Massachusetts Public Health Association
Action for Equity in Health   
December 2016
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Happy holidays! As the year comes to a close, I want to say thank you for your support and partnership in 2016. 

With your support, MPHA won tremendous victories for health equity this year. Read our 2016 MPHA Annual Report for highlights and for information on a few of our priorities for the year ahead.

While we are very proud of the work that we have done and will continue to do to advance public health and justice in Massachusetts, we go into the coming year at a time of uncertainty and threats to the advances that we have made to ensure that all residents of Massachusetts share equal opportunity for optimum health. 

We cannot afford to go backwards especially with so much work yet to do. We need your support to help us continue to push forward progress in public health that ensures racial justice and health equity for all members of our community. Please support our work to advance health equity in Massachusetts today. 

Thank you!


Rebekah Gewirtz
Executive Director 
MPHA UpdatesUpdates
Together We Will Make our Shared Vision a Reality
This year, working with you and other MPHA partners, we have made public health gains that move the dial toward achieving a healthier and more equitable Commonwealth. Can we count on your support into the coming year?

Together we achieved the following victories in 2016!
  • Secured $100K in FY17 state budget and $6M in the state's economic development bill to fund the Massachusetts Food Trust Program to increase healthy food access and boost economic development;
  • Secured $50M in funding from the Massachusetts Department of Transportation for the Complete Streets Certification Program. This program helps cities and towns make neighborhood streets safer and more inviting for public and active transportation;
  • Led advocacy to pass legislation in 2016, to create a Special Commission, responsible for enhancing the capacity, functionality, and efficiency of the local health system;
  • Launched a new Policy Council that increases representation of local and regional leaders in MPHA decision making and advocacy efforts;
  • Mobilized support for the re-authorization of the Prevention and Wellness Trust Fund (PWTF). MPHA lead the passage of PWTF, a first-in the nation program funded at $60 million to prevent chronic disease and advance health equity. Now we must defend it and assure reauthorization in 2017.
Make an immediate and direct impact on our work, by making a donation today. 

Your generous support will help us amplify our impact and drive forward our 2017 priorities by:
  • Expanding MPHA's statewide organizing work to include even more community-based partners from around the Commonwealth taking action to improve community health and reduce chronic disease.
  • Continuing to educate and organize advocacy partners to ensure the $6M that was passed in the state economic development bill in 2016 is released to move the Massachusetts Food Trust from concept to reality. 
  • Mobilizing support for the reauthorization of the Prevention and Wellness Trust Fund (PWTF)
  • Working to launch the Alliance for Community Health Integration, a campaign that would put social determinants at the center of health care transformation efforts here in Massachusetts. 
Please know, any gift you make is tax deductible and will support our work to build healthy and vibrant communities for all Massachusetts residents.
AnnualReportMPHA 2016 Annual Report is Here! 
MPHA is proud to present you with our 2016 Annual Report. With your support, over the course of 2016 we have had tremendous victories, have seen our organization grow and have become an even more impactful voice for public health. 

Take a look to learn about MPHA's major accomplishments this past year and our some of top priorities for the upcoming year that will move us even further toward health equity in MassachusettsView the full report, here
Record Turnout for MPHA's 2016 Annual Meeting, Expo and Career Fair: Moving the Public Health Agenda #NoRacialJusticeNoPublicHealth!
This November we had a record turnout for the MPHA Annual Meeting and Expo with more than 450 advocates and professionals working in public health, health care, and economic and community development. We received tremendous support from the public health community including 40 statewide organizations that sponsored or exhibited at the event, many of whom also supported more than 120 students to attend.  Please visit MPHA's Annual Meeting Event Page for resources on combatting racism and promoting health equity  and to view presentations by our keynote speakers Dr. Camara Jones and Dean Galea.  
This year's annual meeting could not have been more timely nor our work together for health equity more critical. We have not and will not stand by if policies are pursued at the federal level that will further disadvantage low- income communities and communities of color. Doing so would have a devastating effect on our state and our nation's health. Click on the link to read our statement on Standing Up for Justice and Fighting Racism .   Read on
MPHA Awards Breakfast Call for Nominations
Attorney General Maura Healey speaks at MPHA's 2016 Spring Awards Breakfast

MPHA is accepting nominations for our 2017 Public Health Awards Breakfast! Nominations will be accepted through Wednesday, January 11, 2017. Awards will be presented at the breakfast ceremony in the spring of 2017. 

