Ben Wood is a Senior Director, Policy and Practice at HRiA. In his role, he supports communities, local and state governments, foundations and others in shifting the narrative of what public health and health care systems prioritize for action with an emphasis on solutions that impact the root causes of health and racial inequities. This work is inclusive of capacity building and direct technical assistance and includes activities such as assessing organizational practices, helping orient programmatic efforts towards policy, systems and environmental changes initiatives and supporting community engagement practices.
Prior to joining HRiA, Ben was the Director of the Division of Community Health Planning and Engagement for the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MDPH). In that role, he worked with communities, state agencies and other stakeholders to increase knowledge of how policies, projects and plans of all kinds impact health and to develop capacity for collaborative community health improvement planning. This work included building capacity for the practice of Health Impact Assessment and Health in All Policies; oversight of the Mass in Motion Municipal Wellness and Leadership Program; the development and implementation of tools for the Community Health Initiative component of the Determination of Need program which influences how hospitals conduct community health planning activities and included oversight of the statewide Community Health and Healthy Aging Funds, and; oversight of the State Office Rural Health and Health Care Workforce Centers. He has significant experience in community health assessment, health improvement planning and policy development. Ben also brings experience in local health having served as the Director of Public Health for the City of Northampton. He received his MPH from the University of Michigan, School of Public Health and a Bachelor of Arts from Hampshire College.