Board of Health

Public Health Affects Us All.

The mission of the Holyoke Health Department is to enhance public health and safeguard the environment by assessing community needs and to provide prevention, protection, and educational resources to ensure the highest quality of life within the City of Holyoke.

The goal of this department is to improve the quality of life by encouraging healthy behaviors, promote wellness, educate, monitor, and to protect healthy environments in homes, schools, and workplaces. 

Professional Services

Under State Statute, the Board of Health is responsible for permitting and inspecting businesses that provide services to the public that include:

Food Establishments Permitting and Inspections, and other Food Handling Issues such as:

  • Bakery
  • Bottled Water
  • Catering
  • Food Complaints
  • Frozen Dessert
  • Mobile Food
  • Retail Food
  • Temporary Food
  • Tobacco
  • Tanning Establishments
  • Wells
  • Vacant Property
  • Burial Permits
  • Recreational Camps
  • Manicuring Establishments
  • Hotels/Motels
  • Public Swimming Pools
  • Ice Skating Rinks
  • Body Art Technicians & Establishments
  • Witnessing Title V Inspections
  • Plan Reviews for Septic Systems, Subdivisions, and Well Construction
  • Investigation of Foodborne & Waterborne Illness
  • Housing Inspections for Compliance
Deborah Schaier - Public Nurse


Ernest Mathieu - Chief Sanitarian

John Wierciszewski - Senior Code Enforcement Inspector

Juana Massa - Enforcement Inspector

Beatriz Colon - Board of Health Head Clerk

Erick Velez - Animal Control Officer

Sean Gonsalves - Sanitarian

Suzanne Beyer - Floating Clerk

No posts found.

The Health Commission oversees and insures the enforcement of all State laws, regulations, and City Ordinances relating to public and environmental health. They also oversee various programs of Community Health and Environmental Services, and Health Education in order to protect  public health and improve the quality of life in the community. 


Current Members:


Dalila Hyry-Dermith Clerk- term expires Feb. 1, 2019

Patricia Mertes APRN, Chair – term expires Feb. 1, 2017

Dr. Robert Mausel, Vice Chair – term expires Feb. 1, 2018

What do I need a permit for? What does it cost? Do I need to apply first?

Below we will help to answer your questions. Listed are the permits issued by the City of Holyoke Board of Health. To download the applications, simple click on the link. The list also outlines expiration dates and the annual fees associated with each permit. If you have any questions, please give us a call and we will be happy to help.

NOTE: All temporary applications and fees require that all applications, paperwork and fees must be in the office three business days (72 hours) prior to the event.

No permits will be issued outside of this time limit.


RETAIL FOOD APP (total square footage includes storage)      
  • (under 2,500 sq. ft.)             
June 30 $150.00
  • (2,500-15,000 sq. ft.)                        
June 30 $200.00
  • (0ver 15,000 sq. ft.)
June 30 $300.00
FOOD SERVICE ESTABLISHMENT APP(under 25 seats) June 30 $150.00
(25-100 seats) June 30 $200.00
(101-200 seats)  June 30 $250.00
(Over 200 seats) June 30 $300.00
MOBILE FOOD June 30 $100.00
Residential Kitchens June 30 $50.00
Temporary Food (per event) valid for 14 days $50.00
Catering Establishment June 30 $100.00
  • (Full Bakery-retail)
June 30 $150.00
  • (Limited Bakery-non-retail)
June 30 $50.00
FROZEN TREAT APPL June 30 $100.00
Carbonated Beverage/Bottled Water    
  • City
June 30 $37.50
  • State
June 30 $37.50
Tobacco June 30 $100.00

Tobacco Regulations – e-cigarettes
Tobacco Regulations – persons under 21
Tobacco Regulations – Public Places

DUMPSTER APPL June 30 $20.00
Burial Permits* as needed $10.00
Funeral Directors* April 30 $50.00
MANICURING APPL Dec. 31 $100.00
Tanning Dec. 31 $50.00
Body Art    
Dec. 31 $300.00
Dec. 31 $150.00
Poultry farms/Barns & Stables* Dec. 31 $50.00
  • (0-50 rooms)
Dec. 31 $100.00
  • (51-100 rooms)
Dec. 31 $200.00
  • (over 100 rooms)
Dec. 31 $300.00
Recreation Camps Dec. 31 $75.00
Transport/Removal of garbage/offal/sewage/Offensive*    
  • (1-10 vehicles)
Dec. 31 $50.00
  • (11-20 vehicles)
Dec. 31 $20.00
  • (21 and over vehicles)
Dec. 31 $10.00
Septic System Installer/Contractor                  Dec. 31 $100.00
Disposal System Construction 3 years from date of issue  $50.00
Percolation Test (witnessing of test)* as needed $100.00
Private Drinking Well Water* No expiration $100.00
Subdivision Plans* No expiration $100.00
MA Rent Voucher Inspection (MRVP)/per unit 1 yr. from date of issue           $75.00
Inspection and Occupancy Fee/per unit as needed $75.00
Vacant Building Registration as needed See PDF

*Apply at Board of Health




Welcome! We do far more than caring for lost and abandoned animals in our community. 

