Andrew Dreyfus, the CEO of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts, addresses MIIA’s virtual Annual Business Meeting on Jan. 22, focusing on three key topics: the insurer’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic; diversity, inclusion and health equity; and health care affordability.

In recognition of their dedication and commitment to risk management and employee wellness, seven MIIA member communities received special recognition during the MIIA Annual Business Meeting on Jan. 22.

Risk Management Awards
Town of Norfolk: Norfolk Facility Director Matt Haffner has taken a proactive approach to reducing property exposures. He uses the Building Preventative Maintenance Software program, and collaborated with MIIA to pilot the Hartford Steam Boiler Sensor Program to prevent and mitigate costs related to cold weather pipe breaks and water-related losses. Haffner also implemented rigorous COVID-19 protocols and cleaning procedures for all buildings, as well as providing safety training to staff.

City of Greenfield: Greenfield has an active, cross-departmental safety committee that carefully reviews all workers’ compensation incidents, with a commitment to enforcing Department of Labor Standards/Occupational Safety and Health Administration safety protocols. In addition, the city has participated in MIIA’s Hartford Steam Boiler Sensor Program and OSHA Certification programs, along with providing weekly COVID-19 updates on the city’s website. Greenfield’s Police and Fire departments have been active participants in the MIIA Driver Simulator Training Program.

Town of Westford: Under the leadership of Assistant Town Administrator Eric Heideman, Westford has used quarterly Safety Committee meetings to bring together all departments, including the schools, to achieve continuous improvements in risk management. The combined efforts of Westford’s new facilities director, Paul Fox, Highway Superintendent Chip Barrett, and Pam Florek of Finance and Accounting led to a steady decrease in losses in both the Property and Casualty and Workers’ Compensation lines.

Town of Easton: In response to COVID-19, Emergency Management Director Kevin Partridge, Health and Community Services Director Kristin Kennedy, and Town Administrator Connor Read acted quickly to launch a COVID-19 Information Line, a dedicated email providing updates about COVID spread and answering questions about Easton’s services and programs. The town also created a detailed Action Plan that provided safety training to employees, educated residents with continuous updates, enforced protocols, and checked on at-risk residents, all while maintaining normal municipal obligations.

Town of Chelmsford: Chelmsford hired a safety coordinator, made a commitment to update facilities management, and has implemented full GPS mapping to better maintain key infrastructure. In response to COVID-19, Public Health Nurse Darcy Beall spent countless hours investigating confirmed cases of COVID-19, in addition to contact tracing for all those cases. She also assisted local businesses, summer camps and schools with reopening guidelines. Most recently, Beall has been giving flu vaccinations, and she planned and implemented the town’s first drive-through flu clinic.

Town of Northfield: Northfield Town Manager Andrea Llamas, who had served as president of Small Town Administrators of Massachusetts, partners with MIIA, the MMA and other organizations to ensure that important municipal information is disseminated and made operational for small towns within Massachusetts. She designed and shared a COVID plan to be used by smaller members, and worked with MIIA to sponsor a discussion titled, “What We Know and Don’t Know, and What We Need or Want to Know, in Relation to Risk Management During Reopening.” STAM also cosponsored one of MIIA’s Regional EAP conferences in Northampton.

Wellness Awards
Town of Ipswich: Town Manager Anthony Marino actively supports and promotes a healthy workplace for employees. The town’s Wellness Committee has broad representation, and all members actively participate in the planning, implementation and promotion of wellness programs and activities. The town built a gym in Town Hall and updated the fitness equipment at the Police Department with funds from a MIIA Wellness grant. The town also purchased first aid kits for all buildings and had the Police Department train employees on the kits as well as CPR/AED courses. Through these efforts and more, the town has created a culture of wellness.

Dighton-Rehoboth Regional School District: Superintendent Anthony Azar and Business Administrator Paul Kitchen are active supporters of wellness programs. Most recently, they started a Phase IV COVID Committee that partners with local board of health members, school committee members, parents and staff to discuss the practical and logistical responses to federal health and safety recommendations. The district’s Health and Wellness Committee also works in collaboration with stakeholders and town officials. In addition to on-site and virtual programs offered by MIIA, the school district offers its own mindfulness programs, maintains certified nursing staff in every building, and sends out regular staff wellness surveys and needs assessments. The district’s programs are all well-attended.

Written by Stephen Batchelder, MIIA VP of Claims Operations and Risk Management, and Wendy Gammons, MIIA Wellness Manager.