Recent News

Baltimore City Health Department Celebrates Nine Years of Healthy Babies

October 26, 2018 - Since 2009, Baltimore City has experienced a 36 percent decline in the infant mortality rate. Last night, health officials and families from across Baltimore City joined in an evening of celebrating nine years of success in reducing infant mortality rates.

Lead poisoning cases fell 19 percent in Baltimore last year, even as more children tested for exposure (Baltimore Sun)

The number of Baltimore children with lead poisoning fell 19 percent in 2017, even as more children were tested for exposure to the powerful neurotoxin.

Statewide, the number of Maryland children found to have elevated levels of lead in their blood held steady even as the number of children tested increased by 10 percent, according to a Maryland Department of the Environment report released Tuesday.

Read the entire story.

Trump declared an emergency over opioids. A new report finds it led to very little. (Vox)

To much fanfare last year, President Donald Trump ordered his administration to declare a public health emergency over the opioid epidemic. “As Americans, we cannot allow this to continue,” Trump said at the time. “It is time to liberate our communities from this scourge of drug addiction.”

When I’ve asked experts about these approaches, it’s not that any of them are bad. It’s that they fall short. For instance, Leana Wen, the former health commissioner of Baltimore (and soon-to-be president of Planned Parenthood), said that the Support for Patients and Communities Act “is simply tinkering around the edges.”

Read the entire story.

Azar Unveils Plan to Help Pregnant Patients Quit Opioids (MedPage Today)

States will get help from the federal government integrating services for pregnant and postpartum Medicaid patients with opioid use disorder under a pilot program announced Tuesday by Health and Hu

Note From The Commissioner: Proud to Serve Baltimore

Four years ago, I was given the incredible opportunity to serve as the Baltimore City Health Commissioner. It was my dream job, and I have been so proud to work with the women and men at the Health Department on the frontlines of public health. Through the leadership of Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake and Mayor Catherine E. Pugh and with the help of partners across the City, we have made significant strides in improving health and combatting disparity

Dr. Wen

Baltimore City Successfully Completes the Billion Step Challenge

BALTIMORE, MD (October 10, 2018)—This week, the initiative tracked more than one billion steps by City residents. The project, which was part of BCHD’s strategic blueprint Healthy Baltimore 2020, included partnerships with other city agencies, corporate entities and community organizations that hosted events to promote physical activity.

Dr. Leana Wen Is Leaving BCHD to Lead Planned Parenthood (WYPR)

As a patient advocate and an emergency physician, Dr. Wen has led the Baltimore City Health Department since January 2015. She has devoted her career to expanding access to health care for low income communities, reducing health disparities, and finding innovative solutions to some of the most challenging public health problems today, from opioid abuse and teen pregnancy to the epidemic of gun violence.

Listen to the segment.

Baltimore City Health Commissioner Responds to Passing of Opioids Package

Baltimore, Maryland Yesterday, Congress passed legislation focused on fighting the opioid epidemic. Included in the package are provisions that provide federal support to innovative programs ranging from stabilization centers to peer support services.

Note From The Commissioner: Sharing the Principles that Guide Our Work

Park School

This week, I had the honor of visiting the Park School of Baltimore as their 2017-2018 Resident Scholar. Each year for more than 30 years, the Park School Parents’ Association invites a Resident Scholar to address the Upper School student body. Leaders from the fields of science, politics, music, and literature – including Ta-Nehisi Coates and April Ryan – have visited the Park School as Scholars. 

Leana Wen

The youngest victims of the opioid epidemic (Axios)

In a video covering the opioid epidemic and highlighting babies born with withdrawal symptoms, Dr. Wen addresses another issue in combatting the crisis.

"When addiction seemed to affect poor people of color in inner cities, it was seen as a moral failing - a choice. Unless we address these deep rooted issues, we’re not going to make progress in treating addiction as the disease that we know it to be."

Watch the video here.

 
Leana Wenopioids

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