October 22nd: Social Work and the Health of Populations

By Andree EntezariSeptember 20th, 2019in SHIELD Updates

Social Work and the Health of Populations

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

3:00–5:30 p.m.


Charles River Campus, Photonics Center, Colloquium Room
8 St. Mary’s Street

Please Register

Services for Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing People Provided


Livestreaming Available During Event

Cohosted with the School of Social Work Center for Innovation in Social Work & Health.

Social work and public health are both centrally concerned with the social determinants of health. This half-day symposium will explore how, together, social work and public health can improve population health, from individual-level to systemic change. We aim to generate ideas for future collaboration in scholarship, policy, and practice.

2.5 free social work CEUs available for in-person attendees


3:00 p.m. – 3:15 p.m.

Jorge Delva, Dean, Boston University School of Social Work and Director and Paul Farmer Professor, Center for Innovation in Social Work and Health

Sandro Galea, Dean and Robert A. Knox Professor, Boston University School of Public Health

3:15 p.m. – 3:45 p.m.

Charles E. Lewis, Jr., President, Congressional Research Institute for Social Work and Policy

3:45 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.

Community Health
Linda Sprague Martinez, Associate Professor, Boston University School of Social Work

Health Care
Jennifer Valenzuela, Principal of Equity and People, Health Leads (SSW ’00, SPH ’01)

Global Health
Fernando Ona, Clinical Associate Professor of Public Health and Community Medicine, Tufts University and Clinician, Boston Center for Refugee Health and Human Rights, Boston Medical Center (CAS ’92, SSW ’15)

Heidi Allen, Associate Professor, Columbia University School of Social Work

Educating Social Workers for Public Health
Betty J. Ruth, Clinical Professor and Director, MSW/MPH Program, Boston University School of Social Work (SSW ’84, SPH ’85)

Moderator: Harold Cox, Associate Dean for Public Health Practice and Associate Professor of Community Health Sciences, Boston University School of Public Health


Follow Chester! Exploring Microaggressions, Civility, and Allies in Children’s Books and Beyond

By Andree EntezariSeptember 17th, 2019in SHIELD Updates

Monday, October 7, 2019

1:00–2:00 p.m.

DOORS OPEN, 12:30 P.M.

Keefer Auditorium
72 East Concord Street

Please Register

Services for Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing People Provided

Livestreaming Available During Event

Cohosted with the Activist Lab

In her presentation, “Follow Chester! Exploring Microaggressions, Civility, and Allies in Children’s Books and Beyond,” Gloria Respress-Churchwell will discuss practical ways to address difficult themes with children using picture books like her children’s book, Follow Chester!. This compelling story takes us on the football field as Chester Pierce leads his team to take charge of their destiny through courage, friendship, and support to combat racism. All are welcome to this presentation in which the author will explore ways that text, images, and music can be used as tools in educating young readers about these difficult and important issues. The author will use the book’s illustrations by 2019 Coretta Scott King Honoree Laura Freeman, and she will share music developed for Follow Chester!.

400 Years of Inequality: Breaking the Cycle of Systemic Racism

By Andree EntezariSeptember 17th, 2019in SHIELD Updates

Friday, October 18, 2019

8:30 a.m.–2:30 p.m.


Hiebert Lounge
72 East Concord Street

Please Register

Services for Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing People Provided


Livestreaming Available During Event

Cohosted with the Howard Thurman Center for Common Ground, the Museum of African American History, and the Activist Lab

This day is a part of a national movement by schools of public health to engage in the observance of “400 Years of Inequality,” marking 400 years since a group of 20 Africans were first sold in bondage in Jamestown, Virginia. This Dean’s Symposium aims to use this anniversary to discuss how we can disrupt systemic racism, with forward-looking and solution-driven discussions.


8:00 a.m. – 8:30 a.m.

8:00 a.m. – 8:30 a.m.

Sandro Galea (@sandrogalea), Dean and Robert A. Knox Professor, Boston University School of Public Health

Harold Cox, Associate Dean for Public Health Practice and Associate Professor of Community Health Sciences, Boston University School of Public Health

8:35 a.m. – 8:45 a.m.

Marita Rivero, Executive Director, Museum of African American History

8:45 a.m. – 9:15 a.m.

Cornell William Brooks, Professor of the Practice of Public Leadership and Social Justice, Harvard Kennedy School

9:15 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.

