May 2018

MPHA is a mission-driven organization committed to health equity and progressive change.  This is what drew me to MPHA, it is what energizes the staff and board, and I believe it is what draws members like you.

Our work is grounded in the science and practice of public health and, together with many of you, we are evolving to increasingly include evermore "upstream" solutions. Downstream approaches -- the more traditional tools of public health -- are vital. Downstream solutions can immediately impact the health of individuals while upstream solutions often take longer to implement, longer to produce an effect on health, and can be difficult to measure. Upstream solutions, however, have the power to address the foundational causes of health inequity.

MPHA is working hard to support and promote innovative programs such as those which link clinical medicine with community-based services -- such as the  Prevention and Wellness Trust Fund -- as well as programs which impact the environments in which people live, work, and play -- such as the  MA Food Trust  and  Complete Streets Program. We also see opportunities to move even further to the upstream end of the continuum where public policy and social inequities -- such as racism, poverty and misogyny -- create the systems and environments affecting one's ability to achieve optimal health.

MPHA and our members and stakeholders are committed to addressing social inequities and larger public policy issues because there is no other way to achieve our goal of health equity. In the coming months you will learn more about the many ways MPHA is taking an upstream approach to these issues from the work being done through the MPHA-led Alliance for Community Health Integration to its Racial Equity in Health Committee, which is working to strategize how MPHA can fully integrate racial justice into all aspects of our work.

I am thrilled to bring my passion for health equity to MPHA and promise that we will strive every day to make you proud to join us in this work.

Warm wishes,
Carlene Pavlos
Executive Director

PS, I want to meet you! Please join us at MPHA's Annual Awards Breakfast  on Friday, June 1st. 
Upcoming Events events
Time is Running Out! RSVP for the Spring Awards Breakfast Today

Register at the link below before it's too late - the deadline is this Friday, May 18th. You don't want to miss the public health event of the year, and an opportunity to celebrate our deserving awardees and reconnect with old colleagues on June 1st at the beautiful State Room in downtown Boston!

register here

Devens Common Center
The Coalition for Local Public Health is hosting an Orientation on June 19th--Afternoon Panel to Focus on Substance Use and Addiction

The Coalition for Local Public Health, a coalition of five organizations, including MPHA, dedicated to strengthening the local public health system in Massachusetts is hosting its second Orientation to Local Public Health, which will cover topics from the legal authority of local boards of health to the role of local health boards in addressing substance use and addiction. 


Date: Tuesday, June 19, 2018
Time: 8:15 registration, 9:00 - 3:00 program
Location: Devens Common Center
31 Andrews Pkwy, Devens, MA 01434
Meals: Breakfast and lunch will be provided 

Attendance is free but registration is required. To learn more and to register, click here
Policy Notes
MPHA Budget Priorities Fare Well in Senate Ways and Means Budget-- Opportunity to take action on other key health equity programs

Senate Ways and Means (SWM) released its FY19 budget last Wednesday, May 9th, which included requested funding or language for the Massachusetts Food Trust, Bureau of Environmental Health, Mass in Motion, Regional Transit Authorities, and the Bureau of Substance Addiction Services as well as increased funding for the Healthy Incentives Program and Massachusetts Rental Voucher Program.

In addition, the SWM budget included funding for environmental justice staff within the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs. Earlier this year, MPHA endorsed the Massachusetts Environmental Justice Act, a bill that would codify into law the Patrick Administration Executive Order for coordinated and sustained effort by state agencies to advance environmental justice. 

While MPHA is pleased with the overall SWM budget, it did not include the full ask for the Healthy Incentives Program or Diversion to Treatment and included cuts to the Bureau of Health Promotion and the Massachusetts Tobacco Cessation and Prevention Program. You can help support funding for these important programs by contacting your State Senator today and asking him or her to co-sponsor amendments listed here

To take action for health equity in the Senate Budget, click here.
Omnibus Tobacco Bill Approved by the House 

A bill that would raise the minimum age for purchasing cigarettes or other tobacco to 21 was approved by the House last Wednesday, May 9th. The legislation, which is now in the Senate, would also add e-cigarettes to the smoke-free workplace law and prohibit the sale of tobacco in Massachusetts pharmacies.

MPHA is a member of Tobacco Free Massachusetts, a coalition that championed the bill.  For more information, click here
Housing and Policy Lunch and Learn on May 3, 2018 in Springfield 
MPHA and Partners Educate Community Members on Housing Policy and the Connection Between Housing and Health 

On May 3, 2018 MPHA joined forces with the Western Massachusetts Health Equity Network in Springfield for a multi-sector learning and sharing luncheon focused on housing policy that would  improve health outcomes in communities across the Commonwealth. 

This luncheon was among the many engagements and meetings that MPHA's field and policy team regularly holds across the Commonwealth to educate community leaders and advocates on current public policy that would impact public health and successful advocacy techniques. 
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