July 2018

MPHA board and staff, like so many of you, were shocked and outraged to learn that children were being separated from their parents at our nation's southern border. In addition to instilling fear and anxiety in immigrant communities across the country, the federal government's cruel policy of tearing children from their families inflicts trauma that can have a  lifelong negative impact on the child's health.

Though this policy has officially ended, we must remain vigilant to ensure that all children are reunited with their families and that people coming to the United States seeking hope and asylum are treated with respect and dignity. We must also send a strong message here in Massachusetts that all immigrants are welcome and that their rights will be protected. Earlier this year, MPHA endorsed the Safe Communities Act, a bill that will  protect the civil rights, safety, and well-being of all residents by drawing a clear line between immigration enforcement and public safety.  Click here to take action for safe communities now--it will take less than a minute. 

With all that is happening at the national level, our work together to promote social justice and reduce health disparities has never been more important. Please join me, the MPHA Board, and other health equity advocates in Boston or Worcester this summer to reconnect and to envision what we can accomplish together in the months and years ahead. 

Lastly, please read below for updates and announcements  on MPHA policy priorities--things are moving quickly as the formal session nears the July 31st deadline!

Thank you for all that you do for justice and health equity. 

In partnership,
Carlene Pavlos
Executive Director
Upcoming Events events
MPHA Board Member Aswita Tan-McGrory, Massachusetts General Hospital Disparities Solutions Center, and Alden Landry, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center at MPHA Spring Networking Event
Join the MPHA Board in Boston or Worcester to Welcome Carlene Pavlos!

Come meet Carlene and learn more about her vision for MPHA while connecting with colleagues old and new.  

Join us for refreshments and good company at The Merchant in Boston. 

Date: Thursday, July 19th
Time: 5:30-7:30
Location: The Merchant Kitchen and Drinks
60 Franklin Street, Boston, MA 02110

The Health Foundation of Central Massachusetts is graciously hosting an afternoon welcome event for Carlene at their beautiful downtown Worcester office.

Date: Wednesday, August 8th
Time: 4:00 - 5:30 pm
Location: Health Foundation of Central Massachusetts
446 Main St., 20th Floor, Worcester MA 01608

Policy Notes PNotes
First Prevention and Wellness Trust Fund Program Ends

Prevention and Wellness Trust Fund Coordinators, June 2018
After an intensive two years of effort by hundreds of community organizations, clinical providers, and residents, both the House and the Senate have now voted to reauthorize and fund the Prevention and Wellness Trust Fund (PWTF). This action came as part of larger health care bills that passed the Senate in November 2017 and the House last month. Decisions on a final health care bill -- including the total funding sources and amount for PWTF -- are now before a six-member conference committee with a July 30th deadline to agree on a final version. MPHA and the members of the Prevention Trust Coalition are urging the conference committee to fund PWTF at a minimum of $15 million annually.

As we look toward a resolution of the legislative campaign, funding for the first round of PWTF partnerships has now been fully expended. MPHA wants to express our tremendous gratitude to everyone who has worked over the last five years to make this program such a success and a model. The strength and commitment of the regional PWTF partnerships and the PWTF staff at the Department of Public Health led to powerful data and incredible stories of impact. These data and stories have fueled our resolve to continue this important work in the face of obstacles and setbacks. As we look ahead to what will hopefully be a robust "PWTF 2.0," we will be guided by the successes of all the PWTF partners, leaders, and participants over the last five years.
Massachusetts Food Trust Program Administrators Announced!  

On June 21, 2018, the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources (MDAR) announced its selection of  Local Enterprise Assistance Fund (LEAF) and Franklin County Community Development Corporation (FCCDC) to administer the Massachusetts Food Trust Program. T his is a great victory for the campaign to increase healthy food access and spur economic development in low- and moderate-income communities across the Commonwealth -- thank you to all our friends and partners who helped get us here!

Click here to view the press release from MDAR.
Rally for Paid Family Medical Leave and Fight for $15 at the State House on May 8, 2018
Paid Family Medical Leave and  Minimum Wage Increase Passed into Law!

On June 28, 2018, Governor Baker signed the "Grand Bargain" bill into law passing  Paid Family Medical Leave and raising the minimum wage to $15 over five years.  This is a great victory for community leaders, activists, and organizations working for economic justice in the Commonwealth. These policies will allow for better health outcomes for individuals and families

Click here to read Raise Up Massachusetts' statement on the legislation. 
Boxes of Signatures for the Fair Share Ballot Initiative
Court Ruling Will Keep the Fair Share Amendment off the November Ballot 

On June 18, 2018, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ruled against the Fair Share Constitutional Amendment on a technicality. MPHA and our partners are deeply disappointed by this decision, however, we will continue to work for policies that will expand access to safe and affordable transportation in communities throughout the Commonwealth. 

Click here to read Raise Up Massachusetts' statement on the ruling. 
Act Now for Affordable Housing and Equitable Neighborhoods

As we head into the final weeks of the legislative session, please  help us advance the Great Neighborhoods Campaign by asking your legislator to support meaningful housing and zoning reform , to ensure Massachusetts is providing housing choices for all residents that are affordable and accessible to job opportunities.

Click here to learn more about Great Neighborhoods. 
Massachusetts Public Health Association | (857) 263-7072 | mpha@mapublichealth.org |   mapublichealth.org