Sen. Harriette Chandler Honored As Public Health Champion

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L to R: Executive Director of MPHA Toby Fisher, MBA, MSW; State Sen. Harriette L. Chandler (D-Worcester); Director of Policy and Communications of MPHA, Maddie Ribble

HOLDEN, Mass. — State Sen. Harriette Chandler was awarded the Public Health Champion Award from the Massachusetts Public Health Association for her dedication to promoting prevention and public health for all Massachusetts residents.

“Public health is about healthy people, healthy neighborhoods, and lower health care costs,” said Chandler. “I am honored to be recognized by MPHA, and I pledge to keep fighting for stronger public health for the residents of Worcester and the entire state.”

In presenting the award, the association cited her work to integrate public health and prevention into cost containment legislation passed by the Massachusetts Legislature and signed by Gov. Deval Patrick in August. 

The legislation sets a national model for state efforts to rein in health care costs, and it includes a first-in-the-nation Prevention and Wellness Trust Fund that was championed by Chandler. 

The trust will invest in community-based programs that have been proven to keep residents healthy and save money on costly preventable health conditions, such as diabetes and heart disease.

“Sen. Chandler has a long and distinguished track record in public health,” Executive Director Toby Fisher said. “In particular, her leadership over the past two years focused integrating prevention into our state’s cost control efforts will lead to concrete and meaningful improvements in the health of Massachusetts residents.”

Chandler is co-founder and co-chair of the Prevention for Health Caucus of the Massachusetts Legislature. The caucus was formed last year to educate members of the legislature and organize support for public health policy. 

Chandler co-founded the caucus with Rep. Jason Lewis of Winchester, who also received a 2012 MPHA Public Health Champion award.

She also co-chairs the Oral Health Caucus, which advocates for prevention of oral disease and access to dental care for all residents.

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