Naa Oyo A. Kwate, Associate Professor of Africana Studies, Associate Professor of Human Ecology, Rutgers University

sade adeeyo, Research Associate, Urban Institute

Beth Shinn, Professor, Vanderbilt, Peabody College

Sheila Savannah, Managing Director, Prevention Institute

Ruby Mendenhall, Associate Professor in Sociology, African American Studies, Urban and Regional Planning, and Social Work, University of Illinois

Moderator: Harold Cox, Associate Dean for Public Health Practice and Associate Professor of Community Health Sciences

10:30 a.m. – 10:45 a.m.

10:45 a.m. – 11:15 a.m.

Neera Tanden, President and CEO, Center for American Progress

11:15 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Sherman James, Professor Emeritus, Duke University Sanford School of Public Policy

Elmira Mangum, CEO, EMPLUS LLC; Former President, Florida A&M University

Linda Greene, Evjue-Bascom Professor of Law, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Moderator: Yvette Cozier, Assistant Dean for Diversity and Inclusion, Boston University School of Public Health

12:30 p.m. – 12:45 p.m.

Bob Fullilove, Associate Dean, Community and Minority Affairs, Columbia Mailman School of Public Health

12:45 p.m. – 1:15 p.m.

1:15 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.

Rhodessa Jones, Co-Artistic Director, Cultural Odyssey/Director, THE MEDEA PROJECT/Artist in Residence, Boston University School of Public Health Activist Lab

The capstone of her residency, Rhodessa Jones will perform several vignettes from her repertoire to explore and expand on the themes discussed throughout the day and guide an interactive discussion with the audience.

Jeffrey Sánchez: Growing up in Public Health

By Andree EntezariJuly 19th, 2019in SHIELD Updates


For more than 16 years as a Massachusetts State Representative, Jeffrey Sánchez successfully championed public health policies and legislation centered on improving the health and well-being of his constituents in the 15th Suffolk district, as well as residents throughout the Commonwealth. Previously, Jeffrey served as the Chair of the Joint Committee on Health Care Financing and the Chair of the Joint Committee on Public Health as well as the Vice-Chair of the Joint Committee on Economic Development. Sánchez also serves as an instructor at the Harvard University T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

Long before he was elected to the Massachusetts House of Representatives, Jeffrey Sánchez was a kid growing up in the culture of public health. He was the son of an activist mother who led successful efforts to improve living conditions for Mission Hill residents. Unhappy with the health care options in New York, she had moved the family to Boston seeking a second opinion about the care of an ill daughter. Sánchez and his family have lived in the city ever since.

He was born in New York, but when I ask he tells me he’s “New-eurican.” That’s short-hand for being from both New York and Puerto Rico. “I’ll tell anyone who’ll listen,” he jokes bilingually. He describes himself as the sort of person “everyone wanted to be around.” The description checks out. Sánchez is exceedingly approachable and loves to talk about the history and culture of Mission Hill, from its Irish roots to the neighborhood becoming increasingly Latino, from a residential area with reasonably priced housing to a high-priced ward, forcing long-time residents outside of the neighborhood in search of something more affordable.

He says he “didn’t necessarily like politics,” although it was something he observed from a young age as his mom brought him to community meetings and invited policymakers and neighbors into their home. “I had public health in my house by virtue of the environment that we lived in,” he explained. “The conditions of the projects were horrible, so my mother and a group of other folks started fighting the housing authority, saying ‘you have to do something about these housing conditions,’ which essentially secured that housing development for the future.”

Sánchez became a regular at 1545 Tremont St., Boston’s Basilica, a short walk from the housing projects where he grew up. When I asked to meet him somewhere in Mission Hill for this interview, that’s the address he gave me. “This church was my sanctuary,” he told me, “I spent all my time here, the church was the center of the community.” Churchgoers and priests stop to say hello as we speak. Moments later, we step outside to continue our walking tour of his old stomping grounds and he recognizes a woman on the street who’s pushing a stroller. Again, they speak for a few minutes (in Spanish) and he leans over to kiss the baby. Later in the afternoon it would happen again as we were walking through one of Mission Hill’s green spaces. A young man exercising stops to say hello to Sánchez, and as we say goodbye he casually tells me: “That’s my godson.” With each encounter I’m struck that he not only knows people in Mission Hill, but he truly cares for them, in a way you wouldn’t imagine most legislators do.

We have to permeate these cultures and communities with the language of public health if we really want to reach them, he explains. It’s something his mother tried to do.


