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 - Assistant Health Director/Sanitarian

John Wierciszewski - Sanitarian

Ruben Arroyo - Sanitarian Inspector


Beatriz Colon - Board of Health Head Clerk

Erick Velez - Animal Control Officer

Suzanne Beyer - Principal Clerk

Lynn Diniz - Sanitarian

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Click below for West Nile Virus update
MDPH_Weekly Report_08132018_BOH

Mosquito Press Release July 27, 2018

West Nile Virus Confirmed in Mosquitoes from Holyoke

DATE: July 27, 2018                                                  
CONTACT: Brian Fitzgerald (Health Director)
TOWN: Holyoke, Massachusetts                             
TELEPHONE: 413-322-5595

The Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MDPH) announced today that West Nile virus (WNV) has been detected in mosquitoes collected from Holyoke, Massachusetts.  Holyoke had a WNV positive mosquito sample identified July 25, 2018.

WNV is most commonly transmitted to humans by the bite of an infected mosquito. The mosquitoes that carry this virus are common throughout the state, and are found in urban as well as more rural areas. While WNV can infect people of all ages, people over the age of 50 are at higher risk for severe infection. 

By taking a few, common-sense precautions, people can help to protect themselves and their loved ones:

Avoid Mosquito Bites

  • Be Aware of Peak Mosquito Hours – The hours from dusk to dawn are peak biting times for many mosquitoes. Consider rescheduling outdoor activities that occur during evening or early morning. If you are outdoors at any time and notice mosquitoes around you, take steps to avoid being bitten by moving indoors, covering up and/or wearing repellant.
  • Clothing Can Helpreduce mosquito bites. Although it may be difficult to do when it’s hot, wearing long-sleeves, long pants and socks when outdoors will help keep mosquitoes away from your skin.
  • Apply Insect Repellentwhen you go outdoors. Use a repellent with DEET (N, N-diethyl-m-toluamide), permethrin, picaridin (KBR 3023), IR3535 or oil of lemon eucalyptus [p-methane 3, 8-diol (PMD)] according to the instructions on the product label. DEET products should not be used on infants under two months of age and should be used in concentrations of 30% or less on older children. Oil of lemon eucalyptus should not be used on children under three years of age.  Permethrin products are intended for use on items such as clothing, shoes, bed nets and camping gear and should not be applied to skin. 

Mosquito-Proof Your Home

  • Drain Standing Water– Many mosquitoes lay their eggs in standing water. Limit the number of places around your home for mosquitoes to breed by either draining or getting rid of items that hold water. Check rain gutters and drains. Empty any unused flowerpots and wading pools, and change water in birdbaths frequently. 
  • Install or Repair Screens– Some mosquitoes like to come indoors. Keep them outside by having tightly-fitting screens on all of your windows and doors.

Information about WNV and reports of current and historical WNV virus activity in Massachusetts can be found on the MDPH website at:


TO:            All Media

FROM:      Holyoke Board of Health

DATE:       May 16, 2018

CONTACT PERSON: Ernest Mathieu – 413-322-5595


Holyoke Health Board Urges Residents and Business Owners to keep properties clean

Springtime has finally arrived after what seemed like an eternal winter. Summertime is just around the corner and the leaves, flowers, grass and wild weeds and other natural foliage is growing. It’s that time of year that we all should take time to motivate ourselves and focus on spring-cleaning.  Whether you are a tenant, residential property or business owner, we all must collectively take pride in keeping our properties and our City clean.  It is everyone’s responsibility to control litter and rubbish by using proper placement of containers. Property owners should participate in recycling every other week, keep sidewalks and alleyways clean, trim shrubbery and mow lawns as needed, and register vehicles. Unregistered vehicles are prohibited on all properties except for licensed auto repair and auto sales business.

As a proud homeowner in Holyoke, you can obtain a Disposal Permit from the Department of Public Works (DPW) which entitles you to 7 visits to their location at 63 No. Canal Street. Residential yard waste is collected on a regular basis at the curb. Copies of trash and yard waste pick-up schedules can be found on the DPW website or obtained at the DPW Office.

