World Osteoporosis Day

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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Berkshire Orthopaedic Associates and Berkshire Health Systems raise awareness about Osteoporosis and fragility fractures for World Osteoporosis Day (WOD), celebrated on Wednesday, Oct. 20. 
Each year, clinicians and health professionals come together to celebrate World Osteoporosis Day (WOD) on Oct. 20 and the kick-off of a year-long campaign dedicated to raising global awareness of the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of osteoporosis and metabolic bone disease. 
This year’s campaign headline, "TAKE ACTION FOR BONE HEALTH" highlights the need to be proactive in maintaining bone health throughout life and preventing osteoporosis and fractures through early risk assessment and treatment if needed. The campaign will also emphasize the direct link between osteoporosis (the silent, underlying disease) and broken bones, which have a serious, life-changing impact in terms of pain, disability and lost independence.
Although an estimated 10 million adults in the U.S. have osteoporosis and an additional 44 million have low bone mass, most will go undiagnosed and untreated. A broken bone, also known as an osteoporotic or fragility fracture, is a serious complication of osteoporosis and often the first sign that a person has the disease. Unfortunately, only 20 percent of the nearly two million individuals who experience fragility fractures each year are tested or treated for osteoporosis. Those fractures are costly; nearly $19 billion in related costs every year.  By 2025, experts predict those numbers to rise to nearly 3 million fractures and $25.3 billion in costs each year.  It’s time to bring attention and awareness to this silent public health epidemic.
Berkshire Orthopaedic Associates Leading the Way in Post-Fracture Care
Berkshire Orthopaedic Associates has taken steps to ensure its osteoporotic fracture patients receive the treatment and care they deserve through participation in The American Orthopaedic Association’s (AOA) Own the Bone quality improvement (QI) program. Through this QI program, Berkshire Orthopaedics received the tools to establish a secondary fracture prevention program, or fracture liaison service (FLS), with the goal of preventing future fractures. FLS programs use a care coordinator, often a nurse practitioner or physician’s assistant, to help ensure that fragility fracture patients are identified and receive appropriate evaluation, diagnosis, and treatment.
Berkshire Orthopaedics received an Own the Bone Star Performer designation for the upcoming year, an achievement reserved only for institutions that perform the highest level of fragility fracture and bone health care. Own the Bone Star Performers must achieve a 75 percent compliance rate with at least 5 of the 10 Own the Bone prevention measures, including: educating patients on the importance of Calcium and Vitamin D, physical activity, falls prevention, limiting alcohol intake and quitting smoking; recommending and initiating bone mineral density testing; discussing pharmacotherapy and treatment (when applicable); and providing written communication to the patient and their physician regarding specific risk factors and treatment recommendations.
Through our participation in Own the Bone and recognition as an Own the Bone Star Performer, Berkshire Orthopaedic Associates has demonstrated a commitment to helping patients understand their risk for future fractures and the steps they can take to prevent them
What can patients do to protect their bones?
  • Get adequate calcium and vitamin D, either through diet or supplements, if necessary.
  • Engage in regular weight bearing and muscle strengthening exercise.
  • Avoid smoking and limit your alcohol to 2-3 drinks per day.
  • Have you or a loved one had a broken bone over age 50?  Talk to your health care provider and get a bone density screening to determine if osteoporosis might be the cause and learn additional steps you might need to take to prevent future fractures.

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Pittsfield Picks Veteran Employees as ARPA Fund Managers

By Brittany PolitoiBerkshires Staff

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Two familiar faces will be serving as the city's special projects managers for the $41 million in American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds.

Director of Community Development Deanna Ruffer and former Director of Public Health Gina Armstrong will share the one full-time position as co-managers.

Mayor Linda Tyer on Monday informed the City Council by email that Ruffer would be resigning from her current post in early to mid-February to take on this new role.

Rather than a resignation, Ruffer sees this as a transition. Armstrong resigned from her position in September, citing a need for more balance in her life and to spend more time with her family.

In the fall, the special projects manager position was created to oversee the city's allocation of ARPA funding. It will likely only be in place over the next five years, until the spending deadline in 2026, and will be paid in full through the ARPA funds.

"I am very excited to transition from the city's Community Development Director Position to co-special project manager for the City's American Rescue Plan program. This opportunity coincides with a personal desire to adjust my work-life balance to allow me to spend more time with family and pursuing personal interests," Ruffer wrote to iBerkshires in an email.

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