Springfield HHS News & Events

2014 Influenza Press Release


FLU SEASON IS HERE 2014 – 2015




As families go about reconnecting after Summer outings and activities, we enter Fall with back to school, reunions and resumption of meetings and other gatherings.  Fall is our time to be alert for flu.


Flu is a serious disease if left unprotected causing illness and in some cases disability and death.  However, it is an imminently preventable disease almost always.


The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that everyone 6 months of age and older be immunized against influenza (flu).  Vaccination is safe and easy to do by local Boards of Health, Pharmacies, Physician’s Offices and Supermarkets with a pharmacy.  Take advantage of opportunities early-as soon as flu vaccine becomes available.  Then within two weeks of getting the flu shot you should be protected.


Know The Flu Facts:

F – Fever

A – Aches

C – Chills

T – Tiredness

S – Sudden onset


These symptoms are often accompanied by:

·       Dry cough

·       Sore throat

·       Runny and/or stuffy nose


CDC urges all of us to take the following actions to protect yourself, your family, friends and neighbors from influenza (flu).  “Take 3” actions to fight flu.


1.     Take time to get the flu vaccine

·       Everyone 6 months of age and older

·       High risk persons

·       People at high risk of serious flu complication-pregnant women, people with asthma, diabetes or heart and lung disease and people 65 years and older

·       Health care workers

·       Children younger than 6 months but are too young for the vaccine so their care givers must be vaccinated.


2.     Take everyday preventive actions to stop the spread of germs.


·       Avoid close contact with people who are sick.  When you are sick, keep your distance from others to protect them from getting sick too.

·       If possible, stay home from work, school and errands when you are sick.  You will help prevent others from catching your illness.

·       Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing.  It may prevent those around you from getting sick.

·       Washing your hands often will help protect you from germs.

·       Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth.  Germs are often spread when a person touches something that is contaminated with germs and then touches his or her eye, nose or mouth.


3.     Take flu antiviral drugs if your doctor prescribes them.

·       Antiviral drugs are different from antibiotics.  They are prescription medicine (pills, liquid or an inhaled power) and are not available over-the-counter.


Flu season is here and it is up to you to avoid this illness and stay well.  According to Health and Human Services, Commissioner Helen R. Caulton-Harris, “even healthy people should get the flu shot and avoid the risk of contracting and/or spreading influenza”.


For more information:        www.flu.gov

















SDHHS Internship Opportunity

The City of Springfield Department of Health and Human Services has a broad mandate to provide community medical care, health education preventive programs and environmental health services.  The programs of the department are: Community Health Nursing; Environmental Health; Health Services for the Homeless; Maternal, Infant and Child Health; Tobacco Control; Violence Prevention; Oral Health and Pioneer Valley Area Health Education.

For the past twelve years the department has been the Convener for activities around National Public Health Month in partnership with our Community Based Organizations to give visibility and recognition to the contributions of public health prevention services to Springfield's well-being. Since 1995, communities across the country have come together each April to celebrate National Public Health thereby helping to protect and improve our nation's health.

The student intern will work with administrative/supervisory staff of the department and local high schools and colleges having a video/visual arts component to their curricula to establish, organize and stage a FILM/FESTIVAL to showcase local, state and/or US films/videos focusing on relevant public health issues.

This unique internship is based out of the Springfield Department of Health and Human Services. At this time in the public health prevention cycle teaching and learning we would like to introduce a concept that residents, young and old, will find innovative, exciting, fun and a joyful educational experience.

Internship Responsibilities to include:

This internship is for students interested in working in an urban community having residents of color, multiple languages, cultures and maybe differing health values and plagued with many health disparities. Student will:

  • Provide a Standard Operating Procedure Manual
  • Provide a Resource Manual to aid in replication of this learning experience
  • Evaluation of the festival


Contact Information: Bettye Anderson Frederic, RN, MSN, CHO; Deputy Director; 95 State Street, Suite 201; Springfield, MA 01103; bafrederic@springfieldcityhall.com (413) 787-6761

Is Springfield A Disaster Prepared Community?

Are you prepared in case of emergency? Would you like to know more on what to do before, during and after an emergency?

Join Mayor Sarno and our community partners during his proclamation and PLEDGE TO PREPARE.

For schedule of events and activities, please check the flyer.

Public Health: Saves Lives, Saves Money

The Public Health Month 2013 celebration was held on Monday to a standing room audience of colleagues and government officials. This year's "Luminary Award", the highest honor provided to public health workers is to Sanford E. Jeames, DHA. Dr. Jeames was honored for his work with Men of Color Health Awareness (MOCHA) on prostate cancer and other prevention services and Health Disparities.

