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New England Coalition for Health Promotion & Disease Prevention

The Western Massachusetts Health Action Forum

Who Should Attend?

On Thursday, September 13, 2001, the New England Coalition for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention (NECON), the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, the five Western Massachusetts Community Health Networks (CHNAs) and the Massachusetts Prevention Centers are convening our first Western Massachusetts Health Action Forum.

NECON has been asked by the New England Governors' Conference to interact with health policymakers throughout New England and to submit recommendations periodically for the improvement of the health status of the region. The Western Massachusetts Health Action Forum, as well as the annual regional NECON conference (this year on October 16 at the Massachusetts Medical Society headquarters in Waltham - CLICK HERE to learn more) and other state health action forums, is being sponsored in partial fulfillment of this mandate.

Through a process of information sharing and consensus building, the goal of the Western Massachusetts Health Action Forum is to assist participants in the development of a set of short and long-term policy recommendations to prevent and eliminate health disparities in Western Massachusetts.  The objectives of the forum are:

  1. To convene the leadership of local and regional coalitions concerned about health disparities in Western Massachusetts;
     
  2. To provide a forum to share and learn about ways to reduce health disparities in Western Massachusetts through examination of:

    Local and regional issues related to access to health care, adolescent health, HIV and hepatitis, substance abuse, and asthma;
    Underlying causes of poor health in the region;
    Values, practices, and beliefs around health in local communities; and
    Methods of mobilizing the region and local communities to advocate for              prevention and health.
     
  3. To provide opportunities to network among coalitions, state and local officials, health care providers, community-based organizations, advocacy groups, voluntary organizations, colleges and universities, and others committed to preventing and reducing health disparities;
     
  4. To develop strategies to maintain, support, and increase collaboration and enhance effectiveness of prevention programs locally and regionally; and
     
  5. To build a regional advocacy network with a process for informing and influencing health policymakers and promoting resource development to improve the health of communities in Western Massachusetts.

We do hope that your schedule permits you to join us for this day-long meeting and to participate in what promises to be a very exciting gathering of Western Massachusetts health policymakers. The forum is being held from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Log Cabin in Holyoke. Lunch is included in the registration fee. It is requested that you register by Friday, August 31, 2001, although late registrations will be accepted. An online registration form is available for your convenience - CLICK HERE for agenda.

I look forward to seeing you on September 13 and to working with you to promote prevention and the elimination of health disparities in Western Massachusetts.

Bertram A. Yaffe
Chairman, NECON

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