It is the goal of the City of Holyoke’s Animal Control Department to provide responsive, effective and courteous animal care and control assistance to residents and animals of Holyoke. Through the professional operation of the Animal Control Program and an animal care and control center. These services include but are not limited to:


  • Licensing Information – Dog licenses are available through the City Clerk’s office
  • Adoptions – We are pleased to partner with The Thomas J O’Connor Animal Control and Adoption Center, check their site to view current pets available for adoption as well as upcoming events. Also, be sure to visit their Facebook page!
  • What to do if your animal is missing or has been impounded- Call 413-781-1485 and/or visit the Animal Care Center, located at 627 Cottage St Springfield, to verify if your pet is already there.
  • Lost and Found Services – We will assist you and spread the word to surrounding communities to also be aware of your missing pet. We also urge patrons to call the local Police Department or Animal Control Department in your city/town to advise them of your missing pet.


 If you need immediate assistance or have an animal related emergency outside of normal business hours, please call the Thomas J. O’Connor Animal Control Department at 413-781-1485 or the Holyoke Police Department at 413-322-6900


We in the City of Holyoke believe education is key. It is no different when it comes to your beloved pets. Providing valuable information, such as for missing pets, those available for adoption and other helpful links can be found at the following:



Please visit our Frequently asked questions page to find information about animal complaints, wildlife, emergency preparedness and MORE!

Code Inspectors oversee code enforcement activities related to sanitarian, food, environmental, human habitation, air pollution, hazardous waste, etc. They perform inspections and enforce all chapters of the State and Sanitary Code, the State and Environemntal Code, and various other applicable State Regulations, State Statues, and City Ordinances.


Our Inspectors:

John Wierciszewski, Senior Code Inspector
Juana Massa, Code Inspector


Massachusetts Department of Health Code of Massachusetts regulations (CMR)

105 CMR: Department of Public Health


To report a violation please call us at: (413) 322-5955


The Board of Health Provides the following inspection services

  • Complaints
  • Inspections Under State Sanitary Codes
  • Lead Determinations/CLPPP
  • Massachusetts Rental Voucher Program MRVP-Owner Request Inspections
    Visit the State of Massachusetts web site for detailed information about this program.

We at the Board of Health know how important it is to stay current with your training, development and certification.

This is why we team up with reputable organizations to offer you high quality programming that fits your schedule, budget, and gives you the certification that you need. From workshops to online classes, here is the place to check out the current schedules.

Take a look at what we have to offer:

ServSafe Program 


ServSafe Examination Session
This is an opportunity to re-test, re-certify or take the exam for the first time to get certified
June 7th at 9:00 am at the Hatfield Fire Department, 59 Main Street, Hatfield, MA
               9:00 am – 10:00 am Review Session
               10:00 am – 12:00 pm Test
               $ 100.00 for Re-Test or Re-Certification
               $ 150.00 First Time Certification
If you are interested please contact Merridith O’Leary, R.S., by June 3, 2016 at


Wheelwright Consultants

Rehabilitative Resources, Inc.

Eastern Food Safety

Western Massachusetts Public Health Association

Morrell Associates




The Holyoke Mass in Motion program, Healthy Holyoke, funded by a Community Transformation Grant from the Centers for Disease Control and administered by MDPH is housed within the Health Department. Designed to combat obesity and associated chronic diseases by promoting healthy eating and active living, Healthy Holyoke is implementing systems and policy change across five program areas: Safe Routes to Schools, Complete Streets, Farmers Markets, School Nutrition and Healthy Markets (Corner Stores.)


A major emphasis of the program in Holyoke is to increase access to healthy food options and fresh fruit and vegetables within a clinical setting (Holyoke Health Center), in the schools, at the City’s farmers market, and in corner stores or bodegas.



Welcome City of Holyoke Employees!


The Workplace Wellness program is here for you with the goal to create a healthy community among the City of Holyoke employees. Through programs and events, Workplace Wellness will provide support, education, encouragement, and the opportunity to improve the quality of individual and family lives.


What is Workplace Wellness?

Workplace Wellness is designed as a program to promote healthy behaviors in and out of the work environment in order to combat health conditions affecting Holyoke such as obesity, hypertension, and tobacco use. Improving employee health is not only a way to be a happier and healthier employee; it can help lower City health insurance rates and your overall health care costs.


How did Workplace Wellness come to Holyoke?

Holyoke was one of 9 communities to receive a Prevention and Wellness Trust Fund (PWTF) award in the fall of 2014 for four years. The Trust Fund was established by the MA legislature through Ch. 224 to reduce the rates of the most prevalent and preventable health conditions disease, increase healthy behaviors, address health disparities and reduce health care costs. The Trust Fund is administered by the Department of Public Health (DPH).


What can Workplace Wellness offer me?

