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!
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
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
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.