Mayor Rawlings-Blake and Health Department Announce New Health Policy Initiative
Tuesday May 10th, 2011
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake joined Commissioner of Health Dr. Oxiris Barbot today to announce the City's new health policy initiative, Healthy Baltimore 2015. The initiative presents 10 priority areas where coordinated efforts for improving health hold the greatest promise to create a city where all residents realize their full health potential.
Healthy Baltimore 2015 includes leading indicators within the priority areas with measurable goals for success. Some of these measurable goals include: reducing drug use and alcohol abuse, decreasing the rate of premature deaths from cardiovascular disease, reducing the number of Baltimore’s food deserts, decreasing teen pregnancy and HIV, and increasing the percent of adults meeting physical activity recommendations.
“We can be a city that is the nation’s hub for health – for medical practice, for health-informed policymaking, and for a citizenry that promotes and protects its own health,” said Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake. “I invite you to read Healthy Baltimore 2015 and find the places where your involvement will help you, your neighborhood, and your city.”
Healthy Baltimore 2015 sets ambitious, yet reachable, improvement goals for the following priority areas:
- Promote Access to Quality Health Care for All
- Be Tobacco Free
- Redesign Communities to Prevent Obesity
- Promote Heart Health
- Stop the Spread of HIV and Other Sexually Transmitted Infections
- Recognize and Treat Mental Health Needs
- Reduce Drug Use and Alcohol Abuse
- Encourage Early Detection of Cancer
- Promote Healthy Children and Adolescents
- Create Health Promoting Neighborhoods
The goals and indicators provided in the report go beyond traditional health measures and explore the root causes that tend to drive health inequities. For example, the plan looks at the relevance of where we live, work and plan on health outcomes.
“In a city blessed with world-class academic and medical institutions, our health outcomes can and should be better,” said Dr. Oxiris Barbot, commissioner of health for Baltimore. “Healthy Baltimore 2015 is the blueprint we will use to chart our course.”
Achieving the aggressive goals set forth by Healthy Baltimore 2015 requires a multi-pronged approach that organizes collaborative efforts and creates syn¬ergies to improve the health of all Baltimore resi¬dents. To this extent, the Health department is seeking partnerships with other City agencies, hospitals, foundations, businesses and community leaders.
Later this spring, the Health Department will release the 2011 Neighborhood Health Profiles in order to guide and engage partners to support the work and build a healthy city. Health department staff will be visiting communities, helping residents make connections about how their health status is influenced by where they live.
“The plan makes clear that we all play a role in improving the health of our city,” Dr. Barbot said. “Most importantly, it provides clear measures for determining our success – success that we all share in.”
Healthy Baltimore 2015 can be accessed electronically at www.baltimorehealth.org/healthybaltimore2015.html