The Massachusetts Department of Public Health study about the impacts of Logan Airport on Winthrop residents’ health took 14 years from its launch to its release, but officials have certainly been quick to react to its findings. The Massachusetts Port Authority has stepped up with a $170,000 contribution to the East Boston Neighborhood Health Center (EBNHC) to address early symptoms of childhood asthma and adult Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD).
This is a positive step for Winthrop and the additional announcement by EBNHC chief executive officer Manny Lopes that it will open a satellite health center in Winthrop should also be welcomed heartily by our residents. EBNHC officials are looking at various commercial properties in Winthrop in which they will open a comprehensive health clinic.
There are many people to commend for this positive news for our town, beginning with Speaker of the House Robert A. DeLeo and Sen. Anthony Petruccelli who worked hard to get the healthy study done for the communities of Winthrop and East Boston and the securing of funds from Massport to fund the study. Our outstanding Airport Hazards Committee, whose members have more than 100 years of combined service, Town Manager James McKenna, and Town Council President Peter Gill and the members of the Council all deserve credit for keeping this issue in the spotlight and maintaining good lines of communication with the state DPH and Massport officials.
Massport CEO Thomas P. Glynn has been a very capable, professional and accessible administrator. Glynn said that Massport is fulfilling its promise to Winthrop to be part of the solution and not the problem. Glynn wants Massport to be involved in the effort of identifying these public health issues and making sure that people in Winthrop get the screenings and treatments they need.
We realize we haven’t had too many opportunities in the past 60 years or so to say “Thank you” to Massport, but we do wish to thank Massport, CEO Glynn, and the EBNHC for their swift action following the release of this study and their continuing focus on health issues in our town.