Health Justice for Boston ~ Number 24. December 2015
Steward Healthcare has announced its intention to drop its new family medicine residency program at Dorchester's Carney Hospital while fighting to open a lucrative cardiac catheterization lab at Saint Anne's Hospital in Fall River. Family medicine is not enough of a money-maker. In the brave new world of market medicine, community needs come second to corporate profit. We are working for a better way, striving to build a just healthcare system embedded in a just society!
Black Soldiers in the War of the Slaveowners’ Rebellion
Stories from the Massachusetts 54th and 55th, "colored regiments" in the Civil War.
Health Justice for Boston co-editor Quentin Davis spoke on the book she edited at a forum in Quincy’s United First Parish Church on December 4th. Sponsored by the South Shore Coalition for Human Rights and that church’s outreach committee, Quentin’s presentation on her great grandfather’s contribution to the struggle against slavery was well received. HJB newsletters and other literature were made available. Just a year ago, this was the site of our rallying to try to stop Steward’s ultimate closure of Quincy’s 114-year-old community hospital.
A Month of Fighting for Environmental & Social Justice
Delegations from Roxbury Safety Net and the Coalition to Stop the BU Bioterror Lab have met with US Representative Joe Kennedy and Senator Elizabeth Warren’s staff in recent weeks to build support for a moratorium on the granting of permits for “gain of function” work on “potential pandemic pathogens.” The high incidence of human error in the handling of the planet’s deadliest germs across the country and around the world has led to a freeze, which we want firmly in place until clear and uniform guidelines are in place and enforceable, and our healthcare system is prepared to deal with the consequences of any breach. Further plans for the Coalition are being developed.
Hilary Farmer has begun work on a documentary on our Health Justice for Boston initiative, and has been taping interviews with our activists and examining different aspects of our work. Klare Allen, organizer of Roxbury Safety Net, has taken her to the BU bioterror lab on Albany Street and the United Waste Management trash transfer station on Kemble Street in Roxbury. Watch for this documentary in 2016 and use it to help build our movement.
On December 12th, thousands came to Boston Common from near and far for the New England Rally on Climate Change. Karen Higgins, RN, ICU nurse at Boston Medical Center and co-president of National Nurses United, spoke of organized nursing’s commitment to protecting our planet.
Actions continue in the effort to stop the West Roxbury Lateral Pipeline from bringing pressurized fracked gas from out of state across Massachusetts and across the neighborhoods of Boston. The Massachusetts Nurses Association has supported these efforts. On December 17th, the MNA board renewed its commitment and extended it to oppose the North Weymouth condenser which is part of this widespread network.
On December 21st, picketers returned to the River Street Price Rite supermarket in Hyde Park as the workers continue to fight to get organized under the banner of the United Food & Commercial Workers Union. Jobs with Justice and other unions mobilized support and pledged to keep up the pressure until victory: an end to poverty wages, $15 an hour, consistent scheduling, paid sick leave, pensions, fair employment practices and the right to form a union without management harassment.
As cost-effective services and facilities in working-class communities are cut back and closed, high-rise building at high-cost academic medical centers grows. The campaign to save the Prouty Garden in the Longwood Medical Area from being converted into another high-rise building goes on. The medical marketplace is a failure.
Our work in the social media has expanded in recent weeks. The Facebook group Health Justice for Boston has been joined by the Facebook page Health Justice for Boston Newsletter, which archives all these monthly newsletters in clear PDF format. We now have the group Single Payer Milestones, which archives many articles in the long struggle against the corporatization of Massachusetts health care. Then we now have Mass-Care's CommonHealth Newsletter, which houses all those newsletters.
What is Healthcare Justice?
- Access: Can you get the care you need?
- Affordability: Will you go bankrupt if you do?
- Quality: Will you survive your encounter?
- Equality: Do you meet special barriers to care?
For more information on health care as a right, not a commodity:
To navigate the current system:
Boston Mayor’s HealthLine @ 617-534-5050
Health Care For All - Massachusetts
Consumer Health HelpLine @ 800-272-4232
Massachusetts Health Connector
Customer Support @ 877-623-6765
For more information, contact: