Recent News

Baltimore's 'Staying Alive' program found to be successful in combating overdoses (Baltimore Business Journal)

The number of overdose reversal drug kits distributed and overdose reversals reported in Baltimore both increased between 2015 and 2017, according to data from the city's health department.

A city audit of the department presented Wednesday found the Staying Alive Drug Overdose Prevention and Response Plan has been successful in its goal to reduce the rate of deaths from opiate-related overdoses in Baltimore.

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City to study use of fentanyl-detecting test strips by distributing them in exchange vans (Baltimore Fishbowl)

In its ongoing fight against a fentanyl-fueled surge in drug overdoses, the Baltimore City Health Department plans to study the efficacy of test strips that detect the potent synthetic substance in street-purchased drugs by handing kits out at mobile syringe and needle exchanges.

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Poll: Most Americans Know About Opioid Antidote And Are Willing To Use It (NPR)

U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams made a plea in April for more Americans to be prepared to administer naloxone, an opioid antidote, in case they or people close to them suffer an overdose.

We wondered how many people know about naloxone and the fact that someone doesn't have to be a medical professional to administer it. Fifty-nine percent of respondents said they were aware of the antidote and that it could be given by laypeople; 41 percent said they weren't.

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Baltimore City Health Department Encourages Naloxone Training

On August 17, Dr. Leana Wen visited Catholic Charities' Weinberg Housing and Resource Center and gave staff and clients a naloxone training.

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Health Department’s Early Head Start Program Hosts Graduation Ceremonies in Sandtown-Winchester Neighborhood

BALTIMORE, Md. (August 16, 2018)—Today, Baltimore City Health Commissioner Dr. Leana Wen joined community partners  to celebrate the closing exercises of Baltimore City’s newest Early Head Start Program in the City’s Sandtown-Winchester Neighborhood.

Forging our National Response to the Opioid Epidemic (The Afro)

In his article, Congressman Elijah Cummings covers the escalating opioid crisis, the importance of listening to those on the front lines who knows what works, and why the CARE Act would change the way the United States is fighting this health emergency.

"Confronted with this urgent threat to our health and safety, we all should be listening carefully to the advice of Baltimore City’s Health Commissioner, Dr. Leana Wen."

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Health Department Celebrates B’more for Healthy Babies Breastfeeding Awareness Initiatives in Upton/Druid Heights

BALTIMORE, MD (August 15, 2018) —Today, in celebration of National Breastfeeding Month, Baltimore City Health Commissioner Dr. Leana Wen joined community partners to recognize B’more for Healthy Babies (BHB), the City’s initiative to reduce infant mortality and improve outcomes in the first three years of a child’s life and promote the importance of breastfeeding.

Decisive leadership: Baltimore Health Commissioner Leana Wen sees the ER as a valuable training ground for physician leaders (Furst Group)

In the age of value-based care, organizations are leaning on clinicians to lean in to leadership. This opens new vistas for physicians and nurses, but health systems and insurers must do their homework. A physician who heads his or her own practice may have valuable leadership skills, but leading, say, a staff of 12 is different from overseeing a $2 billion budget and ensuring a board and a C-suite are in sync with your vision.

One such physician who has made the jump is Leana Wen, MD, the Baltimore City Health Commissioner, who leads a staff of 1,000 employees. Since being named to the role in December 2014, Wen has shown a predilection for taking decisive action, perhaps unsurprising as someone trained as an emergency room physician.

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Note From The Commissioner: The Cost of Sabotaging the ACA

Last week, Baltimore City filed suit against the Trump Administration for intentionally and unlawfully sabotaging the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Under the leadership of Mayor Catherine Pugh and Solicitor Andre Davis, we joined colleagues from across the country to express our deep concern about the consequences of undermining the ACA.