Samantha is a Health Communication Consultant at the MA Department of Public Health
On Wednesday, April 3, dedicated leaders from state and municipal agencies and community organizations gathered at the Royal Plaza Hotel in Marlborough, Mass., for the 2013 Mass in Motion Action Institute. This day-long event focused on the importance of healthy policies and making physical changes to the environment for building healthier communities.
Attendees were welcomed by Cheryl Barlett, interim deputy commissioner, followed by a passionate overview of the Mass in Motion initiative provided by Dr. Lauren Smith, interim commissioner, who described how we got here and how we can move towards healthier living.
Next, keynote speaker Dr. Peter Senge, of MIT and a founding chair of the Society for Organizational Learning, discussed the importance of making connections with our environment, each other and ourselves in making community change. His speech really set the tone for a day of collaboration and progressive thinking.
Rose Swenson of Health Resources in Action (HRiA), presented on what it means to be a good leader and the importance of partnerships to reach community goals. Rose was joined by two Mass in Motion community leaders to share their own experiences: Mary Giannetti of Fun ’n FITchburg, and Amanda Ryder of MetroWest Moves.
Final keynote speaker Geoffrey Anderson, president and CEO of Smart Growth America/National Complete Streets Coalition, informed and entertained attendees with an eye-opening chat about city planning and design, and the role it plays in healthy living.
The day ended with four workshops sessions on the topics of Parks and Open Spaces, Pedestrian Paths, Corner Stores and Farmer’s Markets, and School Nutrition and Wellness. Mass in Motion partners and community leaders presented on the work currently being done across the Commonwealth in each topic area. Then the floor was opened up for group discussions.
This year’s Action Institute left attendees empowered to create a healthier community with a fresh toolbox of information, strategy ideas and new network connections. It was a fun and invaluable event for all. Thank you to everybody who made this day possible!
DPH Kicks Off Town Hall Meetings to Address Underage Drinking and Prescription Drug Abuse posted on Apr 15
Last week, the Department hosted the first in a series of statewide Town Hall Meetings that will examine what can be done to prevent underage drinking and prescription drug abuse in the Commonwealth. Bureau of Substance Abuse Services (BSAS) Director Hilary Jacobs was joined at the …Continue Reading DPH Kicks Off Town Hall Meetings to Address Underage Drinking and Prescription Drug Abuse
A Healthier Commute – for a Healthier Community posted on Apr 14
When it comes to our daily commute, we could all use a little inspiration. That’s why I want to take this opportunity to encourage employers in eastern Massachusetts to participate in the 2014 Walk/Ride Corporate Challenge — an annual competition that encourages workers to use …Continue Reading A Healthier Commute – for a Healthier Community
Highlights of the April 9th Public Health Council Meeting posted on Apr 9
This month’s meeting of the Public Health Council included a series of Determination of Need (DON) requests, followed by a set of three of informational presentations on pending amendments to regulations. The Council took up deliberations for a series of three Determination of Need requests, …Continue Reading Highlights of the April 9th Public Health Council Meeting