To Sánchez, public health is about community, but he knows that making policies play out in the real world is one of the field’s great challenges. “How do you make sure public health is being delivered so people feel it as part of their culture and community?” We have to permeate these cultures and communities with the language of public health if we really want to reach them, he explains. It’s something his mother tried to do. Despite being members of a strict Catholic community, his mother and other activists promoted teen pregnancy prevention strategies. “Can you imagine?” he asks me. “These seriously Catholic women handing out condoms?”

Today Sánchez calls himself a “practical progressive,” and says policymakers should spend their time working on policies we can actually implement. “Everyone wants single payer now, but how are they going to implement it and who’s going to own it?” He says Chapter 58 (the Massachusetts health reform blueprint for the ACA) was successful because everyone owned it–citizens, the government (both state and federal), and the business community. “It all comes back to the idea of shared responsibility and respect,” he said, “I might hate everything you have to say, but what are you going to do when my kid is sick?” he asked. “You care, you help out.”

His accomplishments are impressive and numerous–he helped pass health care reform in Massachusetts in 2006; he was appointed the Co-Chair of the Joint Committee on Public Health in 2009; he was the Chair of the House Committee on Ways and Means, and passed a $43 billion budget in 2018 to pay for Massachusetts’ sprawling health care system. He’s worked to improve early education, affordable housing, trans rights and marriage equality, among numerous other public health issues. Now that he’s left the House of Representatives, Sánchez has taken on some new projects. Last Spring he taught a seminar at the Harvard School of Public Health and he’s staying involved in his community, not to mention spending more time with his wife and children.

At one point, Sánchez asks my plans after graduate school. He wants to know if I plan to stay in Boston. “Students come and go in this town,” he says. “No one is staying long enough to get to know these communities; who’s going to protect them?”

Photo courtesy of Jeffrey Sánchez

New Meningococcal School Requirements

By Andree EntezariJune 19th, 2019in SHIELD Updates

In 2005 the FDA licensed the first meningococcal conjugate vaccine protecting against meningococcal strains A, C, W, and Y. The federal Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) made a routine recommendation for all adolescents to receive a dose of the new vaccine at 11-12 years of age that same year. In 2010 the ACIP added a booster dose of MenACWY vaccine at 16 years of age to the routine recommendation for all adolescents to ensure adequate protection against meningococcal disease. Massachusetts has achieved high immunization rates with the first dose of MenACWY vaccine (over 90%) but rates for the booster dose both nationally and here in MA lag significantly (less than 55%).

Immunization requirements for school entry for the 2019-2020 school year will remain the same. However, we want to make you aware that at the start of the 2020-2021 school year, school nurses will need to obtain an immunization record for the meningococcal conjugate vaccine for students entering the 7th and 11th grade, unless a religious or medical exemption applies. The immunization record will need to demonstrate:

·    7th grade entry: 1 dose of meningococcal conjugate vaccine (MenACWY) for all students.

·    11th grade entry: 1 booster dose of meningococcal conjugate vaccine (Men ACWY) received on or after 16 years of age.  (One or more doses of MenACWY vaccine are acceptable as long as one dose was received on or after 16 years of age.)

We recognize that this is the first time there will a reporting requirement for high school and that new processes for obtaining updated immunization records for students entering 11th grade will need to be implemented. However, meningococcal disease incidence peaks among young people 16-21 years of age. Implementation of a required booster dose of MenACWY vaccine for entry to 11th grade ensures that everyone is protected before entering the high-risk time period. While Massachusetts college entrance immunization requirements include MenACWY vaccine, young adults who do not attend college are also at increased risk for meningococcal disease. An 11th grade requirement aims to protect everyone in this at-risk age group. We will provide additional information and updates to support schools and school nurses in this endeavor over the coming year.

If you have any questions about these new school requirements, please contact the Immunization Division Assessment Unit at 617-983-4330.

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Article: Immunization Division News: Measles in Massachusetts – 2019

By Andree EntezariMay 17th, 2019in SHIELD Updates

Due to routine childhood immunization with the MMR vaccine, measles was declared eliminated from the United States in 2000. That disease elimination success story is currently in jeopardy as, according to CDC, from January 1 to May 10, 2019, 839 individual cases of measles have been confirmed in 23 states. This was an increase of 75 cases from the previous week and is the greatest number of cases reported in the U.S. since 1994. Measles has received extensive media attention, in Massachusetts and nationally, during the first few months of 2019.

In Massachusetts there has been one confirmed case to date in 2019, out of 87 cases investigated. Last year, in contrast, 24 suspected measles cases were investigated during the same time period (with zero confirmed cases).

