17th Annual Adult Immunization Conference
Read Complete Article
Dr. Sanjay Gupta, CNN Chief Medical Correspondent reports on the link between school air and health.
Watch on CNN - Saturday, January 14, at 8p and 11p Eastern
Sunday, January 15, at 2a, 8p and 11p.
An estimated one-third of schools have poor air quality bad enough to cause respiratory health problems for children and their teachers. The threat to health may be increasing as tight budgets lead to schools cutting back on ventilation, maintenance and upkeep.Read Complete Article
I attended a Public Policy Institute / One Massachusetts meeting last week organized to debrief the mostly successful campaign to defeat the ballot questions and to lay the foundation for future policy making in the Commonwealth. At the meeting were leaders from the Boston Parents Organizing Network, from housing, youth development, environment and jobs organizations and projects, and state legislators and legislative committee staff. I wish my PTA colleagues could have been there too.
The work now is to transform the "No, No, No" campaign against the ballot question into a YES YES YES for our communities.
YES, we want stable, healthy communities with opportunities for recovery. YES, we believe that all of our friends and neighbors deserve safe homes and neighborhoods. YES, we understand that our shared investment is essential to expanding economic opportunity and prosperity in Massachusetts.
We know that there is a growing shortfall in state and local revenues. We will continue to see cut backs in schools and communities as the federal dollars diminish and the state's local aid is unable to cover school and community deficits.
Privatizing our community services and lower taxes are not the answer.
I gained a better understanding of the hard work that many many grassroots community groups have put into creating a diverse and coordinated coalition for economic, environmental and social justice. They are continuing to offer free training on policy making, the budget process, and other 'civic literacy' topics that provide citizens with a foundation for effective civic engagement and advocacy.
This is important work.
If anyone would like more information, please let me know. If I could be on the call today I would propose empowering PTA members by sharing information about PPI's and One Massachusetts' resources. Let's link up.
Parents, teachers, nurses, health officials, and other concerned citizens from across western Massachusetts gathered on July 23rd at the Holyoke Baystate Health Systems conference facility to participate in the forum: The Western Massachusetts H1N1 Experience: Looking Back and Moving Forward.
The goal of this forum was to learn from the region's response to the recent H1N1 outbreak and to share strategies to ensure we are part of the solution and not the problem in any future pandemics.
A panel of parents, educators, clinicians and community members discussed the issue, including Ellie Goldberg, Mass PTA; Nina Martin-Anzuoni, Franklin County Council of Governments; Deb Albury, Springfield Disparities Council and a Springfield Public Schools parent; Patricia Sherry Petrucci, Agawam Public Health Nurse ; and Donna Lazorik, MDPH Adult Vaccine Coordinator.
The program also featured breakout sessions to address regional concerns such as the different challenges faced by urban, suburban, and rural communities, and a tabletop discussion on health communications – based on a priority identified by the breakout groups. A presentation outlining the results of the tabletop exercise is available here.
Promote healthy breathing and high performance at your school. Use these checklists to identify problems that need your help. Find the strengths and weaknesses in your school's health and safety policies and practices. Work together to fix up and clean up your school. For more ideas for Healthy Schools Day activities go to #1 Plan Your Activity.
Mass PTA is participating in the Healthy Schools Network 2010 National Healthy Schools Day, April 26. National Healthy Schools Day is an important day for everyone to celebrate and promote healthy and green school environments for all children through the use of US Environmental Protection Agency’s Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) Tools for Schools (TfS) Program. National Healthy Schools Day is coordinated by Healthy Schools Network in collaboration with US EPA and the Council of Educational Facility Planners – International (CEFPI). It is the first day of School Building Week. The 2010 campaign will focus on using certified green cleaning products which help reduce pollutants from indoor air. http://www.nationalhealthyschoolsday.org/
We encourage units to plan activities (Do parent-teacher walk-throughs to identify opportunities for clean-up/fix-up projects, promote green cleaning policies, improve parent involvement in safety and wellness policies...)
Did you know:
Yesterday, the House of Representatives passed the School Nutrition Bill and the Local Farm Products Bill! Thank you to everyone who called, emailed, and visited your Representative over the last few days. Many Reps told us they were inundated with calls! The final vote in the House was 152 in support and 4 opposed.
But our work is not complete! Passage in the Senate will not be easy. Stay tuned for more information on what you can do in the weeks ahead.
The School Nutrition Bill has been championed by Chairman Peter Koutoujian of Waltham. Public Health Committee Chair Jeffrey Sánchez of Jamaica Plain was crucial in getting the bill through the committee process and passed in the full House.
During debate in the House, Representative George Petersen of Grafton offered an amendment to include the full text of the Local Farm Products Bill, and the House voted unanimously to approve the amendment!
There was great press coverage in the MetroWest Daily News and the Lowell Sun and the Worcester Telegram and Gazette. The Boston Globe wrote an editorial in support of the bill.
SAVE THE DATE
Acting FRESH Campaign Meeting, February 8, 2010, 3:30-5:00pm
Greater Boston: Building Strategies for Healthier Neighborhoods through Public Policy. Hosted by Massachusetts Public Health Association in collaboration with Somerville Community Health Agenda, Energize Everett and the Mattapan Food and Fitness Coalition. Location: Regional Center for Healthy Communities, 552 Massachusetts Ave, Suite 203, Cambridge, MA (directions) (accessible by T, bus, biking, walking; public parking available).
Mass PTA has joined Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families, a national advocacy campaign for smarter federal policies about toxic chemicals. The goal is to give the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) the tools it needs to put common sense limits on toxic chemicals.
Current laws do not provide the safeguards to protect the public (especially children) from toxic substances. Indeed, our children are the hit and run victims of the thousands of health damaging and life altering "stealth" substances in our water, air and food and in the consumer products we use in our daily.Read Complete Article