October 2019

Happy Fall! This is a beautiful time of year across Massachusetts, and I hope that you are finding moments to enjoy the turning leaves and crisp temperatures.
We are just a couple of weeks away from MPHA's Annual Conference and Expo on November 13. This year we are excited that our agenda allows us to explore a wide array of public health issues, from the root causes of health inequities to policy updates and strategies for better communicating our values and work. You won't want to miss it!
MPHA continues expanding our work to improve the Commonwealth's prevention of and response to childhood lead poisoning. We are recruiting supporters for An Act Modernizing Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention ( S1234/H2010), sponsored by Sen. Julian Cyr and Rep. Andy Vargas , while also endorsing other important legislation and working to secure adequate funding for the Get the Lead Out program (see below). Stay tuned for opportunities to lend your voice to this important effort!
We are also working with our friends and allies at Tobacco Free Mass and the Fight All Flavors campaign in supporting a ban on ALL flavored tobacco products, including mint and menthol. There is a real opportunity for progress now, and timely action is needed if we are to make this happen.
And finally, please join us and our partners at Transportation for Massachusetts on October 30 at the State House, as we collectively call for action to Fix our Transportation Crisis!
As you can see, there is a lot happening! We are so grateful for your support and participation in the struggle for greater health equity in the Commonwealth.
With Gratitude,

Carlene Pavlos
Executive Director
Policy Notespolicynotes
Preventing Childhood Lead Poisoning                                  
Childhood lead poisoning continues to be  a critical health equity issue for Massachusetts. Between 2013 and 2017, there were 2,400 confirmed cases in our state. Stark racial and economic inequities exist in the prevalence of childhood lead poisoning. Massachusetts children living in low-income communities are 3x more likely to be lead poisoned than more affluent children, and black children are 2.5x more likely than their white peers to suffer from lead poisoning. We can do something about this! Click here  to learn more about MPHA's current legislative and policy efforts, which include building support for key legislation and advocating for adequate funding for the Get the Lead Out program . To sign on as an organizational supporter for An Act Modernizing Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention, contact Maddie Ribble at mribble@mapublichealth.org.

Banning ALL flavored tobacco products in Massachusetts 
In the wake of the Commonwealth's first death from vaping-related lung disease, and Governor Baker's decision to ban the sale of all vaping products for four months,  An Act Regulating Flavored Tobacco Products (S. 2357/ H. 4089) is moving forward with renewed momentum. Sponsored by Sen. Keenan and Rep. Gregoire, the bill would ban ALL flavored tobacco products, including menthol cigarettes, e-cigarettes and other vape products. It was recently reported out favorably from the Joint Committee on Public Health, and we are expecting a floor vote soon. Please voice your support and help spread the word, as the tobacco industry is working hard to weaken the bill! Click here  for talking points. Click here to find your state legislator!

Calling for Transportation Justice!
Wed, Oct 30, 2:30pm, State House, Room 437
On October 30th, please join MPHA, Transportation for Massachusetts, and our partners in urging the House and Senate to act on transportation. Transportation is a core social determinant of health and a top priority for MPHA. This is a critical time for your voice to be heard at the State House. Come learn about transportation justice priorities and help spread the word to legislators about the need for action. Light refreshments will be served. For more information and to RSVP, click here.
Join us on Nov 13 for our Annual Conference & Expo 
Get your tickets today to  MPHA's Annual Conference & Expo in Worcester on November 13, 2019 !
The root causes of health inequities include wide wealth gaps created by this country's history of racism, poverty, and discrimination. We cannot create greater health equity without developing effective strategies at the local level to address these issues. That is why we are so excited that Ronnie Galvin, Vice President for Racial Equity and the Democratic Economy at the Democracy Collaborative, will be our keynote speaker, presenting on the intersection between racial justice, health equity, and community wealth building . The day will also include the following workshops:
  • The Latest Policy Attacks from Washington, presented by the MA Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition, Central West Justice Center, and NARAL MA
  • Climate Change and Health Equity, presented by the Public Health Institute of Western Massachusetts and the Pioneer Valley Planning Commission
  • Towards a Reparative Economy, presented by the Democracy Collaborative
  • Because Words Matter: Reframing Public Health Issues, presented by the Tufts Health Plan Foundation
Click here  to view the full agenda and click here  to register. For more information on sponsorship and/or exhibiting, contact Alexa at apiacenza@mapublichealth.org .
Developing Principles for Healthy Affordable Housing
M PHA is leading a statewide effort to bring together healthcare leaders and housing advocates to address the affordable housing crisis in Massachusetts and its impact on health outcomes statewide. The first step was a two-part webinar series earlier this month designed to educate leaders within health care institutions about: 1) housing policy in Massachusetts, 2) the health impacts of inadequate healthy affordable housing, and 3) current health care & housing partnerships in Massachusetts. As part of this outreach process, MPHA and our partners have drafted the  Massachusetts Principles for Healthy and Affordable Housing . To learn more and endorse these principles,  click here .
Flexible Services Symposium a Success!
We are thrilled to report that more than 125 people attended the MassHealth Flexible Services Learning Symposium on October 3! The event was organized by MPHA, in partnership with The Alliance for Community Health Integration, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts Foundation, and Health Leads. Focused on the intersection between healthcare outcomes and social needs, the day-long symposium featured panels on creating partnerships between healthcare and social service providers, incorporating community health workers effectively into healthcare practice, and Moving Massachusetts Upstream (MassUP), a new multiagency effort to reduce health inequities by more effectively addressing the "upstream" causes of poor health outcomes. Thanks to all who attended this inspiring and rewarding event!
Massachusetts Public Health Association | (857) 263-7072 | mpha@mapublichealth.org |   mapublichealth.org