Note From The Commissioner: Celebrating a Resilient Community

Healthy Youth Day

Last weekend marked four years since the death of Freddie Gray.  The uprising that immediately followed his death brought to light so many of the longstanding challenges facing our City and also served as a call to action.  In commemoration of his life, families in Central West Baltimore gathered to celebrate their resilience at Healthy Youth Day. Attendees enjoyed a family-style cookout, participated in games and prize giveaways, and learned more about health resources provided by the Health Department, including free naloxone trainings, education on the dangers of tobacco use, and access to lead level testing.

I would like to recognize our dedicated partners who work closely with the following Health Department sponsored programs: ReCAST/ BCIITY Programs, Supporting our Students, and services provided at the Y in Druid Hill. Each program works tirelessly to reduce the impact of trauma in the residents of Sandtown-Winchester, Penn-North, and Upton-Druid Heights. The coalition’s aim is to help young people complete school and enter the workforce, while their families and communities move from surviving to thriving.

Because of their efforts, youth, school staff, families, and community members have been given more equitable access to trauma-informed behavioral health resources through the ReCAST initiative and more than 1,300 youth have participated in events aimed at changing their outcomes.

I am proud of the work our team does in the community, but there is still more work to be done. We must continue to work on behalf of and advocate for the well-being of our young people in West Baltimore and throughout the City. With the important contributions of our community partners, I know we can continue to make a difference in the lives of all of our residents.

Letitia Dzirasa, MD.

Baltimore City Commissioner of Health

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