Recent News

Baltimore's Health Commissioner talks about city-wide day of clean-up (Fox 45)

Dr. Leana Wen discusses Mayor's Spring Clean Up, Zika, and National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day.

Watch the video.

City braces for overdoses after pain clinic shut down (WBAL TV11)

BALTIMORE —Authorities have shut down a pain clinic in north Baltimore after police raided it this week. 

Offices of the Westside Medical Group in the 4400 block of Falls Road were closed Thursday. People who went to the door of the clinic Thursday afternoon found a notice that said, "The office of Dr. Kofi Shaw-Taylor is closed." The notice had phone numbers to call for help, including the Maryland Crisis Hotline, (800-422-0009), and the Baltimore City Health Department.

The Health Department issued a warning Tuesday after federal, state and local law enforcement shut down the clinic. 

"We sent out the alert in order to let our partners in law enforcement, in emergency departments, fire departments and EMS and other outreach workers know that there may be an increase in overdoses that are occurring," Baltimore City Health Commissioner Dr. Leana Wen said.

 Read the entire story: www.wbaltv.com/article/city-braces-for-overdoses-after-pain-clinic-shut-down/9572370

N Baltimore pain clinic raided by the Feds, city health department says overdoses could spike (ABC2 NEWS)

BALTIMORE - A spokesperson for the DEA tells ABC 2 News a task force made up of federal and local agencies raided Dr. Kofi Shaw-Taylor's offices on Falls Road Tuesday morning, calling it a pain management clinic.

 The doors are locked, and there's a sign out front letting people know the practice is closed.  We don't have many details about the investigation into Shaw-Taylor, but the Maryland Attorney General's office says the Annapolis man was charged with Medicaid fraud.

"I was shocked to hear about this,” one patient said.

The woman says she's been coming to the clinic for the past year to get Suboxone, a narcotic used to treat opioid addiction.  It’s unclear how many people were being treated by Shaw-Taylor, however now they're all scrambling to find a new doctor and get new prescriptions.

Read the entire story.

N Baltimore pain clinic raided by the Feds, city health department says overdoses could spike (ABC2 NEWS)

BALTIMORE - A spokesperson for the DEA tells ABC 2 News a task force made up of federal and local agencies raided Dr. Kofi Shaw-Taylor's offices on Falls Road Tuesday morning, calling it a pain management clinic.

 The doors are locked, and there's a sign out front letting people know the practice is closed.  We don't have many details about the investigation into Shaw-Taylor, but the Maryland Attorney General's office says the Annapolis man was charged with Medicaid fraud.

"I was shocked to hear about this,” one patient said.

The woman says she's been coming to the clinic for the past year to get Suboxone, a narcotic used to treat opioid addiction.  It’s unclear how many people were being treated by Shaw-Taylor, however now they're all scrambling to find a new doctor and get new prescriptions.

Read the entire story.

DEA raid on Baltimore pain clinic prompts city health department to issue alert about possible increase in overdoses

Health officials warned a network of medical providers throughout Baltimore this week of a possible increase in drug overdoses and withdrawals among local patients after a pain management clinic in North Baltimore was raided and closed by federal and local law enforcement, officials confirmed Wednesday.

The Baltimore City Health Department heard Tuesday from local law enforcement officials that they had closed a health care provider's office, and health officials immediately began notifying hospital emergency rooms, emergency service providers, treatment centers and others.

"We are on high alert for instances that can lead to an increase in overdoses in the city," said Dr. Leana Wen, Baltimore City's health commissioner. "We monitor for all potential spikes."

Todd Edwards, a U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration spokesman, confirmed that his agency partnered with Baltimore police — as well as Anne Arundel County police and the office of Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh — to raid the Westside Medical Group offices of Dr. Kofi Shaw-Taylor in the 4400 block of Falls Road about 9 a.m. Tuesday.

Read entire story.

Square Off Panelists Share Resources about Opioid Epidemic

Dr. Wen joined Maryland Lt. Governor Boyd K. Rutherford, Baltimore Police Commissioner Kevin Davis, and Drug Court Prosecutor Kendel Ehrlich to discuss the opioid epidemic in Baltimore City and across the state of Maryland. 

Dr. Wen spoke about the importance of decreasing the stigma around opioid addiction and encouraging treatment as well as learning how to use naloxone in order to revive a person who is overdosing on opioids. Anyone can be certified online at dontdie.org and get a prescription for naloxone. 

Watch entire segment.

Commissioner's Corner: Mayor's Spring Clean Up-- Zika & Prescription Drug Take Back Day

This weekend is Mayor Catherine E. Pugh’s Spring Clean Up, which is a perfect reminder to take important steps to ensure that your home and community are healthy and safe. Zika season is right around the corner. Mosquitos can transmit Zika, West Nile, and other diseases, and the best way to prevent them is to stop them from breeding in the first place by removing any standing water from your property. Do a survey of your yard and make sure there are no empty flower pots, trash lids, or other containers that can harbor standing water. If you need assistance to eliminate standing water in your neighborhood, call 311 to report it.

Spring cleaning is also a good time to clean out your medicine cabinet. This Saturday is National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day, and today, I joined Baltimore City Police Commissioner Kevin Davis, Assistant Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration Don Hibbert, and other leaders across the city to encourage residents to safely dispose of unused medications at one of the 10 permanent take-back boxes located at police stations across the city. Residents can drop off unused and unwanted medications year-round, no questions asked.

Baltimore City Officials Urge Residents to Safely Dispose of Unused Prescription Drugs

During National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day, residents can deposit medications at ten permanent return boxes across the city

BALTIMORE, MD (April 28, 2017) –  On Saturday, April 29th, Baltimore City officials will recognize National Prescription Drug Take Back Day, a nationwide initiative to highlight safe, convenient, and responsible means of disposing of prescription drugs in communities, while raising awareness about prescription drug addiction.

Skillfully serving seniors (The Daily Record)

I had the pleasure of volunteering Saturday at the 26th annual Law Day for Seniors, organized by Senior Legal Services. The free event was held at a Baltimore City District Court and was attended by more than 300 Baltimore city seniors.

The conference-style programming included seminars on issues such as financial scams targeting seniors, combating nursing home abuse, Baltimore city tax sales and water bill issues and estate administration. Attendees were provided with breakfast and lunch at no charge. 

The courthouse corridors were packed with various vendors and city agencies, like the Department of Public Works, the Health Department’s Division of Aging and the sheriff’s office. Other pro bono groups, such as Maryland Legal Aid and Maryland Volunteer Lawyers Service, also were involved.

 Volunteer attorneys and judges made up the panels in the numerous substantive law sessions. I was amazed at how patiently they discussed current challenges facing the elderly in Baltimore and educated the underserved population at risk of losing very basic resources. I was unaware of some of the issues faced by low-income city residents such as tax sales and inaccurate water bills and the predatory liens that go along with non-payment.

 Read the entire story. 

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