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Cancer Disparities

Call for Abstracts: Confronting Health Disparities While Reforming Health Care: The Massachusetts Experience

141st American Public Health Association Annual Meeting

November 2– November 6, 2013

Boston, MA

Think Global, Act Local: Best Practices Around the World


Invited Session Proposal


Community Health Planning and Policy Development Section


“Confronting Health Disparities While Reforming Health Care:

The Massachusetts Experience”


This session, Confronting Health Disparities While Reforming Health Care: The Massachusetts Experience presents a cluster of case examples from research, practice and policy of organizations, communities and coalitions keeping racial and ethnic health disparities prominently on the health care policy agenda for system and payment reform of the past two decades. Massachusetts has led the nation in health innovation since the founding of the first public health department in 1799 with Paul Revere named as Boston’s first health officer and as home to the nation’s first community health center at Columbia Point in 1965.  Both focused on the most vulnerable populations in society and those suffering the greatest disparities in health and health care. Massachusetts’ health reform legislation in 2006 was the model for the Affordable Care Act in 2010 and in 2012 Massachusetts enacted health care payment reform legislation with implications for the implementation of the ACA. Throughout the decades and debates advocates in service to the underserved have successfully maintained their currency in the legislative and policy process so that confronting health disparities is a priority of system and payment reform as demonstrated by examples presented in this session.

The learning objectives include: (1) Identify the elements of successful participatory efforts to eliminate health disparities; (2) understand and facilitate translation of health disparities research into public health interventions and policy; (3) increase ability for informing and influencing public policy and promoting health equity.

The session addresses the following interest areas of the CHPPD Section as identified in the call for abstracts and invited sessions:

·         Recognizing and promoting health as a human right: What is the role of public health? (Ex. Health Reform and the Affordable Care Act) 

·         Strategies for community health improvements from community members and activists 

Contact Information:

Elmer R. Freeman, MSW – Organizer

Executive Director Center for Community Health Education Research and Service, Inc.

716 Columbus Avenue, Suite 398

Boston, MA  02120


617-373-5179 – Office

617-794-0287 - Cell