New Policy and Advocacy Sub-Committee Aims to Improve Health Outcomes for the General Mass Community
The MGH has always welcomed people who want to make a difference in their community – within the hospital and beyond. Now, staff take their advocacy to the state and federal levels through the new Executive Committee on Community Health (ECOCH) and the Executive Committee on Diversity and Equity (ECODE) Policy and Advocacy Subcommittee.
Committed to evaluating, approving, and elevating policies that improve public and community health, health equity, and the social determinants of health, the Policy and Advocacy Subcommittee gives MGHers the opportunity to seek approval for legislation at the hospital and/or system level through a online submission process.
“We had a number of policies approved by Mass Gen. Brigham,” says Fiona Danaher, MD, co-chair of the subcommittee.
More recently, the system approved the Work and Family Mobility Act, which grants driver’s licenses to Massachusetts residents regardless of immigration status. The law recently became state law after the House and Senate overruled the governor’s veto.
“We know from our social determinants of health data that transportation is a significant barrier for many of our patients with limited English proficiency,” says Danaher. “They have trouble getting to their appointments. Access to vaccines and testing sites has also been difficult for them during the COVID-19 pandemic, so we were thrilled when Mass Gen. Brigham supported this bill.
Staff from all departments are encouraged to submit draft bills for review to the ECOCH/ECODE Policy and Advocacy Sub-Committee. The group amendment request is available here. Submitters are encouraged to describe how the issue affects the health of patients in the MGH community.
Although the app asks for a lot of information, Danaher says staff shouldn’t be intimidated. Subcommittee members are available to answer questions and guide people through the process.
“The work of this joint committee is a great way for MGHers to lend their voices and advocate for state and federal policies that put the health-related needs of our patients first,” says Wendy Macias Konstantopoulos, MD, co-chair of the sub-committee. “Their advocacy will help improve health outcomes in the diverse communities we serve. »
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