DiZoglio Awarded by Massachusetts Nurses

From left to right, Donna Kelly-Williams, RN and President of the MNA, State Representative Diana DiZoglio (D-Methuen) and Karen Coughlin, RN and Vice President of the MNA.

From left to right, Donna Kelly-Williams, RN and President of the MNA, State Representative Diana DiZoglio (D-Methuen) and Karen Coughlin, RN and Vice President of the MNA.

State Representative Diana DiZoglio (D-Methuen) has been named recipient of the Massachusetts Nurses Association (MNA)’s 2016 Legislative Advocacy Award.

The MNA’s Legislative Advocacy Award is presented to a state legislator in Massachusetts who has worked alongside the organization in its efforts to improve availability of health care services, promote the health and safety of nurses and foster high standards of nursing practice, education and research.

During the current legislative session, DiZoglio served as co-sponsor for legislation to set a new limit on the number of patients assigned to a nurse at one time, designed to improve public safety and address the increased risk of complications, medical errors and readmissions that can result from nurses having too many patients.

“I am truly honored and humbled to accept the MNA’s 2016 Legislative Advocacy Award,” said DiZoglio. “As the daughter of a nurse, I have seen firsthand the challenges these men and women face on a day-to-day basis as they work to care for those battling cancer, terminal illness, mental illness, injuries and more. It is imperative that their voices continue to be heard loud and clear on Beacon Hill. They are a truly invaluable organization and I am firmly committed to working alongside the MNA over the years to come.”

Founded in 1903, the MNA is today the largest professional association of registered nurses and health professionals in Massachusetts and third-largest in the nation, representing more than 23,000 members.

DiZoglio Bill to Ensure Safety of Elderly and Disabled in Public Housing Advances

The state legislature’s Joint Committee on Housing has advanced legislation, filed by State Representative Diana DiZoglio (D-Methuen), to create a task force to improve the safety of elderly and disabled persons living in public housing.

In January of last year, three North Andover seniors, Walter Hamilton, 78, George Kettinger, Jr., 79, and Francis Kort, 68, were murdered in their public housing complex at Foulds Terrace. In response to the tragedy, at the beginning of the legislative session, DiZoglio filed legislation, House Bill 1094, An Act establishing a task force on elderly and disabled persons residing in public housing.

The task force outlined in the legislation would advise the Secretaries of Housing and Economic Development and Health and Human Services on best practices to ensure the safety and welfare of the elderly and disabled in public housing, including investigating efforts to maximize overall facility and individual apartment safety and security.
DiZoglio’s bill received endorsements from the North Andover and Haverhill Housing Authorities, as well as Elder Services of the Merrimack Valley, which presented testimony at the legislation’s public hearing held last summer before the committee.

“This legislation marks the first step in what I hope to be a forceful, comprehensive effort by citizens, not only in North Andover but across the Commonwealth, to protect our seniors and disabled persons residing in public housing,” said DiZoglio. “We can and must do better to protect the safety and welfare of this vulnerable population and I look forward to advocating over the days and weeks to come in further advancing this bill.”

“I am very pleased to see Representative DiZoglio’s hard working in sponsoring in crafting this bill move to an important next step,” said Rosanne DiStefano, Executive Director of Elder Services of the Merrimack Valley. “The Representative took a thoughtful approach and spent countless hours in meeting with constituents. We all need to ensure that the sad and unfortunate incident that occurred in North Andover doesn’t happen again anywhere and this task force is the first step to get to this peace of mind.”

“Representative DiZoglio’s housing legislation is so vitally important to the health and welfare of all persons living in housing,” said Cathy Hoog, Executive Director of the North Andover Housing Authority. “If passed, this task force could advise on best practices and advocate for supportive services funding in the housing authority industry. Mixed populations in any close living environment is challenging. A difference can be made with supportive services that provide those in need with continued care and support to maintain the healthiest life possible.”

“This can be an easy issue to overlook when it’s not in the news anymore, but thanks to Rep. DiZoglio, our residents will be much safer and have the peace of mind that comes from feeling much safer in their homes,” said Joseph A. Hart, Executive Director, Haverhill Housing Authority.

Read Across America Day at Kittredge Elementary

Kittredge 2016

State Representative Diana DiZoglio (D-Methuen) and Governor Charlie Baker (R-Swampscott) visited North Andover’s Kittredge Elementary School on Wednesday, March 2 in honor of Read Across America Day.

Read Across America Day, sponsored by the National Education Association (NEA), promotes literacy across grades and celebrates the birthday of Dr. Seuss.

Last summer, DiZoglio hosted third grade students from Kittredge for a visit to the State House and provided the students with the opportunity to meet with Gov. Baker in his office. During their meet-and-greet, the Governor expressed interest in visiting Kittredge if the school again attained Level 1 status, which, for the fifth year in a row, Kittredge accomplished.

Kittredge 2016 5

“The Kittredge School has graciously invited me to join them for Read Across America Day every year during my time as State Representative and it has been an absolute pleasure to interact with the kids and teachers each time,” said DiZoglio. “When they reached out to me about coordinating a visit alongside Governor Baker, I was happy to do so. As a member of the Education Committee, I have strongly advocated for increased funding for Chapter 70 and special education in the State Budget, which greatly impacts North Andover Public Schools and has actually helped to save the media centers from having to close. Many of us remember that in 2013, North Andover Public Schools nearly had to close down their school libraries for lack of funding. I hope the importance of adequately funding school districts in the region to ensure our youth continue to strongly grasp reading concepts and skills in their education was highlighted to the Governor during his visit.”