Baltimore City Health Department Hosts Healthy Baltimore 2020 Community Conversation on Aging

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Media Contacts:

Mona Rock: Office: (443) 984-2623, Cell: (410) 375-7763

BALTIMORE, Md. (December 19, 2016)—The Baltimore City Health Department (BCHD) today hosted the latest Healthy Baltimore 2020 Community Conversation, a town hall meeting offering residents the opportunity to provide public comment on Healthy Baltimore 2020—BCHD’s recently released strategic blueprint for health and wellness through the lens of health equity.

“I have long been an advocate for ensuring that Baltimore City’s seniors have the opportunity to remain engaged and active members of their communities. I am committed to continuing this work as your Mayor,” said Mayor Catherine E. Pugh. “To truly move our city forward, we cannot leave anyone out. I look forward to working together as an entire city to achieve our goals of reducing health disparities and promoting well-being for all residents.”

Monday’s conversation convened representatives of healthcare institutions, community partners, faith-based institutions, local businesses, universities and others to discuss Baltimore City’s efforts to ensure the health and wellness of seniors.

“Baltimore City's seniors have always been the backbone of our communities. We must continue to support the ability of residents to age in their communities with choice, independence and dignity,” said Baltimore City Health Commissioner Dr. Leana Wen. “Through Healthy Baltimore 2020, we not only aim to improve health, but strive to cut health disparities in half over the next decade. By developing a comprehensive senior health approach with a focus on wellness and aging in place, we can improve the lives of seniors across Baltimore.”

Launched in August 2016, Health Baltimore 2020 outlines key priorities and objectives through which BCHD aims to reduce health disparities in Baltimore by half over the next ten years. Building off BCHD’s prior accomplishments and extensive community engagement and conversations, the plan identifies priority areas and indicators that significantly affect the health of Baltimore City’s residents. It includes specific activities that can be implemented to improve health outcomes while addressing systemic inequities.

During the Community Conversation, health officials honored more than a dozen partners from across Baltimore for their commitment to a public health approach to ensuring seniors’ wellbeing and achieving health equity in their communities. Awardees included:

  • Maryland Delegate Mary Washington, 43rd District 
  • Baltimore City Councilwoman Sharon Middleton, 6th District 
  • Cathy Brill, Executive Director, Leonard and Helen R. Stulman Charitable Foundation
  • Elizabeth Briscoe, Executive Director , Action in Maturity
  • Hank Greenberg, Maryland State Director, AARP Maryland
  • W. Daniel Hale, Ph.D. Special Advisor, Office of the President Director, Healthy Community Partnership, Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center 
  • Pastor Dante Hickman, Southern Baptist Church 
  • Stephanie Higgins, Older Women Embracing Life
  • Dr. Allan Jensen, Chair of the Commission on Aging and Retirement Education (CARE)
  • Aileen McShea Tinney, Executive Director, Keswick Community Foundation 
  • Earl Millet, Chief Operating Officer, Civil Works 
  • Cass Naugle, Executive Director, Maryland Alzheimer’s Association 
  • Betsy Simon, Founder of Zeta Healthy Aging Partnership
  • Sarah L. Szanton, PhD, CRNP, Principal Investigator, JHU School of Nursing 

Healthy Baltimore 2020 is designed as an ongoing project. BCHD will continue to seek community input in the coming weeks and months.

To further facilitate public discussion, the Baltimore City Health Department will continue to host Community Conversations on each of the strategic priority areas identified in Healthy Baltimore 2020.

“The input and support of our community is critical to creating a framework that truly supports the health of our residents. We are so fortunate to work with passionate community partners, and are honored to celebrate their dedication to improving health and wellbeing in our city.” Dr. Wen added. “Everyone has a role to play in improving health in Baltimore City, and we need the involvement of all those committed to improving health to guide our strategy moving forward.”

The complete Health Baltimore 2020 report is available at http://www.hb2020.com.

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