Massachusetts Public Health Association

MPHA Co-Hosts Policy Assembly in Springfield, MA

Attendees participate an a group strategy session at the 2017 Policy Assembly in Springfield

On April 26, 2017, more than fifty health equity advocates from Western MA gathered in Springfield, MA, to gain a better understanding of several statewide policy issues and how to strategically advocate for them. In a pre-assembly poll, participants conveyed that they wanted to better understand the process for passing bills and getting funds in the state budget, so MPHA gave special attention to conveying the timelines and steps involved.

Participants also spent time at the Assembly reading about specific bills and budget line items, followed by small group strategy sessions to identify the key decision-makers, timing, method, message, and messengers to influence policy makers. Some small-group discussions also focused on how to involve more people from low-income communities and communities of color in advocacy issues.

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What our Health Equity Champions Mean to the Communities they Serve

By now you are familiar with the names of this year’s MPHA Health Equity Champions. We asked colleagues of our Spring Awards Breakfast awardees to share a more intimate perspective on what makes these individuals extraordinary in the public health space. Click here to reserve tickets and for more information on the event.

Deborah Klein Walker, Paul Revere Awardee

Deborah Klein Walker, Paul Revere Awardee

“It was a personal joy and a professional obligation to nominate Debbie Walker for the Paul Revere Award.  I will come back to that word, ‘obligation.’ First, the joy. I have known Debbie since I was assigned to her as an academic advisee when she was on the Maternal and Child Health faculty at the Harvard School of Public Health. From the start, she has been a mentor, a role model, an adviser, occasionally a co-conspirator and always a friend. She was clearly on her way to becoming a Big Macher, as we say in Jewish, even in those early days. But she has always been the most accessible of Big Machers.

The obligation I mentioned is not to Debbie, although I owe her much. Rather it is to public health. I worked with Debbie again at the Department of Public, and under her leadership we were at the forefront of family centered care for children with special health care needs, smoking prevention and cessation, universal coverage for pregnancy care, life span, person-centered systems of care for individual with disabilities, and on and on. The drive to be a trailblazer in public health has characterized Debbie’s work throughout her career, and is formed by her commitment to public health as a fundamental responsibility of any society to its people, and to public health systems as the means through which that duty is fulfilled. In honoring Debbie, I feel we all acknowledge how important that commitment is, and implicitly pledge to be part of fulfilling it.” – Deborah Allen, Director, Child, Adolescent and Family Health at Boston Public Health Commission

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Press Release: Quincy Mayor Koch, Pittsfield Mayor Tyer Join Prevention Trust Coalition as Co-Chairs, Lead Call to Protect Groundbreaking Program in House Budget

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 24, 2017
Contact: Maddie Ribble, Massachusetts Public Health Association 617-697-2107, mribble@mapublichealth.org

Quincy Mayor Koch, Pittsfield Mayor Tyer Join Prevention Trust Coalition as Co-Chairs, Lead Call to Protect Groundbreaking Program in House Budget Effort Supported by Bipartisan Majority of the House of Representatives

The Massachusetts Public Health Association announced today that Pittsfield Mayor Linda Tyer and Quincy Mayor Thomas Koch have been named Co-Chairs of the Prevention Trust Coalition. The Mayors immediately called upon the House of Representatives to take action during this week’s debate on the state budget to continue the groundbreaking work of the Prevention Trust.

“The Prevention Trust is making a difference in Quincy as we work to improve health outcomes for everyone in our community while tackling rising health care costs,” said Quincy Mayor Thomas Koch. “We ask our legislative leaders to stand with us to protect the investment in this important program, and more importantly, to protect the hard-won health improvements for our residents.”

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Action Alert! Help Protect Mass in Motion

On April 10, 2017, the Massachusetts House Ways and Means Committee released their proposal for the FY18 state budget without funding to maintain Mass in Motion in line item 4513-1111.  Representative Cariddi will file an amendment to the budget which would continue level-funding for the Mass in Motion program.

We are in a critical window to build support for the MiM budget amendment in the House, and YOU can help get it adopted.

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Action Alert! Advocate for Healthy Food Access in the State Budget

Take Action Now!to support the Mass Food Trust Program and SNAP Access! (5)

On April 10, 2017, the Massachusetts House Ways and Means Committee released their proposal for the FY18 state budget without funding for two important issues that address healthy food access and affordability: the Massachusetts Food Trust and the SNAP Gap. As planned, Representative Donahue and Representative Livingstone have each filed amendments to the budget which would dedicate $100,000 for the operating costs of the Massachusetts Food Trust, and would direct the Executive Office of Health and Human Services to allow MassHealth applicants and recipients to file a SNAP application at the same time they apply or get a renewal of their MassHealth benefits.

We are now in a critical window to build support for the Massachusetts Food Trust and SNAP Gap budget amendments in the House, and we need YOUR help get them adopted. Read More

Action Alert! Protect the Prevention and Wellness Trust Fund (PWTF)!

Please contact your state Representative this week to ask them to co-sponsor Amendment #24 to continue funding for the Prevention and Wellness Trust Fund.

On April 10, 2017, the Massachusetts House Ways and Means Committee released their proposal for the FY18 state budget without reference to PWTF. As planned, Representative Vega filed an amendment to the budget which would add language to continue funding for PWTF.

We are now in a critical window to build support for the PWTF budget amendment in the House, and YOU can help get it adopted.

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MPHA Testifies Before Joint Committee on Marijuana Policy

On Monday, April 3, 2017 MPHA Policy Director Maddie Ribble testified before the Joint Committee on Marijuana Policy at a public hearing at the State House. Maddie urged the legislature to address three areas that MPHA has identified as deserving particular attention in the implementation of recreational marijuana policy in Massachusetts. These areas are 1) promoting racial equity, 2) protecting youth, and 3) providing for appropriate oversight and data collection.

Click here to read MPHA’s written testimony to the Joint Committee on Marijuana Policy.

Introducing MPHA’s Oncoming Interim Director, Jodie Silverman

Jodie Silverman, MPA

Last month, MPHA’s board announced that MPHA’s Executive Director Rebekah Gewirtz is leaving the organization in April to lead the National Association of Social Workers Massachusetts Chapter where she worked tirelessly for nine years prior to coming to MPHA. While MPHA board and staff are sad to lose Rebekah, we are thrilled that Jodie Silverman will come on as full-time Interim Executive Director beginning April 18, 2017. Read More

MPHA February 2017 Newsletter

Click here to read MPHA’s February 2017 Newsletter 

What’s Inside:

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Announcing a New MPHA Membership Benefit!

MPHA has partnered with the MIT Press to offer MPHA members a 30% discount on all MIT Press public health titles. While applicable for use on the MIT Press website only, this code can be used more than once, for multiple titles at a time, and for both print and MIT Press e-editions. Happy reading from MPHA and the MIT Press!

Lookout for your membership code on Wednesday April 12th.  Not yet a member? Ready to renew? Joining is easy, click here to join. Read More

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