Massachusetts Public Health Association

Organizational Member Spotlight: AIDS Action Committee

Photo of Carl Sciortino, Executive Director, AIDS Action Committee

Carl Sciortino, Executive Director, AIDS Action Committee

MPHA enjoys a diverse membership of organizational partners who share our vision for an equitable and healthy Commonwealth.

This month we are happy to highlight the work of our partner organization AIDS Action Committee. Read our interview with Executive Director Carl Sciortino to learn more about AIDS Action’s important work through the Getting to Zero Coalition and to learn how you can become involved.

MPHA: What is the Getting to Zero Coalition?

Sciortino: The Massachusetts Getting to Zero Coalition is a group of community and health advocates, consumers, and organizations dedicated to ending HIV. The three broad goals are to get to zero new HIV infections, zero HIV-related deaths, and zero HIV-related stigma. Similar efforts are springing up around the country, and are a way of convening the talent, passion, and advocacy within our communities to make sure we’re doing everything we can to bring this epidemic to a close.

MPHA: AIDS Action Committee recently released a report, “Massachusetts Comprehensive Plan to Eliminate HIV Discrimination, AIDS Related Deaths, and New HIV Infections.” Can you tell us a little about the report and its top findings?

Sciortino: I often hear reactions to our work around HIV/AIDS as if someone had already declared mission accomplished. While things are in a far better place than the worst days of the epidemic, HIV is an infectious disease that is still spreading, and continues to most impact people who are otherwise already marginalized. Our blueprint, organized in seven general categories, provides detailed goals and opportunities for further innovation in our fight against HIV. For example, one new tool is pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), which is a daily medication that is highly effective at preventing someone from acquiring HIV. It is a gamechanger to have a biomedical prevention tool, and our blueprint talks about ways to better get the word out and get people at high risk to seek and adhere to PrEP. There are many more examples like that in the blueprint, which can be viewed at www.gettingtozeroma.org.

MPHA: The Comprehensive Plan identifies disparities by race and other aspects of identity. Can you tell us a little about these disparities and how they are being addressed?

Sciortino: While HIV is a virus that doesn’t care who a person is, what their race, gender identity, or sexual orientation is, it is still a fact that HIV disproportionately impacts people of color, gay men, and transgender women. At AIDS Action we talk about the need to not just address the health needs of our clients, but to address the social factors that allow HIV to thrive in marginalized communities, which means we have to be explicit in our work in addressing racism, homophobia, transphobia, poverty, xenophobia, and a fear of talking openly about sexual health. Our Getting to Zero blueprint lays out specific goals and strategies for addressing all of these social determinants of health, which is essential if we are to make continued progress.

MPHA: How can our members support AIDS Action Committee’s work?

Sciortino: One of the best ways to get involved is the AIDS Walk & 5k Run, which is always held the first Sunday in June. We’d welcome anyone to contact us who might be interested in learning more about the AIDS Walk, forming a team of friends or colleagues, and helping us to raise both money and awareness.

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MPHA’s strength as an organization depends upon the support and participation of a vibrant and committed membership. Click here to learn how you can become an organizational member of MPHA.

Job Posting for The Massachusetts Department of Public Health: Director of Administration and Finance, Bureau of Family Health and Nutrition

Title: Director of Administration and Finance, Bureau of Family Health and Nutrition

Organization: The Massachusetts Department of Public Health

Brief Summary of Position:

The Director of Administration & Finance (A&F) is a critical leader within the Bureau of Family Health and Nutrition (BFHN) whose charge is to provide exemplary fiscal stewardship through the establishment, monitoring, and improvement of accounting, budgeting, finance, procurement, IT and administrative systems and procedures. In consultation with the Deputy Director, this position is responsible for fiscal planning and management; compliance with all fiscal oversight and grant requirements; long-term budget forecasting and annual spending plan development; purchasing; and contract procurement for the Bureau with federal, state and trust funds in excess of $187M. Read More

Job Posting for The Massachusetts Department of Public Health: Problem Gambling Services Coordinator

Title:  Problem Gambling Services Coordinator 

Organization: The Massachusetts Department of Public Health

Brief Summary of Position:

The Department of Public Health is seeking a  Program Coordinator II that will provide primary support to Problem Gambling Services (PGS). The Program Coordinator responsibilities include project management, project development, vendor contract management and other program related duties assigned by the Director. Other responsibilities include managing the  Problem Gambling Services action plan including but not limited to the coordination of reports, other interactions with internal and external stakeholders such as the Massachusetts Gaming Commission, other Department of Public Health (DPH) Bureaus, other state agencies, service providers and other strategic partners. Read More

Job Posting for the Massachusetts Department of Public Health: Health Care Facility Surveyor

Title:  Health Care Facility Surveyor

Organization: The Massachusetts Department of Public Health

Brief Summary of Position:

The Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) Bureau of Health Care Safety and Quality, Division of Health Care Facilities Licensure and Certification (DHCFLC) is seeking qualified individuals dedicated to public health and quality of life to conduct health care facility surveys. Individuals shall monitor and evaluate the current level of health care services provided throughout the Commonwealth to determine compliance with regulations for licensure and certification. The selected candidate will write evaluative and other reports on findings; design and perform studies evaluating the effectiveness of health care facilities, services, and related programs; consult with Department staff, other state and agencies and organizations on the provision of health care; coordinate health care services and related programs among agencies; and develop and conduct training for health care professionals. Read More

Job Posting for Communicate Health: Editor

Title: Editor

Organization: Communicate Health

Brief Summary of Position:

Communicate Health is looking for an experienced editor with a strong interest in health communication and public health. Read More

MPHA’s Commitment to challenging racism and injustice

The Massachusetts Public Health Association (MPHA) stands with our supporters, partners and allies in strongly condemning and repudiating the violence, bigotry and racism that we witnessed in Charlottesville, Virginia and which we see gaining voice across the country. We are heartsick by the lack of leadership by President Trump at a time when this country is crying out for moral leadership. We understand that white supremacy by any name is violence, whether in physical, psychological or emotional form. This violence affects all of our communities but has the most devastating impact on people of color, immigrants, and other minority or marginalized groups whose wellbeing has too often been under attack or at best ignored by the most powerful in our nation.

At MPHA we recognize that it is our obligation to work every day to dismantle the systems of oppression that have resulted in a country in which the color of one’s skin dictates opportunities for optimal health and wellbeing. We know that the roots of racism run deep, and that racism — implicit or explicit — exists everywhere and must be called out and challenged at every opportunity.

We hope that you will remain in solidarity with MPHA as all of us continue to engage in this demanding and difficult — but necessary — work.

In solidarity,

Jodie Silverman
Interim Executive Director

MPHA July 2017 Newsletter

Click here to read MPHA July 2017 Newsletter

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MPHA June 2017 Newsletter

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MPHA May 2017 Newsletter

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MPHA April 2017 Newsletter

Click here to read MPHA April 2017 Newsletter

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