HCN News & Notes

Massachusetts Department of Public Health to Mark its 150th Year

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. In 1869, the Massachusetts State Board of Health, now DPH, was established by Dr. Henry 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, and 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 Dr. Monica Bharel. “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.”

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