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Health equity means that everyone has a fair and just opportunity to be healthier. This requires removing obstacles to health such as poverty, discrimination, and their consequences, including powerlessness and lack of access to good jobs with fair pay, quality education and housing, safe environments, and health care.

Health equity vs. health equality.

Health disparity vs. health inequity.

"The distinction between the terms 'disparity' and 'inequity' is critically important. Whereas the term 'disparity' only defines differences between groups, 'inequity' describes the causes of disparities in the context of the social, economic, civil-political, cultural, and environmental conditions that are required to generate parity and equality."

How health inequity & structural racism impacts the health of communities.

Dr. Camara Jones, MD, MPH, Ph.D. is a family physician and epidemiologist whose work focuses on naming, measuring and addressing the impacts of racism on health and well-being. She has broadened the national health debate to include both universal access to high-quality health care and attention to the social determinants of health and equity, including poverty and racism.

Advocates, providers, policymakers, and communities must address health inequity and prioritize anti-racism principles and practices in their work.

Thank you, Rob.

The Commonwealth is healthier and stronger because of Rob Restuccia’s forever advocacy- and the Campaign is forever thankful. The Campaign wishes Rob, his family, & Community Catalyst colleagues comfort.

Our Legislative Priorities.
Sign-up for Action Alerts.

Take action for kids' mental health by signing up for our legislative advocacy alerts!

Judge Baker Children's Center Report.

Make sure to check out "Promoting Positive Outcomes for Justice-Involved Youth: Implications for Policy, Systems and Practice" to learn how Massachusetts can better serve the behavioral, emotional, and developmental needs of our youth.

2019 CBH Innovation Award.

Is your organization addressing a gap in the children's behavioral health care delivery system?

Click here to learn more about the 2019 Massachusetts Children's Behavioral Health Innovation Award.

Applications due March 15th!

PPAL's New Blog.

Don't miss Parent/Professional Advocacy League's newest blog post!

"Looking at the eyes while parenting"

