Massachusetts Public Health Association

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

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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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Governor Proposes Significant Re-Investments in Essential Public Health Services, Raising Healthy New Revenues

Governor Patrick’s Fiscal Year 2014 budget proposal, released yesterday, includes a significant increase in funding for essential public health infrastructure and regulatory functions. These include inspections of health care facilities, pharmacies, food safety, and air quality – areas which are severely strained and currently pose unacceptable risks to the public. Most other Department of Public Health (DPH) programs – including chronic disease prevention and direct service programs – are level funded. The result is a modest overall increase in DPH funding.

The Governor’s proposal includes an end to the sales tax exemption on candy and soda, a $1.00 increase in cigarette taxes, and an equalization of tax rates on smokeless tobacco products and small cigars (so called “other tobacco products”).

MPHA enthusiastically supports the Governor’s proposal to raise additional revenue that will support the Commonwealth’s infrastructure to prevent, monitor, and respond to disease and injuries. We call on the Legislature to support the Governor’s proposals.

Read MPHA’s full summary of the Governor’s budget proposal here.

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MPHA In The News: Key public health needs would get a boost (The Boston Globe)

JANUARY 26, 2013

Key public health needs would get a boost

By Toby Fisher/MPHA Executive Director

We applaud the governor for proposing an increase in staffing levels for essential public health services in his budget (“Patrick would bolster pharmacy oversight,” Metro, Jan. 24). Public health provides protections that we seldom pause to think about — things like inspections of health care facilities and pharmacies, food safety assurance, and prompt response to infectious disease to avoid outbreaks. This type of infrastructure is not sexy, and it is not free, but we all rely on it every day.

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Save the Date−June 7, 2013−and Submit your Nominations for MPHA’s 11th Annual Awards Breakfast!

Save the Date! The Massachusetts Public Health Association’s (MPHA) 11th Annual Awards Breakfast is June 7th.

This year MPHA is reaching out to you– our members, partners and supporters– to nominate your own public health hero for an MPHA award.  Take a minute to review the award categories below and submit your nomination by February 1, 2013.

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Now Is the Time to Invest in a Healthy Transportation System

Speak Up In Support of New Revenues Today 

Last night, Governor Patrick delivered a State of the Commonwealth address in which he staked out bold policy positions on the need to raise new revenues and to invest in transportation and education.
The Governor’s proposal is a step in the right direction and is a productive kickoff to debate on this topic. As this debate progresses, MPHA will be urging the Legislature to raise significant new revenue in a way that is fair to low and moderate income families and that allows us to invest in a healthier transportation system for all.

MPHA has put transportation policy at the top of our agenda this year because of the profound impacts our transportation system has on health outcomes and health equity.  We believe this is the year to make the kinds of investments necessary to sustain healthy communities and to reduce the disproportionate burdens of our current system borne by communities of color and low income communities.

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Welcome to MPHA’s new blog!

Welcome to the MPHA’s new blog, where we will share news, updates, and opportunities for action!

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