A Healthy Blog

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

Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities

Investing in Health Equity

Despite the progress Massachusetts has made in expanding health care coverage, health disparities continue to exist. On January 26th at 10am, Health Care For All and the Disparities Action Network will host a briefing to discuss the roots of health disparites, and strategies to achieve health equity in Massachusetts. The briefing will include a screening of the award winning documentary “Unnatural Causes,” and expert discussion. Speakers include: Read more »

DPH Releases Community Health Worker Study

Public health leaders and community health workers gathered yesterday at the State House, in celebration of the new Department of Public Health report on community health workers (CHWs) in Massachusetts (press release). The report highlights the effectiveness of CHW’s in assisting families with obtaining and maintaining health care coverage, engaging in prevention efforts, managing chronic disease, and coordinating health and social services. The report resulted from a study commissioned in the state’s 2006 Health Reform Law. Read more »

Boston Public Health Commission’s Dr. Barbara Ferrer Speaks on Health Inequities

On Friday, Boston Public Health Commission Director Dr. Barbara Ferrer addressed the Health Law and Policy Forum sponsored by Health Law Advocates. In her presentation, “Taking Action to Eliminate Health Inequities,” Dr. Ferrer discussed the impact of racism on health and health inequity. Citing work by Dr. Camara Jones of the Centers for Disease Control, Ferrer described how institutional, personally mediated, and internalized racism play a role in the existence of health disparities. Dr. Ferrer described one of the most notable health disparities linked to racism, infant mortality. In the... Read more »

CommCare Bridge Update: Important Information for Nov. 1st

As the second phase of Commonwealth Care Bridge enrollment begins, here is some important information that may be useful to you: November 1st Enrollment Over 10,000 residents in the northern and southern parts of the state are expected to be automatically enrolled into Commonwealth Care Bridge on November 1st - Sunday. Here’s what to expect: Read more »

Disparities Council Recap

The Health Disparities Council held its monthly meeting on Monday. Chaired by Representative Rushing and EOHHS Secretary Bigby, the members focused on legislative opportunities to address health disparities in Massachusetts. Public Health Committee Chair Jeffrey Sanchez opened the meeting with a report on recently moved bills S.810 and S. 811, that codify the EOHHS level Office of Health Equity and establish community based disparities grants. The Representative emphasized the Committee’s dedication to health equity and the need for Council support and advocacy to maintain momentum for the... Read more »

Read All The Reports

Lots of interesting reports out in the past few days looking at Massachusetts health care access. Individually, each presents a slightly different picture, based on what they looked at and how they looked at it. One theme is that while Massachusetts health reform has done a remarkable job of increasing access for hundreds of thousands of residents, we still have a long way to go to address the striking health disparities that exist among racial and ethnic minority populations. Here's a rundown: 1. First, DHCFP's new 2009 Health Insurance Survey (ppt). The survey confirms the progress made in... Read more »

Health Disparities Legislation Moves Forward

The Disparities Action Network (DAN) is pleased to announce that the Joint Committee on Public Health favorably reported its two priority bills on Wednesday. S. 810 and S. 811 provide Massachusetts with a comprehensive health disparities strategy by codifying the EOHHS Office of Health Equity and supporting community based agencies to implement disparities programs in local communities. The legislation was heard at a successful hearing by the committee in June. Read more »

Disparities Council Meets on Monday 10/5

The Commonwealth’s Health Disparities Council will hold it’s next meeting on Monday, October 5 at One Ashburton Place, 21st floor (10am-12pm). Please click here to view the meeting agenda and here to review the Council’s website updates. Read more »

Health Disparities Council Meets

Chaired by Representative Byron Rushing alongside EOHHS Secretary JudyAnn Bigby, the state’s Health Disparities Council launched in high spirits on Monday. The assembly focused on a review of the developing state disparities report card; a tool intended to shape program and policy improvements to address health inequities. Dr. Joel Weissman of EOHHS completed a considerable draft model of the report card that includes not only outcome data for chronic diseases and health conditions, but a framework for examining the data by various social, economic, and community dimensions. Council members... Read more »

Cardinal does not want to see the state make a “tragic mistake”

Boston’s top Catholic official asks lawmakers to keep ALL Massachusetts families healthy. Cardinal Sean O’Malley posted this blog about 28,000 legal immigrants who stand to lose their Commonwealth Care coverage. “The Governor and the Legislature in the commonwealth face excruciatingly difficult choices this week. Final decisions about the budget bring together the fact of an economy in deep recession, declining state revenues and multiple human needs among the citizens of the commonwealth … A particular issue of concern to me is the possibility that funding for health coverage for 28,000... Read more »


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