Massachusetts Public Health Association
Action for Equity in Health   
July 2016
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I am thrilled to share with you great news! The Economic Development bill passed the House last night with $6M in funding for Massachusetts Food Trust. In a second win for the Massachusetts Food Trust, the Conference Committee budget released last week included $100,000 in dedicated funding to administer the program. This is no small feat considering the Commonwealth's significant budget challenges and demonstrates the legislature's commitment to advancing this innovative program that not only creates access to healthy food but also promotes economic development and creates and sustains jobs. 

This is a tremendous step forward but we can't rest yet. Read on to learn how you can be involved in advocating for the Massachusetts Food Trust.

Read below for more important developments including details on $50M in dedicated funding for the Complete Streets Program and a strong showing of support for the Prevention and Wellness Trust Fund at an informational hearing at the State House.  As the current budget and legislative cycle winds down, MPHA is looking ahead to the next year. Read on for information on our upcoming forum on the marijuana ballot initiative to be voted on in November. And stay tuned for details in our next newsletter for our upcoming MPHA Annual Meeting in the Fall 2016!



Rebekah Gewirtz
Executive Director
Policy NotesPolicyNotes
On the Move -- $6M for the Food Trust!
Last night, the House approved an Economic Development bill which includes $6 million in capital dollars for the Massachusetts Food Trust! The action comes after nearly 4 years of intensive advocacy and organizing by MPHA, members of the Act FRESH Campaign, the Massachusetts Association of Community Development Corporations, the American Heart Association and many, many allies.
The Massachusetts Food Trust Program will provide loans, grants, and technical assistance to support new and expanded healthy food retailers and local food enterprises in low and moderate income communities. The results of the program will be increased access to healthy, affordable food and quality jobs in low and moderate income communities.  Read on
PWTFAdd Your Name and Join Hundreds to Support the Future of the Prevention Trust
Please lend your support as we enter the next phase of the Massachusetts Prevention and Wellness Trust Fund (PWTF). This first-in-the-nation effort was launched in 2012 after a hard fought effort by MPHA and many allies. But funding will sunset next summer without further legislative action. We call on all of our local, regional, and statewide allies to join a sign on letter calling for the program's reauthorization. Policy action will be deliberated in 2017, but now is the time to create a powerful narrative in support of continued funding.
In support of this goal, more than 125 people packed into a small State House hearing room on June 14th to highlight the important work of PWTF in improving community health and combatting health inequities across the Commonwealth. The occasion was an informational hearing held by the legislature's Public Health Committee. Speakers at the hearing and other supporters took advantage of the day to make their case not just to the committee members, but to legislators and the public more broadly. Powerful testimony was provided by DPH Commissioner Monica Bharel, local PWTF partnerships from Quincy/Weymouth and MetroWest, residents who have received services, the Massachusetts League of Community Health Centers, and the Alliance of Massachusetts YMCAs. Click here to read press coverage of the hearing. Read on
CSMassDOT Commits $50M to Helps Cities and Towns Advance Complete Streets
 The Baker Administration has just committed $50 million over the next five years for the new Complete Streets Funding Program as part of a recently-finalized transportation Capital Investment Plan. Since 2012 MPHA has led--as part of its Act FRESH campaign-- a statewide coalition to create an incentive for municipalities to make more of their local roads viable and safer for bicycling, walking, and public transportation. 77% of Massachusetts roadways are locally-controlled, so this program will provide an incentive for municipalities to advance complete streets. By making local roads more "complete" we can help address some of the transportation inequities that impact healthRead on
MarijuanaSave the Date - MPHA Forum on Marijuana Policy
Friday, September 16 | Framingham Town Hall | 8:30-10:30 a.m.

Following the success of MPHA's May 12th forum on the ballot initiative to legalize marijuana, MPHA is hosting a second forum on the topic in collaboration with the MetroWest Health Foundation on September 16 in Framingham. Martha Bebinger from WBUR will moderate the panel which will include Jim Borghesani from the Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol and other policy, public health and criminal justice experts. 

More details to come! Visit event page, here
MPHA UpdatesUpcomingMPHAEvents
Snapshots of MPHA Leadership Around the Commonwealth

Executive Director Rebekah Gewirtz presents at the June 21st Orientation for Local Public Health in Boylston about policy solutions and the power of change at the structural level.

Policy Director Maddie Ribble presents at the June 21st Prevention and Wellness Trust Fund (PWTF) Summit on Sustainability in Westborough about organizing to support the continuation of PWTF. 

Field Director Andrea Freeman gave a training, Coalition Building and Infrastructure, on June 22nd at the Community Health Training Institute in Dorchester. 

At a State House event hosted by Health Resources in Action and MPHA, Rebekah urged advocates and legislators to take action to protect children from lead poisoning by supporting timely passage of 
H2049, An Act Relative to Lead Abatement, sponsored by Jeffrey Sanchez.
Coalition and Field Organizer Kristina St. Cyr joined fellow healthy food advocates in Minneapolis, Minnesota for the Voices for Healthy Kids, Healthy Food Access Summit where she presented on the key strategies for winning an appropriations campaign. This was a great venue to speak about MPHA's recent success with the Massachuestts Food Trust campaign.
Public Health NewsPubHealthNews
Upcoming Public Health Events 
7.14.16 Webinar: Friends and Allies for the Walking Movement. American Public Health Association. Learn more here .

7.14.16: Webinar: Exploring Social Determinants of Health through a Public Health Law Lens. The Network for Public Health Law. More info and registration, here

7.18.16: Webinar: Improving Health Equity Through Data Collection and Use. Disparities Solution Center. More info and registration, here

7.26.16: Film Screen and Discussion-Unnatural Causes: Is Inequality Making us Sick. Madison Park Development Corp., Roxbury. More info and registration, here.  
The Massachusetts Public Health Association (MPHA) is the champion for public health in the Commonwealth. We are the catalyst for change, eliminating health inequities and creating healthy communities for all. For more information, visit us at or call 857.263.7072.