Press Release

MHA Releases Report on Preparing for the Next Public Health Emergency 

 
June 29th, 2022
MHA Releases Report on Preparing for the Next Public Health Emergency  

Better Together report draws on direct insights and lessons learned from more than 175 healthcare leaders in Massachusetts  

BURLINGTON, MA – June 29, 2022
– The Massachusetts Health & Hospital Association (MHA) today released the “Better Together” report. As the commonwealth’s healthcare community emerges from the pandemic forever changed, the report outlines critical lessons that should be used to both prepare for the next public health crisis and improve the system as a whole.   

This report was informed by a multi-month process of collecting insights and critical success factors from leaders across Massachusetts healthcare. MHA conducted a series of 11 roundtable conversations with leaders specializing in topics from care delivery to supply chain to health equity. It also incorporated nine interviews with hospital CEOs, interviews with public health officials, and 127 replies to an accompanying survey. 

The resulting document contains a set of recommendations on what can be done – starting now – to improve the preparedness and inclusiveness of the system.

“Massachusetts’ COVID-19 response has been nothing short of remarkable. But our ability to weather the storm and avoid some of the dire scenarios seen in other states was no accident,” said MHA President & CEO Steve Walsh. “Our members recognized the importance of taking a comprehensive look at what we have learned over the past two-plus years and use those lessons to chart a path forward. This report is intended to do just that.”

Better Together’s recommendations center around how providers, policymakers, and other healthcare interests in Massachusetts can address the:

Essential role of collaboration and effective communication 
Changing nature of care delivery
Need to grow and empower the healthcare workforce
Continued focus on health equity and behavioral health
Role of dynamic data and analytics
Future of the supply chain

“Since our earliest preparations for COVID-19 in Massachusetts, the common theme has been collaboration,” said Dr. Paul Biddinger, Chief Preparedness and Continuity Officer for Mass General Brigham, who served as an expert advisor for the project. “Now, we must maintain this momentum and act together on the lessons learned so our healthcare organizations are best prepared to care for our patients, protect our workforce, and serve the commonwealth in times of crisis.” 

An executive summary of the report can be found here