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


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Thank you to all of our friends and colleagues who joined us for our  2017 Spring Awards Breakfast. We enjoyed celebrating this year's health equity champions with you and are grateful for your support. If you would like to view the event photo album, click here

I would also like to thank all you who joined us last week for our standing room only  Rally and Advocacy Day on behalf of the Prevention and Wellness Trust Fund (PWTF). MPHA and our partners are working hard to protect this first-in-the nation program which has touched the lives of nearly 1 million residents across the Commonwealth. To learn more about the Prevention Trust and how it impacts your community,  see below.  

We are also working hard to make sure that low-income and rural communities can attract supermarkets and other food purveyors so that they increase access to healthy food, bring good-paying jobs to the area, and invest in the community. We are trying to make SNAP benefits easier to access for nearly 700,000 food insecure people who are eligible but not receiving this benefit. We need your continued support and voices. Please click here to learn how you can take action now to ensure steady funding for these and other critical public health initiatives. 

Thank you for your continued support and for all that you do for health equity. 


Jodie L. Silverman
Interim Executive Director
Policy NotesPolicyNotes
Don't Dismantle Prevention Rally Brings 1,000 Ounces of Prevention to Speaker's Door
On June 6, MPHA held a rally and advocacy day at the State House calling on the legislature to act now to protect and continue the Prevention and Wellness Trust Fund (PWTF). Launched in 2012, PWTF is a first-in-the-nation program to link community and clinical care to combat chronic disease like asthma and hypertension and narrow health inequities. Without action by the legislature, PWTF, will end at the close of the pilot program on June 30, 2017.

More than 150 people, including residents, community health workers, health providers, advocates, and legislators participated in the standing room only  rally at the State House. After the rally, a delegation of 20 coalition members, representing partnerships from across the state, delivered messages from residents to House Speaker Robert DeLeo, including 1,000 ounces of apples to remind him of Benjamin Franklin's adage, "an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure." Participants later testified at a packed public hearing before the Joint Committee on Public Health.

We need your help to make sure this model prevention program continues. Please call or email your Representative and Senator and ask them to voice support for PWTF to the six member Conference Committee that is working on a final FY18 budget. Click here for the PWTF Fact Sheet. To find your legislators' contact information, click here. If you don't know who your representatives are, click here to find out.

To view more photos from the event, click here

Fair Share Amendment on the Way to the Ballot
MPHA Coalition and Advocacy Manager Kristina St. Cyr at Fair Share Amendment Rally on June 14, 2017
On June 14th, the State Legislature voted to advance the Fair Share Constitutional Amendment to the November 2018 ballot. Massachusetts voters will have the opportunity to vote on the ballot initiative, which would create new revenue, through a slight tax increase on those earning more than $1 million, which would then be invested in transportation and education. Safe, accessible and reliable transportation as well as equitable quality education are strongly linked to positive health outcomes.  

To learn more or to get involved in the campaign, click here
budgetLast Chance to Take Action for Public Health in the State Budget 
The FY18 state budget is now in its final stage. The legislature recently appointed a six member Conference Committee to resolve the differences between the House and Senate versions and to produce a final budget to be sent to the Governor before July 1st.

MPHA recently sent a letter to the Conference Committee requesting support for our core public health needs, but we need your voice too!

In order to maintain a strong public health system  in the Commonwealth, and hold on to the enormous gains we've made, please call your legislators and ask them to contact Conference Committee members and to support the following budget requests:
  • Prevention and Wellness Trust Fund (PWTF)SENATE budget sections 70 and 94.
  • Massachusetts Food Trust Program: SENATE funding (within 7007-0300).
  • SNAP Gap Common App: SENATE language for a common application for SNAP (food assistance) and other public benefits (4000-0328).
  • Mass-in-Motion: HOUSE funding and SENATE language for not less than the amount expended in FY17 and $4,010,977 in overall line item funding (within 4513-1111).
  • Bureau of Substance Abuse Services: HOUSE funding at $133,750,888 (4512-0200). 
  • Public Health Data Linkages: SENATE budget section 99. 
 Click here for more information
MPHA Field Director Will Lead Coalition Training Workshop on June 21st
MPHA Field Director Andrea Freeman
MPHA Field Director Andrea Freeman will be the lead trainer for Coalition Capacity and Infrastructure Planning, a half-day training that will cover the fundamentals of launching and managing an effective coalition. Participants will examine a range of tenets including organizational structures and communication techniques that create a culture of trust, transparency, and inclusion. This training is free.  

Date:  June 21, 2017
Time: 9:00am - 12:00pm 
Location: Northern Essex Community College. Haverhill, Massachusetts

breakfastMPHA Honors Health Equity Champions at 2017 Spring Awards Breakfast
Over 350 friends and partners joined us on Friday, June 2nd to celebrate the inspirational achievements of our 2017 Health Equity Champions: Deborah Klein Walker, Shani Dowd, Jen Slonaker, Matt Sadof, and Megan Sandel. The morning was a powerful reminder of the significance of partnership to achieve impactful programs and policies, which uphold racial justice and move the dial to advance health equity for all people.

Click here to learn more about this year's honorees and here to view 2017 MPHA Spring Awards Breakfast photo album. 

MPHA Welcomes Summer Interns

Vanessa Cabrera is a rising junior at Providence College and is a summer 2017 Forest Foundation Fellow. She is a double major in Health Policy & Management and Sociology. Growing up in Lynn, Vanessa realized that not everyone was receiving an equal opportunity to healthcare or receiving resources in order to live a healthier, more active life. Vanessa believes her internship with MPHA will help her achieve her goal of a future career in public health. 
Karen Caldwell  is a rising senior studying health policy at Brandeis University. She grew up in a neighborhood outside Columbus, Ohio where there are no affordable healthy food options in close proximity but many fast food restaurants. This motivated her interest in public health, with focuses on epidemiology and healthy food access . In her free time Karen enjoys dancing and is interested in using dance as a public health initiative to encourage exercise. 
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.