October 2021 Newsletter – Rights Matter . . . always and in Recovery

October 2021

In the news
Rights Matter — always and in Recovery!

We are honored to be launching a new partnership with RIZE MA to update and expand Your Rights in Recovery, a pathbreaking toolkit released in April 2021 and geared to people seeking OUD treatment.

Grounded in the careful and inclusive work of RIZE’s Together in Recovery Advisory Committee (TRAC), the current toolkit demystifies seven domains of legal rights in plain (and multiple) languages. These rights are critical to people who often are pursuing treatment and recovery amid substantial material hardship, discrimination and other structural drivers of health.

MLPB is partnering with RIZE to manage updating of the current toolkit as well as expansion — informed by broad stakeholder input — to an additional domain of legal rights. In this next chapter of innovative legal rights education in communities of care, MLPB will help to spotlight tensions between the existence of a legal right on paper and the ability to exercise that legal right in practice.

The new RIZE-MLPB partnership happens to coincide with a significant and high-stakes public dialogue in Boston about the fate of hundreds of people currently living on Atkinson Street and surrounding areas. Last week, RIZE MA’s President & CEO Julie Burns was quoted on this topic here, reinforcing that the human beings at the center of this debate must be at the center of any related policymaking. 

Bridging Divides blog

For RIZE’s reflections on the power of Your Rights in Recoverycheck out this new blog featuring an interview with Julie Burns!


Digital Digest Spotlight



Designed for teams committed to human-centered social care, MLPB’s Digital Digest distills key law and policy updates across many domains of health-related social need that impact individuals, families, and communities. 

Important dates for the social care “toolbox”!

  • With this season’s first nor’easter on our mind, remember that the annual winter utility shut-off moratorium begins November 1 in RI and November 15 in MA. Eligible gas and electric customers can keep their lights and heat on by asserting shut-off protection rights. Visit the MA and RI Digital Digest to learn more!

Welcome3
Griffin Jones

. . . to our inaugural public health doctoral fellow Griffin Jones

I’m a Doctor of Public Health (DrPH) student at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. I’ve committed my career to scaling innovations aimed at improving the health of marginalized populations. Before coming to HSPH, I served as the Interim Director of Strategic Investment at the Massachusetts Health Policy Commission (HPC), leading programs targeting the Commonwealth’s most intractable health care cost challenges. It was in this capacity that I came to know and admire MLPB’s work advancing access to justice through innovative partnerships with health care systems.

I’m working with MLPB through the Spring as part of a doctoral project capstone work — assessing the value (current of potential) of MLPB’s team-facing legal partnering work with the Lynn Community Health Center’s Moms Do Care program. My hope is that this work will expand health justice among families and caregivers impacted by substance use disorder and drug control policies. In addition to generous support from MLPB, this work is co-sponsored by the FXB Center’s Structural Racism Initiative for Diversity and Equity (STRIDE) program and the Harvard Radcliffe Institute.

Originally from Portland, Maine, I hold a BA in International Relations from The College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia, and a Masters in Public Policy and Management from the Muskie School of Public Service. I live with my wife and three young children in Arlington, MA, and enjoy cross-country skiing and cooking with my kids.


On our mind

Disparities, Equity & Social Health Integration

Employment & Health

Food Access

Housing & Health

Intimate Partner Violence

Maternal and Child Health

Medicaid Access