"Heroin deaths continuing to rise in Maryland" (Baltimore Sun) May 19, 2015

The department's annual tally of drug- and alcohol-related deaths shows heroin's toll continuing a steep rise that began several years ago. The number of heroin-related deaths in 2014 was 25 percent higher than the previous year, and more than double the total in 2010. The Baltimore task force is scheduled to issue its recommendations to Rawlings-Blake in July. Dr. Leana S. Wen, the city health commissioner, said the new state statistics confirm what she calls a "public health crisis" — but a preventable one.

Health Commissioner Says State Report Reinforces Need For Aggressive Response To Combat Overdose Deaths In Baltimore

A new report detailing drug and alcohol-related intoxication deaths in Maryland reinforces the need for Baltimore to take measures, many of which are newly underway, to aggressively prevent overdose deaths in the city. The report, released today by the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, shows a 23 percent increase in drug and alcohol overdose deaths in Baltimore City.  “More people are dying from overdoses than from homicides in our city,” said Baltimore City Health Commissioner Dr. Leana Wen. “It’s a public health crisis to have people dying from a preventable illness.”

Shuttle Service to Wal-Mart and Supermarkets

The Baltimore City Health Department announces a revised schedule for the free shuttle service from 10 residential buildings in areas impacted by the recent civil unrest to a WalMart and supermarkets, ensuring that residents have access to food and other daily necessities. The shuttle service will operate Monday – Friday during the month of May, with pickups at 930 am & 1:30 pm. The shuttle schedule can be found below.

"Baltimore Health Commissioner: 'Public Health Is Tied To Everything'" (NPR) May 15, 2015

NPR's Audie Cornish talks with Baltimore City Health Commissioner Leana Wen about the public health needs of the city's residents and the steps she wants to take to meet those needs.

"Baltimore infant mortality program lauded" (Baltimore Sun) May 13, 2015

A Baltimore program to reduce the city's infant mortality rate was lauded in a new report by the Pew Charitable Trusts as a model that can be used to save babies' lives throughout the country. Since the B'more for Healthy Babies program launched in 2009, the city's infant mortality rate has dropped 24 percent.

"100 days in Baltimore" (Baltimore Sun) May 10, 2015

Since becoming the city's health commissioner in January, I've embarked on a 100-day listening tour. What I have seen and heard gives me great hope for the future of BaltimoreI see a city that is innovative and isn't afraid to take bold action.

"CVS Health to Rebuild Stores Burned in Baltimore Riots" (NBCNews.com) May 6, 2015

Pharmacy giant CVS Health announced Wednesday it will rebuild two store locations badly burned during protests in Baltimore last week in response to the death of Freddie Gray. Baltimore City Health Commissioner Leana Wen welcomed the news, saying "hundreds, if not thousands" of residents had been affected by the closures of the CVSes and other neighboring pharmacies.

"Unrest In West Baltimore Puts Elderly And Sick At Additional Risk" (NPR Morning Edition) May 7, 2015

It's been more than a week since rioting over Freddie Gray's death closed many businesses. Several pharmacies are still not open — leaving the sick and elderly with chronic conditions vulnerable.

Wellmobile Parked In Penn-North Community To Assist Residents As Recovery Continues

The University of Maryland Baltimore School of Nursing Governor’s Wellmobile will be parked at the corner of North Avenue and Fulton Avenue in the city’s Penn-North community today through Friday May 8th from 11am to 5pm each day.  The Wellmobile will be staffed by volunteers from the University of Maryland Baltimore as well as staff from the Mayor’s Office of Neighborhoods and the Baltimore City Health Department.

"Public Health In Baltimore After The Unrest" (WYPR) May 5, 2015

The looting and destruction of the CVS pharmacy at North and Pennsylvania avenues became one of the indelible images of the unrest last week. It will also have a lasting impact on the Penn-North neighborhood. Residents who need prescriptions filled have had to find somewhere else to go. Baltimore’s Health Department has been aiding residents in locating new pharmacies and overseeing public health efforts post-unrest. With Sheilah to talk about it is Dr. Leana Wen, Baltimore City’s Health Commissioner.