Massachusetts Public Health Association

MPHA in the News: Middlesex County public health ranked high (Metro West Daily News)

MARCH 21, 2013

Middlesex County public health ranked high

By Laura Krantz/Daily News staff

FRAMINGHAM —  A national study released Wednesday of public health by county ranks Middlesex County the state’s second healthiest, while Worcester County falls toward the bottom, at ninth of Massachusetts’ 14 counties.

However, local health experts caution that the findings of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation County Health Rankings and Roadmaps are deceiving because Middlesex County is large and diverse, and because very few public health programs happen on a county level.

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Transportation Day of Action – April 2nd

Action is heating up on Beacon Hill on transportation and revenue.  The House plans to address both of these issues in the month of April – so the time to act is now!  We need your support to win new progressive revenue and investments in transportation that will advance healthy communities and promote health equity.

Please join MPHA and transportation advocates from across Massachusetts  on Tuesday, April 2, 2013 to help us advocate for a healthy transportation system:

  • 10am:  Transportation for Massachusetts Rally and Press Conference.  State House steps, Beacon Street.
  • 11am:  “Transporting Public Health Forward: Why Investments in Transportation Improve Our Health and Wellness,” hosted by the legislative Prevention for Health Caucus.  House  Members Lounge, State House, 3rd Floor.
  • 12-2pm:  Statewide Call In Day for Healthy Transportation. Can’t make it to Boston?  Thousands of residents will be calling their elected officials this afternoon to ask them to support a healthy transportation system.

Click here to RSVP for your participation in Boston or from your home turf! More details on the day’s events will be coming soon.

Transportation is a major issue in the legislature this year.   Massachusetts faces a serious crisis concerning the current state of our transportation system – including our roads and bridges, the MBTA, our regional transit authorities, and accommodations for pedestrians and cyclists.  We risk losing a great deal if we continue to let it crumble.  We need legislation that raises significant new revenue to stabilize our system, make it safe and reliable, and increase choices–all while protecting our state’s vulnerable communities.

Investing in transportation also means better health for our residents by promoting greater physical activity through walking and biking; reducing dangerous emissions and improving health outcomes; reducing injuries and fatalities; and ensuring access to jobs and essential goods and services.

These events will bring together many transportation advocacy groups, who will talk with our decision-makers about the importance of transportation funding.  Together, we will build on our shared vision for a 21st century transportation system in Massachusetts.  Let’s get our state transportation system back on track, and urge the legislature to invest in a healthy transportation system!

Massachusetts’ 2nd Bike/Walk Summit – April 11th

MPHA is pleased to support the 2nd Bike/Walk Summit!  The Summit will be hosted by our partners at MassBike and Walk Boston on Thursday, April 11th from 10am-1pm at the State House.

Meet advocates from around the state, learn about current bike/walk legislation, and then share what you know with your state Reps. and Senators.  Reconvene in the Nurses Hall at noon for lunch and speakers.

Register for this free event at:

For more information, please call 617.367.9255 or

Register Now: April 23-24, 2013 Primary Prevention of Asthma Symposium

Join leading researchers, clinicians, government agency staff, labor and community representatives, and public health professionals for a 2-day Symposium titled Primary Prevention of Asthma: A Symposium on Current Evidence, Research Needs and Opportunities for Action, to advance the understanding of and strategies for the primary prevention of asthma.

Symposium participants will exchange information and increase understanding of the science relevant to the initial onset of asthma and will work to develop a “roadmap” for the primary prevention of asthma in Massachusetts, as called for in the Strategic Plan for Asthma in Massachusetts.

The Symposium will be held at the Massachsuetts Medical Society in Waltham, MA on April 23-24, 2013 from 8:30 a.m.- 4:30 p.m.

For more information and to register, please click here.

2 Massachusetts Communities Awarded Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Roadmaps to Health Prize!

Fall River and Cambridge were among 6 communities nationally that we recently recognized with the inaugural Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) Roadmaps to Health Prize!

The Roadmaps to Health prize honors outstanding community partnerships which are helping people live healthier lives and is rooted in the idea that every community is on a unique journey toward health.  The six award recipients were selected from among more than 160 applicants because of their innovative strategies to improve community health.

The city of Cambridge is being honored for improving health equity by addressing public health challenges like obesity and school readiness, while Fall River is being honored for tackling pressing health problems through a public, private, and non-profit partnership.

In addition to Fall River and Cambridge, Santa Cruz County, California; New Orleans, Louisiana; Manistique, Michigan; and Minneapolis, Minnesota were recognized for their dedication to their communities’ health and well-being.

Each winning community received a $25,000 cash prize and their success stories are being celebrated and shared broadly, in person and via web-based platforms, with the goal of raising awareness and inspiring locally-driven change across the country.

Click here to learn more about Cambridge’s healthy initiatives, download the Cambridge Roadmaps to Health Prize poster, and view their award winning video.

Click here to learn more about Fall River’s healthy initiatives, download the Fall River Roadmaps to Health Prize poster, and view their award winning video.

114 Legislators Sign Onto MPHA Priority Bills!

Thanks to the calls and emails from MPHA members and partners across the state, well over 100 legislators signed onto priority legislation!  This is a very strong start to the session and gives us and our partners tremendous momentum heading into the session.

Read on for the full list of co-sponsors. Please look for your legislators in the list below, and thank them for their support.

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Act FRESH 2013 Priorities Announced in Springfield

Act Fresh report pic_forweb

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On February 5th, MPHA launched the 2013 Act FRESH Campaign at the Springfield Public Library, where we announced the campaign priorities for the next two years – priorities chosen by the Act FRESH Leadership Team earlier this winter:

Act FRESH Campaign Top Priorities

  • Advance Health Equity Through Transportation Policy
  • Implement and Expand the Prevention and Wellness Trust
  • Pass Zoning Reform Legislation for Healthy Community Design

Additional Priorities

  • Pass Legislation to Increase Physical Activity and Physical Education in Schools
  • Create a Fresh Food Financing Initiative

We released a new report, “Priorities for Healthy Places, 2013-2014” detailing these priorities.  Check out the report and the Act FRESH website to learn more about these issues.

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Help Us Recruit Legislators to Co-Sponsor Priority Public Health Legislation – Deadline is This Friday!

Please contact your Representative and Senator today and ask them to co-sponsor priority public health legislation to promote healthier communities for all.

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Launching Act FRESH 2013 – February 5th in Springfield

Act FRESH 2013 – Launching an Ambitious New Platform

The Act FRESH Campaign, launched in 2011, is led by a diverse group of MPHA member organizations – grassroots organizations and statewide associations from every region of the Commonwealth. The campaign is built on the notion that healthy people need healthy places, but that the infrastructure in too many of our communities limits healthy options.

Over the last two years, the Act FRESH Campaign has changed the conversation. We’ve built new partnerships with local leaders in every corner of the state; helped pass the Prevention and Wellness Trust Fund; built new and creative alliances with education, planning, land use, and transportation; and moved the needle on healthy policies in communities and at the State House. In the two years ahead, we will build on this success for an even wider reach and greater impact.

Please join us as we announce our new partners and our new priorities for a healthy and vibrant Massachusetts:

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