Recent News

Planning To Prevent Teen Pregnancies

It’s Back to School time in Baltimore, and many students are returning to classrooms eager to learn. But, we know that unintended teen pregnancy is the number one reason that young women do not complete high school, and this leads to continued cycles of poverty, unemployment and poor health for both mother and young child. Baltimore City’s teen birth rate (43.3 per 1,000 teen girls) is 1.5 times higher than the national rate and twice as high as the state of Maryland. 

"Safe Streets program to expand to fifth site in Baltimore" (WMAR) August 18,2015

Plans for a fifth Safe Streets site are moving forward thanks to grant money from the Abell Foundation. The program started off slowly and eventually expanded. There have been a few years now with four Safe Streets sites that include McElderry Park, Cherry Hill, Mondawmin and Park Heights.

"What you need to know about back to school immunizations" (WMAR) August 18,2015

Back to school immunizations can literally be one of the most painful parts of the back to school process for children. Although they might involve some temporary discomfort, health officials say immunizations are key. Dr. Leana Wen, Baltimore City Health Commissioner, stopped by ABC2 In Focus to talk about the importance of getting the required immunizations and staying up to date with them.

"baltimore Taking A Stand Against Dog Fighting" (WJZ) August 17, 2015

Baltimore City Council is considering a move to toughen up on dog fighting. The proposal would make it a criminal offense to possess equipment that trains dogs for fights.

"Baltimore teaching drug offenders how to use heroin antidote" (WMAR) August 13, 2015

The Baltimore City Health Department has ramped up its effort against the "War on Heroin" in Baltimore City. On Thursday, drug offenders in drug treatment court were trained how to used Naloxone. It's an over-the-counter drug that serves as an antidote to a heroin or opioid overdose. The city said it wants to get Naloxone into the hands of people who are the most at risk. The participants in drug treatment court are being closely supervised during their recovery and participation in drug treatment programs.

Baltimore City First In State To Provide in Court Naloxone Training For Drug Court Participants (FOX45)

Within the walls of Baltimore City’s Circuit Court the city’s Health Commissioner conducted an in court training session for nearly 30 Baltimore City Drug Treatment Court participants, teaching them how to administer Naloxone.  It’s a medication that is used to reverse the effects of an overdose.    “I think this is a way we can save lives in Baltimore City and really make an impact on the ever increasing overdose deaths,” said Ellen Heller, Circuit Court Judge. The in court training is a first for the state.  Its participants were chosen because they are at risk of an overdose and/or are in contact with people who are at risk. “If somebody is overdosing on heroin or fentanyl or oxycodone or other opiates they will stop breathing and within a matter of minutes they will die,” said Dr. Leana Wen, Baltimore City Health Commissioner.

Don’t delay, vaccinate today!

August is National Immunization Awareness Month, a time to recognize vaccines, one of the top 10 public health accomplishments of the 20th Century. It is also a time to remind people that immunizations are not just for children.  They are needed throughout our lifetime. Starting even before a baby is born, mothers can help protect them by getting flu and whooping cough (pertussis) vaccines themselves. These vaccines will provide some disease protection (immunity) that will last the first months of a baby’s life. 

Don't Delay Vaccinate Today

Baltimore City First Jurisdiction In Maryland To Mandate Naloxone Training For Drug Court Participants

Beginning today, in an effort spearheaded by Baltimore City Health Commissioner Dr. Leana Wen, the Baltimore City Adult Drug Treatment Court (DTC) will be the first in Maryland to train participants on the use of naloxone while they are in court.  “Overdose deaths are a public health emergency,” said Dr. Wen.  “Last year, more people died from overdose than died from homicide.  The first step to recovery is staying alive. We need to get life-saving naloxone into the hands of people most at risk.” Individuals with a primary drug-related criminal offense are selected to participate in DTC as an alternative to more traditional legal settings.

"Crime Interrupts A Baltimore Doctor's Reform Efforts" (NPR - All Things Considered) August 7, 2015

On a hot, sunny Monday in mid-July, Dr. Leana Wen stood on a sidewalk in West Baltimore flanked by city leaders: Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, interim police commissioner Kevin Davis, Rep. Elijah Cummings. Under a huge billboard with the web address, she proudly unveiled a 10-point plan for tackling the city's heroin epidemic. Wen, the city's health commissioner, said she aims to create a 24/7 treatment center, an emergency room of sorts for substance abuse and mental health. She spoke of targeting those most in need, starting with those in jail.

"Baltimore City and County Health Departments Investigating Possible Measles Case"

Today Health Commissioner Dr, Leana Wen announced that Baltimore County and Baltimore City Health Departments are currently investigating a possible, isolated case of measles in a Baltimore County resident who was seen for care at Sinai Hospital in Baltimore City. Upon recognition of a possible measles case, Sinai Hospital staff acted quickly and appropriately to reduce exposures.