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The mission of the Intergovernmental Relations & Policy Development Office is to promote a strong, effective advocacy voice and presence for public health policy at all levels of government, and to accomplish BPHC strategies for good health and health equity through laws and regulations.  We believe that staff, clients, and community members should have the skills and opportunities to participate meaningfully in the policymaking process and work for policy changes that benefit the health of residents, especially the most vulnerable.


  • Track information on heath policy and major priority issues
  • Advocate to improve public health through laws, regulations and public budgets at the local, state and federal level
  • Support programs to develop policy priorities and advocate for them
  • Provide training and support for staff, clients/constituents, and community partners to develop advocacy skills to speak up for issues they care about
  • Coordinate Voting for Health, to educate and mobilize voters to support neighborhood health

Priority State Legislation for 2019-2020 Session are the following bills.​

  • HB1173/SB678 An Act improving public health through a common application for core food, health and safety-net programs (Rep. Livingstone/Sen. DiDomenico): Creates a common benefits application for all core food, health and safety net programs.HB2005 An Act to Prevent Gun Violence (Rep. Santiago): Requires the creation of screening protocols for medical providers to ask patients about the presence of guns in the home.
  • HB2005 An Act to Prevent Gun Violence (Rep. Santiago): Requires the creation of screening protocols for medical providers to ask patients about the presence of guns in the home.
  • HB2006/SB1218 An Act Establishing A Sharps Stewardship Program (Rep. Santiago/Sen. Collins): Updates the state Drug Stewardship Program to include hypodermic needles, lancets, and other sharps products.
  • HB1971 An Act Relative to Conducting Fetal Infant Mortality Review (FIMR) (Rep. Miranda): Calls for the creation of a process for local public health entities to receive information on infant and fetal deaths in a timely manner.
  • HB2623 An Act Relative to Lead Abatement (Rep. Scaccia): Codifies new state regulations that were implemented in 2017 lowering the threshold for lead poisoning intervention and fund childhood lead poisoning prevention.  
  • HB2360/SB1583 An Act Relative to Surviving Family of Emergency Medical Technicians (Rep. Ryan/Sen. Rush): Makes surviving spouses of emergency medical technicians eligible to receive survivor benefits from the state at the same level other first responders, fire and police personnel.
  • SB1339 An Act Relative to Public Safety and Public Health Worker Protections (Sen. Rush): Makes it easier to petition the courts for patient testing when public safety officers experience unprotected exposure to blood or bodily fluids.

The Commission has a strong commitment to supporting the involvement of all Boston residents in shaping policies that affect their lives.  During important election seasons, our non-partisan Voting for Health initiative aims to increase voter awareness and turnout among all city residents.



HIA is an internationally-recognized tool to evaluate the impacts of a proposed project or policy change on the health of impacted populations and an opportunity to apply a Health in All Policies (HiAP) lens to decision-making processes. 

BPHC completed a development-oriented HIA in 2012 on a large development project located at 35 Northampton Square in Roxbury.  We have also participated on numerous advisory boards for HIAs that have been completed in Boston. 

In October 2014, BPHC received a grant from the Health Impact Project to conduct a Health Impact Assessment (HIA) of proposed updates to the City of Boston’s Living Wage Ordinance. The Living Wage Ordinance, which was first passed in 1998, requires city-contracted employers to pay at least $13.89 per hour.  The goal of our HIA is to inform public debate about how the proposed changes to enforce and expand the ordinance might affect the health of low income workers.  Throughout the 18-month HIA process, BPHC will convene an advisory board made up of relevant city agencies and those representing low wage workers, employers and other impacted stakeholders, conduct community meetings, focus groups and interviews, analyze data, develop recommendations and communicate findings.

Beyond impacting changes to the ordinance, we hope the HIA will inform future debates on the links between economic policy and the health of the city’s low income residents and neighborhoods and build stronger connections between efforts to build health equity and economic justice in the city.

This project is supported by a grant from the Health Impact Project, a collaboration of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Pew Charitable Trusts, with funding from the de Beaumont Foundation.

Boston Public Health Commission
1010 Massachusetts Ave, 6th Floor, Boston, MA 02118.
Phone:(617) 534-5395 Email: