Proximity of transportation can have a major impact on people’s health for better or worse. Having easy access to transportation is an important benefit to people, but proximity can work against health as well—it can impede quality of life in a number of ways, including air quality, noise, pedestrian safety, and aesthetically.
That is why the Transportation Reform Law in Massachusetts included not only realignment of agencies in order to make operations more efficient, but mandated that health be considered in future transportation projects. By requiring that health impact assessments (HIAs) be factored in to decisions around transportation, Massachusetts has become a leader in the nation.
MA health and transportation officials are piloting an HIA as part of the Grounding McGrath Highway Transportation Study. This is the first step of a long-term project. The Grounding McGrath Study and the HIA are not only looking at the best way to address traffic issues on a major thoroughfare, but is also focusing on reducing environmental hazards and safety issues associated with the current configuration, and ultimately creating a design that actually promotes healthy behaviors by encouraging physical activity with a more pedestrian and bicycle friendly design.
Critical to this process is a newly formed partnership between the Massachusetts Department of Public Health and the Department of Transportation. Of paramount importance is the collaboration occurring right from the start with the community that is affected by these decisions. By forming these partnerships to protect and improve the health of people affected by the McGrath Highway, Massachusetts is working toward goals set forth in the National Prevention Strategy. Indeed Massachusetts is on the move.
Employers: Let’s Keep Massachusetts Workers Safe! posted on Apr 28
Today is Workers’ Memorial Day, an internationally recognized day to remember workers who have died or been injured, disabled, sickened, on the job. Here in Massachusetts, 125 workers died on the job in just the two-year period of 2014-2015. These workers were our family members, …Continue Reading Employers: Let’s Keep Massachusetts Workers Safe!
Weekly Flu Report, April 28, 2017 posted on Apr 28
The latest weekly flu report shows that rates of flu-like illness continued to decrease over the past seven days. Even with this current trend, we can expect to see flu continue to circulate in our communities well into springtime. So if you haven’t gotten a flu shot …Continue Reading Weekly Flu Report, April 28, 2017
National Minority Health Month: A Focus on Oral Health posted on Apr 25
April is National Minority Health Month – a time for us to highlight the Department’s work promoting the well-being of racial, ethnic and linguistic minority populations throughout the Commonwealth. Spearheaded by our Office of Health Equity (OHE), all DPH programs strive to respond effectively to …Continue Reading National Minority Health Month: A Focus on Oral Health