Anne S. Awad, MSW, President/CEO of Caring Health Center received the Director's Award. This award is granted by the city of Springfield Department of Health and Human Services Director for outstanding community work being performed by an active and engaged public health worker.

Thank you to all who attended this extraordinary event and the many businesses and Community Based Organizations who support this endeavor each year. Our work with many health and wellness events available during the month is about to begin.

For schedule of activities please check the calendar.

Severe Weather Preparedness Week

Be a Force of Nature: Know your Risk, Take Action, Be an Example.

The National Weather Service has declared the week of March 3-9, 2013 as Severe Weather Awareness Week. The goal being to save lives. Residents should be prepared. Everyone should have a basic knowledge of severe weather safety rules and a plan in place. Knowing what to do and where to go can be the difference between life, disability and death.  www.ready.gov/severe www.noaa.gov

Medical Reserve Corps report  Join the Medical Reserve Corps.



The 18th Annual Community Baby Shower, sponsored by the Springfield Department of Health and Human Services, Maternal Child Health Commission in collaboration with community based organization will be held Saturday, May 19th, 2012 from 12:00PM-3:00PM at Commerce High School, 415 State Street, Springfield, MA.

The Community Baby Shower is an opportunity for expectant mothers, parents and other children care-takers to learn about what it takes to be healthy, how babies grow and develop, what are risk reduction strategies to prevent illness and protect against accidents, poor nutrition and obesity. All learning is interactive and takes place in a fun environment.

As with all baby showers there are gifts, prizes, food, laughter and good times. We invite our child-bearing families to join us in the celebration. For further information, please contact Sandra Johnson, RN at 413-787-6739 or sjohnson@springfieldcityhall.com


Public Health Month 2014 Celeration

This year our April 2011 Public Health Month Celebration theme: SAFETY IS NO ACCIDENT: LIVE INJURY-FREE is exciting and gives us an opportunity to collaborate with partners in the community who would not have considered themselves public health practitioners/advocates.

However, this year and maybe many years before our goals and missions are in alignment and we wish to take advantage of the occurrence.

We are sending out "A Call to Action" to all in the community who are working on, developing projects and initiatives in which the public's health is benefited by SAFETY - the prevention of injuries and violence in our community to partner with us during April 2011 with events, programs, teach-ins, and/or providing education materials.

Please join us at our planning meetings or be in contact with our staff person Bettye Anderson Frederic - bafrederic@springfieldcityhall.com (413) 787-6761 in demonstrating your willingness to share your project and highlight the wonderful work going on at your home, place of work and/or community organization. For more information on our theme, please visit http://www.apha.org/ To have your event published in April calendar, please download the calendar data sheet.

We would like to count on you.

Helen R. Caulton-Harris, Director, SDHHS


Each year in the month of April, the City of Springfield Department of Health & Human Services and community partners join the nation in celebrating public health. As part of that celebration the Public Health Luminary Award is presented to a member of the Springfield community. The recipient of the Luminary Award, through excellence and professionalism must be:

  • A leader in raising community awareness of a public health issue, practice and intervention.
  • One who has taken public health out of its traditional setting and into the community, thereby increasing awareness and advocacy through innovative and creative programming.
  • One who inspires the entire community and advocate for change in the city of Springfield.

The Public Health Month Planning Committee is now accepting nominations for such outstanding leaders in our community.  Submit the completed nomination form to: Marcia MacKenzie, Chair Luminary Award, Alzheimer's Association; 264 Cottage St., Spingfield, MA 01104, by March 6, 2014. Download the form here.


Due to an overwhelming response, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health has advised us that the Zoster vaccine is NO LONGER AVAILABLE! The manufacturer was having problems meeting the demand so the Center for Communicable Disease has cancelled the contract.

If we get additional information at a later date, we will share it with the community.

Protecting the Health of You and Your Family

The Springfield Department of Health and Human Services is offering informative educational programs to protect your health, prevent the spread of illness and promote wellness.

For further information, please contact Elizabeth Porchelli, RN, at (413) 750-2084 or eporchelli@springfieldcityhall.com

Congratulations to HHS Director Helen Caulton-Harris

The City of Springfield wished to congratulate Department of Health & Human Services Director Helen R. Caulton-Harris for her recent recognition by the Massachusetts Public Health Association (MPHA).  Caulton-Harris received the Paul Revere Award for outstanding leadership in promoting public health and social justice through innovative programs, policy and partnerships.  More

Page last updated:  Tuesday, October 14, 2014 09:50 am