Dennis Heaphy is a Health Justice Policy Advocate at the Disability Policy Consortium (DPC) in Massachusetts. Dennis is active in a number of state and federal initiatives that advance the values of the independent living, and recovery movements as key elements of health and wellness equity. Working from an intersectional framework, he is passionate about shifting the healthcare delivery system away from a medical paradigm that perpetuates disproportionality in disability among ethnic minority populations, and stigmatizes disability, making people with disabilities “other.” Dennis heads DPC’s YesHealth Participatory Action Research team which among its projects, is currently working on two initiatives that strive to advance the voice of people with disabilities in the Opioid Substance Use Disorder community and enhance the integration of independent living and recovery principles within the Massachusetts dual eligibles demonstration. Dennis is currently co-chair of a statewide coalition promoting healthcare policies that improve healthcare access and outcomes for people with disabilities in Massachusetts. He chairs the Massachusetts dual eligible demonstration advisory committee and is vice chair of the states’ 1115 waiver implementation advisory committee. Dennis also sits on the advisory Council for the National Center for Complex Health and Social Needs.
Prior to DPC, Dennis’ experiences include leading the Americans With Disabilities Act compliance initiative at the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, working in direct service with community-based organizations and serving as a chaplain in several community-based and university settings. Dennis holds an M. Div, Med and M.P.H.