Bmore Healthy Blog

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: Rationing Naloxone

In Baltimore City, two people a day die of overdose. We need more support proportional to the demand for resources and disease severity.

We are rationing naloxone, the opioid overdose reversal medication, because we are running out while the demand grows. We only have about 4,000 naloxone kits remaining. If we gave out the kits as needed during our outreach around the city, we would run out in two weeks. Instead, it is expected that we stretch the kits until next summer. With more than 1,000 lives saved by residents using naloxone, we should not have to strategically choose who lives or dies.

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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.

Note from the Commissioner: Protecting our Vulnerable Populations

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

As an expecting mothe, 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.

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Note from the Commissioner: 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.

Note from the Commissioner: Get Naloxone Today

Every day in our city, two people lose their lives due to overdose. These are not random people—they are our friends, family, and fellow community members. These deaths are particularly tragic because there is a life-saving medication, naloxone, that can reverse an opioid overdose. 

Naloxone gives everyone the power to save a life, which is why I first issued a standing order to Baltimore’s 620,000 residents in October 2015. As a result, more than 800 lives have been saved from overdose by fellow residents. 

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Note from the Commissioner: Providing for Public Health

One of the biggest challenges in public health is securing funding for life-saving interventions. It is easy to envision a person saved in the E.R. or a person recovering with treatment from medicine prescribed, but what is the face of prevention? It is much more difficult point to someone who could have potentially been sick, but ultimately was not because of a successful public health program.

The federal budget cuts proposed this week will harm the health and well-being of hundreds of thousands of Baltimoreans, including seniors, children, and people with chronic illnesses.

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