News Coverage

Wen issues warning after fake weed gives four Marylanders extreme bleeding (Baltimore Fishbowl)

There’s a reason Baltimore City banned stores from selling so-called synthetic marijuana in 2016. The substance, often branded as “K2” or “Spice” and sold at gas stations and corner stores, is usually made with a potpourri of leaves and various unknown chemicals designed to mirror marijuana’s effects. It’s been known to induce severe physical problems, such as heart attacks, kidney failure and extreme bleeding.

In light of the synthetic weed scare, Baltimore Health Commissioner Dr. Leana Wen issued a reminder and a warning about the stuff on Tuesday. She noted three of Maryland’s four cases have been patients from the Baltimore area.

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Leana Wen

Baltimore City's real solution to the opioid epidemic (The Hill)

An op-ed by Evan Behrle, Special Advisor for Opioid Policy at the Health Department and Dr. Leana S. Wen, Baltimore City Health Commissioner:

In Baltimore, we spend a lot of time training people to use naloxone, the antidote medication that reverses an opioid overdose. At these trainings, we talk about the opioid epidemic — what caused it and how it escalated so quickly. These explanations are often unnecessary. Our city’s residents know the opioid epidemic. It has taken people they loved.

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Leana Wenopioidsnaloxone

2018 March for Science Focused on Public Health Advocacy (Medscape)

At the second annual March for Science, speakers here called for political action using science to inform some of the most pressing public health issues of the day, including the opioid crisis, gun violence, and ongoing funding of research for medical cures. 

Baltimore Health Commissioner Leana S. Wen, MD, gave an impassioned speech calling for more money toward the purchase of naloxone to treat more people who are addicted to opioids. Soon after becoming health commissioner in January 2015, Wen issued a blanket prescription for naloxone to all of Baltimore's residents. That program has saved more than 1700 lives, but there's still not enough of the medication to meet the need.

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Leana Wenopioidsnaloxone

Maryland Rep. Elijah Cummings, Sen. Elizabeth Warren plan sweeping legislation to combat opioid crisis (Baltimore Sun)

With drug overdose deaths ravaging communities across the country, Rep. Elijah Cummings of Baltimore and Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts are planning to introduce legislation Wednesday that would require $10 billion a year in federal funding to combat the opioid crisis. 

Cummings said he and Warren got the idea to fund a massive public health campaign against opioids from Baltimore Health Commissioner Dr. Leana Wen and her staff, who pitched the lawmakers on the need for increased funding.

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Leana Wenopioids

Plan to curb older adults from falling announced in city (AP)

Baltimore officials say a plan to curb hospitalizations and emergency department visits related to older adults falling has been announced. 

A Baltimore City Health Department news release says Mayor Catherine E. Pugh and Baltimore City Health Commissioner Dr. Leana Wen announced the new strategy Monday.

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Leana Wen

Baltimore launches campaign to stop the elderly from falling (Baltimore Sun)

Far more people end up in the hospital with injuries from falling in Baltimore than in the rest of the state, leading city officials to launch a campaign Monday to curb the rate of falling among the elderly.

“Falls are a growing public health concern, especially for older adults,” said Baltimore Health Commissioner Dr. Leana Wen.

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Leana Wen

Baltimore Officials Look To Reduce Accidental Falls, Costs (WJZ)

Officials in Baltimore are hoping to find ways to reduce number of people injured in accidental falls, and the resulting health costs as well. 

A citywide initiative to be announced Monday is focused on prevention of falls, especially among older residents.

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March for Science 2018: Passionate advocates push the cause for research across the globe (USA Today)

Thousands on the National Mall on Saturday marched past the Environmental Protection Agency and to the U.S. Capitol to advocate for science to play a larger role in society — and stressed how research already ripples through a slew of issues from guns to immigration.

Leana Wen, commissioner of health in Baltimore City, spoke to the crowd about the realities of the opioid epidemic in her urban center today. Society needs to change how it views addiction, she stressed, adding "science shows us addiction is a disease, not a moral failing." 

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Leana Wenopioids

Hospitalizations from falls 55 percent higher in Baltimore than rest of the state (Baltimore Sun)

Baltimore officials will announce a citywide initiative Monday aimed at curbing the number of injuries from falls, a major problem in the city that results in $60 million in hospital costs a year. 

The city’s new strategy will focus on mapping where falls occur using real-time hospital data and targeting fall prevention efforts in hot spots where there are high fall rates. The initiative will also include an educational campaign. The city will work with non-profit organizations to help make seniors’ homes more fall-proof.

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Leana Wen

25 ways to make Baltimore better: Suggestions from Aaron Maybin, Leana Wen and more (Baltimore Sun)

We asked 25 notable people from the Baltimore area about ways to improve the community. Here’s what they said: 

Take control of your health and help those around you 

Learn to use naloxone or narcan, and carry it in your medicine cabinet and first aid kit. We are in the middle of an opioid epidemic, and in the case of an overdose, this is one medication that will save someone’s life within seconds. Everyday residents who are not medically trained — our neighbors and friends — have saved the lives over 1,600 lives. And, know your numbers. Go to your primary care doctor every year and make sure that you know your blood pressure and cholesterol. Get tested for HIV. HIV does not discriminate — one in 5 don’t know that they have it, so it's important that we all get tested. — Leana Wen, Baltimore Health Commissioner

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Leana Wen

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