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News and events in South Berkshire, Mass.

State DPH Setting Up Rapid Response Testing Deployment for Schools
By Tammy Daniels, iBerkshires Staff
03:24PM / Thursday, August 20, 2020

Gov. Charlie Baker has been encouraging school systems to in low-transmission areas to start at least some in-person education.  BOSTON — The state is launching a rapid response testing program for all K-12 schools in Massachusetts as part of a package of resources to encourage schools to bring students back into the classrooms.    Gov. Charlie Baker on Thursday said the testing program for the novel coronavirus would be made available to the schools based on criteria spelled out by the Department of Public Health in coordination with local boards of health.    "This program will be designed to quickly deliver testing resources for students and

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New Chief of Cardiology Joins Berkshire Health Systems
10:52AM / Thursday, August 20, 2020

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Berkshire Health Systems has appointed Dr. Peter Chien as the new division chief of cardiology at Berkshire Medical Center. 

Dr. Chien, a board-certified and fellowship-trained cardiologist, joins the BMC medical staff and the physician staff of Cardiology Professional Services of BMC. He is partnered with doctors Kyle Cooper, Andrew Potash, Georgianne Valli-Harwood and Shyama Wickramaaratchi at Cardiology Professional Services of BMC, and he is accepting new patients in need of cardiac care.

Chien has previously held leadership roles in several organizations and most recently practiced as a non-invasive cardiologist at York Hospital in York, Maine.

He is



Massachusetts Requiring Students Have Flu Vaccination
05:44PM / Wednesday, August 19, 2020
BOSTON — State public health officials on Wednesday announced that influenza immunization will be required for all children 6 months of age or older who are attending child care, preschool, kindergarten, K-12, and colleges and universities.    State Department of Public Health officials say the new vaccine requirement is an important step to reduce flu-related illness and ​the overall impact of respiratory illness during the COVID-19 pandemic.    Students will be expected to have received a flu vaccine by Dec. 31, 2020, for the 2020-2021 influenza season, unless either a medical or religious exemption is provided. Also exempted are K-12 students who are


Neal Says House Bill Will Prevent Changes in Postal Service
By Jack Guerino, iBerkshires Staff
06:47PM / Tuesday, August 18, 2020

State Sen. Adam Hinds and state Rep. Tricia Farley-Bouvier flank the congressman. Both spoke to the necessity of the Postal Service and secure elections.  PITTSFIELD, Mass. — U.S. Rep. Richard Neal used the U.S. Postal Service facility on Fenn Street as a background to underscore the vote he plans to make on Saturday to ensure reliable voting by mail.   "Ballot access in a representative democracy is fundamental and some of the proposed changes ... seem to me to as though they hint strongly at voter suppression," Neal said, with state Sen. Adam Hinds and state Rep. Tricia Farley-Bouvier beside him.    Specifically, Neal was in the

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Getting the Most Out of a Telemed Visit
By Dr. Bob Schwartz,
05:34AM / Tuesday, August 18, 2020

If you have a medical issue or it's time for your annual physical, the staff in your medical provider's office may recommend a telemedicine appointment. Also known as virtual visit or telehealth appointment, telemedicine allows you to meet with your provider by using the video chat function on an Internet-enabled computer, laptop, or smartphone.

Here's what you need to know to make the most of this new type of appointment.

Before you agree to a telehealth appointment, be sure that you know how your insurance will cover it. Most insurers are covering telemedicine appointments in the same way as in-person ones. The office staff likely has the information on hand and can share it


What Does an Unplanned Career Transition Mean for You?
Submitted by Edward Jones,
05:27AM / Tuesday, August 18, 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic has unsettled the country's employment picture for months and will likely continue to do so for a while. However, the nature and terminology of this disruption varies greatly among individuals – some have seen their jobs disappear, others have been "furloughed" and still others have been offered an early retirement. 

If you're in this final group – those either offered, or feeling forced to accept, an early retirement, how should you respond? 

Try to look at your situation holistically, rather than strictly in a short-term manner. Consider these four areas:

• Retirement: What does retirement really look like to you? Are you


Tanglewood Wraps Up Virtual Season
By Stephen Dankner, Guest Columist
05:21AM / Tuesday, August 18, 2020

The Tanglewood 2020 Online Festival will enter its eighth and final week with a broad selection of state-of-the-art digital audio and video streams. These performances were recorded at Tanglewood’s dramatic spaces at the superbly designed Linde Center – a constituent part of the BSO's/Tanglewood’s new entity, the Tanglewood Learning Institute. Other concerts will include performances previously recorded and archived by the Boston Symphony Orchestra at Tanglewood. 

A unique, all-encompassing digital music festival, the wide range of programming replicates a choice selection of the previously announced 2020 live performances Tanglewood had hoped to present this

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Greylock Federal Promotes Two
11:06AM / Saturday, August 15, 2020

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Greylock Federal Credit Union has promoted two familiar faces at their branch on West Street in Pittsfield. 

Branch Manager Gloria Beraldi and Assistant Branch Manager Johnothan Hinkell have expanded their roles with Greylock.

Beraldi has accepted a new position as assistant vice president, market manager, overseeing four branches in Pittsfield, the West Street and Elm Street locations and the employee branches at General Dynamics and Berkshire Medical Center.

Hinkell has been promoted to fill Beraldi’s former position as branch manager at West Street.

"Gloria and Johno make a great team," said Senior Vice President, Branch Administration,


'Dave': Would Totally Wear a Mask
By Michael S. Goldberger, iBerkshires Film Critic
03:12PM / Friday, August 14, 2020

I wish that I were reviewing one of the half-dozen movies certain to be made when this pox upon our house is no more. But until that glorious return to normality has us resuming all the simple joys of life we take for granted, like going to the movies, I'll be retro-reviewing and thereby sharing with you the films that I've come to treasure over the years, most of which can probably be retrieved from one of the movie streaming services. It is my fondest hope that I've barely put a dent into this trove when they let the likes of me back into the


Berkshires Beat: Girl Scouts Present StoryWalk as Part of Silver Award Project
11:59AM / Thursday, August 13, 2020
Project W.I.L.D.

Two local Girl Scouts have launched a literacy and diversity project as they work to earn their Silver Award. Noelle Dravis of Williamstown and Emily Johnson of Lanesborough, both of whom will be ninth-graders at Mount Greylock Regional School this fall, created Project W.I.L.D. (Williamstown Inclusivity, Literacy and Diversity) to earn their Silver Award. The Girl Scout Silver Award is a project that Girl Scout Cadettes undertake to benefit their communities.

The project consists of three parts. The main part of the project is a StoryWalk® along Spring Street featuring the book "Just Ask: Be Different, Be Brave, Be You" by Supreme Court Justice Sonia


Doctor Returns to CHP Barrington OB/GYN
10:58AM / Thursday, August 13, 2020

GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass. — Community Health Programs welcomes Dr. Jill Samale in her return to the staff of CHP Barrington OB/GYN. 

Dr. Samale provides comprehensive obstetrical and gynecology care to women of all ages. She is affiliated with Berkshire Medical Center and Fairview Hospital's Family Birthplace. She practiced previously with the CHP team and then joined Berkshire OB-GYN, a Berkshire Medical Center practice.

From 2006-2014, Samale practiced at South County Hospital Center for Women's Health in Wakefield, R.I. Earlier, she practiced at Alice Peck Day Memorial Hospital in Lebanon, N.H. From 2000-2005, she worked in private practice at Baystate OB/GYN Group.



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