In accordance to the rules and regulations of the City of Holyoke Code of Ordinances, Property owners and tenants are required to abide by the following laws and requirements:

Residential rubbish receptacles shall be watertight containers with tightfitting covers of metal or other durable rodent-proof material.  Sufficient numbers of containers shall be provided by the owner and/or residents to keep the property clean.

All owners of commercial, professional, industrial, multifamily and residential property must maintain their property, and occupants and business tenants must keep the premises they occupy, as well as common areas, including adjacent sidewalks, grass strips, one-half of alley, and rights-of-way to the edge of the surface of the vehicular travel way of any public street, in a clean and litter-free manner.  Rubbish, refuse or other litter on any property must be removed by the owner, occupants and/or business tenants.

It shall be the responsibility of the property owner to maintain the bulk container area free of odors, scattered debris, overflowing, and all other nuisances.  If the property owner is notified that the bulk container upon his property is in violation of any of the foregoing offenses, the property owner shall within twenty-four (24) hours of notification cause the offense to be remedied or shall be in violation of this ordinance.

The Board of Health often receives complaints regarding litter, rubbish, illegal dumping, overflowing trash containers and dumpsters, overgrown vegetation, abandoned and unregistered vehicles on private and business properties as well as vacant lots and alleyways. Upon receipt of a complaint an inspection will be made and the owner will be sent a letter with orders to clean up.  Upon reinspection, if the property is cleaned as ordered it is noted and filed. However, if the property owner fails to clean up as ordered ticket fines ranging from $100.00-$500.00 are issued until the owner cleans the property as ordered.

The Board of Health is asking everyone to please not be a “litterbug” and that all walks of life within the City of Holyoke contribute daily to “Help Keep Holyoke Clean.”

If you have any questions concerning keeping properties clean, rubbish collection schedules or about items for pick-up, please call the Department of Public Works at 413-322-5645 or the Holyoke Board of Health at 413- 322-5595.


At a regular Holyoke Board of Health meeting held on November 3, 2016, the Board of Health Members, acting under M.G.L., Chapter 111, Section 31, voted unanimously to revise and adopt “Regulation of the Holyoke Board of Health Restricting the Sale of Tobacco Products”. Copies of this revised regulation can be obtained by calling the Board of Health at (413)322-5595, Mon-Fri between the hours of 8:30a.m. to 4:30p.m.

This regulation will be strictly enforced by the Board of Health and its appointed Agents.

Dalila Hyry-Dermith, Clerk
Patricia Mertes, APRN, Chair
Dr. Robert Mausel, Vice-Chair

Following is a Link to the New Regulation of the Holyoke Board of Health Restricting the Sale of Tobacco Products

Please click here: new-tobacco-regulations-nov-3-2016

At a regular Holyoke Board of Health meeting held on February 2, 2017, the Board of Health Members, acting under M.G.L., Chapter 111, Section 31, voted unanimously to revise and adopt the City of Holyoke Regulation Prohibiting Smoking in Workplaces and Public Places.  This is the second part to the Holyoke Board of Health Tobacco Regulations.  The first part is the Regulation of the Holyoke Board of Health Restricting the Sale of Tobacco Products.  Copies of this revised regulation can be obtained by calling the Board of Health at (413)322-5595, Mon-Fri between the hours of 8:30a.m. to 4:30p.m. This regulation will be strictly enforced by the Board of Health and its appointed Agents, Dalila Hyry-Dermith, Clerk, Patricia Mertes, APRN Chair, Dr. Robert Mausel, Vice-Chair.  ‘

Following is a Link to the New Regulation of the Holyoke Board of Health Restricting the Sale of Tobacco Products




The City has a long standing relationship with Tapestry Health’s Syringe Access Program to respond as quickly as possible to recover discarded needles as an extension of their needle exchange run through a program called Syringe Access. To report a found syringe you can call the Hot Line.


****The HOT LINE phone number to call is: (413) 650-2679.****


The call goes directly to voicemail where you will be asked to provide detailed information on the found syringe. This call is then distributed to Needle Exchange staff and to a group email of community residents that are interested in helping to clean up Holyoke.


Staff and community volunteers will respond within 24 to 36 hours to retrieve and safely dispose of the syringes.


