Press Room

Media Contacts:

Carlene Pavlos, Executive Director, (857) 302-7023,

Maddie Ribble, Director of Public Policy & Campaign Strategy, 857-930-4191 (o), 617-697-2107 (c),

News Release 4/7/20: Massachusetts in the Dark on Demographic Impact of Outbreak, Say Public Health and Civil Rights Leaders
As Evidence of Inequities Pile Up, Groups Call on Baker Administration to Take Swift Action

Boston, MA – Today, public health and civil rights organizations called on the Baker Administration to move quickly to collect and release demographic data about COVID-19 testing, confirmed cases, and deaths, including race, ethnicity, socio-economic status, language, disability, age, and county of residence.

The groups pointed to data being released in other parts of the country such as Michigan, Florida, Louisiana, Milwaukee, Chicago, and the District of Columbia.  The data collected and released so far strongly suggest that the pandemic is disproportionately impacting Black and Latinx residents. Boston has begun releasing data which suggests that infection rates are higher in neighborhoods with a large proportion of the city’s residents of color and low-income residents.

“As a state, Massachusetts is stumbling in the dark right now. Without good data on who is being most impacted, our response will be both ineffective and irresponsible, and it will predictably serve to deepen the inequities that existed across Massachusetts before this outbreak,” said Carlene Pavlos, Executive Director of the Massachusetts Public Health Association. “Collecting this data is crucial to inform us about who is getting sick and who is dying, so that we can develop effective prevention strategies and deploy limited health resources in ways that will save the most lives.”

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News Release 3/20/20: Emergency Task Force Calls for Immediate Action to Address Equity in the Face of Epidemic

Boston, MA – This morning, more than 100 leading public health, grassroots, civil rights, medical, labor, and social service organizations issued a call to action to state leaders to take urgent action to address the impact of the epidemic on low wage workers, immigrants, people at risk of losing their homes, and people experiencing homelessness.

“This outbreak is not affecting Massachusetts residents equally,” said Carlene Pavlos, Executive Director of the Massachusetts Public Health Association. “The impact of this virus is both exposing and worsening deep inequities rooted in racism, poverty, and xenophobia. We need Governor Baker, Attorney General Healey, and the Legislature to take action immediately in the face of this public health emergency.” The Emergency Task Force on Coronavirus & Equity, convened by the Massachusetts Public Health Association on March 17, is calling on state leaders to immediately act on four urgent policy priorities.

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Media Advisory 3/19/20: Emergency Task Force to Call for Immediate Action from Governor Baker, Attorney General Healey, and Legislature to Address Equity in the Face of Epidemic

WHEN and WHERE: Friday, March 20, 2020 at 9:00am via Zoom
Register at

WHAT: The Emergency Task Force on Coronavirus & Equity will call for urgent action from Governor Baker, Attorney General Healey, and the Legislature on four state policy priorities to address the disproportionate impact of the coronavirus outbreak on communities already experiencing marginalization, including low-wage workers, immigrants, and people experiencing homelessness or housing insecurity.

The Task Force, convened by the Massachusetts Public Health Association on March 17, is calling on Governor Baker, Attorney General Healey & the Legislature to:

  • Ensure Immigrants Have Safe Access to Testing & Treatment
  • Ensure Everyone Has Access to Safe Quarantine
  • Pass Emergency Paid Sick Time
  • Enact a Moratorium on Evictions, Foreclosures & Termination of Public Benefits

To date, 86 organizations have endorsed the call to action, including leading civil rights, grassroots, public health, medical, labor, and social service organizations.

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News Release 3/10/20: Public Health Association to Convene Emergency Task Force on Coronavirus and Equity

The Massachusetts Public Health Association (MPHA) announced today that it is convening an Emergency Task Force on Coronavirus & Equity to rapidly develop policy recommendations to ensure adequate prevention and response measures for communities that will be disproportionately impacted by coronavirus and its economic repercussions – including low income people, people of color, immigrants, low wage workers, those who are food insecure, people experiencing homelessness, people with disabilities, and older adults, among others.

The Task Force will be chaired by Sandro Galea, Dean of the Boston University School of Public Health and Cheryl Bartlett, CEO of the Greater New Bedford Community Health Center and former commissioner of the Massachusetts Department of Public Health.

Preliminary recommendations will be released on Friday, March 20th at 9am in Room 222 at the State House.

