Massachusetts Public Health Association

New Funding for the Prevention and Wellness Trust Fund Included in House Health Care Bill!

Community Health Workers pose for a photo after joining MPHA and its partners for PWTF lobby event at the State House on March 1, 2017

On Tuesday June 19th, the Massachusetts House of Representatives passed a major health care bill that includes funding for the Prevention and Wellness Trust Fund (PWTF)This is a big win and important step in the campaign for continuation of PWTF, a first-in-the-nation program connecting clinical care and community interventions to address costly and preventable health conditions. The Massachusetts Senate passed its version of the health care bill last fall, which also included funding for continuation of PWTF.

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Action Alert! Contact Your Senator Today for Health Equity in the Senate Budget

This week the Senate is deliberating on the fiscal year 2019 Senate Ways and Means budget proposal. Now is the time to act to make sure that essential public health funding is included in the FY19 budget.

Please contact your Senator TODAY and urge her or him to co-sponsor the important amendments listed below. Don’t forget to mention why the program or programs you are calling about are important to you.

To find your Senator’s contact information or to find out who your State Senator is, click here.

Please ask your Senator to co-sponsor the following amendments: 

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Action Alert! Contact Your Representative Today for Key Programs in the State Budget

This week the House is deliberating on the fiscal year 2019 House Ways and Means budget proposal. Now is the time to act to make sure that essential public health funding is included in the FY19 budget.

Please contact your Representative TODAY and urge him or her to co-sponsor the important amendments listed below. Don’t forget to mention why the program or programs you are calling about are important to you. Read More

Press Release: Massachusetts Department of Public Health Bureau Chief Takes the Helm of Massachusetts Public Health Association

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 17, 2018
Contact: Melanie O’Malley, (617) 949-6688.

Massachusetts Department of Public Health
Bureau Chief Takes the
Helm of Massachusetts Public Health Association

The Executive Board of the Massachusetts Public Health Association (MPHA) is pleased to announce its recent hire of Carlene Pavlos as its new Executive Director effective April 1, 2018. In this role, Ms. Pavlos will lead MPHA’s strategic vision and manage implementation of its organizational goals to further MPHA’s advocacy and policy successes advancing health equity in the Commonwealth.

MPHA is a statewide non-profit membership organization that promotes a healthy Massachusetts through advocacy, education, community organizing, and coalition building with a focus on eliminating health disparities and creating healthy communities for all. MPHA’s recent accomplishments include successfully leading the campaign for the Complete Streets Program, which provides grants to cities and towns for projects to make streets safer for pedestrians, bicyclists, and transit users. MPHA also led the campaign for the Prevention and Wellness Trust Fund, a first-in-the-nation program investing in evidence-based interventions that keep residents healthy by linking clinical care and community-based services. Read More

Announcing an Exciting Leap Forward for the MA Food Trust!

We are excited to announce some great news at the start of National Public Health Week! This morning, April 2, 2018, the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources (MDAR) began accepting applications for a MA Food Trust Program administrator to lead the program and raise private funds to invest in local communities. This is a significant first step in getting the MA Food Trust fully launched! 

Getting here has been a long process. The Massachusetts Grocery Access Task Force first convened in 2011 and ultimately recommended the creation of the MA Food Trust Program to support new and expanded healthy food retailers and local food enterprises in underserved communities throughout the Commonwealth. Through MPHA’s leadership and with the help of our partners and supporters, the MA Food Trust Program was enacted into law in 2014 and won dedicated funding in the FY18 state operating and capital budgets.
What’s next?
 
The MA Food Trust follows a successful model in which the program administrator plays a critical role. The administrator increases the amount available for grants and loans to healthy food retailers by leveraging state funding and raising private dollars. Once a program administrator is chosen, it will work with MDAR to design program guidelines. Funding for projects is expected to be available in the second half of this year. Click here to learn more.

MPHA March 2018 Newsletter

Click here to read MPHA 2018 Newsletter

What’s inside:

  • Intro by Maddie Ribble, Policy Director
  • Main article: What is Transportation Justice and why is it Important for Advancing Health Equity?

MPHA January 2018 Newsletter

Click here for MPHA January 2018 Newsletter

What’s inside:

  • Intro by Jodie Silverman, Interim Executive Director
  • Main article: MPHA Launches New Campaign to Tackle Social Determinants of Health Through Health Care
  • MPHA Member of Work Group to Advise MassHealth on Social Determinants
  • Who’s your public health hero?

