Health and Disability Partnership

The Health and Disability Partnership (“The Partnership”) is part of the Health and Disability Program, which has been funded by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).  The Partnership meets regularly with the goal of improving the public health of people with disabilities in Massachusetts, and is co-chaired by Bethlyn Houlihan, Associate Director for NERSCIC, and Mr. Dennis Heaphy of the Disability Policy.  Partnership efforts to create, shape or implement projects include: the Massachusetts Disability and Health program, policy initiatives, statewide needs assessment efforts, information dissemination, and ongoing reviews of evaluation and surveillance data.

With more than two dozen members of various backgrounds ranging from statewide and local advocates and organizations to university research centers and individual consumers, the diversity of the Partnership brings together an expansive array of expertise and knowledge.  These varying perspectives are useful in collaborative efforts to integrate people with disabilities into broader public health programs and policies.  Simply put, the Partnership is the compass ensuring that the HDP’s work always follows the path of “nothing about us without us.”

Current Partnership members include:

• Commonwealth Community Care (CCC)
• DEAF Inc.
• Disability Policy Consortium (DPC)
• MA Dept. of Public Health, Sexual Assault Prevention and Survivor Services
• MRC Home Care Assistance Program
• Multicultural Independent Living Center- Boston (MILCB )
• New England Paralyzed Veterans of America (NEPVA)
• New England Regional Spinal Cord Injury Center (NERSCIC)
• University of Massachusetts Medical School, Center for Health Policy and Research (UMMS/CHPR)

The Health and Disability Partnership provides information to people with disabilities to help them advocate effectively in their communities.  Each year, it reports on data from a state-wide survey that includes information about access to primary care and how much people with disabilities smoke, drink, and exercise, among other topics.  If there are any topics you would like to know more about that impact people who use wheelchairs, or if you are interested in learning more about the Health and Disability Partnership, please email

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