March 2018

On April 2nd, MPHA will welcome Carlene Pavlos to the team as our new Executive Director. We are thrilled to have Carlene coming aboard and look forward to her bringing decades of public health leadership to advance MPHA's health equity agenda. 

On behalf of MPHA's board and staff, I want to thank Jodie Silverman for her invaluable guidance and management as MPHA's Interim Executive Director over the past year. We could not be more grateful to Jodie for stepping up to lead us through this time of transition. Please join me in thanking Jodie for her leadership! 

Read below to learn more about the connection between transportation and health equity and what MPHA is doing to advance both transportation justice and health equity in Massachusetts. Please join us in taking action today on a timely transportation justice issue by asking our elected officials to support adequate funding for our state's Regional Transit Authorities. 

I am pleased to share that Governor Baker has authorized an additional $50 million in funding for the Complete Streets Program in a bill he filed last week. MPHA is proud to have led the campaign for this program to create safer streets for pedestrians, bicyclists, and transit users. Click here to view a list of the latest Complete Streets grant recipients. 

Also, please save the date for  MPHA's Spring Awards Breakfast on Friday, June 1st at the State Room in Boston. Stay tuned for our awardee and tickets announcement to be released later this week! 

Public Health Week is April 2-8, 2018. Click to here to find an event near you. 

Thank you for your support and partnership. 

Warm wishes,

Maddie Ribble, MPH
Director of Public Policy and Campaign Strategy
What is Transportation Justice and why is it Important for Advancing Health Equity? 
Community members protest funding cuts to the local transit system. Amherst. February 2018. 
Transportation connects residents to critical resources like employment and educational opportunities, nourishing foods, health care, addiction treatment and recovery services, and community supports. In other words, without access to reliable, safe, and affordable transportation, residents are blocked off from the resources and opportunities needed to foster and maintain good health. That's why transportation justice, equal access for all people to the transportation they need for a better quality of life, is integral to achieving health equityfair and just opportunity for everyone to attain their highest level of health.

In addition to connecting residents to resources and opportunities, transportation justice advances health equity by supporting:
  • greater opportunity for physical activity allowing all residents to live healthier life styles,
  • age-friendly communities where residents of all ages can live and thrive,
  • fewer injuries and fatalities from automobile related crashes, and 
  • cleaner and safer air by reducing the amount of hazardous pollutants present. 
While transportation justice has the power to foster healthy, thriving communities and a good quality of life for all residents, Massachusetts' transportation system today is extremely inadequate. Massachusetts is a national leader in many sectors but we are near the bottom in state rankings for transportation. In addition, past and present transportation decisions made by policy makers have had and continue to have disparate impacts on marginalized communities, including low-income and communities of color. For example:
  • Children of color are more likely to live in communities with poor air quality and are more likely to suffer from asthma compared to their white peers.
  • Pedestrians and cyclists in low-income communities and communities of color are disproportionately injured and killed in crashes.
  • Black residents are least likely to own an automobile compared to other races and ethnicities. 
MPHA is working closely with Transportation for Massachusetts and other partners to ensure that these inequities are recognized and corrected in the Commonwealth's future transportation policies. Change cannot happen without adequate investment in our Commonwealth's transportation system, which is why MPHA and our partners support the Fair Share Amendment.  

How you can take action now for transportation justice and health equity:
  • Sign this petition urging the Legislature and Administration to take action on impending service cuts to Regional Transit Authorities! These cuts will have a disproportionate impact on residents who are already marginalized, including people of color, low-income people, people in rural communities, older adults, and people with disabilities. Join us in opposing these cuts!
  • Join us on Friday, March 23rd in Amherst to learn more and meet other transportation justice and health equity advocates. Bring your own lunch--snacks and drinks will be provided. Click here for more information and to RSVP.
  • If you would like to learn how your organization can join us in our work for transportation justice, please contact MPHA Field Director Andrea Freeman at:
Massachusetts Public Health Association | (857) 263-7072 | |