Recent News

Baltimore health department and businesses team up for healthy workplaces

The Baltimore City Health Department launched a program Monday to encourage city employers to increase employee health.

Under the program, city businesses can earn a Workplace Wellness Designation if they meet certain criteria.

“We recognize the important role our business sector plays in a healthy Baltimore,” Baltimore City Health Commissioner Dr. Leana Wen said. With rising health costs, “It’s more critical than ever to meet the needs of an employee population.”

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Baltimore health department offers firms a wellness designation

The Baltimore City Health Department has launched a new program aimed at encouraging local companies to provide healthier work environments by offering them a Workplace Wellness designation.

Company leaders can use a questionnaire adapted from a scorecard generated by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to help them identify priorities, or gaps, in their health promotion programs in nutrition, physical fitness and emotional health.

The questionnaire offers gold, silver and bronze labels to companies that participate. So far, companies receiving a gold label include the Baltimore Ravens, BGE, CareFirst, M&T Bank, T. Rowe Price and Under Armour. Transamerica has been labeled silver and Ayers Saint Gross and RSM have been labeled bronze.

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Baltimore City Health Department Launches Workplace Wellness Designation

BALTIMORE, MD (June 12, 2017) — Today, the Baltimore City Health Department announced its Workplace Wellness designation that encourages area employers to provide the healthiest professional setting possible. A new online tool will allow companies to assess their efforts to provide a healthy and fit work environment for all employees.

Deaths from drug, alcohol overdoses skyrocket in Maryland (Baltimore Sun)

The number of people who died in Maryland from drug and alcohol related overdoses surged 66 percent in 2016, compared with 2015, exposing the magnitude of the growing opioid epidemic and the ineffectiveness of the increased resources aimed a stemming deaths. 

The 2,089 deaths last year represent an all-time high, triple the tally from 2010, according to the data released Thursday by the state Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. Last year's jump is the state's largest recorded annual increase.

"The numbers are terrible and they are extremely disappointing," said Dr. Leana Wen, health commissioner for Baltimore City, which accounted for about a third of all overdose deaths in the state.

The city saw 694 overdose deaths last year, more than twice the 318 homicides recorded by police.

The greatest number of deaths, both in the city and statewide, were attributed to the illegal opioids heroin and fentanyl, a cheap and powerful drug pouring in from overseas that is typically mixed into heroin without the user's knowledge.

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Public health saves lives every day

Baltimore never takes a backseat to public health. Public health saves lives every day, but because there is no face of prevention, it is often difficult to make the case for our core services that protect and promote health for our residents.

This past week, the dedicated team at BCHD presented our programs and services to the Baltimore City Council. I always say that I have the best job in the world, and I was very proud to represent the dedicated women and men of BCHD who are on the frontlines every day to work on maternal and child health, senior services, trauma and mental healthcare, violence prevention, HIV/AIDS and STD services, environmental health, and much more.

Baltimore City Health Commissioner Expresses Grave Concern about Steep Rise in Overdose

BALTIMORE, MD (June 8, 2017)—Today, Baltimore City Health Commissioner Dr. Leana Wen issued the following statement in response to the release of overdose death data, which shows that there were 694 fatal overdoses in Baltimore City in 2016.

Baltimore City Health Department Hosts Storytelling Events to Address Sexual Health Stigma

BALTIMORE, MD (June 1, 2017) — Today, the Baltimore City Health Department will kick off two days of art, images and storytelling celebrating Baltimore’s LGBTQ communities of color to address social stigma and inspire empathy and action. The semi-annual Project Presence photo exhibit and Baltimore in Conversation storytelling event will take place on back-to-back evenings, with Project Presence taking place on Thursday, June 8, and Baltimore in Conversation taking place on Friday, June 9 at BBOX in the Gateway Building at MICA, located at 1601 West Mt. Royal Avenue. The events are free and open to the public.

First Edition June 2nd: Weekly Review with Kamau High, Balt. City New Policy on Naloxone (WEAA)

First Edition Host Sean Yoes, reviews some of the top news stories of the week directly from the pages of the AFRO Newspaper, with managing editor Kamau High.

Plus, Yoes speaks Dr. Leana Wen, Baltimore City Health Commissioner about the city’s new policy on naloxone, the overdose recovery medication, in wake of the record number of opioid overdoses in Baltimore.

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Baltimore allows over-the-county purchase of naloxone (WBAL)

Baltimore health officials are working to fight the rising number of drug overdoses in the city by making the drug naloxone available for over-the-counter purchases.

City Health Commissioner Dr. Leana Wen said that in this time of public health emergency everyone must be able to carry naloxone and save lives. Naloxone is used to counteract the effects of an opioid overdose.

“This is at epidemic rates at this point,” Steve Dixon, president of the Penn North Recovery Center said. “In the last month alone, I personally knew at least 16 people who passed away."

Preliminary data from the Baltimore City Health Department shows there were 481 fatal overdoses between January and September 2016.

Health officials said naloxone has saved more than 800 lives since 2015.

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