City Releases Plan to Cut Health Disparities by Half

The Baltimore City Health Department has released a report, Healthy Baltimore 2020, which provides a blueprint for a 50% reduction in health disparities in the City over the next ten years.

The Baltimore Sun reports:

In a report released Tuesday, the department outlined plans to cut health disparities in half in the next decade by focusing on four areas: behavioral health such as drug overdoses; violence; chronic disease; and “life course,” which includes the often-cited 20-year gap in life expectancy between Baltimore’s richest, white neighborhoods and poorest, black ones.

Officials dubbed the report Healthy Baltimore 2020 because they plan to assess progress incrementally and not wait 10 years to say if they’ve reached their goal.

The report speaks to much that has gone wrong in the city with residents’ health because of historic racial inequality and economic and geographic disparity, said Dr. Leana S. Wen, the city’s health commissioner. It looks beyond traditional indicators of good health such as education, public safety and the economy.

The report outlines up to five objectives under each focus area and lists how progress will be tracked, though there are specific goals for individual disparities.

Examples of objectives include reducing disparities in overdose deaths, youth homicides and school absenteeism, in the number of children with unmet medical needs and who are obese, and in the infant mortality rate and fatal falls among seniors.

For more information:

Baltimore City Health Department Unveils Plans to Address Health Disparities (The Baltimore Sun)

Baltimore City Health Department Launches “Healthy Baltimore 2020” (BCHD Press Release)