A Healthy Baltimore for 2020

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Charm City is launching a strategic plan to improve the wellness and reduce violence in our community.

Tracey Leong outlines this new effort.

The goal is to create a healthier Baltimore, cutting health disparities in half over the next decade from young children to seniors.

Healthy Baltimore 2020 tackles a significant crisis plaguing Baltimore.

“An ambitious, dynamic blueprint for health in our city,” said Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake.

Baltimore Health Commissioner Dr. Leana Wen is leading the effort to improve our city’s wellness, by reducing major disparities.

Research has shown that people tend to live longer in wealthier communities.

The life expectancy in Roland Park is 83, compared to 63 in Upton or Druid Heights.

In Baltimore, HIV diagnosis is nine times higher. The city is four times more likely to have unmet mental health needs, and three times higher at risk for Type-2 Diabetes, compared to the rest of the state.

The violence in Baltimore also very troubling. In 2015, Baltimore had 344 homicides, a 63 percent jump from the previous year.

“Many of these disparities exist as a result of deep rooted challenges in our society, racisim, exlusion,” said community leader Reverend Debra Hickman.

Healthy Baltimore 2020 focuses on core services, addressing problems early on to prevent, educate, and provide necessary help.

“Know that we have to aim high our residents depend on us to do so, its science based, evidence based and done with community engagement,” said Dr. Wen.

The city is looking for an aggressive plan to get Baltimore back on track. Dr. Wen “is intentionally identifying the main causes of the disparities and coming up with solutions for them,” said public health advocate Vincent DeMarco.

The health department is seeking public input, they will be holding public discussions over the next coming months.

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