"Fast forward to elementary school. By the time my son was seven, I was talking about his eyes in a very different way. I told his therapist that his eyes changed when he was having a meltdown. That it was as if a different child was looking out, one I often couldn’t reach. When he would have panic attacks, fly into rages or harm himself, his eyes would change before, during and for little while after. I watched his eyes to predict how intense it would be and whether I had a chance of averting what was coming. Sometimes, though not often, I did. And when things had returned to normal, the look in his eyes did, too."
I think about the idea of flight.
ICYMI: Headlines for You.
"Sen. Michael Rodrigues, a moderate Democrat from Westport who runs his family's flooring business, was appointed as the chairman of the Senate Ways and Means Committee on Thursday, handing him the reins of the state's budget as a new legislative session gets underway."
"A federal judge sharply rebuked the state for failing to provide prompt mental health services to low-income children, saying that constant delays can lead to violent physical outbursts, removal from homes, and traumatizing and unnecessary hospital stays. Massachusetts has repeatedly violated its own standard of providing certain mental health treatment to seriously ill children on Medicaid within 14 calendar days, with thousands of children having waited weeks, putting them at risk for “devastating setbacks,’’ US District Court Judge Michael Ponsor found. Ponsor questioned whether even 14 days is too long to wait when a child is in crisis."
"Patients in MassHealth, the Massachusetts Medicaid and Children's Health Insurance Program, will no longer have to schedule an in-person appointment to see their therapist, psychiatrist or substance abuse counselor. Instead, they can now use interactive audio and video technology, or 'telehealth,' the Baker Administration announced Friday. The announcement follows a report from the Blue Cross Blue Shield Foundation that highlighted 'critical gaps' in access to mental health care and addiction services. Expanding telemedicine was one of the recommendations in the report."
"WORCESTER — The backlog of cases in Worcester County Juvenile Court was supposed to have been fixed. Language to add a judge permanently assigned to the court, the busiest juvenile court in the state, was signed as part of outside sections to the fiscal 2019 budget last July by Gov. Charles D. Baker Jr., after prodding from Central Massachusetts legislators. The Worcester court has been overwhelmed with cases and has only four permanent justices on its roster. An additional circuit court judge has been helping out."
"Optimistic headlines point to a decline in overdose deaths, suggesting we have turned the corner on the opioid crisis and hope is on the horizon. At the same time, in “the opioid epidemic nobody talks about,” overdose deaths are rapidly increasing in many Black communities. Who is paying attention? More importantly, who is taking action?"
"Massachusetts has agreed to participate in a new rating system that is being developed to measure the quality of addiction treatment programs. State health officials say the rating system will primarily use data from three sources: insurance claims, provider surveys and consumer experience surveys. The information will be made publicly available to those searching for high-quality addiction treatment, as well as to public and private payers, states and referral sources. The system is being developed by the national nonprofit organization Shatterproof."
"I'm always interested in the mechanisms of things," she says. "And when I heard that I had a disease, I kind of felt naturally that that would have a biological basis, and I figured that I could study that biological basis and understand it and then maybe fix it." Now it has been 30 years without using drugs or alcohol for Grisel, a professor of psychology at Bucknell University, where she studies how addictive drugs work on the brain. Her new book is Never Enough: The Neuroscience and Experience of Addiction."
"The experience of natural spaces, brimming with greenish light, the smells of soil and the quiet fluttering of leaves in the breeze can calm our frenetic modern lives. It's as though our very cells can exhale when surrounded by nature, relaxing our bodies and minds. Some people seek to maximize the purported therapeutic effects of contact with the unbuilt environment by embarking on sessions of forest bathing, slowing down and becoming mindfully immersed in nature. But in a rapidly urbanizing world, green spaces are shrinking as our cities grow out and up. Scientists are working to understand how green spaces, or lack of them, can affect our mental health."
"The Burlington Police Department now has a dedicated employee to help support residents with mental illness. Karen DiRienzo, a veteran social worker and Burlington resident, recently began work as a part-time mental health clinician. Her hiring is part of a Burlington Mental Health Initiative announced last year. The initiative, funded with a $100,000 grant from the Cummings Foundation, also includes training for department members to identify people suffering from mental health disorders and de-escalate situations involving them."
"The signs were serious enough, Van Dreal knew, that he needed to convene his entire threat assessment team — including representatives of the school administration, mental health professionals and police. He turned his car around and immediately headed to the high school. After the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., last year, many schools received federal funding through the Stop School Violence Act to establish a threat assessment program to help prevent school shootings and other kinds of violence."
"WHEN IT COMES TO the state of our health, there is a glaring disconnect in the US, says Sandro Galea. We spend far more on health care per capita than any country, yet we’re far less healthy than those in many other developed countries as measured by all sorts of indicators, including life expectancy. Our cutting-edge new medical treatments and drugs are wonderful, says the dean of the Boston University School of Public Health. But he says we are focusing on them to the exclusion of all sorts of factors in everyday life that have a profound effect on health. Galea joined John McDonough and Paul Hattis for the latest installment of “Health or Consequences” on the Codcast, where he unspooled his take on how we’re missing the boat when it comes to promoting good health."
"Rob Restuccia can't always sit up these days to greet the colleagues, friends and family members who stop by his Boston home to visit, help with errands, or draft plans to continue his life's work: improving health care for others. The man many consider a pioneer in the movement to give patients a stronger voice in health care is in hospice, after stopping treatment for pancreatic cancer."

Thank you!

Credits:

Created with images by Gabriel Bassino - "Bowie Neon" • witwiccan - "law books legal" • Micheile Henderson - "untitled image" • Wokandapix - "mental health wellness psychology" • TheDigitalArtist - "idea innovation inspiration" • Bess-Hamiti - "girl worried portrait" • Neel - "untitled image" • Waldemar Brandt - "Newspapers before Sale"

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