Recent News

Judges rule against HHS for unlawfully ending teen pregnancy prevention grants, but shift to abstinence still underway (Pump Handle)

Earlier this month, another judge rebuked the Trump administration’s attempts to terminate teen pregnancy prevention grants, ruling the decision unlawful and

Leana Wen

One easy, cost-free thing Trump can do to ease the opioid crisis (Washington Post)

In their op-ed, Dr. Wen and Public Citizen President Robert Weissman request the federal government take action and use their authority to reduce prices for the lifesaving drug naloxone.

"They can choose to lower prices and save lives. Or they can choose to perpetuate the rationing of lifesaving treatments and avoid offending Big Pharma at the cost of letting people across the country die for lack of access to affordable, easy-to-use naloxone delivery devices. We should not be priced out of the ability to save lives."

Read the entire story.

Leana Wenopioidsnaloxone

Baltimore City Health Commissioner Urges Congress to Support CARE Act and Adopt “Ryan White for the Opioid Epidemic”

Congress is slated to vote on various bills aimed at fighting the opioid epidemic this week. Dr. Leana Wen issued the following statement about what is needed on the frontlines:

“As Congress reviews dozens of bills focused on combatting the opioid epidemic, I ask them to remember this: We know what works. We don’t have a shortage of ideas. We have a shortage of resources."

Leana Wenopioids

Maryland is in an opioid addiction crisis; here's what the Democratic candidates for governor would do about it (Baltimore Sun)

Shortly after he was elected, Gov. Larry Hogan convened a high-level task force to address opioid addiction and overdoses in Maryland, and he eventually declared a state of emergency because of the problem. Yet the toll addiction has taken on communities across the state — urban, rural and suburban — remains unabated. The number of overdose deaths in the first three months of 2017 — the most recent data available — is more than double that from the same period in 2014, the year before Mr. Hogan took office. This isn’t just a Maryland problem, of course; addiction and overdoses have skyrocketed nationwide. But the fact remains that what we’re doing about the problem isn’t enough.

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Leana Wenopioids

Bmore Healthy Newsletter: June 8, 2018

Click here to read the 6/8/18 newsletter. Subscribe to the Bmore Healthy newsletter.

In this issue: 

  • Note from the Commissioner
  • Dr. Wen Keynotes Doctors for America's National Leadership Conference 
  • Division of Aging and CARE Services Honors Team Members During Older Americans Month
  • and more.

Note From The Commissioner: The Power of Safe Streets

As an emergency physician, I have seen the human cost of gun violence.

Scope of Addiction Crisis Dwarfs Response to Opioids (CQ Magazine)

Congress faced a startling public health and political problem throughout 2016 as the number of people dying from opioid addiction climbed. 

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Leana Wenopioids

Treating Racism as a Public Health Issue (Poverty and Race Research Action Council Newsletter)

In their article, Dr. Wen and Special Assistant to the Commmissioner Narintohn Luangrath discuss health and racial equity and what the Health Department is doing to address health disparities. 

Read the entire story.

Leana Wen

Synthetic Weed Is Back, Bigger Than Ever, and Scary as Hell (Daily Beast)

The young woman had pale skin and fire-red hair, and by all appearances was only minutes away from dying from opioid overdose. 

The grim scene unfolded in February, in the Kensington section of North Philadelphia. It’s where the death rate from heroin mixed with illicit fentanyl ranks among the highest in the nation, and the sight of young bodies lying prone and unresponsive on the sidewalk has become the new normal for a cluster of impoverished neighborhoods that have already suffered decades of collateral damage from the war on drugs.

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In effort to 'normalize' breastfeeding, an oasis at the train station (Baltimore Sun)

Amid the activity and noise of Penn Station is a new oasis of sorts, an enclosed pod decorated with sky imagery, where women can nurse infants and pump milk. It’s equipped with benches, a fold-down table and electrical outlets to enable a practice that doctors promote as beneficial to the health of babies — but many moms find hard to do when in public.

Read the entire story.

Leana Wen