Recent News

Baltimore becomes first major city to remove sugary drinks from kids' menus (NBC News)

Baltimore has become the first major city to prohibit restaurants from including sugary drinks on children's menus.

The measure, which went into effect on Wednesday, is intended to promote healthy habits in young children and their families by making the default kids' menu options water, milk and 100 percent fruit juices.

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Leana Wen

Baltimore City Health Department Named Local Health Department of the Year

BALTIMORE (July 17, 2018) — The Baltimore City Health Department (BCHD) has been awarded the 2018 Local Health Department of the Year – Large Category from the National Association of City and County Health Officials (NACCHO).


Rat video closes another Baltimore public market (The Daily Record)

Northeast Market is the second of Baltimore’s public markets to close in a matter of days following video of a rat in the building being posted.

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Baltimore's Northeast Market closes after video shows rats inside, days after same problem at Lexington Market (Baltimore Sun)

For the second time in less than a week, a viral video depicting vermin scampering about has led to the temporary closure of one of Baltimore’s public markets.

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Nicholas Kristof's NYT Newsletter - A Guest Post

Dr. Leana Wen fills in for Nicholas Kristof, guest authoring his New York Times newsletter and discussing the Trump administration's Conscience and Religious Freedom division in the Department of Health and Human Services.

"The ostensible aim is to protect the right of health care workers to opt out of procedures that they have religions objections to. The government issued regulations to expand that right so that all of the above scenarios could be justified based on the provider’s religious beliefs. There is now no requirement to inform the patient of why care is denied or to offer a referral to someone who can provide it."

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Leana Wen

Note From The Commissioner: Fighting for Health Equity

Last weekend, I had the honor to speak at the UnidosUS 2018 Annual Conference in Washington, D.C. Formerly the National Council of La Raza, UnidosUS is the United States’ largest Latino nonprofit advocacy organization. Other speakers included heroes and partners in our work in health and justice: Bryan Stevenson (Founder and Executive Director, Equal Justice Initiative); Cecilia Muñoz (Former Director, Domestic Policy Council, Obama White House); Chad Griffin (President, Human Rights Campaign); and Sherrilyn Ifill (President and Director-Council, NAACP Legal Defense Fund).

Leana Wen

Baltimore expands telehealth program for seniors (The Daily Record)

Baltimore has extended the Telehealth Intervention Program for Seniors program in the Park Heights community, hoping to reduce emergency room and hospital visits and emergency room visits.

The telehealth program remote monitors vital signs and social services for low-income adults over the age of 60.

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Leana Wen

'It keeps us safe': An NYC bathroom set up to stem overdoses (AP)

— At an unassuming storefront on a busy Brooklyn street, people sign up to use a bathroom outfitted to try to curb an overdose crisis.

Waiting his turn, a man named Robert is frank about why he's there, instead of one of the stairwells, parks, rooftops or porches where he has used heroin in the past.

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Leana Wenopioids

Mosquito Populations Increase Due to Wetter Spring (WJZ)

A wetter than normal spring produced a lot of mosquito larvae, which are now taking wing to feed on us.

The real health risks are diseases carried by mosquitoes. According to Baltimore City Health Commissioner Leana Wen, some of these include encephalitis that causes severe brain infections, dengue fever, West Nile that can cause many severe effects, including severe bleeding, and even liver, kidney and total body failure and death.

Read or watch the entire piece.

Leana Wen

Mayor Pugh and Health Commissioner Dr. Wen Announce Expansion of Telehealth Intervention Program for Older Adults

BALTIMORE, MD (July 12, 2018) — Today, Mayor Catherine E. Pugh and Baltimore City Health Commissioner Dr. Leana Wen announced the expansion of the Telehealth Intervention Program for Seniors (TIPS) in the city’s northwest Park Heights community.