April 2019

I am thrilled to announce that Paula Johnson, President of Wellesley College, will present Senate President Emerita Harriette L. Chandler with the Paul Revere Award at MPHA's Spring Awards Breakfast on June 7thPresident Johnson is recognized globally for advancing, promoting, and defending the health and well-being of women and is the perfect person to present her colleague, friend, and Wellesley alumna with the Paul Revere Award. 

House Ways and Means (HWM) released its FY20 budget proposal on Wednesday, April 10th. You can read our preliminary analysis, hereFor the first time, funding for the Massachusetts Food Trust Program and Mass in Motion were included in the House budget proposal! This is a direct result of our friends and partners joining us in advocating for these important health equity programs. Thank you! We were also very pleased that additional funding for childhood lead poisoning prevention was included in the House budget proposal.

We will still need your advocacy efforts for other priorities that were not included, however, which includes programs to increase healthy food access, strengthen the local public health system, and increase access to transportation and affordable housing. Stay tuned to learn how you can join us in making sure these priority programs are included in the final House budget! 

Update on transportation policy: the Massachusetts Regional Transit Authority (RTA) Task Force released its final report on April 5th. The report includes among its recommendations a base funding level of $90.5 million for RTAs. It is a great step forward that the task force has fully supported a budget increase to $90.5m. And now we need the House and Senate to act to appropriate this funding! 

This week, MPHA was pleased to join hundreds of supporters to push for action on the Fair Share Amendment during a hearing before the Revenue Committee. MPHA is urging the committee to report the bill out favorably without delay.

Lastly, thank you to everyone who joined us at the Western Massachusetts Health Equity Network (WMHEN) Policy Assembly on April 10th. As a co-host, we were very pleased that it was standing room only with participants from all four counties in Western Mass, all eager to take action for policies to advance health equity!

In partnership,

Carlene Pavlos
Executive Director
Policy Notes
Join us on May 7th at the State House to Advocate for the State Action for Local Public Health (SAPHE) Program. 

Strong public health infrastructure is the foundation on which a high standard of living and dynamic economy depends. A key component of public health infrastructure, local public health departments (LPHD) are responsible for numerous and varied core protections  including food and water safety, infectious disease prevention and control, tobacco and lead compliance, sanitary and safe housing and buildings, and much more. 

Yet, Massachusetts is one of the few states that has a decentralized local public health system, with 351 boards of health. There are many challenges that result from this decentralized system including:
  • Funding per population size varies across the Commonwealth
  • Small towns struggle to fund a health department
  • Staff education and credentials vary, with no set standards
  • Compliance data reporting is inconsistent
Our hard working local health officials work valiantly every day for the health of their communities. Yet as a result of insufficient funding and support, many LPHDs are unable to meet current statutory requirements and even fewer are in a position to meet nationally recommended foundational public health services. 

This January, Representatives Kane & Garlick and Senator Lewis filed the State Action for Local Public Health (SAPHE) Act (H1935/S1294). This bill will further the recommendations of the  Special Commission on Local and Regional Public Health (SCLRPH) by:
  • Ensuring that all members of the local public health workforce have access to essential training
  • Creating an incentive grant program to support more effective and efficient delivery of services by increasing sharing across municipalities
  • Moving Massachusetts toward national standards for a 21st century public health system 
Come to the briefing and lobby day to learn about the special commission's recommendations, hear about the SAPHE Act, and educate your legislators about why it's essential they support a strong local health system.  Please contact Melanie O'Malley at: momalley@mapublichealth.org with any questions. 
Claude A. Jacob
MPHA Board Member Claude A. Jacob Recognized for Outstanding Achievement
by Massachusetts Health Officers Association

MPHA board member Claude A. Jacob was recently presented with the 2018 Curtis M. Hilliard Award by the Massachusetts Health Officers Association. MHOA is a professional group representing and advocating for local public and environmental health.

Claude is the Chief Public Health Officer for the City of Cambridge and director of the Cambridge Public Health Department. Claude has led the health department since 2007. In August 2018, t he Cambridge Public Health Department achieved national accreditation through the Public Health Accreditation Board (PHAB), becoming one of the first health departments in Massachusetts to meet PHAB's rigorous national standards for delivering quality programs and services to the community.

Claude is currently a PHAB board member. He also served as the 2016-2017 president of the National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO).

The Curtis M. Hilliard Award is given annually to a citizen of the Commonwealth who has demonstrated concern for the advancement of public health programs to the benefit of citizens and has assisted in the delivery of health services and programs.

Click here to read an interview with Claude in Cambridge Life Magazine (page 12). 
MPHA Policy Council met on April 5, 2019 in North Grafton to review housing legislation
MPHA Policy Council Reviews Housing Policies 

People and families cannot be healthy without access to safe and affordable housing, yet Massachusetts is facing a crisis in affordable housing. On Friday, April 5th, MPHA's Policy Council reviewed several pieces of legislation to address the Commonwealth's housing crisis. 

MPHA will be making endorsements on housing legislation over the next year. Stay tuned for announcements on endorsed legislation and how you can help. 
Events events
MPHA's Spring Awards Breakfast: Celebrating Health Equity Champions 
Join us at MPHA's Spring Awards Breakfast on Friday, June 7, 2019 at the State Room in Boston, MA. 

Paula Johnson will present the Paul Revere Award to Senator Harriette L. Chandler. Stay tuned--we will announce the rest of the award presenters soon!

Paul Revere  
Senator Harriette L. Chandler
First Worcester District

Public Health Leadership 
In Medicine Award
Dr. Thea James
Boston Medical Center

Lemuel Shattuck Award 
Raheem Baraka (posthumous)
Baraka Community Wellness Center
Alfred Frechette Award
Dr. Nate Horwitz-Willis
Plymouth Public Health

Massachusetts Public Health Association | (857) 263-7072 | mpha@mapublichealth.org |   mapublichealth.org