Baltimore City Health Department Launches “Healthy Baltimore 2020”

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Media Contacts:

Michelle Mendes: Office: (410) 396-7286, Cell: (443) 862-0891

BALTIMORE, Md. (August 30, 2016)—The Baltimore City Health Department (BCHD) today released Healthy Baltimore 2020, a strategic blueprint for health and wellness in Baltimore City through the lens of health equity.

Healthy Baltimore 2020 outlines key priorities designed to promote health and well-being with one overarching vision: to reduce health disparities in Baltimore by half over the next ten years. 

"Growing a healthier Baltimore is foundational to our sustained success as a city. My administration – along with support from numerous city and state agencies – has maintained a commitment to improving health and equity within our communities,” said Mayor Rawlings-Blake. “We must recommit ourselves to the challenges we continue to face. That is why we are excited to launch Healthy Baltimore 2020, an ambitious, dynamic blueprint for health in the city.”

Building off BCHD’s prior accomplishments, Healthy Baltimore 2020 was designed following a 18 month community listening tour with representatives of healthcare institutions, community partners, faith-based institutions, local businesses, universities, youth groups and others.

As a result of this community-focused development, the report is guided by three values:

  • Applying the lens of race, equity and inclusion to each aspect of the agency’s work;
  • Focusing on well-being through the application of a trauma-informed care; and
  • Addressing critical issues across the city including education, criminal justice, and economic development through the lens of health.

“We aim to improve health, but we recognize that this is not enough. Through Healthy Baltimore 2020, we aim to cut health disparities in half over the next decade,” said Baltimore City Health Commissioner Dr. Leana Wen. “While our goal may seem ambitious, this aspiration is in fact grounded in the work that BCHD tackles each day, from comprehensive wellness services for our most vulnerable children to ensuring that seniors are able to age with dignity and respect.”

Healthy Baltimore 2020 identified four strategic priority areas around which BCHD will align existing and future programs:

  1. Behavioral Health
  2. Violence Prevention
  3. Chronic Disease
  4. Life Course and Core Services

These strategic priority areas were selected based on public health data as well as input from local health experts and extensive community involvement through a series of HB2020 town halls and a public comment at www.hb2020.org.

Each strategic priority has identified specific activities, programs, and metrics that will support community health and drive long term efforts to reduce disparities.

"Tackling health disparities will require embracing difficult conversations together as a city. It is through these conversations, however, that we will instigate change,” Dr. Wen added. “Healthy Baltimore 2020 will be our guiding principle and our shared vision. We must all work together to achieve it—to improve health for all of our residents, and to cut disparities and reduce inequities.”

Healthy Baltimore 2020 is designed as an ongoing project. BCHD will continue to seek community input in the coming weeks and months. To facilitate public discussion, BCHD will host a series of Healthy Baltimore 2020 Community Conversations to provide ongoing opportunities for innovation, refinement, and improvement.

BCHD will host the first Healthy Baltimore 2020 Community Conversation, focused on behavioral health, tonight, Tuesday, August 30th at The Y in Druid Hill, 1609 Druid Hill Ave, Baltimore, MD 21217 at 6 p.m.

Comments on the report can be also submitted at http://www.hb2020.com/.

The complete Health Baltimore 2020 report is available at http://health.baltimorecity.gov/HealthyBaltimore2020.

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