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Bmore Healthy Newsletter: April 6, 2018

Click here to read the 4/6/18 newsletter. Subscribe to the Bmore Healthy newsletter.

In this issue:

  • Note from the Commissioner
  • Dr. Wen Speaks at Cecil County Health Department in Recognition of National Public Health Week
  • Dr. Wen Speaks at Why Women Cry XII
  • and more

Note From The Commissioner: Making Public Health Visible

At a commencement ceremony several years ago, Dr. Linda Rae Murray, then-president of the American Public Health Association (APHA), recounted a famous saying: “When public health works, we’re invisible.” She followed that by urging the graduates to “refuse to be invisible, because […] we need to lend our strength and our science to broad social movements whose goal is to make things better.”

When public health is invisible, we only end up talking about it when things go wrong; people tend to think about public health agencies as entities that respond to infectious disease outbreaks or shut down a restaurant due to health code violations. We frequently think about health as healthcare, but what determines how long and how well we live is less about what happens in the doctor’s office and more about where we live, the air we breathe, and the availability of other resources in our communities. At the Baltimore City Health Department, we believe that all issues – education, housing, employment, public safety, and beyond – can and should be tied back to health. We are committed to making the progress earned through public health visible, and to make the case for incorporating health-in-all policies across the City.

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The Health 202: How a fringe idea to solve the opioid crisis turned mainstream (Washington Post)

Jerome Adams urged Americans to consider getting trained to administer naloxone, a drug used broadly by first responders that has proven highly effective in reversing opioid overdoses. 

Baltimore City Health Commissioner Leana Wen said she is being forced to ration naloxone because the city doesn’t have the finances to buy as much as it needs. 

Read the entire story.

Leana Wenopioids

Federal moves to help opioid crisis not enough, experts say (

Anybody who knows someone at risk of an opioid overdose should always carry naloxone, the anti-overdose drug, Surgeon General Dr. Jerome Adams said Thursday. 

Baltimore City Health Commissioner Dr. Leana Wen said the plan is a good first step.

Read the entire story.

Leana Wenopioids

Surgeon General urges more American carry Naloxone to fight opioid crisis (NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt)

Dr. Wen appeared on NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt to discuss the Surgeon General's Advisory urging Americans to carry naloxone. 

Watch the video.

Leana Wenopioids

The Surgeon General Just Called For Making An Overdose-Reversing Drug Available To Everyone (BuzzFeed)

US Surgeon General Jerome Adams will on Thursday issue a nationwide advisory — the first from his office in 13 years — for more people to get access to and training for the overdose-reversing drug naloxone.

“Unfortunately, we are having to ration naloxone because we simply don’t have the resources to purchase this life-saving antidote,” Baltimore health commissioner Leana Wen said in a statement to BuzzFeed News. “Every week, we count the doses we have left and make hard decisions about who will receive the medication and who will have to go without.”

Read the entire story.

Leana Wenopioids

Surgeon general urges public to carry opioid overdose reversal drug in rare advisory (The Hill)

The surgeon general in a rare public health advisory is calling on more Americans to carry a potentially life-saving medication that can reverse the effects of an opioid overdose.

Baltimore City Health Commissioner Leana Wen urged the federal government to make naloxone more affordable, suggesting it negotiate a discounted rate with manufacturers or provide funds for increased access to treatment. 

Read the entire story.

Leana Wenopioids

Surgeon general issues rare advisory: more people should carry opioid overdose antidote (Vox)

The surgeon general issued the office’s first advisory in 13 years — calling on more people to carry the opioid overdose antidote naloxone.

Dr. Leana Wen, the health commissioner of Baltimore, has seen some of this firsthand. In the past, naloxone has typically required a prescription. But in 2015, her office issued a standing order that effectively acted as a blanket prescription for the entire city of Baltimore.

Read the entire story

Leana Wenopioids

Poll: Most Americans wary of those suffering from addiction, despite recognition of medical condition (AP)

A slim majority of Americans see prescription drug addiction as a disease that requires medical treatment, but most would not welcome those suffering from the problem into their neighborhoods, workplaces, or families. 

Those figures worry Baltimore Health Commissioner Leana Wen, who says it’s counterproductive to blame people for their medical conditions. 

Read the entire story.

Leana Wenopioids

‘We simply don’t have the resources’: Surgeon general’s call to carry naloxone raises red flag (ThinkProgress)

It’s been 13 years since a United States Surgeon General issued a public health advisory, but on Thursday Jerome Adams did so to urge every person to carry the overdose-reversal medication naloxone.

In response to Thursday’s announcement, Baltimore City Health Commissioner Dr. Leana Wen, arguably naloxone’s most ardent advocate, asked for more financial assistance as local officials have already been trying to get the medication into the hands of every person — and that’s been costly.

Read the entire story.

Leana Wenopioids