Bmore Healthy Blog

Note from the Commissioner: Innovative Efforts in Baltimore to Combat the Opioid Epidemic

This week, leaders, healthcare professionals, and other frontline workers from across the U.S.

Why the Trump administration is cutting teen pregnancy prevention funding (CNN)

Most teenagers feel uncomfortable talking about sex, but not 16-year-old Bryanna Ely.

As a youth leader for the Buffalo, New York-based teen pregnancy prevention program HOPE Buffalo, Ely talks to not only other teens but also adults. She explains how they can help teens when it comes to their emotional, physical and sexual health, abstinence and birth control.
"It's definitely made me more comfortable around health providers, because I was very nervous and not willing to talk about it, but then once I joined HOPE Buffalo, it's an easy subject to talk about. Well, not that easy, but it's easy enough to talk about that I don't feel so uncomfortable," said Ely, who will be entering her junior year in high school this month.
 
While volunteering with HOPE Buffalo at a local community center, Ely said, she remembered meeting another teenage girl, sharing sexual health information with her and feeling like she made a difference. "She took in all the information, and she said she would not get pregnant until she was 28 or 30," Ely said. "I joined HOPE Buffalo because I wanted to make a change in my community and make sure that these teenagers who didn't have a voice had a voice." Yet federal funding for such teen pregnancy prevention programs in the United States is now on the chopping block.
 

Read the entire story. 

Note from the Commissioner: We need to Save Teen Pregnancy Prevention Programs

While the Affordable Care Act repeal conversations in Congress are on hold, there have been significant funding cuts that threaten the most vulnerable residents in Baltimore and across the U.S.

In July, BCHD received notice from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services that a grant to provide comprehensive teen pregnancy prevention services will be terminated two years early, resulting in a reduction of $3.5 million for funding in Baltimore City.

Note from the Commissioner: Stay Alert with Extreme Summer Heat

Yesterday, we declared the first Code Red extreme heat alert this summer in Baltimore City. To protect our residents from adverse health effects from extreme heat, the city enacted a multi-agency response to provide heat safety education and cooling relief to vulnerable populations in Baltimore.

Excessive high temperatures are a silent killer and a public health threat, particularly for the young, the elderly and those in our city who are the most vulnerable. It is important for all residents to protect against hyperthermia and dehydration by staying cool and hydrated as the heat continues throughout this summer. 

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Public Health Heroes: From Code Red to Zika, the Emergency Preparedness and Response Team Has a Plan

While most of us do not spend our days preoccupied with the details of a wide-spread disease outbreak or medical transportation services during a large winter storm, there is a small group of seven

Note from the Commissioner: Health care is not just a policy—it is about people’s lives

This week, we learned that the Senate health care proposal would cause over 22 million Americans to lose health insurance coverage. Access to health care is a basic human right because it means access to life. During a forum last weekend with U.S. Senator Van Hollen and Congressman Steny Hoyer, I said that health care is not just a policy—it is about people’s lives. We are deeply concerned about the health of the most vulnerable populations of our communities.

Baltimore Residents Support Cutting Health Disparities

In April 2017, BCHD participated in Mayor Pugh’s Open City Hall initiative for resident feedback through the online survey “Health Equity in Baltimore’s Communities.” We asked eight questions about health, social justice, and our programming in the city to better understand residents’ concerns and priorities.

Note from the Commissioner: Our Duty to Protect the Most Vulnerable Populations

In public health, it is our duty to protect the most vulnerable populations, from babies to seniors.

As an expecting mother, I know that prenatal care is essential to a baby’s good health. This week, BCHD hosted a celebration for 11 graduates from the Nursing Family Partnership, a program that supports first-time expecting parents by pairing them with nurses who provide important resources and encouragement. Programs like NFP support women with essential education and empower mothers to build healthy families.

Public health saves lives every day

Baltimore never takes a backseat to public health. Public health saves lives every day, but because there is no face of prevention, it is often difficult to make the case for our core services that protect and promote health for our residents.

This past week, the dedicated team at BCHD presented our programs and services to the Baltimore City Council. I always say that I have the best job in the world, and I was very proud to represent the dedicated women and men of BCHD who are on the frontlines every day to work on maternal and child health, senior services, trauma and mental healthcare, violence prevention, HIV/AIDS and STD services, environmental health, and much more.

Public Health Heroes: Baltimore’s Disease Detectives

In Baltimore, we have a special team of detectives working each day to save lives. They are not the usual detectives you may imagine; rather, these public health investigators make up our Acute Communicable Disease (ACD) team, a staff of 12, which examine routine and emerging infectious disease outbreaks, such as food-borne illness, rabies, meningitis, and ebola.

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