In September, Baltimore City Health Commissioner Dr. Leana Wen was named the new president of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, the organization focused on providing women's health access, particularly focusing on reproductive health and health access for low-income women.
Friday, Dr. Wen issued a statement about her four-year tenure at the helm of Baltimore's Department of Health, a role she had called her "dream job." By joining Planned Parenthood, Wen becomes the first doctor to lead the organization in nearly 50 years.
In her letter, Wen thanked the two mayors she's served under, Catherine Pugh and Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, and highlighted many of the programs she's proud of, including:
- B'More for Health Babies, which helped decrease the infant mortality rate by 40% in the past seven years
- A youth wellness initiative that provided eye exams and classes to children in need
- An aggressive approach to combating the opioid epidemic by treating addiction and focusing on prevention
- A focus on preventing and preparing for outbreaks of diseases like hepatitis, STDs, tuberculosis, measles, Ebola, Zika, food borne illness, and more
- Starting Accountable Health Communities and the Billion Step Challenge, as well as start ups like TECHealth
- Winning the Local Health Department of the Year Award from the National Association of City and County Health Officials