WMAR Podcast


Dr. Letitia Dzirasa: The Road to a Healthier Baltimore

2 BMore Mobile ONLY
Posted at 11:45 AM, Mar 29, 2023
and last updated 2023-03-29 11:45:29-04

In this episode of 2 BMore, Baltimore City Health Commissioner Dr. Letitia Dzirasa talks about the leading Baltimore through the pandemic and encouraging everyone in Baltimore to lead healthy lifestyles.

TJ Smith

T.J. Smith is a retired police commander, former chief spokesman for the Baltimore Police Department, former press secretary for the Baltimore County Executive, and a former Baltimore City mayoral candidate. More recently, Smith partnered with Jimmy’s Famous Fund where he assisted in raising more than $600,000 over the past year that was donated to small restaurants in Baltimore, children for a holiday experience, and the families of a police officer and firefighters killed in the line of duty. In addition to hosting the 2Bmore Podcast, Smith consults on government, leadership, and law enforcement issues. He is also a frequent guest on a national news outlet and TV One network programming.

Dr. Letitia Dzirasa

Dr. Letitia Dzirasa is a board certified pediatrician and the first African American female Health Commissioner for Baltimore City, the longest continuously running health department in the United States. She was appointed to this role in March 2019. She subsequently began leading Baltimore City through the global pandemic in March 2020, just a year into her tenure. Under her leadership, Baltimore City, from January 2020 through June 2021, fared better than most comparable jurisdictions in terms of incidence rate (81st percentile), mortality rate (73rd percentile), case fatality rate (56th percentile), and vaccinations in population over the age of 12 (90th percentile).

Dr. Dzirasa’s career trajectory is focused on service to her community. Her areas of expertise include pediatrics, public health policy and the social determinants of health, and creating opportunities for equitable access to healthcare for all. She attended Meharry Medical College, graduating summa cum laude in 2007. She trained in pediatrics at the Johns Hopkins Hospital. She began her career providing general pediatric care for mostly military families in Odenton, Maryland. She subsequently returned to Baltimore to work as medical director of quality and school based health care for Baltimore Medical System, the largest federally qualified health center in Baltimore City. Just prior to joining the Baltimore City Health Department, she served as the Health Innovation Officer for Fearless Solutions, a Baltimore based digital services firm with a focus on building software with a soul. She currently serves on the board of Healthcare Access Maryland, Behavioral Health Systems Baltimore, and the West Baltimore Renaissance Foundation.

Dr. Dzirasa lives in Baltimore City with her husband, Delali, and her youngest son, Jaden. Dr. Dzirasa and her husband have established the Dzirasa Family Foundation to support STEM based initiatives across Baltimore City. In her spare time, she enjoys hanging out with her family, exercising, cooking, and reading. You can follow Dr. Dzirasa on Instagram and Twitter @TheOfficialDocD.