Health documentary series should spur focus on Mass. efforts
The PBS launch of “Unnatural Causes: Is Inequality Making Us Sick?”
(“GBH series to explore social link to sickness,” March 27, 2008)
provides a timely complement to the efforts Massachusetts has recently
advanced to address this complex issue. Gov. Patrick’s fiscal year 2009
budget includes an initiative to create a secretariat-level Office of
Health Equity that would serve as a home for disparities elimination
programs, research and evaluation.
The recommendation is consistent with legislation filed by state Rep.
Byron Rushing in early 2007, and the 2007 Special Legislative
Commission on Health Disparities. Advocates, providers, researchers and
consumers have come together in support of these policy recommendations
to form the Disparities Action Network (DAN), a diverse coalition of
over 60 member organizations and hundreds of individuals committed to
achieving health equity in the Commonwealth.
“Unnatural Causes” paints a picture of the disproportionate burdens of
death and disease faced by communities of color that can be addressed
by improving state policies and programming not only in health care,
but also in housing, education and environment. Massachusetts has taken
the first steps, with administrative and legislative proposals on the
table and communities throughout the state rallying for change.
Massachusetts has a special opportunity to act, and must heed the call.
Disparities Policy Coordinator
Health Care For All
Wilkerson willing to meet on constituents’ needs
On behalf of the health care workers of 1199 Service Employees
International Union at Boston Medical, I’d like to personally thank
state Sen. Dianne Wilkerson for taking time out of her tremendously
busy schedule to meet with us recently concerning the Training and
Upgrading Fund for BMC staff.
This fund helps provide essential skills training and career pathways
to health care workers. Wilkerson listened intently to our concerns
about the fund and we are deeply appreciate of her understanding that
better training for health care workers means a higher quality of care
Wilkerson’s willingness to meet with us in person and listen to our
concerns is a testament to her commitment to improving health care in
the Bay State. She should be lauded for her dedication to quality
Patient Financial Specialist
Boston Medical Center
I’ve bought many, many books from Mr. Lloyd E. Hart Jr. over the last
couple of years. I was stunned to hear of his death (“Street bookseller
and activist passes at 54,” April 3, 2008). He was a very nice man and
will be missed.
Donna R. Davis