Message from MPHA President: Announcing Our New Executive Director

Dear Friend and Supporter,

We are excited to share with you that Carlene Pavlos will be joining us as the new Executive Director of the Massachusetts Public Health Association on April 1st.

Carlene has worked tirelessly for decades on improving the health of all residents of the Commonwealth. She is coming to us from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, where she has served as the Director of the Bureau of Community Health and Prevention. Carlene sees this opportunity with MPHA as a chance to continue the work she is passionate about, working with the big levers of policy and systems change and making an impact on the environment that people live in by addressing the root causes of injustice and health inequities. Read More

Press Release: Health Care Providers, Mayors, Health Policy Leaders Press House to Save Successful Prevention Programs

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 12, 2018
Contact: Maddie Ribble, 617-697-2107

Health Care Providers, Mayors, Health Policy Leaders
Press House to Save Successful Prevention Programs
Letter cites role of Prevention Trust in successful MassHealth transformation

In anticipation of a major debate on health care in the state House of Representatives this spring, a group of 27 health care provider organizations and health policy leaders today pressed Speaker Robert DeLeo to support continued funding for the Prevention & Wellness Trust Fund (PWTF). The letter is signed by coalition co-chairs Mayor Thomas Koch of Quincy and Mayor Linda Tyer of Pittsfield, each of whom has seen the direct benefit of PWTF in their communities. Additional signers include representatives of the MA Health and Hospitals Association, the MA Medical Society,  the MA Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics, the MA League of Community Health Centers, the MA Health Council, Health Care For All, and the MA Association of Community Health Workers.

“Massachusetts is a national leader in health care and public health, but we risk taking a major step backwards if we don’t take action to soon to save these successful programs,” said Maddie Ribble, Director of Public Policy for the Massachusetts Public Health Association. “This is no time to abandon what works.” An independent evaluation from Harvard Catalyst  concluded that “PWTF appears to be a very sound investment from the point of view of improving outcomes and controlling costs.” Yet, all PWTF partnerships will be shuttered by June 2018 without legislative action.

The letter cites the importance of community-based prevention programs to the success of new MassHealth accountable care organizations (ACOs). These new provider organizations will be responsible for the total cost of care for MassHealth patients, yet lack a comprehensive toolbox to address the root causes of poor health among their members.

“Sunsetting PWTF now would undermine our efforts and limit our impact,” said Christina Severin, CEO of Community Care Cooperative (C3), an accountable care organization comprised of 15 community health centers. “C3 and our ACO colleagues across the state are innovating to improve quality and reduce costs for health care consumers, and we’re optimistic about what we can achieve over the next five years. But in order to improve health outcomes and address the factors in communities which drive up health care costs, ACOs can’t go it alone. PWTF is a successful model of a true community-clinical partnership that should be continued and expanded. Working hand-in-hand with ACOs and other clinical partners, PWTF can dramatically improve health outcomes, reduce health disparities, and further our shared objectives in effectively managing health care costs.”

PWTF was established by the legislature in 2012 as part of the last major health care legislative package. Funded at $57 million over the five years, it has supported nine regional partnerships to implement evidence-based clinical and community services to prevent health complications and costs associated with four common health conditions: pediatric asthma, falls among older adults, hypertension, and tobacco use.

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Click here for PDF of Press Release, 2.12.18

Click PWTF Sign on Letter to Speaker DeLeo 2.12.018

Press Release: Public Health, Community Advocates Praise Attorney General For Updated Hospital Investment Guidelines

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 7, 2018
Contact: Maddie Ribble, 617-697-2107 or Enid Eckstein, 617-694-0304

Public Health, Community Advocates Praise Attorney General
For Updated Hospital Investment Guidelines

Reforms Expected To Lead To Greater Impact On Community Health And Improved Community Engagement

Today, leaders from the Alliance for Community Health Integration (ACHI) praised the release of updated guidelines on hospital community benefits from Attorney General Maura Healey. ACHI, a coalition of public health, consumer advocacy, and social service leaders, expressed support for changes that will increase the impact of hospital community benefit investments on the communities they serve.

“We thank Attorney General Healey for leading an inclusive process to develop these updated guidelines,” said Maddie Ribble, Director of Public Policy for the Massachusetts Public Health Association. “The final product is more than just a set of guidelines; it represents a powerful vision for how hospitals can help address the social and economic factors that lead to poor health in our communities. It has been a true pleasure to collaborate with the Attorney General and our hospital colleagues to help advance our shared goals.” Read More

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