Blackstone Valley Partnership for Public Health - BVPPH

The Blackstone Valley Partnership for Public Health (BVPPH) is a regional collaborative created in partnership with the Central Mass Regional Planning Commission (CMRPC), and includes the towns of Blackstone, Douglas, Hopedale, Mendon, Millville, Northbridge, Upton, and Uxbridge. Through the Public Health Excellence Grant, the BVPPH provides supplemental public health services to its communities, from assisting in inspections of permitted establishments to providing educational services and materials to its community members. This is done as part of the BVPPH's goal to share municipal services to better promote, protect, and preserve the public health.

The Town of Northbridge serves as the host community for the shared inspectors hired under the BVPPH. Within Northbridge, the shared inspectors (see below) conduct Food Establishment, Tanning Salon, Body Art, and Housing Inspections. Additionally, the inspectors investigate nuisance complaints and assist in the execution of public health initiatives such as vaccine clinics and distribution of resources. 

Staff Contacts


Jeanne GniadekAdministrator/Supervisor508-234-3272
Emily Whittaker-Smith, MPHHealth Inspector978-429-1511
Daniel Markman, MPH, RS, CPFSHealth Inspector/Public Health Educator978-429-1515
Debra Vescera, RNRegional Public Health Nurse508-475-8107
Jack SullivanRegional Epidemiologist 
Jenna Gouin, MBA/MSOLCommunity Health Worker508-825-6862

The BVPPH Regional Public Health nurse, Ms. Debra Vescera, RN offers several FREE community presentations to the Blackstone Valley towns - if you are interested in hosting any of the following presentations, please do not hesitate to reach out to her!

Narcan Training: Over the past ten years, there has been a significant increase in opiate-related overdoses. This one-hour harm reduction training and overdose prevention course provides an overview of the disease of addiction and discusses the role of harm reduction in the overall opioid overdose public health crisis. Participants will learn how to recognize the signs and symptoms of an overdose, describe overdose prevention tips, discuss solutions, and demonstrate how to administer the lifesaving, opioid-reversal medication Intranasal Naloxone (Narcan). At the end of the course, participants receive a free Intranasal Naloxone (Narcan) Kit that contains two doses of Naloxone (Narcan), which also contains additional harm-reduction resources as well as information about treatment options and contact information for a confidential helpline available 24/7.

Mental Health Concerns in Older Adults: The “Mental Health Concerns in Older Adults” presentation aims at reducing stigma regarding mental health conditions that affect older adults. The presentation is geared towards educating older adults, their family members, friends, and loved ones. Participants will learn about the health impacts of social isolation, signs and symptoms of depression and anxiety, and better understand that emotional, spiritual, and psychological well-being are just as important as physical health when aging. Attendees will also learn about the most up-to-date, evidence-based treatments, and other programs available to help manage, and overcome, these conditions and helpful interventions to prevent them. After the presentation, participants can sign up to receive a comprehensive list of available community resources by email or US Mail.

Mosquito/Tick Disease & Prevention "Bite Lab": There has been a significant increase in tick-borne diseases in MA. Diseases such as Lyme Disease, Babesiosis, and Human Granulocytic Anaplasmosis (HGA) have dramatically increased over the past decade. There have been confirmed cases of tick-borne related diseases that were not previously seen in MA such as Borrelia and most recently, the complicated disease of Alpha-Gal Syndrome which causes a person to become allergic to red meats. Mosquito-borne illnesses have also been on the rise in MA. During the warmer months, cities and towns often perform frequent testing on mosquitos to monitor for the presence of diseases like West Nile Virus (WNV) and Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE). The Mosquito/Tick Diseases and Prevention “Bite Lab” was created by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MDPH) Bureau of Infectious Disease Surveillance. It is an interactive tabletop presentation for children and adults of all ages. Participants will learn about the life cycle of mosquitos and ticks, the diseases they cause, and important strategies to reduce the likelihood of contracting these diseases.

Fall Prevention (STEADI): STEADI is a fall prevention presentation based on the CDC’s initiative to provide an evidence-based fall prevention program for older adults. Research has identified a variety of risk factors that have been shown to contribute to falls. People with more risk factors have a greater risk of falling as well as a greater risk of injuries. Participants of this presentation will learn about intrinsic and extrinsic risk factors related to falls in older adults and ways in which this risk can be reduced and minimized using various interventions. This presentation is geared towards older adults and their loved ones who may be interested in learning more about ways to prevent falls.

Hoarding Disorder: Personal items are important to all of us but what happens to people who have extreme difficulty when it comes to discarding or letting go of items that are no longer practical or useful to them? Participants in this health educational program will learn what defines Hoarding Disorder (HD) and how people’s health and well-being are affected by this illness. Attendees will be able to define the difference between “Collecting” vs. “Excessive Clutter” and what happens when excessive clutter makes living environments dangerous or uninhabitable. They will learn about how this disease affects the health and well-being of their loved ones, neighbors, communities, public safety, and public health officials when they are trying to assist someone who suffers from this devastating disorder. Participants are provided with educational handouts about HD and access to a comprehensive list of community resources and other educational resources available that can provide assistance.


Blackstone Valley Partnership for Public Health 

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Meeting Agendas - 2022

Meeting Minutes - 2022

Meeting Agendas - 2021

Meeting Minutes - 2021

BVPPH - Public Health Tips Newsletters:

Ticks - Keeping Yourself Safe (April 2022)

Sun Safety (May 2022) (Includes QR Code for UV Index!)

Have a Food Safe Summer (June 2022)

Rodents (July 2022)

Extreme Heat (August 2022)

Emergency Preparedness (September 2022)

Halloween Safety (October 2022)

Turkey Dinner - Cooking Safe & Healthy Meals (November 2022)

Fire Safety (December 2022)

Winter Safety (January 2023)

Power Outages (February 2023)

Electrical Safety (March 2023)

Burns (April 2023)

Falls (May 2023)

Opioid Overdose (June 2023)

Swim Safety (July 2023)

Bee and Wasp Stings (August 2023)

Tornadoes (September 2023)

Bats and Rabies (October 2023)

Strokes - Recognizing the Early Signs (November 2023)

Safe Alcohol Use - Drinking Responsibly (December 2023)

Road Safety in Dangerous Weather (January 2024)

Driving Safety (February 2024)

Home Septic System Care (March 2024)

Avian Influenza (April 2024)

Suicide Prevention Hotlines & Resources (May 2024)

Lyme Disease (June 2024)




BVPPH - Food Establishment Quarterly Newsletters

February 14, 2022: Hand Wash Sinks

May 23, 2022: Food Storage

August 9, 2022: Commercial Sanitizers

November - 2022: Proper Glove Use

February 2023: Commercial Organic Waste Ban

May 2023: Foodborne Illness - the Big Six

August 2023 - Managing Your Logs

November 2023 - Food Establishment Equipment Requirements

February 2024 - Food Establishment Cleaning Schedules

May 2024 - Allergens