1/31/2013: Health Commissioner Issues Code Blue Alert for Friday, February 1 - Because an anticipated extended drop in temperatures and high winds are a potential danger to health, Baltimore City Health Commissioner Dr. Oxiris Barbot has declared a Code Blue cold weather alert for Friday, February 1 through Saturday morning. As a result of the Code Blue declaration, emergency shelters will keep extended hours. Emergency workers will conduct outreach for vulnerable residents. Details on the Code Blue program can be found on this website.
1/17/2013: Interns Needed! - Are you an undergraduate or graduate student interested in exploring a career in public health? An internship at the Baltimore City Health Department is a great way to learn more about careers in epidemiology, policy, and program design, health communications, implementation and evaluation while contributing toward a Healthy Baltimore! New BCHD internship guidelines and opportunities are available online. For more information on intern/volunteer opportunities, contact Laura Fox at 410.545.7544 or email@example.com.
1/10/2013: REMINDER: It’s not too late to get your flu shot! - As the CDC has said, this flu season is more widespread than prior years. But the good news is that the flu vaccine is still available and is a strong match to the illness we’re seeing this season. This is not the year to skip your flu shot! Contact your primary care provider to request a vaccination or visit http://flushot.healthmap.org to make an appointment at your nearest clinic. BCHD also offers free flu shots and flu mist at our regularly scheduled immunization clinics on Monday through Thursday.
Remember, you can help stop the spread of flu by taking everyday preventive actions: cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze; wash your hands often with soap and water; and avoid close contact with sick people. And if you’re sick with flu-like illness, CDC recommends that you stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone except to get medical care or for other necessities. For more information, see http://www.cdc.gov/flu/protect/habits/
2/1/2013: February is American Heart Awareness Month in Baltimore! - Heart disease is the number-one killer of women in Baltimore City and nationwide. As the leading cause of death in Baltimore City overall, heart disease is a key contributor to the 20-year life expectancy gap that persists among city neighborhoods. Throughout February, the Health Department is helping to increase awareness about heart disease among women and their families by partnering with Saint Agnes Hospital and the American Heart Association (Mid-Atlantic Chapter) and encouraging women to “Go Red” by wearing the color red. Local events planned in February include:
- The American Heart Association’s National Wear Red Day, Friday, February 1, 2013. For more information, visit www.goredforwomen.org/wearredday/index.html
- The American Heart Association’s Go Red for Women 10th Anniversary Weekend Celebration, Friday, February 1 and Saturday, February 2 at Towson Town Center, 813 Dulaney Valley Road in Towson. For more information, contact Annette Fisher at Annette.Fisher@heart.org.
- The Saint Agnes 9th Annual Red Dress Sunday event is Sunday, Feb. 12. For more information, contact Amanda Karfakis at firstname.lastname@example.org.
2/13/2013: Waxter Wisdom Workshop Explores Hoarding and Seniors – Hoarding was once assumed to be a rarity, but actually plagues as much as five percent of Baltimoreans -- with seniors and persons with disabilities at considerably higher risk. Today, Dr. Barbot and officials from the BCHD Office of Aging & CARE Services hosted a forum on hoarding and mental health as part of our 13-month workshop series for Baltimore’s older adults, the disabled and their caregivers. These day-long discussions are held each month at the Waxter Center, 1000 Cathedral Street, and feature topics including: long-term care & decision making; sex & older adults; hoarding/mental health; financial security; elder abuse; substance abuse; and effective advocacy for older adults. Workshops are free and all older adults, disabled citizens, providers and caregivers are encouraged to attend! For details and a full schedule of upcoming Waxter Wisdom workshops, click here.
To learn more about hoarding and seniors, see Dr. Barbot's blog post on today's discussion.
2/19/2013: Seniors in Wayland Village Apartments can now order groceries online through the Baltimarket Virtual Supermarket Program - Late last week, BCHD launched the latest site of the Baltimarket Virtual Supermarket Program, bringing the online grocery delivery program to the Wayland Village Senior Apartments and Senior Center in Northwest Baltimore. The program, run by BCHD in partnership with Santoni’s Supermarket and with support from the United Way of Central Maryland and the Walmart Foundation, strives to eliminate the hardship of obtaining affordable and nutritious foods in Baltimore’s “food deserts,” defined as areas with limited access to fresh, healthy foods and produce. The Virtual Supermarket program, now offered in eight locations throughout the city, allows residents to order groceries online and have them delivered – without a fee – to their housing complex or nearby branch of the Enoch Pratt Library.
2/13/2013: NEW Community Resource Guide for Seniors and Persons with Disabilities in Baltimore City and County - For the first time, the Departments of Aging for Baltimore City and Baltimore County have combined efforts to provide one free directory of health and wellness resources for older adults, caregivers and the disabled throughout the region. Seventy-five thousand complimentary copies of Community Resources will be circulated throughout Baltimore in 2013 as part of our shared commitment to promote a better quality of life by reducing health risks and improving the health status of our seniors, disabled citizens and their caregivers. Visit our Senior Services page for more information.
3/18/2013: March 18-23 is National Youth Violence Prevention Week! - Violence is not just a criminal justice issue, but a public health threat facing our communities. And while we've made significant strides in recent years, youth violence continues to be a serious issue facing Baltimore City. That's why each year in March, we designate a week to spotlight the issue of youth violence, to identify strategies to combat this epidemic, and to promote the positive role we can all have in making our communities safer.
This year, Youth Violence Prevention Week is March 18-23 in Baltimore. To kick off the week's activities, Mayor Rawlings-Blake hosted a press conference to promote important progress toward making our City safer for youth and their families. In addition, the Baltimore-based Holistic Life Foundation guided youth, community volunteers and city officials through a demonstration of mindfulness exercises to help young people maintain self-control and emotional clarity in the face of potentially violent situations. Here are some photos from the morning:
Throughout the week, BCHD is working with public and private sector partners to sponsor events and workshops for both adults and children. This year's theme is Commit 2 Peace. Each of us has a role to play in that commitment and to make our City safer for Baltimore’s children -- we encourage YOU to be part of this movement to eliminate youth violence in Baltimore.
3/26/2013: Tuesday, March 26 is National Diabetes Alert Day -- On the fourth Tuesday in March, the American Diabetes Association organizes a one-day "wake-up call" to educate the public about diabetes prevention and management. One in every ten Baltimoreans has diabetes, which increases their risk of developing other severe complications such as heart disease, stroke, kidney failure and blindness. That's why this year, the ADA Rally to Stop Diabetes will also offer a series of FREE community events throughout the city and county aimed at educating people about prevention and management of diabetes. Find out more on our website or visit www.diabetes.org to assess your risk for developing type 2 diabetes.