Massachusetts Public Health Association
Action for a Healthy Massachusetts 

July 2013 
In This Issue
1. Prevention and Wellness Trust Listening Sessions July 17 and 18
2. State Budget Victories
3. Healthy Food Access Update
4. Cheryl Bartlett Appointed DPH Commissioner
5. Healthy People/Healthy Economy Report Card
6. Zoning Reform Update
7. Certification Open for Workplace Wellness Tax Credit
8. The Kids COUNT Data Book
9. Call for Board Nominations

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Join the Prevention Trust Listening Sessions on July 17th and 18th
On Thursday, June 27, implementation of the Prevention Trust began in earnest with the first meeting of the Advisory Board, which will oversee the Trust.
The Advisory Board members received briefings from Administration officials, discussed the goals and strategy for funding through the Trust, and agreed on a timeline for the summer and fall to develop an RFP and review proposals. This will include four Listening Sessions to gather public input on July 17th and 18th in New Bedford, Holyoke, Boston, and Worcester. Read On 
FY14 Conference Budget Includes Victories for Public Health

On June 30, the Conference Committee released their Fiscal Year 2014 (FY14) state budget recommendations, which were quickly approved and sent to the Governor's desk. The Governor now has ten days to review and act on the budget before him.


The Conference budget includes important victories, including new investments in public health infrastructure that MPHA fought hard for! These include MPHA's top priority line items for this year, Environmental Public Health Services and Health Care QualityRead On


Healthy Food Access Bill On the Move
The Healthy Food Access Bill is moving! It was reported favorably out of the Committee on Community Development and Small Business on Jun e 10th, and it moves on now to the House Ways and Means Committee for review.
The legislation  would authorize Community Development Financial Institutions (or CDFIs) to develop and implement flexible financing programs, including loans, grants, and technical assistance to support the development, renovation, and expansion of food stores, farmers markets and other retailers selling healthy food in underserved communities. Read On
Cheryl Bartlett Appointed DPH Commissioner

On June 26th, Cheryl Bartlett was appointed to serve as Commissioner of Public Health, after serving since May as Acting Commissioner. MPHA is thrilled to have Cheryl at the helm of DPH during this incredibly important time, and we offer our congratulations to her!   


Cheryl is a nurse who has dedicated her entire professional career to improving the health and wellbeing of communities. Cheryl has wide ranging set of experiences as a health provider, advocate, manager, and policymaker - in areas as diverse as homeless services, infectious disease, and obesity prevention. In particular, we at MPHA have had the pleasure to work closely with Cheryl on chronic disease prevention efforts, where she has been a national leader in the development of community-based approaches to improving healthy eating and active living.


We look forward to partnering with Commissioner Bartlett and Secretary Polanowicz in our shared mission to promote and protect the health of all Massachusetts residents. Read On

Massachusetts Receives Mixed Grades on Health, "D" for Public Health Funding  

On June 18th, Healthy People/Healthy Economy released their third annual Report Card at an Understanding Boston forum at The Boston Foundation, where a panel of

 experts from government, industry, academia, and public health responded to the report's findings.


The report gave the state higher grades than last year in eight issue areas, but flunked it for failing to remove the sales tax exemption for candy and soda. Massachusetts also received low grades for public health funding (D) and youth physical activity (C).


One area that the state excelled in however, was in the category of School-Based BMI Reporting, where Massachusetts was rewarded the first A - an A minus - issued by the Report Card. Read On

Zoning Reform Momentum Continues with Boston Globe Endorsement
Momentum continues to build behind the call to reform our state's antiquated planning and zoning. The Boston Globe become the latest voice to join the call, with a June 25th editorial "New zoning law will help ease Massachusetts' housing woes." The editorial focused on the benefits for housing and economic development, but we know there are numerous public health benefits as well! To learn more about zoning reform and the implications for public health, please visit MPHA's website.


Certification Now Open for Workplace Wellness Tax Credit
Massachusetts employers who invest in new wellness programs for their employees may now qualify for a tax credit worth up to $10,000 in tax relief under the new Massachusetts Wellness Tax Credit program that went into effect earlier this year. Certification requirements were released in June. Read On
Massachusetts Third in Nation for Child Well-Being, but Challenges Persist
The Kids COUNT Data Book, released on Monday, June 24th and prepared by the Annie E. Casey Foundation, highlights indicators on the well-being of young children to help further the conversation about opportunities for and the benefits of early intervention. Massachusetts ranks third in this national ranking index. Massachusetts is a national leader in health, according to the ranking, but has dropped in the rankings compared to other states in the last year. Read On
Call for Board Nominations - MPHA Leadership Pipeline

The MPHA Nominating Committee is working on developing a "leadership pipeline" whereby we will identify a robust list of individuals to become more involved in MPHA board and committees. We expect that by engaging our members in this way we will gain fresh perspectives and ideas, and begin to identify future board members. We invite you to nominate yourself or a colleague! Read On

The Massachusetts Public Health Association (MPHA) is the state's leading voice for public health.  As a statewide membership organization, we engage communities in advocacy to protect and improve the health of all the Commonwealth's residents.  Our focus is on preventing disease and injury.

For more information visit us at or call 857.263.7072