Bmore Healthy Blog

Bmore Healthy Newsletter: May 6, 2016

Note from Commissioner



Open Letter to Congress: Local Jurisdictions Need Full Funding To Help Prepare for Zika

Dear representative or senator: I am writing to express my deep concern about our national and local capacity to prevent and respond to one of the most alarming infectious disease threats on the horizon: the Zika Virus. Congress has so far failed to provide emergency supplemental funding for Zika response. As a result, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is now shifting $44.2 million from state and local base public health emergency preparedness (PHEP)  grants to pay for Zika response. Due to the congressionally mandated PHEP formula, cuts to the grants will range from 1 to 10%.

BCHD and City Schools Kick Butts!

Kick Butts Day is a national day of activism that was created to combat nicotine addiction where tobacco reliance often begins – America’s youth. 90% of adults start smoking by the age of 18. On March 16th each year, schools and communities hold events to raise awareness about the hazards of tobacco use and secondhand smoke exposure among children across the country. In recognition of this year’s Kick Butts Day, Baltimore’s own Mount Royal Elementary Middle School held a rally to raise awareness about tobacco use in their community and picked up cigarette butts and tobacco product litter around their school and community. 

2016 Kick Butts Day Clean Up

A Citizen’s Guide to Good Health

This spring, conversations across our city are focusing on the state of the economy, public safety, and education. These are all essential issues – but there is another critical topic that cuts across all of them: health. In Baltimore, we see that the currency of inequality is years of life, and the opposite of poverty is health and well-being. The average life expectancy in Roland Park, for example, is 84 years; in Downtown/Seton Hill it is 65 years — nearly a 20-yeardifference. For decades, many of our citizens have experienced concentrated poverty and rampant disparities that are glaringly obvious when we compare health outcomes across neighborhoods.

Rally Against Violence: United for Change

The holidays are a time to gather with loved ones and celebrate while looking ahead to the new year.  But for many Baltimore families, this time of year also brings deep sadness: they must move forward without missing loved ones that have been lost to street violence. 2015 has been the most violent year Baltimore has seen in decades, with over 344 homicides across the city.  This surge in homicides and violent crime has caused an incalculable ripple effect of increased trauma for Baltimore residents.  Recognizing this deep trauma, Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake has declared Baltimore a ‘trauma informed city’ and strives to help all city workers recognize the signs of trauma.

Violence Map Baltimore City

Baltimore City Health Department’s Healthy Holiday Tips

As we prepare for the end of 2015, the Baltimore City Health Department wants to offer some tips to ensure you and your family have a healthy holiday season. Prepare yourself (and your family) for the flu. Flu season is well under way, but it is not too late to take steps to prevent ourselves from getting sick—and keep us from spreading sickness to others around us, including children and older adults:

BCHD Healthy Holiday Tips

Visualizing the Shooting Epidemic in Baltimore

All shootings are preventable, despite common belief. Shootings frequently occur in or near the same locations, involve individuals with previous criminal histories, and are more likely to occur in evening and late hours. Often someone, a friend, acquaintance, or even family member, knows an event may be about to occur. This is frequently true in the case of mass and school shootings, as studied by the Secret Service. Exposure to violence and trauma also increases the likelihood of future violence, mental health and substance use conditions.

Press A3 for Health – Healthier Vending in Baltimore

You would think that working for the Health Department would make you automatically healthy. I’m here to tell you that we are people too. We’re people that get 3:00 sweet tooths. We’re people that have high hopes of packing a healthy lunch but end up going to the closest carryout. We’re people that have to decide whether to go to the closest market or spend more time and money going somewhere bigger and better.

Healthy Vending Machines

Fragile, Perfect, Fussy, Beautiful Little Humans: A Summer of New Cribs for Newborns

When the deputy director of Maternal and Child Health stopped by my desk and asked if I had any interest in helping deliver cribs to new mothers, I thought I’d get the chance to better understand one of the city health department’s most vibrant programs, B’More for Healthy Babies. I didn’t realize, at the time, that I would also get the chance to better understand some of the city’s most vibrant people: its new mothers and their babies.

ABCs of Safe Sleep

A Prepared Community Is A Safe Community

Earthquakes.  Tornadoes.  Hurricanes. Winter Storms. Flooding. Civil unrest. We have experienced all of these emergencies in Baltimore in recent years and while each situation comes with its own set of challenges, each is also similar in that individual preparedness plays a major role in how safe the public remains during and immediately after the emergency. According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) 2012 National Survey, 46 percent of respondents believe that natural disasters will occur in their community; however, nearly 70 percent of Americans have not participated in a preparedness drill or exercise in their home, school, or workplace in the past two years.

Dont Wait Communicate