Baltimore City Health Department Named Local Health Department of the Year




Award recognizes and honors outstanding health department accomplishments

BALTIMORE (July 17, 2018) — The Baltimore City Health Department (BCHD) has been awarded the 2018 Local Health Department of the Year – Large Category from the National Association of City and County Health Officials (NACCHO). This prestigious annual award recognizes local health departments for outstanding achievements in demonstrating innovative ways to improve public health and safety.

“This prestigious recognition rightly acknowledges what we already know – Baltimore has the finest and most effective Health Department in the nation, due in no small measure to the superb leadership of Commissioner Dr. Leana Wen.  I commend Dr. Wen and the entire Health Department team which consistently finds way to improve the health and well-being of all Baltimore residents, and for using sound public health policies and practices to create a better quality of life in our communities,” said Mayor Catherine E. Pugh

The award was announced at the NACCHO Annual Conference, held from July 10-12 in New Orleans. Health departments received this accolade for demonstrating innovative ways to improve public health and safety.  BCHD was recognized for its work in reducing health disparities, combatting the opioid epidemic, addressing violence as a public health issue, targeting upstream interventions to end the City’s cycle of violence and poverty, and for reducing infant mortality by improving birth outcomes and health for the City’s most vulnerable babies and young children.  

NACCHO’s award recognized several key initiatives that BCHD has led:

  • Healthy Baltimore 2020, a strategic blueprint outlining key priorities designed to promote health and well-being in Baltimore City with one overarching vision: to cut health disparities in Baltimore by half over the 10 years;
  • Aggressive, multi-sector approach to the opioid epidemic, including issuing a blanket prescription to all residents for naloxone in 2015, opening a Stabilization Center – a 24/7 “ER” for addiction, and launching the Levels of Care initiative for hospitals in the City in 2018;
  • Vision for Baltimore program, an upstream intervention helping connect students in need with free glasses during kindergarten and elementary school
  • B’More for Healthy Babies citywide collaborative, which has cut infant mortality in the City by nearly 40 percent since 2009, and has reduced the disparity between African-American and white infant mortality by half.

“I am so proud to work with incredibly dedicated public health professionals who work every day to reduce health disparities and deliver critical health services to our residents," said Dr. Leana Wen. "Our team accomplishes a great deal despite scarce resources. Health is integrally tied to social justice and out City's future, and we will continue fighting to ensure that health is a fundamental human right.”

NACCHO represents the nation’s nearly 3,000 local governmental health departments. These city, county, metropolitan, district, and tribal departments work every day to protect and promote health and well-being for all people in their communities. For more information about NACCHO, visit For more information about BCHD, visit

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