Baltimore may be quieter after its recent unrest following the death of a man in police custody, but health officials working behind the-scenes to make sure residents get health services still have work ahead.
Leana Wen, MD, the Baltimore City Health Commissioner, shared some of the untold stories of people trying to get by in the midst of protests and violence, including looted and torched pharmacies. One woman couldn’t fill her heart medication prescription; a diabetic man resorted to taking his insulin every-other day; a couple didn’t know where to turn for help for their son suffering from a manic episode.
The city’s health providers put plans in place to provide essential services and set up a central phone number for people affected by pharmacy closures. To help get messages out, student volunteers from Johns Hopkins and other local universities visit seniors in affected neighborhoods. “As we look to rebuilding and recovery, our efforts must be focused on addressing the needs of all those affected, including the ones whose stories we don't usually hear,” Wens said.