Massachusetts Public Health Association

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! 

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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. Read More

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

Modest Environmental Health Investments Welcomed in Otherwise Disappointing Public Health Budget Proposal

On Wednesday, January 24th, Governor Baker announced his $40.9 billion state budget proposal for fiscal year 2019. Governor Baker’s budget proposal includes a 2.6% increase over the current year’s budget.  

While there are some modest public health investments proposed in the Governor’s budget, MPHA is disappointed to see overall level funding for the Department of Public Health, which in addition to failing to keep up with the costs of inflation, comes after years of disinvestment in public health.

Governor Baker’s proposal includes a moderate, but much needed, funding increase for the Bureau of Environmental Health, which protects all Massachusetts residents from hazardous exposures and environmentally-induced illness. However, the Governor also proposes funding cuts to other core public health protection line-items such as the State Lab and Critical Operations and Essential Services. Read More

MPHA October 2017 Newsletter

Click here to read MPHA October 2017 Newsletter

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MPHA September 2017 Newsletter

Click here to read MPHA September 2017 Newsletter

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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.

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