Recent News

Mayors, Health Experts, and Artists to Discuss Trends Impacting Cities at First Ever “CityLab Baltimore” (The Atlantic)

The Atlantic, Bloomberg Philanthropies, and the Aspen Institute will host CityLab Baltimore, a half-day “pop-up” summit exploring the key challenges and opportunities faced by American cities today, from public health to cultural investment. The event, which is part of an ongoing partnership, will take place on Wednesday, August 2, from 2-5pm ET at the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Parkway Theater in Baltimore (5 West North Avenue). Baltimore itself provides the central backdrop for CityLab, which will include a series of conversations about the future of the city— while offering lessons for other urban leaders facing similar issues in their own communities. Topic areas across the afternoon will include strategies urban leaders can use for reducing blight; public health and heroin addiction in cities; and the role of culture as an engine for urban regeneration.

Former New York City mayor and founder of Bloomberg Philanthropies Michael R. Bloomberg and Johns Hopkins University president Ron Daniels will give opening remarks at the event. Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh will join the program for a conversation on Baltimore’s changing urban landscape and how the city can promote equitable growth. Additional speakers include:

Read the entire story. 

Healthwatch With Dr. Leana Wen: ACA Repeal Update; Zika Virus; Corner Food Stores (WYPR)

It’s another edition of Healthwatch, our monthly conversations with Baltimore City Health Commissioner Dr. LeanaWen.  She and Tom discuss a wide range of public health issues, from the weekend’s dangerous heat to the hot drama on Capitol Hill as Senate Republicans continue their struggle to repeal Obamacare. They also talk about White House plans to cut essential public health budgets, and about new state funds for a city program promoting healthier food options in the city's corner food stores. And Dr. Wen has the latest on the continuing threat of the mosquito-borne Zika virus -- remember the Zika virus?

Tom and Dr. Wen also mention the Billion Steps Challenge. The Baltimore City Health Department is launching the program as part of its year-long Healthy Baltimore initiative. The BCHD, business partners, and community-based organizations are supporting this citywide wellness challenge to encourage all residents and employees in Baltimore City to get active. The Billion Steps Challenge launches this Saturday, July 29th, at an event at Lake Montebello.  For more details, check out the BCHD website.

Read the entire story. 

 
 

It's hot. But it's far from being a record (Baltimore Sun)

No doubt about it, it’s the traditional hot Artscape weekend. But the National Weather Service says we’re not in record-setting territory. On Friday afternoon, thermometers at BWI Thurgood Marshall Airport were showing 93 degrees. That felt like 100, taking humidity into account. But Dan Hofmann, a weather service meteorologist, said record temperatures this time of year are especially high.

The highest recorded for July 21 in Baltimore was 104 degrees in 1930. Records for July 22 and July 23 were set in 2011 when the temperature reached 106 and 102 degrees, respectively. Hofmann said we’re in for more hot weather through the weekend, as thousands of people head into the streets of Mount Vernon and Station North for Artscape.

Read the entire story. 

Artists and vendors battle heat in preparing for Artscape (WBFF)

As Baltimore prepares for the 36th Artscape, billed as the country's largest free arts festival, artists and vendors struggled in the sweltering heat to set up their exhibits. The three day festival begins Friday but dozens of workers were busy laying cable and erecting booths. Baltimore Artist Steve Bunker says he and friends built a huge campfire exhibit late Wednesday night to avoid the heat.

Baker says he has plenty of advice for those planning to attend the festival. "Drink a lot of water, try to stay cool as much as possible, no matter who you are, you're going to burn so swear some sunscreen, wear a hat," said Baker. He says he hopes the heat will not deter people from attending Artscape which routinely draws more than 300,000 visitors each year.

Baker says those worried about excessive heat during the day should attend the festival in the evening. "You know you beat the heat by not being in the heat, stay in the cooling tents." Gerald Riley, a city employee who was working at Artscape says he's used to Baltimore summers. "It really don't bother me when you get used to it, really the sweating is good for you really," said Riley. But last year in Baltimore City, five people died of heat related illness.

