Elder Services Hires New Community Services Director

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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Elder Services of Berkshire County, Inc. (Elder Services) announced the recent hiring of Kayla Brown-Wood as the Agency's Community Services Director.
 
In her new role, Kayla will be responsible for Elder Services' federal programs. These include the Home and Community Based Programs (Information and Referral, Volunteers, Options Counseling and Family Caregivers) as well as the Long Term Care Ombudsman Program, Planning and Development and the Nutrition and Food Service departments. 
 
She will also oversee the Agency's outreach activities and marketing efforts.    
 
Kayla, who resides in Adams, worked at BFAIR for the past eight years, most recently as the Director of Day Services with responsibility for the community based day habilitation and employment programs funded by the Department of Developmental Services, Mass Rehab Commission and MassHealth.
 
She earned a Bachelor's Degree from Fitchburg State University and is currently pursuing an MBA in healthcare administration from Franklin Pierce University.
 
Elder Services Executive Director Christopher McLaughlin commented, "We are very pleased that Kayla has joined our team. We believe her leadership qualities, experience and passion for community-based services will serve her well in her new role and look forward to her making significant contributions at our Agency."
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Dalton Board of Health Approves Green Burial Verbiage

By Sabrina DammsiBerkshires Staff
DALTON, Mass. — The Board of Health approved wording for the green burial guidelines during its meeting on Wednesday. 
 
The guideline stipulates that "Ebola or any other diseases that the CDC or Massachusetts Department of Public Health deem unsuitable for green burials can not be approved by the town Board of Health." 
 
The board has been navigating how to include communicable diseases in its guidelines to prevent them from spreading.  
 
Town Health Agent Agnes Witkowski has been working to clarify the state's guidelines regarding infectious diseases and green burials. 
 
She attended a presentation on green burials and consulted with people from various organizations, including the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, where it was determined that the state is behind in developing guidelines for green burials.
 
Currently, the only disease that would prevent someone from being able to have a green burial is ebola, board member Amanda Staples-Opperman said. Bugs would take care of anything else. 
 
The town running into situations surrounding an unknown disease would be a very rare occurrence, board members said. 
 
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