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MGC's NERGC Panel on Open Records: Citizens Can Make a Difference
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How many deaths before the SSDI gets updated again?
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Keeping Watch Over Massachusetts Public Records

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10000vaccinated
Boston vaccination drive in 1902.[1] The Massachusetts Genealogical Council sent me to Phoenix, Arizona, last summer[2] to attend the national conference of the National Association of Public Health Statistics and Information Systems, an organization involving the vital statistics registrars in the 50 states, cities of Washington, DC, and New York, NY, and five U.S. territories. I was to learn what concerns registrars, what drives them, and what we could do to support the registrar here in Massachusetts. Little did I know that this would lead me to a Supreme Court case, coercive vaccinations, a founder of NEHGS, and the state vital record database. Only a fraction of the conference attendees were registrars. The majority of attendees were public health statisticians, working for agencies such as the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, similar agencies in other states and in Arizona’s counties, the Indian Health Service, the Veterans Administration hospitals, the U.S....
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healthpedigree
When you visit your doctor do you have to fill out a lengthy family health history questionnaire? Physicians use these to diagnose and treat us because it helps them assess our risk factors for certain diseases. You can blow your doctor away by completing a family health pedigree and bringing it to your next appointment! But what if you don't know your family members' exact cause of death or ages at death? Sometimes this information does not get passed down in families because it is too sad, or just too long ago. And frequently you'll hear a cause of death as "old age" or "broken heart." So what can you do if you want more exact details? If you are lucky enough to live in Massachusetts you can pay a visit to the Registry of Vital Records and Statistics at Columbia Point in Dorchester, right off Route 93. Massachusetts death records up...
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  On April 16, 2013, tweetmyjobs.com published a help wanted notice for a Registrar of Vital Records and Statistics Administrator VIII for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. It was a day shift job with a salary range from $48,478.04 to $118,278.12 per year at a facility at 150 Mt. Vernon Street, Dorchester. Yes, the job at the top of the Department of Vital Records and Statistics was vacant. Early in June our previous registrar, Stan Nyberg, was awarded a lifetime membership in the National Association of Public Health Statistics and Information Systems to recognize his retirement. Quoting from the posting, here are the job requirements: 1. Seven - ten years of managerial experience, at least three - five years of which is in health care administration, public health, public administration or business operations.2. Masters or doctoral level education in a relevant discipline, i.e., Public Health, Public Administration, Health Care Administration or Business...
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MGC Civil Records Co-Director Mary Ellen Grogan is our watchdog for bills in the Massachusetts legislature on Beacon Hill. She summarizes the situation here. The Massachusetts Genealogical Council monitors legislative and administrative activities of governmental agencies which affect genealogists and family history researchers. We sponsor and support legislation designed to expand the resources and accessibility of research services; and, where appropriate, we oppose laws and regulations which limit or close access to records. In the last ten years, significant efforts have been made on both state and federal levels to close records that have been traditionally used by genealogists. The impetus behind these efforts is not completely clear, but arguments center on issues of privacy. In most cases, closure of records to genealogists is not the result of actual legislation but of local regulations and the interpretation of these issues by records custodians. HIPAA, the Patriot Act, and identity theft have...
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MGC supports legislation designed to expand the resources and accessibility of materials used in historical research, but it is much more frequent to encounter legislation that blocks public access, hence we often find ourselves in battle mode. It is always a pleasure to be able to support rather than oppose a bill, for so many reasons. First, it is just a more positive activity. Much more importantly, we become allies in the legislative process, rather than foes. And isn't it preferable to work with legislators than against them? If we are supporters then our influence seems much more natural, we come across as the experts we are, and we gather respect rather than disdain. So it is with great delight that MGC announces support of Massachusetts House Bill 3043 - An Act Relative to Records Open to Public Inspection. Our Massachusetts Civil Records Director, Mary Ellen Grogan, constantly monitors bills proposed at the...
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