 There is a variety of opportunities and programming for all City employees:




ASTHMA: It is estimated that at least 3 million people suffer from asthma. Asthma is a condition in which a person’s airways become inflamed, narrow and then swell and produce mucous. This reactive airway disease is influenced by triggers such as allergies to dust, pollen, cigarette smoke, animal dander and weather changes just to name a few. It is often hereditary. Asthma can develop at any age. There is no cure for asthma and it can be life threatening. Asthma can be managed. See your doctor if you have any concerns.

 STROKE: Approximately 800,000 people a year experience a new or recurrent stroke. This medical emergency requires immediate attention. It is the 3rd leading cause of death and the leading cause of adult disability in the United States. At least 80 % of strokes are preventable. They can affect a person at any age. Strokes occur when blood flow to an area of the brain is cut off, thus causing the cells of the brain to be deprived of oxygen. The letters “FAST” can be used to enhance awareness when helping identify someone with stroke symptoms: FAST STANDS FOR: face (uneven facial smiling), arm (cannot raise both arms), speech (does the persons speech sound strange?), time (every second counts to call 911).

HYPERTENSION AWARENESS DAY IS MAY 17 TH : Stop by the Board of Health from 2-4 p.m. to have your blood pressure checked.

TEEN PREGNANCY PREVENTION BLOCK PARTY: Friday, May 6 th from 4-6 @ the Holyoke Boys and Girls Club, 70 Nick Cosmos Way. Visit the website: for more information.

MOSQUITO/TICK SEASON: Please use mosquito/tick repellant when outdoors to avoid being bit. Also, if you are vacationing or traveling please see health advisories @Mass. Dept. of Public Health or Centers for Disease Control web sites for up-to-date-information on Zika Virus and any other alerts.

SUMMER SEVERE WEATHER: Be aware of severe weather advisories when planning outdoor activities and always have working flashlights at home in case of loss of electricity.



Spring is the time of year when many things change—including the weather. Thunderstorms cause most of the severe spring weather. They can bring lightning, tornadoes, and flooding. So planning ahead makes sense. Prepare your family members for the possibility of severe weather. Show family members where the emergency supplies are stored.

Emergency supplies should include:

  • A battery-operated flashlight, a battery-operated NOAA Weather Radio (if possible), and extra batteries for both.
  • An emergency evacuation plan including a map of your home and, for every type of severe weather emergency, routes to safety from each room.
  • A list of important personal information, including:

telephone numbers of neighbors, family, and friends

insurance and property information

telephone numbers of utility companies

medical information and a first aid kit

3–5 day supply of bottled water and nonperishable food

Personal hygiene items visit the CDC website.

The Zika Virus is being constantly monitored by the CDC. At the Holyoke Board of Health we encourage the public to become aware of the latest health and travel advisories. Our main page highlights some information regarding this virus. For more information visit the Centers for Disease Control website and or the Massachusetts Department of Public Health website.

Zika is a virus (germ), spread by mosquitoes, which can cause fever, rash, joint pain, and conjunctivitis (red or pink eyes). Most people infected with Zika virus do not even get sick.

These kinds of mosquitoes are not generally found in Massachusetts. Travelers to the affected areas may be bitten by infected mosquitoes and some are diagnosed with the disease when they return to the United States.

Pregnant women and those trying to become pregnant should consider postponing travel to these areas. Pregnant women who do travel should talk to their healthcare providers first and take great care to avoid mosquito bites during their trip. If you are traveling to Central America, South America, or the Caribbean you are at risk and should check the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention website for information about where it is occurring.

El Zika es un virus (germen) que es transmitido por los mosquitos y puede causar fiebre, erupción, dolor en las articulaciones y conjuntivitis (ojos enrojecidos). La mayoría de las personas infectadas por este virus ni siquiera se enferman. Este tipo de mosquito generalmente no se encuentra en Massachusetts y en este momento, es sumamente improbable que alguien se infecte con el virus por una picadura de mosquito. Sin embargo, las personas que viajan a las areas afectadas pueden ser picadas por mosquitos infectados y ser diagnosticadas con el virus de regreso a los Estados Unidos.

Las mujeres embarazadas y las que están tratando de quedar embarazadas deberián pensar en posponer su viaje a esas áreas. Las embarazadas que viajen a estas areas deben consultar con su doctor o proveedor y tener mucho cuidado de evitar las picaduras de mosquitos durante su viaje. Si esta viajando a Centroamérica, Sudamérica o el Caribe esta en riesgo y debe reviser el sitio web de los Centros para el Control y la Prevencion de Enfermedades para obtener informacion sobre los lugares donde esta sucediendo la transmicion del Zika.



Department Head

Brian Fitzgerald

Brian Fitzgerald


Office Address

City Hall Annex
Room 306
20 Korean Veterans Plaza
Holyoke MA 01040 Map

Contact Info

Main Office

(413) 322-5595

(413) 322-5596 (fax)

Office Hours

Monday - Friday
8:30 am - 4:30 pm

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Posted on December 3, 2012 by