neighbor Scholarship. All decisions on eligibility will be made by the admission committee. For more information, visit the website or call 802-447-6300.


Community Police Academy

Great Barrington Police Department's Community Police Academy will be held in January and residents are encouraged to sign up. The program runs from Jan. 15-31 on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Great Barrington Police Department, 465 Main St. Participants must be at least 18-years-old and must live or work in Great Barrington.

The Community Police Academy is designed for community members seeking to understand and learn about law enforcement and police services in Great Barrington. Topics that the course will cover include: How police officers work, special police operations, use of force, policies and procedures, criminal law and investigations. Space is limited and eligible participants are required to submit an application. To download the application click here, and return it to the police station, 465 Main St.

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Southern Berkshire Chamber Names Business Persons of the Year

GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass. — The Southern Berkshire Chamber of Commerce's 2019 Business Persons of the Year are Gary Happ and Andrew Mankin of Barrington Brewery.

The SBCC Nomination Committee received nominations in May from the business community and residents. After an extensive review by the Nomination Committee, they presented this year's nomination finalist to the SBCC board. Happ and Mankin received a unanimous vote.

A celebration will take place at the Norman Rockwell Museum on Wednesday, Sept. 11, from 5 to 7:30 p.m. Tickets for this event are available through the Southern Berkshire Chamber of Commerce business office, 40 Railroad Street, Great Barrington, by phone at 413-528-4284, on the SB Chamber website event page or by email.

Mankin was raised in Kent, Conn. He started his career at the Kent and Dover Plains Waters Companies. He began home brewing in 1982. He developed his interest in brewing through an internship at Vaux Brewery in Northern England in 1988, contributing to his style of traditional English ales, Czech and German lagers. He moved to Great Barrington in 1990, and 20 Railroad was the local pub.

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