Recent News

"Palcohol" (WBAL-TV) March 26, 2015

Citing the potential dangers of powdered alcohol for both youth and adults, Baltimore City Health Commissioner Dr. Leana Wen has convened a coalition of public health and physician leaders in support of banning the substance in Maryland. Nearly two dozen pediatricians, emergency medicine physicians and public health leaders across Baltimore have endorsed The Baltimore Statement on Dangers of Powdered Alcohol, which highlights the public health risks associated with powdered alcohol, known as Palcohol.

"Baltimore Health Commissioner Leads Coalition of Physicians and Public Health Advocates In Support of State Ban On Powdered Alcohol (Palcohol)"

Citing the potential dangers of powdered alcohol for both youth and adults, Baltimore City Health Commissioner Leana Wen, M.D. has convened a coalition of public health and physician leaders in support of banning the substance in Maryland. “Our efforts need to be focused on making alcoholic products less, not more, available to young people across our state,” Dr Wen said. 

"Mayor and Health Commissioner Honor Four Baltimore Adults and Eight Youths As “Baltimorphosis Changemakers” Against Youth Violence"

Today as part of National Youth Violence Prevention Week, Mayor Stephanie Rawlings Blake and Health Commissioner Leana Wen, M.D. recognized the accomplishments of 12 city residents who are “changemakers” in the community by presenting them with a 2015 Baltimorphosis Changemaker award.  

Violence Affecting Youth

Too often youth are seen as ‘the problem’ when many youth have already endured more hardships than some adults face in their lifetime.  As a city, our task is to help ensure youth’s wellbeing and their growth into successful adults. Many youth are victims of violence directly or indirectly. Nationally, youth under 25 years of age have the highest rates of homicide and violent crime victimization. For example, poor birth outcomes related to smoking, drugs, lead poisoning, witnessing domestic violence, and child abuse can affect a child’s development. In turn, they increase the likelihood of a child becoming a delinquent or adult offender.

"Maryland's News This Week" (WBAL Radio) March 15, 2015

The state budget, the U.S. Senate race, the heroin crisis and the physician assisted suicide bill were all discussed on this week's Maryland's News This Week with Robert Lang. The guests included Baltimore City Health Commissioner Dr. Leana Wen.

"Baltimore Joins National Conversation On Youth Violence Prevention" (WYPR) March 18, 2015

Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake announced Wednesday the city will develop a strategy to combat youth violence with help from President Obama’s National Forum on Youth Violence Prevention, also known as The Forum. Health Commissioner Leana Wen said youth violence should be treated as a public health issue as well as a criminal justice issue.

"Health Commissioner Seeking Community Engagement as City Prepares to Expand B’more for Healthy Babies to Kids and Teenagers" (Afro American) March 19, 2015

Community input will be key as the city looks to expand its successful B’more for Healthy Babies initiative to kids and teenagers. This is being done to reduce racially disparate outcomes in health, says new Baltimore City Health Department Commissioner Dr. Leana Wen. 

Baltimore Youth Helping to Lead the City’s Anti-Smoking Efforts

Recently, a group of fourth grade students at Kipp-Harmony Elementary School created a photonovella about smoking and its effects on families.  Through a series of photos, the students portray a father who smokes to relieve his stress levels, negatively impacting the rest of the family, including a newborn baby.  With his family’s support the father is able to finally quit.  The photonovella paints a simplified picture of a very real issue: smoking and tobacco have a huge effect on youth.

"Youth ambassadors teach peers about dating violence" (Baltimore Times) March 13, 2015

On a brisk night in February there is a lot of noise coming from a fourth floor conference room at the Johns Hopkins Center for Adolescent Health in East Baltimore. The raucous sound rises and falls blending in with a recording of the Jeopardy theme song as eight Baltimore City teenagers play "Teen Years Jeopardy," a game designed by instructors to test their knowledge of healthy relationships. The teens are training to become Youth Brand Ambassadors for the Dating Matters Program.

"Bill Would Ban Sugary Drinks From Kids’ Menus" (WJZ-TV) March 11, 2015

Fighting childhood obesity by preventing children from drinking soda. That’s the city health commissioner’s plan. The bill being introduced Thursday would ban sugary drinks from kids’ menus in Baltimore. Dr. Wen hopes the bill will help parents make healthier choices and help children shed pounds.