The recent confirmed case in Massachusetts received quite a bit of publicity following an MDPH press release on 4/1/19 describing possible public exposures throughout the state. Individual towns where exposures took place were notified by MDPH epidemiologists. Forty of the 85 suspected cases of measles in MA in 2019 have been reported since 4/1/19. Clearly, healthcare providers are suspecting measles in patients with compatible illness. There were no secondary cases identified.

There have also been measles exposures on airlines involving Massachusetts passengers, a traveler with measles who went through Boston by bus in February, and several rumors about measles in Massachusetts that have turned out to be false.

MDPH issued a Clinical Measles Alert on 4/17/19, urging healthcare providers to do the following:

  • Assess staff and patient immunity to measles today, and vaccinate those without evidence of immunity**
  • Consider measles in patients who:

·        Present with febrile rash illness and clinically compatible measles symptoms (cough, coryza [runny nose] or conjunctivitis)

·        Recently traveled internationally or were exposed to someone who recently traveled

·        Have not been vaccinated against measles

  • If you suspect measles, do the following immediately:
  1. Promptly isolate patients to minimize disease transmission.
  2.  Immediately report a suspect measles case to your local board of health and to the MDPH Divisions of Epidemiology and Immunization at 617-983-6800. Cases diagnosed in Boston should be reported to the Boston Public Health Commission at 617-534-5611.
  3. Obtain specimens for testing from patients with suspected measles, including serum and an NP swab or throat swab. Call 617-983-6800 to arrange testing at the MA State Public Health Laboratory.

A press release recommending MMR vaccination entitled “Public Health Officials Urge Massachusetts Residents to Get Vaccinated Against Measles Now” was posted on the MDPH website on 4/30/19.

Upcoming measles-related training: A CDC Clinician Outreach and Communication Activity (COCA) conference call is scheduled on Tuesday, May 21, from 2-3 PM, entitled Most Measles Cases in 25 Years: Is This the End of Measles Elimination in the United States? For more information go to

MDPH Immunization Updates: Measles is also discussed by MDPH epidemiologists at the regional Immunization Updates taking place this spring. There are still in-person trainings and webinars available:

CDC Measles Toolkit and Other Resources for Healthcare Providers

CDC Measles Toolkits for healthcare providers and state/local health departments: CDC has recently developed web-based tools (posters, fact sheets, FAQs) for measles education and control. They are available at and will have items added to them as they are developed. For up-to-date answers to questions, visit Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Measles in the U.S. at

Measles Resources:

CDC Measles Website:

CDC MMR FAQs for Healthcare Providers:

CDC Measles FAQs:

CDC measles fact sheet for parents (available in English and Spanish):

MDPH Measles Chapter:

  • Appendix A and B of the measles chapter contain measles specimen collection instructions, and a one-page document describing initial steps to take when measles is suspected in a provider office.

MDPH Measles Fact Sheets:

English - Measles  Chinese (Simplified) - 麻疹  Haitian Creole - Lawoujòl

Portuguese - Sarampo  Spanish - Sarampión  Vietnamese - Bệnh Sởi

Have questions about immunizations? Contact us!Immunization Division | 617-983-6800Vaccine Unit | 617-983-6828MIIS Help Desk | 617-983-4335

MMR Vaccination and Int'l Travel,

Evidence of Immunity

MMR Vaccination Before International Travel

Before any international travel—

  • Infants 6—11 months old need 1 dose of measles vaccine. Infants who get one dose of MMR vaccine before their first birthday should get two more doses according to the routinely recommended schedule (one dose at 12 through 15 months of age and another dose at 4 through 6 years of age or at least 28 days later).
  • Children 12 months and older need 2 doses separated by at least 28 days
  • Teenagers and adults who do not have evidence of immunity** against measles should get 2 doses separated by at least 28 days

**Evidence of Immunity

Acceptable presumptive evidence of immunity against measles includes at least one of the following:

  • Written documentation of adequate vaccination: one or more doses of a measles-containing vaccine administered on or after the first birthday for preschool-age children and adults not at high risk; two doses of measles-containing vaccine for school-age children and adults at high risk, including college students, healthcare personnel, and international travelers
  • Laboratory evidence of immunity
  • Laboratory confirmation of measles
  • Birth before 1957 (year of birth is not acceptable evidence of immunity for healthcare providers)


Please call MDPH at 617-983-6800 if you have questions and concerns about measles.


Divisions of Epidemiology and Immunization

Bureau of Infectious Disease and Laboratory Sciences

Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MDPH)

305 South Street, Jamaica Plain, MA 02130