Bmore Healthy Blog

Baltimore City Recognizes National Native HIV/AIDS Awareness Day

National Native American HIV AIDS Day Baltimore City Health Department

On Saturday, March 18, 2017, the Baltimore City Health Department (BCHD) and Baltimore City HIV Planning Group and Commission partnered with Native American LifeLines in celebrating National Native HIV/AIDS Awareness Day by hosting the 3rd Annual Round Dance and Community Health Fair.

This was the 10 year anniversary of this nationwide observance.

BCHD to Kick Butts on March 30th

On March 30, 2017, the Baltimore City Health Department’s (BCHD) Tobacco Free Baltimore Program (TFB) will partner with the Mount Royal Elementary School to host Kick Butts Day (KBD), a local initiative of the national event, which is held every March. Kick Butts Day empowers youth to raise awareness about tobacco use and reject the influence of tobacco advertising. In Baltimore, the event is in its second year.

National Drug Policy Director Visits Baltimore City Health Department

ONDCP Director Botticelli and Dr. Leana Wen Press Conference

Director Botticelli highlights Baltimore as a national model for addressing the opioid epidemic  

On Tuesday morning, Dr. Wen welcomed Director Michael Botticelli of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) to discuss efforts to address the opioid crisis, rise in overdose deaths, and strategies to improve access to treatment for substance use disorder.

In response to the national opioid overdose epidemic, the Obama Administration has taken tremendous action to support evidence-based prevention, expand access to treatment, and promote recovery support services. Last month, Congress passed the 21st Century Cures Act, which provides $1 billion in new funding that President Obama requested to combat the epidemic, primarily by increasing access to substance use disorder treatment.

Trauma & Mental Health: BCHD Convenes Community-based Meeting

BCHD Hosts Trauma and Mental Health Citywide Meeting

On Wednesday morning, over 120 residents and representatives from community-based organizations, foundations, businesses, nonprofits, and service providers assembled to discuss trauma and mental health in Baltimore City. We convened the first in a series of meetings to better understand how the community defines and experiences trauma in order for the department to build better policies and programs that emphasize and lift up the work already happening in the community. As a result, we will build a citywide plan to address trauma in our communities.

BCHD Hosts Open Meetings of Work Group on Drug Treatment Access & Neighborhood Relations

Over the past two weeks, BCHD hosted a series of open meetings of the Work Group on Drug Treatment Access and Neighborhood Relations. The sessions included panel discussions with hospital and university leaders as well as national and local policy experts, including Mayor Catherine E. Pugh, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Mental Health and Substance Use Kana Enomoto, and Deputy Director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse Dr. Wilson Compton.

Dr. Wen Joins Bipartisan Panel at the National Summit to End Lead Poisoning

Dr Wen at National Summit for Lead Poisoning Prevention Dec 2016

Earlier this week, Dr. Wen joined federal officials, physicians, patient advocates, policy experts, and public health leaders, including U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development  Secretary Julian Castro New York Times Best Selling Author Wes Moore,  and Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha of the Hurley Medical Center for the National Summit to End Lead Poisoning in Washington, DC, convened by the Green & Healthy Homes InitiativeHealthy Babies Bright FuturesIcahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, and the National Center for Healthy Housing.

During a panel, titled “Engaging Communities, Building on Common Ground,” Dr. Wen joined Ben Jealous, Partner at Kapor Capital and former national President of the NAACP; Former Maryland Governor Robert Ehrlich, Jr.; Eylssa Koidin Schmier, Senior Campaign Director at MomsRising; and Michael Bodaken, President of the National Housing Trust, to discuss how leaders across sectors can work together to end the scourge of lead poisoning in America.

Dr. Wen Joins Panel for the White House Making Healthcare Better Series

Dr. Wen Speaking at White House Making Health Care Better Series on Substance Use Disorder

On Wednesday, Dr. Wen joined Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack, Office of National Drug Control Policy Director Michael Botticelli, National Association of County and City Health Officials Executive Director Dr. LaMar Hasbrouck, as well as leaders and advocates from across the country for the final event in the White House's Making Healthcare Better Series on Substance Use Disorder.

“It was an honor to be in the company of so many federal, state, and local leaders who are ensuring that substance use disorders are treated with the same compassion and urgency as other diseases,” Dr. Wen said. “Now is the time to make our voices heard, to make sure that the next administration builds on the progress made. We must continue with science-based approaches to affirm that addiction is a disease; treatment exists; and regarding it as a moral failing is unethical and inhumane.”

Dr. Wen shared progress made in Baltimore to eliminate stigma and save lives from overdose. Last year, she issued a standing order to give all Baltimore City residents access to naloxone, the opioid overdose reversal medication. Since then, nearly 17,000 residents have been trained and have saved the lives of 531 Baltimoreans.

Baltimore Honors World AIDS Day with “A Celebration of Life”

Baltimore World Aids Day A Celebration of Life Dr. Wen presents Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake with award

In recognition of World AIDS Day 2016, representatives across Baltimore City honored those lost to AIDS and recommitted to eliminating the disease in Baltimore City. World AIDS Day is a global annual event held on December 1st to unite in the fight against HIV, show support for those living with HIV, and commemorate those who have passed.

Throughout the day, BCHD and partners across the city provided free testing for residents, culminating with an evening event with Mayor Rawlings-Blake to celebrate those with HIV who are living and thriving, while honoring lives lost.

“As we recognize World AIDS Day, we acknowledge that while Baltimore has made much progress, much more must be done,” said Dr. Wen said Thursday. “We must continue to do the critical work of public health to reduce disparities and fight stigma, because we cannot afford to lose the next generation to this potential deadly, but preventable disease.”

BCHD Celebrates Waxter Senior Center Fitness Center Grand Opening!

BCHD Waxter Senior Center Fitness Center Grand Opening

On Thursday, Dr. Wen and BCHD staff joined Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, City Council President Jack Young, Aaron Merki from the Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation, and Kathy Brill from the Leonard & Helen R. Stulman Charitable Foundation to celebrate the grand opening of the Waxter Senior Center Fitness Center.

This 3,000 square foot fitness center will provide Waxter center members and the surrounding community with new fitness equipment and a space for therapeutic services such as physical therapy, occupational therapy, and other health related activities.

Baltiomre Leaders Encourage Healthcare Enrollment at Maryland Health Connection College Enrollment Kickoff

Dr. Wen Speaking at the Maryland Health Connection College Enrollment Kickoff.PNG

On Monday, Dr. Wen joined Representatives Elijah Cummings and Jonathan Sarbanes, Mayor-elect Catherine Pugh, Acting Executive Director of the Maryland Health Benefit Exchange, Jonathan Kromm, and other community leaders at the College Open Enrollment Kickoff at the College Open Enrollment Kickoff.

“Young people. College Students. Every resident”—Dr. Wen called for everyone to sign-up today to get the coverage they need “to prevent small problems from becoming life-threatening illnesses.” She expressed her anxiety and concern as well as shared stories of the patients she has seen in the ER and how many of them were dying because they did not have access to affordable healthcare. Dr. Wen explained that the Affordable Care Act (ACA) has helped thousands of Baltimore residents receive affordable coverage. Today, there are less than 40,000 uncovered adults without health insurance, down from over 81,000 uninsured in 2010.