Principles of Operation



Principles of Operation

Massachusetts Public Health Emergency Preparedness Region 1

Adopted: March 10, 2004

Amended Jan 2007

Review and amended January 2011 to remove Windsor and Peru

Amended January 2013

Amended May 1, 2014

 The following document sets forth the principles of operation including the governing structure adopted by the members of the public health (sub-) regional coalition in the Massachusetts Department of Public Health Emergency Preparedness Region 1.  The members are Board of Health members, the local health directors or other agent of the local public health authority for the 19 cities and towns that make-up the Hampshire Public Health Emergency Preparedness Coalition

 1.  Purpose & Duties

 The members of this public health (sub-) coalition in Region 1 agree to work collaboratively to enhance communities’ collective capacity to share resources and respond to public health threats and emergencies, including terrorism and outbreaks of infectious diseases.  Specifically, coalition members will work collaboratively to:


1.         Assess and monitor regional emergency planning and response needs;

2.         Make funding decisions to enhance regional emergency planning and response capacity;

3.         Submit plans, needs, and requests to the Office of Preparedness and Emergency Management;

4.         Be accountable and responsible for the use of CDC funding;

5.         Coordinate with other sub-regional coalitions (if applicable) to ensure that all municipalities in the Region are represented in a coalition and to enhance overall preparedness throughout the Region;

6.         Share knowledge, lessons learned, and best practices throughout the Commonwealth by participating in regional and statewide meetings;

7.         Coordinate efforts to further emergency preparedness with other existing regional or local plans (e.g., MEMA); and

8.         Meet the other goals associated with the Massachusetts Department of Public Health Emergency Preparedness initiatives as well as other regional public health efforts.


2.  Membership

 Membership of this (sub-) regional coalition shall consist of a member or designee of the local public health authority for the following cities/towns in this (sub-) coalition: Amherst, Belchertown, Chester, Chesterfield, Cummington, Easthampton, Granby, Hadley, Hatfield, Huntington, Middlefield, Northampton, Pelham, Plainfield, South Hadley, Southampton, Ware, Westhampton, Worthington

 Each member shall have one (1) vote, for a total of 19 votes for this (sub-) coalition in Region 1.

 3.  Administration

 A.    Executive Committee

 The Executive Committee (Committee) will serve as the governing body for this public health (sub-) regional coalition.  The Committee is responsible for overall administration and management of this (sub-) coalition’s activities.  The Committee delegates day-to-day administrative responsibilities to a staff person employed and supervised by the host agency, but who works at the direction of the Committee.  The Committee shall have up to seven (7) but not fewer than five (5) members, one being a chairperson, one being a vice-chairperson, and one being the secretary, and shall represent as much as possible the diversity of the communities represented in the coalition, including geographic, population, and access to professional assistance.  The executive committee shall also include representative from the host community with such person acting as treasurer. Each member of the Committee shall have one (1) vote and may also designate an alternate from their community to act on their behalf in the event the committee member can not attend an Executive Committee Meeting.  Actions proposed by the Committee shall be subject to review by the members of this regional coalition.  The Host Agency staff person will provide staff support to the Committee (see duties and responsibilities of the Host Agency staff person below)

 The Executive Committee will also be comprised of no more than 5 ex-officio members.  Ex-officio members do not have voting privileges but shall act in the role of advisors to the Executive Committee.  Advisory Ex-officio members shall be chosen by the Executive Committee from academic and non-profit organizations , or such individuals who possess experience, training, or expertise in subject matters which will enhance their advisory capacity to the HPHPC serving and located within Hampshire County.


 "The Executive committee shall make a determination on behalf of coalition communities regarding concurrence with the annual DPH application to the CDC for preparedness funding."

 Terms:  Committee members will serve one-year terms.

 Duties & Responsibilities of the Chairperson:  The Chairperson (1) schedules regular and special meetings of the Committee, (2) presides at all meetings, (3) appoints and dissolves subcommittees, working groups, and leaders of same, and (4) serves as the official public spokesperson of the Committee.

 Duties & Responsibilities of the Host Agency Staff Person:  The Host Agency staff person will be responsible for documenting and maintaining records of the (sub-) coalition’s actions and coordinating activities including taking minutes at all meetings, sending out meeting announcements and agendas, finalizing meeting location and logistics, distributing meeting minutes, tracking expenses, completing other required DPH fiscal and programmatic reports and paperwork, and other coordination or administrative duties as requested by the Committee.

Quorum: A majority of the members of the Executive Committee shall constitute a quorum for the purposes of transacting business. The goal of the Executive Committee will be to make decisions by consensus; however, the Executive Committee may act by a simple majority vote of members present if a consensus is not achievable. 

 Meeting Schedule: The Executive Committee shall meet at least once quarterly, and may schedule additional meetings as necessary.

 Committees:  The Executive Committee may create committees and working groups as needed.  Members of the region may form committees or work groups among themselves to consider matters of interest.  Proposals or projects developed by committees or work groups established independently by members of the region are subject to review and ratification by the Executive Committee.

B.Coalition Meetings

 Meetings:  The regional coalition shall meet at least twice per year, at an agreed place and time.  Meetings may be scheduled more frequently as necessary.

 Quorum: A majority of the members of the coalition for this Region shall constitute a quorum for the purposes of transacting business. The coalition may act by a simple majority of members present and voting unless otherwise provided in these principles.  If a quorum of the coalition is not present, but a quorum of the Executive Committee is present, the meeting shall become an Executive Committee Meeting.

 Voting: Each member of the regional coalition shall have one (1) vote.  The member shall be responsible for briefing his/her respective board of health or other legally designated health authority about actions pending and taken by the regional coalition.  If a community has more than one person in attendance at a Coalition meeting, that community shall notify the Secretary of the Executive Committee at the start meeting of the community’s designee for casting their one vote.

 Notice:  Notice of each meeting shall be given to each member by email not less than twenty (20) days before the meeting.

 Host Agency Staff Person:  The Host Agency staff person shall, at the direction of the Executive Committee and under the supervision of the Host Agency, arrange the Regional Meetings and provide all necessary administrative support to schedule and direct the meetings.  The staff person shall be responsible for keeping records of the coalition’s actions, including overseeing the taking of minutes at all Regional Meetings, sending out meeting announcements, distributing copies of minutes and the agenda to each member, and assuring that regional coalition’s records are maintained.

 Annual Report & Other Reporting Requirements: Each year, the Host Agency for this (sub-) coalition shall prepare or cause to be prepared in August, or other time as required by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, a report of finances, program and personnel, and other matters of interest for the preceding fiscal year. These reports shall be distributed to all members. The fiscal year for this report and all financial matters will begin on July 1.  In addition, the Host Agency shall complete other contract, financial, and program reports as required by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health on a quarterly or bi-annual basis.  


 These principles may be amended by a majority vote of the members of this regional coalition.  A proposal to amend the principles may be initiated by any member.  The proposed amendment shall be submitted in writing to the Chairperson of the Executive Committee (OR the Host Agency staff person) at least 30 days prior to the next regularly scheduled meeting so that it may be distributed to all coalition members in advance of the next regularly scheduled meeting, at which time the proposed amendment will be considered.