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Bmore Healthy Newsletter: April 20, 2018

Click here to read the 4/20/18 newsletter.

In this issue:

  • Note from the Commissioner
  • Dr. Wen joined Mayor Pugh for the Signing of Two Key Pieces of Public Health Law
  • Dr. Wen Joins Health Department’s Bureau of School Health at Opening of New School-Based Health Center at Mervo 
  • Dr. Wen Joins the 2018 March for Science
  • and more

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Note From The Commissioner: Reducing Falls, Protecting Our Seniors

It’s been a busy week at the Baltimore City Health Department! We announced the opening of a new school-based health center; joined the Mayor to sign two public health bills into law; participated in Light City and the March for Science; worked with Congressman Cummings and Senator Warren to support new legislation to establish a “Ryan White” for the opioid epidemic; hosted Law Day to support seniors and Precious Purple Sunday to support maternal and child health; issued a citywide warning for synthetic marijuana; and sued the Trump Administration. Please read on for these and other updates—and hear more on WYPR’s HealthWatch episode.

In this letter, I want to focus on the official launch of the citywide Falls Reduction Public Campaign and Strategy. Falls among older adults are a growing public health concern. Over three million older Americans visit the ER each year for falls; in Baltimore City, that’s nearly 5,000 seniors who fall. Each fall leads to an average hospitalization cost of $39,000. If we extrapolate, that means the cost of falls to Baltimore City – for medical costs alone – is $60 million.

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Severe bleeding reported in Maryland from synthetic marijuana (Fox43)

Health officials in Maryland have reported two more cases of severe bleeding problems in people who used synthetic marijuana. 

Read the entire story.

Leana Wen

Opioid epidemic puts strain on Baltimore budget, Naloxone availability (Baltimore Post-Examiner)

Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Maryland Rep. Elijah Cummings from Baltimore are working on legislation that requires the federal government to provide $10 billion to help fight the opioid crisis. The planned legislation was released Wednesday.

Read the entire story.

Leana Wenopioidsnaloxone

Surgeon general wants Naloxone widely on hand. Is this feasible? (NBC News)

When Surgeon General Jerome Adams issued an advisory calling for more people to carry naloxone — not just people at overdose risk, but also friends and family — experts and advocates were almost giddy.

But the drug’s price is an issue, said Dr. Leana Wen, the city’s health commissioner, and an emergency physician. She suggested that the federal government negotiate directly for a lower price, or give more money to organizations and agencies like hers so they can afford to maintain an adequate supply.

Read the entire story.

Leana Wenopioidsnaloxone

Severe bleeding reported in Maryland from synthetic marijuana (WENY)

Health officials in Maryland have reported two more cases of severe bleeding problems in people who used synthetic marijuana.

Read the entire story.

Leana Wen

Baltimore Wants to Reduce Elderly Fall Rate (AARP)

Baltimore, a city filled with older, multistory row houses and alley houses, has launched a program designed to reduce the number of falls among its elderly residents — and what the city says is $60 million in hospitalization costs annually.

Read the entire story.

Baltimore health official warns of fake marijuana’s dangers (The Daily Record)

Baltimore's health commissioner is joining the call urging people to stay away from fake marijuana as cases of severe bleeding by users tick upward.

Read the entire story.

Baltimore health official warns of fake marijuana's dangers (AP)

Baltimore's health commissioner is joining the call urging people to stay away from fake marijuana as cases of severe bleeding by users tick upward. 

Dr. Leana Wen says synthetic cannabinoids, frequently touted as natural products, are in fact "extremely dangerous." In a statement, she says the substance has untested chemical compounds that can have "devastating effects for users."

Read the entire story.

Leana Wen

Healthwatch with Dr. Leana Wen: Stabilization Centers, Protecting Seniors, and TPPI (WYPR)

On the April edition of Healthwatch, with Dr. Leana Wen: 

Dr. Wen discusses the city's first Stabilizatoin Center, cuts to the city's teen pregnancy prevention programs, and a new initiative to reduce falls among senior citizens. She answers our questions for the hour, and takes your calls, emails and tweets about your public health concerns.

Listen to the program.

Leana Wen

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