The Emergency Task Force is being formed in recognition of the inequities likely to be experienced by these populations, and with an understanding that this represents a public health preparedness issue for the entire population. 

“From the family in shelter – to the child who depends on getting a healthy breakfast and lunch at school – to immigrants fearful of coming forward because of draconian federal policies – we are only as prepared as our most marginalized communities,” said MPHA Executive Director Carlene Pavlos. “It is vital that we develop concrete solutions to protect Massachusetts residents who are already burdened with the effects of discrimination, oppression, and poor health. The fate of everyone in our society is bound together – something which is always true but is seldom as crystal clear as it is now.”

Task Force members include organizations that represent low-wage workers, immigrants, older adults, emergency food service providers, homelessness service providers, disability advocacy organizations, local health departments, and health care organizations. Policy recommendations will be focused on concrete actions that can be taken by the state legislature, Governor Baker and state Executive Branch agencies.

*Postponed* Legislative Breakfast on Public Transportation and the Needs of Older Adults – New Date to be Determined

Out of an abundance of caution, we are POSTPONING the legislative breakfast that was planned for Friday, March 13, 2020, in Leominster.

If you would like us to notify you when we have set a new dates, please email: Veronica at or call 857-930-4369

Media Advisory: Legislative Breakfast on Public Transportation and the Needs of Older Adults – March 13, 2020

Leominster, MA – On March 13, 2020, community leaders, elected officials, transportation advocates, program managers, public transportation users, and community members will come together for a Legislative Breakfast on transportation and the needs of older adults/seniors. This event will be held from 8:00 AM – 10:00 AM at the Veterans’ Center, 100 West Street. It is free and open to the public. To RSVP, call 857-930-4369 or click

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News Release 11/20/19: MPHA Presents Legislative Leadership Awards to Representatives Garlick and Kane

Boston, MA – Today, the Massachusetts Public Health Association (MPHA) presented Representative Denise Garlick and Representative Hannah Kane with Legislative Leadership Awards in recognition of their commitment to building an effective, efficient, and equitable local public health system.

In presenting the awards, MPHA Executive Director Carlene Pavlos cited Representative Garlick’s work to advance knowledge, develop recommendations, and champion legislative action to strengthen the Commonwealth’s municipal public health system. She also praised Representative Kane’s work to advance knowledge, develop recommendations, and champion legislative action to strengthen the Commonwealth’s municipal public health system.

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News Release 10/29/19: 40 Public Health, Civil Rights Organizations and Leaders Urge Attorney General To Sue Lead Paint Companies

Boston, MA – Forty prominent public health, civil rights, and community-based organizations and leaders issued an open letter today to Attorney General Maura Healey urging her to file a lawsuit against lead paint companies to hold them accountable for deceptive marketing campaigns that have caused catastrophic harm to children in the Commonwealth.

Led by Lawyers for Civil Rights (LCR) and the Massachusetts Public Health Association, the coalition urges Attorney General Healey to follow the recent example set in California, where ten cities and counties successfully sued lead paint manufacturers, resulting in a $305 million settlement that will fund the removal of lead paint in those jurisdictions.

Full News Release

Open Letter to Attorney General

Media Advisory 9/24/19: Anti-hunger Advocates and Elected Officials Rally at State House

Boston, MA — Today, advocates and elected officials from across Massachusetts stand strong for the right to food. At a rally on the State House front steps, advocates will oppose the attacks on federal food assistance programs and promote state policies to expand food access. The rally will take place at 12:15-1 p.m. and is hosted by Children’s Health Watch, Food Bank Coalition of Massachusetts, MA Food System Caucus, MA Food System Collaborative, Mass Law Reform Institute, Massachusetts Public Health Association…

Full Media Advisory

Anti-Hunger Policy Goals

News Release 9/17/19: 160+ Civic and Community Leaders Calls for Action on Prevention & Wellness Trust Fund

Boston, MA — Today, more than 160 organizations and civic leaders – including 20 mayors and town managers – sent a letter to legislative leaders urging them to include funding for the Prevention & Wellness Trust Fund in any health care legislation that advances this session.

Between 2014-2018, PWTF funded successful clinical-community partnerships focused on childhood asthma, falls among older adults, hypertension, and tobacco use. An independent evaluation concluded that “PWTF appears to be a very sound investment from…

Full Press Release

2019 Open Letter to Legislative Leaders supporting PWTF

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