Dennis G. Heaphy
Health Justice Advocate
Dennis Heaphy is a Health Justice Advocate at the Disability Policy Consortium (DPC), a cross-disability civil rights organization in Massachusetts. Dennis believes that government, private, and community-based entities working in partnership that is relational rather than transactional, can achieve health equity and wellness. Foundational to attaining this goal is the commitment of all stakeholders to building a healthcare delivery system that prioritizes advancement of the human rights of society’s most vulnerable members — those who have the most complex cognitive, medical, behavioral health and social needs and; finding creative solutions to address the intersectional root causes of health disparities more broadly (racism, able-ism sexism etc.).
Dennis’ primary focus is working with state, federal, and other stakeholders in operationalizing health equity and wellness in Managed Long-Term Services and Supports (MLTSS) in Massachusetts. Key to this work is shifting healthcare away from the medicalization of disability to the integration of independent living and recovery principles within managed-care. Dennis also heads DPC’s YesHealth Participatory Action Research team. One project being undertaken is research on the experiences of people with disabilities and a co-occurring Opioid Substance Use Disorder.
He is co-chair of Disability Advocates Advancing Our Healthcare Rights (DAAHR), a statewide grassroots disability coalition in Massachusetts that promotes healthcare policies to improve healthcare access and outcomes for people with disabilities in the Commonwealth. Dennis chairs the Massachusetts dual eligible demonstration “One Care Implementation Council” and is vice chair of the states’ Delivery System Reform Incentive Payment (DSRIP) Program advisory committee. He also sits on several national committees, including the founders counsel for the United States of Care and the advisory Council for the National Center for Complex Health and Social Needs. His prior experience includes serving as the Massachusetts Department of Public Health Americans with Disabilities Act Coordinator, risk and resiliency work in Boston Public Schools and serving as a chaplain at Georgetown University. Dennis holds an MDiv, MEd, MPH.