Massachusetts Public Health Association

Support Ballot Question 3 to Maintain Civil Rights for All

Last month, MPHA’s Board voted to endorse the “Yes on 3” ballot campaign, which will be before Massachusetts voters on November 6th. A “Yes” vote on Question 3 will maintain civil rights protections for transgender individuals voted into law in Massachusetts in 2016.

MPHA grounds its support for the Yes on 3 campaign in the understanding that maintaining civil rights for transgender residents and visitors to our state is essential realizing MPHA’s mission to advance health equity and social justice in the Commonwealth.

Research shows that transgender people are far more likely to face violence than non-transgender people, including higher rates of murder, sexual assault, and suicide. These statistics are especially troubling for trans people of color and trans youth, two communities that experience heightened violence and discrimination. The continued trauma that transgender people would face when trying to navigate public spaces without the civil rights protections already codified in Massachusetts law will have lifelong impacts on their health and their communities.

Opponents of transgender rights have long used scare tactics to deny basic rights and freedom to transgender children and adults. They continue to use these scare tactics even though they have been proven false. But let’s be clear, it is discrimination against transgender individuals that is a threat to public health and safety. Acknowledging transgender people’s rights and protecting these rights increases public health and safety for all.

Massachusetts cannot fall backward in our fight against discrimination. The results of ballot question 3 will have long-term impacts on social justice in the Commonwealth and beyond. We hope our members and supporters will join us in supporting current law and civil rights protections by voting Yes on 3 in November.

Visit Freedom for All Massachusetts for more information.

MPHA October 2018 Newsletter

Click here to read October 2018 Newsletter

What’s inside:

  • Message from Executive Director Carlene Pavlos
  • Main article: 2019-2020 Legislative Session Prep: MPHA Staff Meet with Community Leaders across the Commonwealth

MPHA August 2018 Newsletter

Click here to read August 2018 Newsletter

What’s inside:

  • Message from Executive Director Carlene Pavlos
  • Main article: Legislature Unable to Reach Agreement on Health Care before Close of Formal Session: PWTF Funding Derailed

MPHA July 2018 Newsletter

Click here to read July 2018 Newsletter

What’s inside:

  • Message from Executive Director Carlene Pavlos
  • Main article: First Prevention and Wellness Program Ends

MPHA May 2018 Newsletter

Click here to read May 2018 Newsletter

What’s inside:

  • Message from new Executive Director, Carlene Pavlos
  • Main article: MPHA Budget Priorities Fare Well in Senate Ways and Means Budget– Opportunity to take action on other key health equity programs

Final FY19 Budget Strong in Public Health Protections

On Thursday, July 26th, Governor Baker signed the FY19 budget maintaining core funding for MPHA priority programs at the Conference Budget level. While Governor Baker did veto some earmarks within a few of these programs, those vetoes were overridden by the legislature.

The final FY19 budget includes increased funding for the Bureau of Environmental Health and the Bureau of Substance Addiction Services, level funding for the Massachusetts Food Trust Program and Mass in Motion Programand increased funding for key social determinants of health including housing and transportation. It also includes language and funding for a new Office of Health Equity and funds environmental justice staff under the Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs.  

In addition, the FY19 budget includes language that will ensure the availability of MassHealth data about screening and interventions related to the social determinants of health (SDOH). This data is essential to understand the activities, successes, and challenges of ACOs and social service providers in responding to these needs. It will also allow the public to assess the availability of social services and identify any gaps that may exist by region, population, or service type. Read More

Strong Support for MPHA Budget Priorities in FY19 Conference Bill

On Wednesday, July 18th, the House and Senate released their state budget compromise for FY19. The budget compromise, known as the Conference Budget, is overall very strong in public health investment. It includes increased funding for the Bureau of Environmental Health and the Bureau of Substance Addiction Services, level funding for the Massachusetts Food Trust Program and Mass in Motion Program, and increased funding for key social determinants of health including housing and transportation. It also includes language and funding for a new Office of Health Equity and funds environmental justice staff under the Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs.  

In addition, the Conference Budget includes language that will ensure the availability of MassHealth data about screening and interventions related to the social determinants of health (SDOH). This data is essential to understand the activities, successes, and challenges of ACOs and social service providers in responding to these needs. It will also allow the public to assess the availability of social services and identify any gaps that may exist by region, population, or service type.

MPHA is disappointed, however, that the Conference Budget did not include language establishing Massachusetts as a sanctuary state. MPHA endorsed the Safe Communities Act earlier this year because assuring all immigrants in Massachusetts that their rights will be protected and that they will be treated with dignity is important to the public health of all communities. 

Read below for more detail on the FY19 Conference Budget.

Read More

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.

Read More

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: 

Read More

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

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