News Coverage

Baltimore health officials, lawmakers say abortion politics threatens $1.4 million in funding for health clinics (Baltimore Sun)

Baltimore health clinics fear a proposed federal gag rule that would prohibit money from going to centers that perform or refer patients for abortions would undercut their ability to care for the city’s most vulnerable residents.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has proposed a rule that would withhold funding from the Title X Family Planning Program. The federal agency is taking public comments on the issue, which is being criticized by local lawmakers and health officials, until Tuesday.

Read the entire story.

Leana Wen

US City Bans Sugary Drinks on Children’s Menus (Learning English)

Recently, Baltimore, Maryland, became the largest city in the United States to ban restaurants from including sodas and other sugary drinks on their menus for children.

Now, Baltimore’s restaurants can only offer milk, water or 100 percent fruit juice as drinks with meals meant for children.

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Leana Wen

Melanie Repert: Help stop proposed gag rule affecting health care for women (Arizona Daily Star)

The first time I visited the Baltimore City Health Department’s Druid Clinic, I was 17. I wasn’t going to the clinic for myself. A friend had told me she thought she was pregnant but was too nervous to go to the clinic to take a test alone, so I offered to go with her. When we arrived she was still nervous, so I offered to take a test as well.

Read the entire op-ed.

More than 2,000 Marylanders Died from Opioid-Related Overdoses in 2017 (Baltimore Magazine)

More than 2,200 Maryland residents died in 2017 from unintended drug and alcohol-related intoxication, setting an all-time mark for the state in the seventh consecutive year.

“We are seeing an epidemic of overdoses in Maryland and around the country and these numbers are terrifying,” said Baltimore Health Commissioner Dr. Leana Wen in response to the report. “We are not even at the peak of the epidemic and we don’t know what the peak looks like.”

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Leana Wenopioids

Baltimore Mayor Urged To Remove Milk From Children's Menus At Restaurants (Plant Based News)

Campaigners are urging Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh to ban cow's milk from children's menus at restaurants.

Read the entire story.

Leana Wn

Maryland hits record-high drug deaths, fueled by fentanyl (AP)

Maryland, a state that already had one of the country's most punishing overdose mortality rates, notched a record-high number of drug deaths last year. The grim milestone was fueled by an alarming increase of fentanyl-related fatalities.

Despite renewed efforts to beat back the opioid epidemic, newly released figures from Maryland's health department show there were 2,282 intoxication deaths in 2017. Nearly 90 percent of those deaths were opioid-related, particularly the powerful, cheap synthetic forms that have been sweeping across America amid the nation's worst-ever drug crisis.

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Leana Wenopioids

Happy Birthday Baltimore! (WYPR)

WYPR asked nearly two dozen denizens -- From Mayor Catherine Pugh ... to film director and author John Waters, and Dr. Leana Wen -- to make a wish and tell us what they most desire for Charm City, on the threshold of its 289th year.

Listen here.

Leana Wen

New MD bill would treat opioid crisis as public health emergency (WBFF)

Representative Elijah Cummings and Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren announced a new bill at a roundtable discussion Friday in downtown Baltimore.

The Comprehensive Addiction Resources Emergency Act would treat the opioid crisis like a public health emergency.

If the CARE Act passes, it would provide $100 billion over 10 years towards the fight against the opioid crisis.

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Leana Wenopioids

Pugh, other city officials urge comprehensive U.S. help on 'desperate' opioid issues (Baltimore Sun)

With 175 Americans dying each day from drug overdoses, the opioid crisis is akin to “a plane crashing every day,” Mayor Catherine Pugh said on Friday as she and other Baltimore officials urged Congress to approve comprehensive legislation to combat the epidemic.

“We are in desperate need at this particular point in time,” Pugh said at a roundtable discussion that included .Baltimore Rep. Elijah E. Cummings, Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, community leaders and addiction experts at the city offices of Health Care for the Homeless.

Read the entire story.

Leana Wenopioids

Congressional Roundtable on the Opioid Crisis (CSPAN)

House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Ranking Member Elijah Cummings and Senator Elizabeth Warren hold a roundtable with congressional colleagues, Baltimore officials, and community representatives to discuss the city’s opioid crisis.

View a recording of the roundtable from CSPAN.

Leana Wenopioids

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