Baltimore City Health Commissioner Dr. Leana Wen says excessive heat can be a silent killer. "So watch out for signs of hypothermia, which is high body temperature, and dehydration. "Stay indoors when possible in air conditioned spaces when it's going to be the hottest," said Dr. Wen. Artscape is open 11am to 9pm Friday and Saturday and 11am to 8pm on Sunday.

Read the entire story. 

Baltimore declares Code Red heat advisory for Artscape weekend (Baltimore Sun)

Baltimore’s Code Red heat advisory continues today through the weekend as Baltimore kicks off Artscape, the nation’s largest free arts festival. 

Temperatures in the high 90s are forecasted for the next few days. The National Weather Service predicts a high of 98 degrees Friday, with the heat index forecast to approach 107 degrees. On Saturday, the high is near 95 degrees, with heat index values as high as 100. And temperatures could reach as high as 95 degrees on Sunday.

According to the weather service, “the combination of high temperatures and high humidity will create a situation in which heat illnesses are possible.” 

Baltimore Health Commissioner Dr. Leana Wen issued the Code Red heat advisory that went into effect Thursday. The health department is urging people to stay safe when they’re out in the heat.

Read the entire strory. 

Civil unrest related to Freddie Gray death caused depressive symptoms among mothers in affected neighborhoods, study finds (Baltimore Sun)

Half of the mothers who lived in the neighborhoods wracked by the civil unrest that followed the death of Freddie Gray in 2015 became so stressed by the circumstances that they suffered from insomnia, loss of appetite and other depressive symptoms, according to new research by the University of Maryland School of Medicine.

While the mothers weren’t tested to see if they fit the clinical definition of depression, the researchers said the results found that the sight of burning buildings, looting, and the constant blue lights from police cars was enough to have a major emotional impact in neighborhoods located in the six ZIP codes where the brunt of the unrest took place.

Gray was found unconscious with fatal neck injuries suffered while in police custody on April 12, 2015. His subsequent death sparked the unrest.

Read the entire story

Baltimore City Health Commissioner Supports White House Opioid Commission’s Recommendations

BALTIMORE, MD (August 1, 2017) –Baltimore City Health Commissioner Dr. Leana Wen today issued the following statement in response to recommendations included in the President’s Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis draft interim report.

Baltimore City Health Department Launches Billion Step Challenge

BALTIMORE, MD (July 29, 2017)—Mayor Catherine E. Pugh and The Baltimore City Health Department (BCHD) are launching the yearlong Billion Step Challenge, a citywide wellness challenge to encourage all residents and employees in Baltimore City to get active. The initiative, as part of BCHD’s strategic blueprint Health Baltimore 2020, will include partnerships with other city agencies, corporate entities and community organizations to host events that will promote physical activity. Healthy Baltimore 2020 outlines key priorities and objectives through which BCHD aims to reduce health disparities in Baltimore by half over the next 10 years.

AARP Foundation Grant to Support Food Access for Low-Income Senior Residents in Baltimore City

Funding supports easy food delivery options and cooking classes

BALTIMORE (July 27, 2017) — The Baltimore City Health Department, American Heart Association and No Boundaries Coalition have joined forces to provide healthy food access for low-income Baltimore City seniors thanks to a $750,000 grant from AARP Foundation.

Baltimore City Health Department Hosts Healthy Baltimore 2020 Community Conversation on HIV, STD, and Clinical Services

BALTIMORE, MD (July 25, 2017)—The Baltimore City Health Department (BCHD) today hosted the latest Healthy Baltimore 2020 Community Conversation, a town hall meeting offering residents the opportunity to provide public comment on Healthy Baltimore 2020—BCHD’s recently released strategic blueprint for health and wellness through the lens of health equity.

Pages