BCHD Response to the City Office of the Inspector General’s Report Regarding the Office of Chronic Disease Prevention

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Media Contacts:

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

The Baltimore City Health Department (BCHD) issues the following statement in response to the Baltimore City Office of the Inspector General’s report regarding the Department’s Office of Chronic Disease Prevention and (OCDP) specifically in the Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program (CLPPP):

“While the Health Department acknowledges poor inventory management policies and procedures, for 2017 and 2018, as identified in the OIG report, it takes serious issue with the classification of expenditures in the lead fines and fees account as waste.  Most of the funds identified by the OIG as waste were used to meet a number of programmatic needs, including promotional materials for distribution at community events aimed at raising awareness of lead poisoning prevention services and, in part, to cover the cost of a nurse assigned to treat children suffering from asthma.

“The agency maintains that these are appropriate uses and advanced the programmatic mission of the lead program.  In fact, through promotional and awareness efforts led by the CLPPP, our partners, and other stakeholders, lead poisoning cases throughout the city fell by 19% last year.

“BCHD takes the report’s findings seriously and can assure the City’s taxpayers that corrective actions have already been taken, including regular monitoring of inventory levels and review of fine and fee account budgets.

"As an agency, BCHD does not tolerate waste, fraud, or abuse, and is 100% committed to working with the Office of the Inspector General. As a result of this investigation, the agency has established revised procedures so that it can be better stewards of the agency’s resources.

“The Health Department is grateful to the leadership of Mayor Catherine E. Pugh and the Baltimore City Council in supporting its work. The agency looks to all of its partners for their help and collaboration as it works to ensure the health and well-being of all of the City’s residents."

 

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