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Local and Regional Public Health Advisory Committee

The Local Public Health Advisory Committee (LRPHAC) serves in an advisory capacity to inform and monitor progress on implementation of the recommendations of the Special Commission on Local and Regional Public Health (“Commission”).


In August 2016, the Special Commission on Local and Regional Public Health was established by Chapter 3 of the Resolves of 2016 to “assess the effectiveness and efficiency of municipal and regional public health systems and to make recommendations regarding how to strengthen the delivery of public health services and preventive measures”. The Commission completed its work in June 2019 with the release of its findings and recommendations in its report: Blueprint for Public Health Excellence: Recommendations for Improved Effectiveness and Efficiency of Local Public Health Protections (June 2019) (PDF) | (DOCX). In the report, the Commission recommended continuing engagement of “a wide range of stakeholders to provide ongoing support for the recommendations for local public health systems improvement.”

Role of the Local and Regional Public Health Advisory Committee

The LRPHAC provides the DPH Office of Local and Regional Health (OLRH), the DPH Intra-Agency Local Public Health Working Group, Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), and Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources (MDAR) with guidance on and monitoring of implementation of the Commission recommendations on the following action areas:

  • Strengthen the capacity of the Massachusetts local public health system to carry out statutory duties and responsibilities;
  • Establish new cross-jurisdictional public health services arrangements and expand the reach and capacity of existing public health districts;
  • Monitor progress of the Massachusetts Municipal Public Health Shared Services Grant Program
  • Implement standards for the local public health workforce;
  • Explore improvements in data reporting, gathering, and analysis systems used by local public health, DPH, and DEP;
  • Identify and address administrative actions that can be taken by DPH and DEP to support the recommendations; and
  • Assess capacity and move the Massachusetts local public health system to a Foundational Public Health Services (FPHS)-based system; and
  • Explore models for sustainability of a local public health system that has the capacity to meet current and future challenges.

LRPHAC members and structure

  • Kristin Black, Health Director, Uxbridge Board of Health
  • Thomas Carbone*, Director of Public Health, Andover Health Division, Massachusetts Health Officers Association
  • Karyn Clark, Director, Worcester Division of Public Health/Central Massachusetts Regional Public Health Alliance
  • Gerald Clarke, Chair, Dover Board of Health
  • Ray Considine, Chair, Concord Board of Health
  • Ed Cosgrove, Chair, Needham Board of Health
  • Soloe Dennis, Deputy Commissioner, Springfield Department of Health and Human Services
  • Michelle Desmarais, Public Health Director, Lynn Public Health Department
  • Emma Dragon, Member, Hadley Board of Health
  • Gail Gramarossa, Evaluation & Technical Assistance Specialist, Collaborative for Educational Services
  • Beverly Hirschhorn, Health Director, Longmeadow Board of Health
  • Nate Horwitz-Willis, Associate Professor/Coordinator of Public Health Practice, MCPHS University
  • Meredith Hurley, Director of Public Health and Clinical Services, Winthrop Board of Health
  • Claude Jacob, Chief Public Health Officer, Cambridge Public Health Department
  • Catherine Johnson, Public Health Nurse, Southwick Board of Health
  • Barry Keppard, Public Health Director, Metropolitan Area Planning Council
  • Laura Kittross*, Public Health Program Manager, Berkshire Regional Planning Commission, Western Massachusetts Public Health Association
  • Phil Leger, Chair, Royalston Board of Health
  • Ruth Mori*, Public Health Nurse, Wayland Health Department, Massachusetts Association of Public Health Nurses
  • Ron O’Connor, Director of Office of Local and Regional Health (Ex Officio member)
  • Aimee Petrosky*, Director of Public Health, East Longmeadow Board of Health, Massachusetts Environmental Health Association
  • Barry Potvin, Vice Chair, Plymouth Board of Health
  • Maddie Ribble*, Director of Public Policy, Massachusetts Public Health Association
  • Tammi Ryan, Clinical Director, South Shore Visting Nurse Association
  • Roberto Santamaria, Director of Health and Human Services, Nantucket County and Town
  • Cheryl Sbarra*, Director of Policy and Law, Massachusetts Association of Health Boards
  • Jeff Stephens, Health Director, Westford Board of Health
  • Phoebe Walker, Director of Community Services, Franklin Regional Council of Governments
  • Erika Woods, Senior Environmental Specialist/Deputy Director, Barnstable County Department of Health and the Environment

* Representatives of the Coalition for Local Public Health member organizations.

LRPHAC agenda and meetings

No meetings scheduled at this time.

Additional resources