Tapestry Health’s Contact Information:

15A Main Street, Holyoke, MA
(413) 315-3732 ext. 1


You can also dispose of your needles & diabetic lancets by placing them inside a Sharps Containers and bringing them to one of the kiosks at the following organizations.  Sharps Containers can be purchased at any drugstore.

1-Council On Aging
   291 Pine Street
   Holyoke, MA  01040
   Tel. 413-322-5625

2-Holyoke Health Center-Pharmacy
    230 Maple Street
    Holyoke, MA  01040
    Tel. 413-420-2200

3-Baystate Medical Center-As of Friday, June 16, Baystate employees and community members can bring their unwanted medications and sharps and dispose of them safely, conveniently and confidentially into kiosks (collection receptacles) located in the Baystate Medical Center Daly Lobby. This initiative ensures that medications and sharps are disposed of properly, helping the environment and keeping dangerous medications like opioids off the street.  Questions? Contact Baystate Medical Center’s Safety & Environmental Affairs Department at 794-1400.  Location; 759 Chestnut Street, Springfield, MA  01199.

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, 2020

Dr. Esteban A. Del Pilar-Morales, MD, Vice Chair – term expires Feb. 1, 2021

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.


FOOD ESTABLISHMENT APPL & Workers_Compensation_Insurance_Affidavit(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 ESTABLISHMENT APPL(under 25 seats) & Workers_Compensation_Insurance_Affidavit 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


June 30 $100.00
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 APPL June 30 $100.00



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
  • (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 Form 2018, Vacant Bldg ordinance, BOARD UP AND SECURE PROCEDURE, VBR Appeal Form as needed See PDF

Witness of Extermination

 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, Sanitarian I


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

If you are interested please contact Merridith O’Leary, R.S., at

servesafe-classes     Click here for more class schedules.


Wheelwright Consultants

Rehabilitative Resources, Inc.

Eastern Food Safety

Western Massachusetts Public Health Association

Morrell Associates




APRIL 2019

 Health News: Recently you may have seen the news about the Measles outbreak in New York State. This is a reminder about the importance of vaccinations.

Measles starts with fever, runny nose, cough, red eyes, and sore throat. It’s followed by a rash that spreads over the body. Measles is highly contagious and spreads through coughing and sneezing. Make sure you and your child are protected with measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccine.

Thinking about travel? Measles remains a common disease in many parts of the world. Make sure you and your family are up to date on measles vaccination and other age appropriate vaccines. Anyone who is not protected against measles is at risk of getting infected when they travel.

The Board of Health reminds residents to please clean up debris such as plastic bags and other item on your property and adjacent sidewalks. Let’s keep Holyoke clean!

Food Permit Renewal applications will be mailed in June.

Used and expired drugs can be dropped off at a Kiosk at the Council on Aging.

Used needles can be dropped off at Tapestry, Council on Aging and Holyoke Health Center Kiosks. You can call Tapestry (413-536-8777) for needles that are found and are not yours; they will dispose of them for you.

From Animal Control: A reminder to have your dog or cat vaccinated for rabies.

Dog registration season is upon us, register your dog/dog’s now!

The Easter Holiday is near, avoid getting chicks and bunnies for your children as presents. Unfortunately, once grown they are often abandoned.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Flu Vaccination time is upon us. For all of you waiting for the right time to get vaccinated, now is the time! This year’s flu vaccine consists of trivalent:  A/Michigan, A/Singapore, B/Colorado and the quadrivalent vaccine contains B/Phuket. So, what does that mean?  It means that the CDC (Centers for Disease Control) estimate yearly, what strains of the virus will affect the United States each flu season. Usually Influenza A is more serious than influenza B and C.

Symptoms of the flu are: Fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, muscle or body aches, headaches, fatigue and some people may have vomiting and diarrhea, although this may be more common in children.

Recommendations are to get a flu vaccine as soon as possible and if you have any questions or concerns talk with your doctor.

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Tuberculosis Skin Testing

Tuberculin Skin Testing will now be offered at the Holyoke Board of Health. We are located in City Hall Annex, 20 Korean Veterans Plaza.


The fee is $10. You can make an appointment by calling the Public Health Nurse at (413) 322-5598. Please be aware that once this test is administered, you will need to return to the Board of Health to have the skin test read 48-72 hours later.


Department Head

Sean Gonsalves

Sean Gonsalves


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