Baltimore Health Commissioner: Money for opioid crisis helps, but still not enough (Baltimore Business Journal)

Baltimore City Health Department received a $200,000 grant from the Open Society Institute — Baltimore to support efforts to reduce stigma around addiction and increase community outreach.

The grant comes as Gov. Larry Hogan announced Friday that Baltimore City will be allotted over $3 million in new state funding to battle the ongoing opioid crisis.

Of the $22 million in funding announced last week, the state has committed $750,000 to buy 10,000 units, or 20,000 doses, of the opioid reversal drug Naloxone, $830,429 to go to the city's Opioid Intervention Team and $2 million to support the operational costs of an upcoming stabilization center to treat individuals battling addiction and mental health issues.

But Dr. Leana Wen, Baltimore's health commissioner, said the city still needs a lot more. Baltimore City experienced one-third of all of Maryland’s more than 1,800 overdose deaths in 2016. About two people die per day in the city limits, Wen said. She says the most money and resources should continue to be dedicated to fighting the crisis "on the front lines," in the city where the most people are being affected.

Read the entire story

Related Stories

Federal cuts affect Baltimore teen pregnancy prevention programs (WBAL-TV)

The White House is cutting millions in federal funding to teen pregnancy prevention programs, which has left some in Baltimore feeling blindsided.

Baltimore City health leaders are scrambling to regroup this week after sudden word from the federal government that funding has been cut to two major teen pregnancy prevention programs.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is pulling the plug on more than $200 million in Obama-era grants to 81 teen pregnancy prevention programs and research projects across the country. It adds up to a $2 million budget gap for Baltimore's Healthy Teen Network.

"The whole field, I think, was blindsided," said Pat Paluzzi, with the Healthy Teen Network. "To all of a sudden get the letter saying your grant either ended June 30 of this year or was ending June 30 of next year, two years ahead of schedule, was a hard pill to swallow."

The Baltimore City Health Department is losing $3.5 million, which is the last two years of its grant to provide health education to middle and high school students.

"(It) means about 20,000 of our students are not going to be able to get these comprehensive reproductive health education services anymore," Baltimore Health Commissioner Dr. Leana Wen said.

Read the entire article.

Dangerous heat expected for Artscape weekend (WMAR-TV)

With a heat index expected of between 101 and 104 degrees expected beginning tomorrow through the weekend, Baltimore City Health Commissioner Dr. Leana Wen has issued a Code Red Heat Advisory for Thursday, July 20, 2017 through Sunday, July 23, 2017. The heat index is a measure of air temperature and relative humidity and indicates how hot it feels to individuals outside.

"Heat is a silent killer and a public health threat, particularly for the young, the elderly and those in our city who are the most vulnerable," Dr. Wen said. "As Baltimore prepares for a fun weekend with one of the nation's largest free arts festivals, it is important for all residents to protect against hyperthermia and dehydration. Please be cautious and remember to stay cool and hydrated."

Read entire article. 

Code Red Heat Advisory Issued For Baltimore For Artscape Weekend (WJZ-TV)

Baltimore City Health Commissioner Dr. Leana Wen has issued a code red heat advisory for Artscape weekend.

The heat advisory is for Thursday, July 20, through Sunday, July 23, as the heat index is expected to be between 101 and 104 degrees

“Heat is a silent killer and a public health threat, particularly for the young, the elderly and those in our city who are the most vulnerable,” Dr. Wen said in a release. “As Baltimore prepares for a fun weekend with one of the nation’s largest free arts festivals, it is important for all residents to protect against hyperthermia and dehydration. Please be cautious and remember to stay cool and hydrated.”

Read entire article.