The Mayor’s Health Line Celebrates 25 years of Service

Posted on June 1, 2011


The Mayor’s Health Line, a program of the Boston Public Health Commission, is pleased to announce their 25th Anniversary this season; reaching a milestone as the oldest continually operating information and referral line in the state. This marks years of contributions to the residents of Boston and the vulnerable populations the program serves. Founded in 1986, the Line has served hundreds of thousands of callers and currently connects over 8,000 residents per year with resources to improve their health.

MHL’s anniversary year offers the opportunity to reflect on its thriving history, as well as reaffirm the program’s commitments to providing the accurate health information, resources, and services in an easy and culturally competent manner. The Line is staffed by 6 BPHC employees with over 45 years of combined experience in the program and receives the support of many skilled interns.

Established by the Boston Committee on Access to Health Care (BCAHC) under Mayor Flynn, MHL filled the need in Boston for a program that connected Boston residents with affordable health care. Today, they still continue that mission by offering an array of services over the telephone and through community outreach. Since inception, its approach accommodates the range of Boston residents’ capabilities, languages, and access considerations.

MHL is recognized for contributions to the advancement of expanding health care insurance coverage to residents including its ongoing advocacy efforts in the state. Notably, the program has expanded its efforts in addressing the health disparities of Bostonians to not only address health coverage but to recently include services like:

  • Implementing a one-stop approach to health care access including assistance obtaining health insurance over the phone, connecting with an appropriate primary care provider, and help booking the first appointment.
  • Instituting a consumer-centered approach by providing a single seamless process of applying for many programs in real time and with as little paper as possible; this includes completing applications for SNAP (food stamps), child care subsidies, and connecting families to fuel assistance resources.
  • Expanding health literacy by connecting public health workers and residents with resources of the National Library of Medicine, the world’s largest medical library. This partnership allows professionals gain free access to academic journal articles and provides callers with a variety of accurate quality and easily understood health information products in a variety of languages.

The Mayor’s Health Line will continue to improve the lives of vulnerable families of Boston by connecting them with the resources they need to be healthy. Be sure to call them for any of your program’s health resource, information, or access needs at 617-534-5050.