Over the last two months, the House and the Senate have been hard at work crafting the fiscal year 2014 state budget. It has been another challenging year for public health funding, especially for those core public health protections that we all rely on but seldom pause to think about – things like food protection, infectious disease control, and health care quality inspections. However, thanks to MPHA, our partners, and our legislative champions, we have secured significant victories in both the House and Senate to increase or protect millions of dollars in public health funding. Read More
The Prevention and Wellness Trust Fund was once just an idea. Last year it was passed into law. Later this summer, we expect the program to officially launch.
Earlier this spring, Governor Patrick appointed MPHA Executive Director Toby Fisher to the Prevention and Wellness Advisory Board, which will advise the Department of Public Health (DPH) as they roll out the Trust. The Advisory Board membership – nearly complete after some delays in appointments – is expected to hold their first meeting in the next several weeks.
Since passage of the law last year, staff at DPH have been hard at work compiling data required under the law on the costly and preventable health conditions that impact Massachusetts residents, as well as the evidence-based interventions to address those conditions. This data will guide the development of a funding strategy and an RFR. We anticipate that an RFR will be released later this summer. We will share more information as soon as it is available.
Momentum is growing on Beacon Hill and across the state to reform our antiquated zoning and planning laws which too often impede the development of healthy communities. In the last month, we’ve rallied at the State House, testified before legislative committees, and gained visibility across the state.
MPHA was recently awarded a grant of $35,000 by the Boston Foundation. The grant will be used for general operating support and to advance MPHA’s policy priorities for a healthier Commonwealth.
“We’re very appreciative of the ongoing support provided by The Boston Foundation,” said MPHA Executive Director Toby Fisher. “This grant will provide allow to continue monitoring implementation of the Prevention Trust, advancing healthy transportation and zoning policies, and protecting state funding for public health.”
MPHA and the Act FRESH Campaign are working hard to improve access to healthy and affordable food – in supermarkets, corner stores, farmer’s markets, and even mobile markets. In May, the Act FRESH Campaign made our case before the legislature’s Committee on Community Development and Small Business in support of H168, “An Act to Expand Access to Healthy Foods and Create the Massachusetts Food Trust.” This bill, sponsored by Representative Linda Dorcena Forry, would set up a healthy food financing program to support the development, expansion, or renovation of healthy food retailers. (We are also supporting a similar bill by Senator Michael Moore which is being considered by a different committee.) The bill is based on the recommendations of the Grocery Access Task Force, a group of public health, food retail, economic development, and other civic leaders who came together over the last two years. We are proud to partner with The Boston Foundation and the Massachusetts Food Association, among others, in this effort. Read More
Join the Massachusetts Health Council on Tuesday, June 18th, at their Annual Meeting Breakfast from 7:30 a.m.- 10 a.m. at the Sheraton Boston Hotel. The program is titled: Chapter 224 of the Acts of 2012, Improving the Quality of Health Care and Reducing Costs through Transparency, Efficiency and Innovation: Can We Achieve the Benchmarks? , and will feature keynote speaker Dr. Stuart Altman, the Board Chairman of the Massachusetts Health Policy Commission. He will discuss the Commission’s progress in meeting the requirements of Chapter 224 to control health care costs. Following the Keynote address, a reactor panel of provider hospitals, an ACO, and a community health center will give their thoughts and answer questions. To sign up for this event, please visit the Massachusetts Health Council’s website.
Join the Baystate Roads program for a series of workshops titled Complete Streets, Municipal Right of Way, and Title VI. The workshop will walk you through the basics of complete streets and municipal Right of Way (ROW) process from start to finish. It will also provide an orientation to Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and related state obligations, with a focus on protections these laws afford members of the public and the methodologies used to ensure diverse and compliant public participation in the project development process. For more information and to sign up for this event, please click here or visit Baystate Roads’ Facebook page.
Organization: Town of Derry, Health Department, Greater Derry Public Health Network
Job Title: Substance Misuse Prevention Coordinator
Job Type: Full Time, grant funded
Brief position summary: The Substance Misuse Prevention (SMP) Coordinator is a grant funded position within the Town of Derry, Public Health Department. The SMP Coordinator position is funded by federal, state, and private grants to support substance misuse prevention and related health promotion services in the Greater Derry Public Health Region (PHR). The SMP Coordinator will collaborate with community stakeholders to implement a three-year strategic plan for substance misuse prevention in the PHR. The SMP Coordinator position is a full-time position (40 hours) and is funded through June 30, 2015 (FY15) with the possibility of renewal.
Salary: $865.39 per week
Benefits: Group medical and dental insurance, short term and long term disability, life insurance, participation in the New Hampshire Retirement System.
Contact person/apply to: A Town of Derry Employment Application is required and may be downloaded from our website at www.derry-nh.org and submitted with résumé to:
Town of Derry
Human Resources Department
14 Manning Street
Derry, NH 03038
Application deadline date: June 7, 2013
Organization’s Website address: www.derry-nh.org
The proposed Senate budget, released yesterday, poses serious risks to public health and safety. Core public health protections which are already funded at dangerously low levels would receive additional cuts under the proposal. This includes funding for environmental health, food protection, health care safety, and the State Lab and communicable disease control response.
Please join us in calling on the Senate to provide adequate funding to protect the public health. A list of priority amendments are here (MPHA FY14 Senate Amendment Priorities) and are below.
Senators have until 3pm tomorrow, Friday May 17th, to sign onto these amendments as a co-sponsor. You can find your Senator’s contact information here. If you don’t know who your Senator is, please click here.