Massachusetts Public Health Association
Action for Equity in Health   
 October 2017
In This Issue:


Like us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter View our profile on LinkedIn 

Sponsor MPHA 2017 Annual Meeting & Expo
Click here
to learn how you can support MPHA's work for health equity by sponsoring MPHA's 2017 Annual Meeting & Expo. 

Good news! Last week, the state senate unveiled a health bill that includes support for continuation of the Prevention and Wellness Trust Fund (PWTF). PWTF is an innovative program that prevents chronic disease by connecting patients to culturally appropriate prevention programs right in their own community. PWTF has been highly successful in improving health outcomes and reducing costs. Unfortunately, without additional funding, this first-in-the-nation program will disappear. MPHA and our partners won't stop working to make sure this important program is funded. Stay tuned for updates in the coming weeks. 

Last month, the Massachusetts Public Health Council approved amendments to the Commonwealth's lead regulations lowering blood lead levels which would indicate a dangerous amount of lead or poisoning. These new regulations will make it easier to identify blood lead levels early. The amendments also aim to incentivize and make it easier for homeowners to de-lead their property. MPHA and our partners advocated for these important changes that will help protect our children from the lifelong health consequences of lead exposure, a health threat that especially affects low-income communities and communities of color. 

Don't forget, there are two weeks left to registration for the 2017 MPHA Annual Meeting. See below for more information. 

I look forward to seeing you on November 29th!


Jodie L. Silverman
Interim Executive Director
Policy FocusPolicyNotes
MPHA Endorses Justice Reinvestment Act 
Inequities in the Massachusetts Criminal Justice System have resulted in significant overrepresentation of Blacks and Latinos among the incarcerated population in Massachusetts. This inequity is among the major drivers of racial health disparities due to the negative impact of incarceration on health and on the social determinants of health. Health consequences of incarceration include:
  • Increased odds of premature death by almost 16% for each year of incarceration
  • Higher rates of infectious disease, chronic illness, and post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Difficultly securing employment after release, leading to re-arrests, financial insecurity, housing instability, and poor health outcomes
In addition, people suffering from mental illness and/or substance use disorder are vastly overrepresented in the incarcerated population. For these reasons, comprehensive criminal justice reform that fosters a more just and humane criminal justice system is needed to advance health equity in Massachusetts. 

This fall, MPHA's board endorsed An Act for Justice Reinvestment (H2308/S791),  a bill aimed at reforming critical areas of the state criminal justice system. Sponsored by Representative Keefe and Senator Chang-Diaz, this bill would:
  • Raise the threshold for a felony for theft from $250 to $1,500, a threshold that is currently one of the lowest in the nation
  • Reduce Criminal Offender Record Information (CORI) sealing times for felonies and misdemeanors, in order to support successful re-entry into society and make it easier to secure employment and housing
  • Increase fiscal support for in-prison job training, placement, and re-entry programs
  • Repeal mandatory minimum sentences for drug offenses, and
  • Eliminate punitive probation and parole fees that trap people into poverty
Important components of the Justice Reinvestment Act and the  Caregivers Bill (also endorsed by MPHA) were incorporated into a larger criminal justice bill currently before the Senate.

For more information or to learn how you can support the Justice Reinvestment Act, contact Jobs Not Jails, here
Only 2 Weeks Left to Register for the 2017 MPHA Annual Meeting & Expo!
You only have two weeks left to register for MPHA's 2017 Annual Meeting and Expo  where you can engage with our visionary panel. We will be discussing how to shape health care transformation by focusing on the social determinants of health. Don't wait,  register today.

At this year's meeting, you can participate in 1 of 5 dynamic, thought-provoking workshops led by experts in their field. Three of these workshops will take a deeper dive into the subject areas discussed by our morning panel. Two will offer skill-building opportunities to support organizations, coalitions, and individuals in their efforts to address the social determinants of health. Click here to learn more 
MPHA Welcomes Fall Policy Intern 
Elinam Dzubey
Elinam Dzubey is a second year graduate student studying Health Policy and Law and Global Health at Boston University School of Public Health. She is excited to be interning at MPHA where she can gain knowledge and experience in public health policy. She is also excited to learn more about some of her areas of interest, such as Masshealth Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) and addressing social determinants of health.
Lead the Team! MPHA is Seeking a Dynamic Executive Director
MPHA is seeking an Executive Director to lead the strategic implementation of MPHA's goals, resource development strategies, advocacy and communication efforts that will continue to increase our impact statewide, expand policy wins, and build our member-activist network of partners and friends to address important public health concerns.

Click here to learn more
MPHA is Seeking Volunteers for our 2017 Annual Meeting!
MPHA is seeking 5 -10 volunteers to help out at our 2017 Annual Meeting on November 29th at the DCU Center in Worcester, MA. This is a great opportunity for anyone wanting to network with more than 350 public health professionals, students, and activists from across the state!

Public Health Bulletinbulletin
Upcoming Public Health Events 
11.01.17: Opioids and the Masses: Early Lessons from the Epidemic. Boston University. Boston. More info and registration

11.03.17: 4th Annual MA Healthcare Workforce Summit. Massachusetts Action Coalition. Devens. More info and registration 

11.15.17: Massachusetts Marijuana Summit: Challenges and opportunities of legalization. State House News Forum. Boston. More info and registration

11.17.17: Massachusetts Food System Forum. MA Food System Collaborative. Leominster. More info and registration 
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.