Office of the Mayor

"Direct Connection - Overdose Prevention" (Maryland Public Television) March 2, 2015

Baltimore City Health Commissioner Dr. Leana Wen joined Jeff Salkin on Maryland Public Television's "Direct Connection" us highlight the heroin overdose prevention issues in Maryland in light of the Governor's announcement this week.

"Baltimore City Health Commissioner Calls Increasing Cost Of Naloxone a “Public Health Crisis”; Issues Support For Inquiry Launched By Representative Cummings"

Baltimore City Health Commissioner Leana Wen, M.D. today applauded two congressional leaders, including Maryland Representative Elijah E. Cummings, for their inquiry into increasing prices charged by one manufacturer of naloxone. Increasing the availability of naloxone, a medication used to safely reverse opioid overdoses, is a key component of Baltimore’s strategy to combat overdose deaths.

"Cold temperatures, frozen pipes force closings of 5 Baltimore restaurants in 10 days" (Baltimore Business Journal) March 2, 2015

Frozen pipes during a recent bout of extreme cold have not only caused problems for Baltimore City residents; they have also meant temporary closings for some of the city's restaurants. Health codes stipulate that any business that serves food must have hot and cold running water. The Baltimore City Health Department closed five food service businesses that were without hot and/or cold running water between Feb. 17 and 27.

"Baltimore City Health Department's Staying Alive Program" (FOX45) February 26, 2015

Baltimore City Health Department's "Staying Alive Program" has trained more than 12,000 people to use Naloxone in the program's 11 years. Naloxone, also known as Narcan, is a heroin overdose reversal drug. "Some of these individuals don't have to die. We have drugs out here--Naloxone--that can save a lot of lives," Needle Exchange Program Acting Director Derrick Hunt said. "A lot of our success comes from taking our services to the individuals."

"Health department closes four businesses for lack of running water" (Baltimore Sun) February 27, 2015

The Baltimore City Health Department said Friday that it closed five food establishments over the past 10 days for operating without water service due in part to frozen or damaged pipes caused by recent freezing temperatures. One business was closed on Friday and two were shut down Thursday, said BCHD in a statement reminding food service establishments that, according to state regulations, they must have hot and cold running water to remain open.

"Health Commissioner Issues Reminder That Running Water Is Critically Important For All Food Service Facilities"

In light of the cold weather causing water main breaks and broken water pipes across the city, the Baltimore City Health Department (BCHD) is issuing a reminder that all food service facilities must have operating hot and cold water readily available according to state regulations.  “Having both hot and cold running water is essential for any business that is preparing or serving food to the public,” said Baltimore City Health Commissioner Leana Wen, M.D

"Delaying parenthood" (Baltimore Sun Editorial) February 26, 2015

For years, Baltimore has struggled with epidemic levels of teenage pregnancy that rob young women of a chance to continue their educations or pursue careers. And it's not just the mothers who pay a price. The costs to society of teen pregnancies are enormous. Children born to girls who are barely out of childhood themselves are more likely to grow up in poverty, develop health problems, experience failure in school or come into contact with the criminal justice system. Addressing the cumulative effects of all these poor outcomes can cost cities and states millions of dollars a year. That's why we are heartened by recent evidence that Baltimore is making progress toward reducing teen births.

"Baltimore City teen birth rate down by nearly 33%" (WMAR-ABC2) February 25, 2015

Rebecca Dineen isn't surprised unintended teen pregnancies in Baltimore City are going down. In fact, she's part of the group responsible for the 32.6 percent drop since 2009.  "One of the biggest issues in Baltimore City was an equity of access issue to all contraceptive methods," said Dineen, of B'more for Healthy Babies, an initiative of the Baltimore City Health Department.

"City's top health official advocates for cigarette tax hike" (WBAL-TV) February 25, 2015

Baltimore City's health commissioner traveled this week to Annapolis to ask lawmakers to raise the state's cigarette tax, saying just $1 more per pack will save lives. Lawmakers are considering a proposal to raise the current $2-per-pack tax by $1. Baltimore City Health Commissioner Dr. Leana Wen said price matters. "The effect is the biggest among youth. Studies have shown that a 10 percent increase in price will cause 7 percent of youth to not smoke," she said.

"Baltimore sees `significant' drop in teen birth rate" (WMAR ABC-2) February 24, 2015

Baltimore officials say there's been a significant reduction in the city's birth rate among teens. Baltimore's teen birth rate is more than double the state average, but for the first time in several years, the city saw a significant drop. Rawlings-Blake and Leana Wen, the city's health commissioner, discussed the drop at a news conference Tuesday morning.  Between 2009 and 2013, the birth rate for teenagers between age 15 and 19 in Baltimore City dropped by 32 percent, which surpasses the 20 percent goal outlined in Healthy Baltimore 2015.