A Healthy Blog

Massachusetts health care — wonky, with a healthy dose of reality

Public Health

A Health Summit in Lawrence

Last Friday, the Lawrence Mayor’s Health Task Force held a Health Summit. The theme, “Improving Access to Health Care Through Collaboration,” encompassed work being carried out in Lawrence by the Mayor’s Health Task Force (MHTF). Attendees included Commonwealth Care MCOs, providers, universities, MHTF partners, Lawrence officials, community members, and political leaders from the local, state and national levels, including Mayor Michael Sullivan, MA Sen. Sue Tucker, and U.S. Rep. Marty Meehan. Mayor Sullivan spoke about the work being carried out by members of the MHTF to improve the health... Read more »

Gov. Patrick Signs His First Law -- It's about Health

And so the story ends... Gov. Deval Patrick yesterday signed his first legislation into law, chapter 1 of the acts and resolves of 2007: H 2011 further revising membership of the Public Health Council. Just to recap, for the final time: In the Chapter 58 health reform law, the Legislature reorganized the way members get appointed to the Public Health Council of the MA Department of Public Health, specifically giving a number of private organizations (including, e.g., the Massachusetts Public Health Association and Health Care For All) the right to name one member of the Council. Gov. Romney... Read more »

Romney Vetoes Public Health Council Bill

In one of his final acts, Gov. Romney vetoed legislation to expand and change the appointing structure of the DPH Public Health Council. Here's the State House News account: Read more »

We're #7: United Health Foundation's Annual Health Rankings

Click here to obtain the United Health Foundation's annual ranking of all 50 states according to a variety of health measures: personal behavior risk factors, community environment risk factors, health policy risk factors, and health outcomes. Massachusetts bottom line: From 2005 to 2006, MA improved overall from #9 to #7. (Since 1990 when this survey started, MA's ranking has varied between #3 and #11.) Our strengths: High childhood immunization coverage (#1), Low infant mortality rate (#1), Low rate of uninsured (#4 -- drop from #14 in 2005), Ready access to prenatal care (#4),... Read more »

Politics and the Public Health Council

Ginny Buckingham writes in today's Herald about the fight -- now before the MA Supreme Judicial Court -- on who gets to appoint the members of the State's Public Health Council. Old version -- the Governor appoints all nine. New version approved in last April's health reform law -- all 18 are named by outside organizations such as the MA Medical Society, the MA Public Health Association, the MA Coalition for the Prevention of Medical Errors, and -- yes -- Health Care For All. For the record, no one asked us if we wanted this responsibility, though we're happy to comply. The legal issue is... Read more »

Fluoridation Wins in New Bedford

All 42 precincts have reported and it's official - fluoridation is coming to New Bedford! The final tally was 10,893 yes to 9638 no. The Mayor was just on the radio saying that New Bedford will be fluoridated and that the goal of the referendum was to let the voters decide. This was a true team effort led by PACE with strong support from the MA Dental Society, the Massachusetts Coalition for Oral Health, Delta Dental, the Taskforce and scores of others here and New Bedford and across the state . Read more »

Key Vote Tomorrow in New Beford on Oral Health

While it’s not getting statewide notice, there’s a key ballot initiative at stake tomorrow in New Bedford. The issue is fluoridation of the community water supply and it’s Question 4 on the ballot. We’ll be watching and crossing our fingers for a strong “yes.” Click here for the New Bedford Standard Times editorial endorsing a yes vote on Q4. Fluoridation is essential to improving community health because of the link between oral health and overall health. Children with poor oral health have trouble concentrating in school. As adults, chronic oral infections lead to missed work... Read more »

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