Click  here to nominate your public health hero!  Read on for information on five award categories

MPHA Welcomes New Board Member

MPHA is excited to welcome Aswita Tan-McGrory to the MPHA Board. Aswita is Deputy Director at The Disparities Solutions Center at Massachusetts General Hospital. She brings a wealth of experience along with a passion for advancing health equity in Massachusetts. Welcome, Aswita!
Policy NotesPolicyNotes
Massachusetts Food Policy Council Lists the Food Trust as a Priority in Letter to the Governor
On November 21, 2016 the Commissioner of Agricultural Resources submitted a list of priorities to Governor Baker on behalf of the Massachusetts Food Policy Council. As one of the founders of the Massachusetts Food Policy Council, and a committee member for the Local Food Action Plan, MPHA is excited to see the leadership the Council is taking to move the goals of the Local Food Action Plan forward and to increase the capacity of the local food system in the Commonwealth.

Included in the first priority on the list is the 
Massachusetts Food Trust Program, a program that when implemented, will help to increase access to healthy food and jobs in low and moderate income communities. Read on
Rep. Aaron Vega & MPHA President Jessica Collins Headline Western MA Health Equity Summit
More than 250 people gathered on November 18, 2016 for the second  Western Massachusetts Health Equity Summit at University of Massachusetts Amherst. Keynote Speaker State Representative Aaron Vega (D-Holyoke) inspired the audience with promises that Massachusetts will not go back on public health protections for the most vulnerable under the incoming federal administration and that our commonwealth will continue to advance toward health equity.

Jessica Collins, Executive Director of  Partners for a Healthier Community and the newly elected President of MPHA, followed Rep. Vega with a poignant  presentation on health inequities in Massachusetts. Read on
MPHA Organizational Member Corner
A Warm Welcome to Alosa Health, our Newest Organizational Member and Partner in Health!
MPHA is pleased to welcome Alosa Health as our newest MPHA organizational member! Alosa Health is a national leader in developing and implementing programs of academic detailing to improve prescribing. Alosa's mission is to improve patient outcomes by identifying and disseminating the best evidence available, to support health care professionals in providing optimal care for their patients.

Locally in Massachusetts,  Alosa Health has been engaged in an educational outreach program that has completed over 1500 visits to Massachusetts extended care facilities that has positively impacted antipsychotic medication utilization rates in our elderly population.  Read on
Public Health NewsPubHealthNews
U.S. Surgeon General Releases Historic First Report on Addiction
Click the image above to read report

This November, the United States Surgeon General's office released its first report on addiction, 
Facing Addiction in America: The Surgeon General's Report on Alcohol, Drugs and Health. In the Executive Summary to the report, the Surgeon General's office states that despite the high social and economic costs of addiction, this is a time of great opportunity given reforms in criminal justice and health as well as new research, clinical, and information technologies. Read on
Upcoming Public Health Events
12.13.16: THE FUTURE OF FOOD: Feeding the Planet During Climate Change. Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. More information and registration, here

12.19.16: Webinar - Post-Election Outlook On Health System Transformation In Medicaid: Assessing The Impact On Vulnerable Populations. More information and registration, here

1.5.17: Challenges for a New Year: A Conversation about Boston's Education Pipeline. The Boston Foundation. More information and registration, here

1.18.17: 19th Annual Pharmacy Public Health Policy Symposium. Waltham. More information 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.