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Press Release Massachusetts Department of Public Health to Mark its 150th Year

For immediate release:
  • Department of Public Health

Media Contact for Massachusetts Department of Public Health to Mark its 150th Year

Ann Scales, Director of Media Relations

Department of Public Health 150th Year Logo

BOSTON — The Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) will celebrate its 150th anniversary, or “sesquicentennial,” with a series of events and has unveiled a new logo that will be used throughout the year to mark the occasion.

The year-long recognition will include commemorations during National Public Health Week in April, activities at the state’s Public Health Museum in Tewksbury this summer, speaking presentations, and other events. The activities will be promoted using the anniversary logo that reads, “150 Years of Advancing Public Health” in addition to the traditional department seal.

America’s first board of health was established by an act of the Massachusetts Legislature in Boston in 1799, with Paul Revere as president. Later, in September of 1869, the Massachusetts State Board of Health, now DPH, was established by Dr. Henry I. Bowditch, its first chairman. It later merged with what was called the “Board of Health, Lunacy, and Charity” and went on to publish the first manual of public health laws, require mandatory reporting of dangerous diseases, establish the nation’s first Food and Drug Laboratory and state public health microbiology lab, among other landmark achievements.

“We’re proud to celebrate our first 150 years,” said DPH Commissioner Monica Bharel, MD, MPH. “Marking this year enables us to acknowledge our many “firsts” and our continuing accomplishments. It also encourages us to think about how we are working now to improve public health today and for the next 150 years.”

To learn more about the history of public health in the Commonwealth, view the list of public health milestones or visit The state’s Public Health Museum, the nation’s first such museum, features artifacts and records of U.S. public health history, serves as a public education resource, and promotes initiatives addressing current health issues.


Media Contact for Massachusetts Department of Public Health to Mark its 150th Year

Department of Public Health 

DPH promotes the health and well-being of all residents by ensuring access to high-quality public health and healthcare services, and by focusing on prevention, wellness, and health equity in all people.