Office of the Mayor

"Mayor and Health Commissioner Holding Second Community Forum For Heroin Treatment and Prevention Taskforce"

This week, Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake and Baltimore Health Commissioner Dr. Leana Wen will be holding the second community forum for the Heroin Treatment and Prevention Taskforce.  This is the second of two community meetings to hear from community stakeholders regarding overdose issues. The meeting will be held April 23 from 6:30 pm – 8:00 pm at East Baltimore Development Inc., 1731 E. Chase Street and is open to the public.   The meeting will include community conversation around three issues: Preventing fatal heroin overdoses; increasing access to quality treatment; and improving neighborhood compatibility.  See the attached press release for additional information.

"Safe Streets: Baltimore's Secret Crime Fighting Weapon" (The Real News) April 15, 2015

Baltimore's reputation as one of the country's most violent cities has been difficult to change. Which is why city leaders have started turning to programs like Safe Streets, an alternative approach to reducing violence.

"Heroin task force addressing age-old Baltimore issue" (Baltimore Sun) April 15, 2015

In Baltimore, the site of the second of six task force meetings being held across the state, heroin is not a new subject. "Heroin and opioid addiction ties into the very fabric of our city," Dr. Leana Wen, the city's health commissioner, told the panel. It underlies nearly every major problem, from poverty to crime to mental illness, said Wen, who herself has been hosting meetings as the city's heroin task force studies the issue as well.

"Heroin Summit" (WBAL-TV) April 15, 2015

Maryland Lt. Gov. Boyd Rutherford held a summit Wednesday in Baltimore for the Maryland Heroin and Opioid Emergency Task Force.  Baltimore Health Commissioner Dr. Leana Wen said heroin has been a problem in the city for decades. "We have to focus on saving lives, first and foremost. Second, I want to make sure we see addiction as a chronic disease, which it is. It's just like high blood pressure or diabetes -- there are treatments available, but it is something that can be fatal," Wen said.

Go Orange for Animals in April!

Baseball season in Baltimore is not the only reason to “Go Orange” in April.  April is also the ASPCA’s Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Month when supporters are urged to raise awareness about the problem by “Going Orange for Animals.”  Baltimore City Health Department Animal Control Officers will join the effort in by wearing orange ribbons this month to bring attention to the issue while performing their normal duties.

Go Orange for Animals in April

"Mayor’s Heroin Taskforce Updates Community on Progress" (Afro American) April 8, 2015

More Baltimore residents died as a result of drug overdose than homicide last year, a startling fact in light of how easy it is to prevent opioid overdoses. We know how to prevent deaths, and there are effective treatment options for addiction. The question is, how we get the necessary resources to those who need them most? This was the message at the first community update meeting of the Mayor’s Heroin Treatment and Prevention Taskforce.

In Celebration Of Public Health

She was a first-time teen mom who didn’t know how to care for her newborn daughter. A nurse came to visit her to teach her the ABCs of Safe Sleep. She was so grateful that she committed to finishing her education and became a home-visiting professional herself. He works in some of the roughest areas of Baltimore out of a plain white van.

Health Department PSA On Measles

Just released - watch our PSA where Health Commissioner Dr. Leana Wen reminds Baltimoreans of the importance for vaccinating children against measles to protect families and communities! This is a great partnership with the National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO) Big Cities Health Coalition!

"Battling Baltimore's Heroin Epidemic" (98 Rock / WBAL AM) April 5, 2015

WBAL's Derek Williams discusses the fight against heroin with Baltimore's Health Commissioner Dr. Leana Wen.

"Maryland lawmakers rushing to ban powdered alcohol" (Washington Post) April 2, 2015

Alcohol producers have discovered another way for partyers to get buzzed. But public health officials and lawmakers, concerned about the safety of teens and young adults, are scrambling to take a newly approved product off the market. “As a public health leader, emergency physician and mother of three, I must say powdered alcohol is my worst nightmare,” Joneigh S. Khaldun, the Baltimore City Health Department’s chief medical officer, said Thursday during a hearing in Annapolis on legislation that would ban the sale of powdered alcohol in Maryland for two years. “It’s basically alcoholic Tang.”