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The mobile operation is a pilot program of Berkshire Health Systems supported by the state Department of Public Health.

Lanesborough Board of Health Approves Pilot Mobile Harm Reduction Services Program

By Sabrina DammsiBerkshires Staff
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LANESBOROUGH, Mass. — The Board of Health voted to join a pilot program through Berkshire Medical Center that would add Mobile Harm Reduction Services to the town.
 
The board signed a letter to the state Bureau of Infections, Disease & Laboratory Sciences. This letter informs the state that the Lanesborough Board of Health voted in favor of having the qualified and appropriate organizations operate a mobile syringe service. 
 
"We look forward to sharing further guidance with the members of the Board of Health as to how MDPH will move to establish a program in Lanesborough as one of the town allowable pilot programs in the Commonwealth," the letter said. 
 
Berkshire Harm Reduction presented during the last meeting, Tuesday, April 5, to demonstrate the advantages of having programs that they offered in the town including their Syringe Service Program, overdose education and naloxone distribution, education and treatment for sexually transmitted infections, and many more. 
 
This program is supported by the state Department of Public Health. The board was prepared to approve the program during the last meeting but were concerned that town counsel would not accept the decision because it was too vague on the agenda item.
 
BOH Chairman Lawrence Spatz said, "I guess, in some instances, it can be controversial. The harm reduction approach has been at times controversial. We'll see what happens.”
 
The program would provide convenience, safety, and education to the town through the town in an effort to reach areas where transportation may be challenging. 
 
The Harm Reduction Mobile Unit travels to locations throughout the region for safe syringe exchange,  overdose prevention, testing, risk reduction education, basic wound care, and more services.

Tags: board of health,   

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BEAT: Conserving Flowers and their Pollinators

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Joan Edwards will speak at the May Pittsfield Green Drinks event on Tuesday, May 17th at 6:00 PM and give a slideshow presentation about the rapidly decreasing biodiversity that is taking place globally, known as the sixth extinction. 
 
She will specifically focus on flowers and their insect visitors. 
 
This sixth extinction is primarily driven by human actions, from habitat loss to climate change. The impacts of biodiversity loss are far-reaching, resulting in biological communities that are less resilient and with diminished ecosystems services. As part of the discussion, Joan will explore the impact of biodiversity loss in the pollinator-flower world and examine how the surprising dynamics of flower-pollinator networks can help to conserve both flowers and their pollinators.
 
Joan Edwards is a botanist interested in understanding the biomechanics and adaptive significance of ultra-fast plant movements—plant actions that are so quick they occur in milliseconds. Using high-speed video (up to 100,000 fps), she studies the evolutionary significance and biomechanics of fast movements, including the trebuchet catapults of bunchberry dogwood, the vortex rings of Sphagnum moss, the splash cups of liverworts, and the "poppers" of wood sorrel. Her early fieldwork was on the impact of moose on plants in the boreal forests of Isle Royale National Park. 
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