Press Releases

Dr. Leana Wen Applauds State’s Decision to Expand Access for Opioid Overdose Antidote across Maryland

BALTIMORE, MD (December 14, 2015)– Today, Baltimore City Health Commissioner Dr. Leana Wen issued the following statement applauding the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene for issuing a statewide standing order allowing pharmacists to dispense naloxone, also called Narcan, a medication that completely reverses the effect of an opioid overdose, without a prescription under the State’s Overdose Response Program:

Baltimore’s B’more for Healthy Babies Honored at MACo Conference with Local Governance Best Practices Award

CAMBRIDGE, MD (December 10, 2015)– Recognizing the program’s immense success reducing infant mortality rates, the Baltimore City Health Department’s innovative B’more for Healthy Babies (BHB) initiative was awarded the Academy for Excellence in Local Governance County Best Practices Award today during the Inaugural Banquet and Awards Ceremony at the Maryland Association of Counties (MACo) Winter Conference.

Commissioner Wen Testifies before U.S. Senate HELP Committee on Baltimore City’s Efforts to End Nation’s Opioid Epidemic

WASHINGTON, D.C. (December 8, 2015)– Baltimore City Health Commissioner Dr. Leana Wen testified Tuesday before the United States Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) to offer her perspective on the opioid epidemic affecting millions across the country, and to propose suggestions to improve federal policies to combat and ultimately end opioid use disorders abuse and overdose.

Baltimore City Commemorates World Aids Day, Joins Fast-Track Cities Initiative to End the AIDS Epidemic

BALTIMORE, MD (December 1, 2015)– In recognition of 2015 World AIDS Day, representatives across Baltimore City today honored those we have lost to AIDS and recommitted citywide efforts to ending the epidemic in Baltimore City. Baltimore City Health Commissioner Dr. Leana Wen and Baltimore City Health Department representatives joined federal officials in Washington D.C. today to announce that Baltimore has joined the Fast-Track Cities Initiative, a declaration to end the HIV/AIDS epidemic in cities across the world.

Launched on World AIDS Day 2014 in Paris, the Fast-Track Cities Initiative leverages existing HIV programs and resources in high HIV incidence cities around the world to strengthen their AIDS responses and accelerate the scale-up of prevention, testing, and treatment services for HIV and comorbid diseases, including tuberculosis.

Dr. Leana Wen Advocates for ‘Healthy And Just’ Communities at Aspen Institute Summit on Inequality and Opportunity

WASHINGTON, D.C. (November 19, 2015)– Baltimore City Health Commissioner Dr. Leana Wen today spoke before over 300 policy makers, thought leaders, social entrepreneurs, philanthropists, and community advocates at the Aspen Institute Summit on Inequality & Opportunity, a one-day gathering in Washington, DC, dedicated to nonpartisan dialogue about the widening opportunity gap in the United States.

The Summit began with a half-day public program, capped off by remarks from Vice President Joe Biden, followed by an afternoon of policy roundtable discussions.

Baltimore City Announces Beginning of Code Blue Season

BALTIMORE, MD (November 16, 2015)– Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake and Health Commissioner Dr. Leana Wen announced the start of Baltimore City’s Code Blue program for the coming winter.

Code Blue is a multi-agency effort to reduce hypothermia deaths by protecting homeless individuals, seniors and other vulnerable populations from extreme cold weather.

Baltimore City Health Officials Establish Permanent Drop Boxes For Disposal of Unwanted Prescription Drugs

BALTIMORE, MD (November 16, 2015)– The Baltimore City Health Department, Behavioral Health System Baltimore, and the Baltimore Police Department today announced the establishment of nine new prescription return boxes— one at each Baltimore City police precinct station— to allow individuals to return any expired or unused medication, including prescription opioids, such as Percocet, OxyContin or Vicodin, with no questions asked.

The prescription return boxes will be accessible at all times and are the only locations in the city where Baltimoreans can safely and anonymously dispose of opioids and other prescription drugs, which remain a significant source of addiction in Baltimore.

Commissioner Wen Issues Statement Commending HUD's Proposed Rule to Ban Smoking in Public Housing

BALTIMORE, MD (November 12, 2015)–Today, Baltimore City Health Commissioner Dr. Leana Wen issued the following statement commending U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s proposed rule to make the nation’s public housing properties entirely smoke-free.

Dr. Leana Wen Advocates for ‘Healthy And Just’ Communities During American Public Health Association’s Annual Meeting

CHICAGO, IL. (November 4, 2015)– Baltimore City Health Commissioner Dr. Leana Wen today spoke before 12,000 public health professionals at the closing general session of the 2015 American Public Health Association (APHA)’s Annual Meeting and Exposition. As part of a panel discussion with APHA Executive Director Dr. Georges Benjamin and Assistant Secretary of Health Dr. Karen DeSalvo, Dr. Wen spoke to the unique capability that public health leaders have to actively combat health disparities in their communities.

Health Commissioner Wen Commends Council Health Committee for Advancing Bill to Ban Animal Fighting Paraphernalia

BALTIMORE, MD (November 3, 2015)– Baltimore City Council Health Commissioner Dr. Leana Wen commended the Baltimore City Council Health Committee for unanimously advancing a bill that would create a criminal charge for the possession of animal fighting paraphernalia during a public hearing today. Introduced in August by Mayor Rawlings-Blake, the legislation aims to make it easier to file charges against people involved in animal fighting if animal control or law enforcement officers enter a location that has clearly been used for animal fighting but find no animals present.