Press Releases

Baltimore City Announces Beginning of Code Red Season

BALTIMORE, MD (May 16, 2016)– The Baltimore City Health Department today announced the start of Baltimore City’s Code Red program for the coming summer.

Code Red is a multi-agency effort to provide help provide cooling relief to vulnerable populations in Baltimore. Throughout the summer, City agencies provide public education to residents on the effects of sustained heat on health and perform outreach regarding energy assistance programs for senior residents and other susceptible groups through Community Action Partnership Centers.

Baltimore City Announces New Citywide Initiative to Provide Free Universal Vision Screening and Glasses to Students

BALTIMORE, MD (May 10, 2016)– The Baltimore City Health Department (BCHD), the Baltimore City Public School System (BCPSS), Johns Hopkins University (JHU), non-profit provider Vision To Learn (VTL), and Warby Parker today launched “Vision for Baltimore,” an innovative citywide strategy to ensure that students across Baltimore City elementary and middle schools have universal access to glasses.

Baltimore City Health Officials Urge Residents to Dispose of Unwanted Prescription Drugs at Baltimore City Police District Offices

BALTIMORE, MD (April 29, 2016) –  On Saturday, April 30th, Baltimore City Health officials will recognize National Prescription Drug Take Back Day, a nationwide initiative to highlight safe, convenient, and responsible means of disposing of prescription drugs in communities, while raising awareness about prescription drug abuse.

Late last year, Baltimore City introduced permanent prescription return boxes at all nine Baltimore Police District stations to allow individuals to safely and anonymously return any expired or unused medication, including prescription opioids, such as Percocet, OxyContin or Vicodin— with no questions asked.

Baltimore City Announces Citywide Preparedness Plan for Zika Virus

BALTIMORE, MD (April 26, 2016) – Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake and Health Commissioner Dr. Leana Wen today joined City leaders to announce Baltimore City’s Zika Preparedness Plan to educate the public about the Zika virus and coordinate a citywide response to help prevent the spread of the virus. Baltimore’s Citywide Zika Plan will be the first in Maryland, and aims to serve as a model for other cities.

Baltimore City Health Commissioner Issues Statement Following Maine Governor’s Veto for Naloxone Expansion

BALTIMORE, MD (April, 21, 2016) – Baltimore City Health Commissioner Dr. Leana Wen today issued the following statement in response to Maine Governor Paul LePage’s decision to veto L.D. 1547, a bill that would allow pharmacists to dispense naloxone without a prescription to individuals at risk of experiencing an opioid-related drug overdose:

Baltimore City Health Commissioner Highlights Health Programs as Catalyst for Social Change during W. Montague Cobb Lecture in Health Policy

WASHINGTON, D.C. (April 20, 2016) – Baltimore City Health Commissioner Dr. Leana Wen today joined students, faculty, and community members at the Howard University College of Medicine for the fourth annual Dr. W. Montague Cobb Lectureship in Health Policy.

The lecture honors Dr. W. Montague Cobb, a 1929 graduate of the Howard University College of Medicine who was the first African American to earn a Ph.D in anthropology and a pioneering civil rights leader who championed the elimination of racial barriers to health care. During today’s lecture, Dr. Wen spoke about the vital role public health can play in combating systemic health disparities:

Baltimore City Health Commissioner Urges Expanded Access to Opioid Overdose Antidote Naloxone at Congressional Briefing

BALTIMORE, MD (April 15, 2016) – Baltimore City Health Commissioner Dr. Leana Wen today joined Congressional leaders and experts for a briefing hosted by the National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO), to educate members and staff about efforts being implemented in Baltimore to combat the opioid abuse epidemic and urging Congress to introduce policies that will expand access to naloxone, a medication that completely reverses the effect of an opioid overdose.

Baltimore City Health Department Hosts U.S. Surgeon General to Highlight Innovative Efforts to Combat Opioid Epidemic

BALTIMORE, MD (April 5, 2016) – Baltimore City Health Department officials today welcomed U.S. Surgeon General, Dr. Vivek H. Murthy, to Baltimore as he kicked off a public engagement tour to facilitate a nationwide discussion on the prescription drug crisis in America.

Baltimore Health Commissioner Dr. Leana Wen Joins President Obama To Discuss Ending Nation’s Opioid Abuse Epidemic

ATLANTA, GA (March 29, 2016)– Baltimore City Health Commissioner Dr. Leana Wen joined President Barack Obama Tuesday for a panel discussion before thousands of thought leaders at the National Rx Drug Abuse & Heroin Summit to discuss the innovative efforts being implemented in Baltimore to address the opioid abuse epidemic. The panel, moderated by CNN Chief Medical Correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta, also featured two individuals in long-term recovery: Justin Luke Riley and Crystal Oertle.

Commissioner Wen Issues Statement Commending FDA’s New Warning for Immediate-Release Opioid Painkillers

BALTIMORE, MD (March 22, 2016)– Baltimore City Health Commissioner Dr. Leana Wen today commended the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s FDA’S newly announced enhanced warnings for immediate-release opioid medications to help inform prescribers and patients of the risks related to opioid use and help combat the national  epidemic: