Global Premier Soccer gets red card from Easthampton health officials

Staff Writer
Published: 10/5/2016 1:59:46 AM

EASTHAMPTON — The Board of Health has told Global Premier Soccer that it may no longer operate a summer camp in the city because of numerous violations over three years, many involving paperwork and medical records.

Health Agent Jackie Duda has been inspecting the camp and said some violations were repeated over the years. In August, Duda did not renew the camp’s permit and issued the cease-and-desist order in September to be certain the camp would not operate without a permit. The order does not prevent the camp from obtaining a permit in the future.

The sports company requested a hearing regarding the order and met with the board on Monday. The hearing will continue Nov. 7 and the board will determine whether to revise, uphold or dismiss the order.

The company is based in the United Kingdom and operates summer camps, recreational soccer programs and training in four different countries, according to Kurtis Millan, the organization’s camp and vacation programs director. It runs more than 100 soccer clinics throughout Massachusetts, he said. 

“Our organization would not get to the stage that it is at now if it was not well run,” Millan told the board.

Since 2014, the company has held a five-day overnight summer camp at Williston Northampton School which hosts several summer camps and programs by outside organizations. Global Premier Soccer used the school’s field, dormitory and cafeteria. The organization still rents the school’s field for soccer. 

Duda has been inspecting summer camps for more than a decade. Like many first-year camps, Duda said there were problems found at Global Premier Soccer during an inspection. 

The paperwork for the 100 to 150 camp participants was disorderly and some medical records could not be found, according to Duda. 

“It was very easy to confuse one person’s information with another's,” Duda said. “There were a lot of missing documents.”

The following year, Millan started working at the company’s Easthampton camp and said he never received the city’s 2014 inspection report, according to Duda. She said she offered as much technical support as possible, including going over the regulations for operating a camp and creating a checklist for inspections.

However, there were no criminal and sexual offender background checks for the camp health supervisor and there was also no written acknowledgement from a doctor about what drugs could be administered by the on-site health supervisor. 

Duda said documents were still not organized efficiently and that is was difficult to find medical information in case of an emergency. She said she found records for staff members that did not have information regarding immunization. 

In 2016, Duda did two pre-inspections before the camp opened with a list of things that needed to be corrected, but the proper regulations were not met by the camp during inspection. 

Since summer camps and programs at Williston Northampton School are conducted by outside organizations, the institution does not typically receive the inspection report. Williston’s chief financial officer, Charles McCullagh Jr., said the school wants to work things out with the board about how to improve the situation.

“We would like this group to grow,” McCullagh said about Global Premier Soccer. “They fit with the school, they bring a lot of business into the city of Easthampton.”

Caitlin Ashworth can be reached at cashworth@gazettenet.com.


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