More than a hundred people gathered yesterday at Nurses Hall at the State House for the United We Stand For Public Health Coalition’s lobby day to protect funding for public health programs. Senator Richard Moore (D-Uxbridge), Chair of the Health Care Finance Committee, urged the crowd to speak to their representatives to help them understand the importance of public health and how they and those they care about are affected by the budget cuts to public health.
In addition to Senator Moore, Diana Mendez, a senior at Chelsea High School, Jacob Smith Yang, Executive Director of Mass. Asian and Pacific Islanders for Health, Mellisa Herren, Mother and Advocate in recovery, and Health Care For All’s Consumer Health Quality Council member, Lucilia Prates, spoke at the event.
Lucilia’s story was highlighted in one of the videos we released earlier this year. Please click here to view her clip. Lucilia’s father was a victim of medical errors and a hospital-acquired infection and passed away as a result. While Lucilia recognized that the system isn’t perfect, she highlighted the important work of the Department of Public Health (DPH):
Massachusetts and its DPH have been doing work to reduce infections and medical errors and improve the quality of health care in hospitals, nursing homes and other healthcare settings.
We need to continue to fund the DPH’s health care quality work and infection prevention work and the work of the Betsy Lehman Center for Patient Safety and Medical Error Reduction in order to ensure that others don’t suffer injury and death due to medical errors and infections the way my father had.
Representative Denise Provost (D-Somerville) filed two budget amendments to protect funding for the Division of Health Care Quality and the Betsy Lehman Center within the House budget. The amendments did not pass. Health Care For All and the Consumer Health Quality Council will continue advocating in support of funding when the Senate takes up the budget. For more information, contact Kuong Ly at firstname.lastname@example.org.