We were thrilled to welcome Dr. Leana Wen, Baltimore’s health commissioner on Sunday August 7th for Medicine’s Next Frontier: The Power of Public Health. Dr. Wen’s strong, fact-based presentation was enlightening for the whole audience, medical practitioners and lay leaders alike.  The proof of her effectiveness was the large number of questions she received from our visitors – they were totally engaged.

Our courtyard also played host to a last minute press conference on the Zika virus after the program!
Our courtyard also played host to a last minute press conference on the Zika virus after the program!

If audience members, or any of our constituents, are looking to help assist with contacting elected officials or the media about the funding issues we are currently facing with Governor Hogan’s office, more information can be found in a recently released article in The Daily Record. Please get in touch with Kathleen Goodwin (Kathleen.goodwin@baltimorecity.gov) to help answer any questions! We know that the voices of Baltimore’s citizens are often the strongest when it comes to advocating for the continuity of life-saving programs in our city.

Demonstrating a life-saving technique for treating overdoses.
Demonstrating a life-saving technique for treating overdoses.

We also want to share this important white paper from the Baltimore City Health Department on the State of Health in Baltimore. We’ve excerpted the introduction below but encourage you to download the pdf of the entire report!(!(saved in FACEBOOK folder)

Summary of Key Issues, Services and Policies

Winter 2016

It is impossible to discuss the health and well-being of Baltimore City’s residents without applying the lens of health equity and systemic disparities. While the overall mortality rate in Baltimore City has declined over the past decade, the City still has a mortality rate 30% higher than the rest of the state, and ranks last on key health outcomes compared to other jurisdictions in Maryland.

This reality is compounded by a series of complicated systemic social, political, economic, and environmental obstacles. With more than 1 in 3 of Baltimore’s children living below the federal poverty line and more than 30% of Baltimore households earning less than $25,000/year, income, poverty, and race have enormous impact on health outcomes.

This state of health is especially urgent when we consider that Baltimore houses some of the best healthcare institutions in the country. We know that healthcare alone cannot drive health: while 97% of healthcare costs are spent on medical care delivered in hospitals, only 10% of what determines life-expectancy takes place within the four walls of a clinic. Where we live, work, and play each day drives our health and well-being.

As the local health authority, the Baltimore City Health Department (BCHD)’s mission is to serve Baltimore by promoting health and advocating for every individual’s well-being, in order to achieve health equity for all residents. We work every day to improve the health of our community and address the disparities we face.

Some additional suggested reading:

Supporting Baltimore’s Seniors

The Zika Battle Plan

Talking with Dr. Leana Wen about Zika (video)