Fentanyl Test Strips

However, Allison Herens, who has served as Philadelphia’s harm-reduction coordinator for about one year, said she hoped the effort to teach people how to use the strips would extend the general conversation about harm reduction during the opioid crisis.

“Just like every other harm-reduction effort, it’s not going to save everyone’s life,” Herens said about the test strip initiative. “But it opens the door to conversations with people to help reinforce safer [drug-using] practices. It opens it up to a much bigger conversation that should be happening on a regular basis.”


By Courtenay Harris Bond

Sexual Violence as a Culture

Helping young men and women to avoid high risk situations may reduce the likelihood of being a victim, as well as being a perpetrator. This means rethinking how we talk and think about sexual violence to include ways how each and every one of us can take responsibility and accountability for our actions, in that moment, in the weeks after, and in the decades after. Too often the emphasis is on the victim and how they should or should have conducted themselves to avoid the predatory actions of others; rather than giving everyone the tools they need to navigate risky situations and the consequences of their behavior.


Using Narcan Can Save Lives, But it’s Not Always Easy

“It’s not easy,” said Allison Herens, harm reduction coordinator at Philadelphia’s Public Health Department. She conducts regular trainings about naloxone and how to administer it, and recently led one for about two-dozen people at the South Philadelphia Library on Broad Street.

“There are lots of different kinds of emergencies that happen on the street in any moment and it can be hard to discern if it’s actually an emergency or not,” she told the group.



By Nina Feldman

September 2018 Overdose Outbreak

The overdoses were linked to drugs purchased mostly around McPherson Square and Kensington and Allegheny Avenues over Friday and Saturday. While test results are pending, officials believe a combination of heroin or fentanyl and the synthetic cannabinoid K2 were involved, according to an email alert from the Department of Health obtained by the Inquirer and Daily News.


By Aubrey Whelan

Cases of West Nile Virus in Philadelphia

PHILADELPHIA–Today, the Health Department announced that they have identified eleven confirmed cases of human West Nile Virus thus far in 2018. None of these cases were fatal. Previously, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection has announced that they have seen the highest level of West Nile virus activity in the mosquito population since the disease was first introduced in 2000. Health Department employees are working in a variety of ways to control mosquitoes throughout the city, but need the public’s help.


Eleven West Nile Virus Cases Found in Philadelphia Thus Far in 2018

The Philadelphia Health Department is spreading the word about the West Nile virus’ presence in the city and asking for the public’s help combatting the further spread of the disease, they are also asking for help from residents.


By Sam Newhouse

The health department is cautioning residents that mosquito season is not over. And the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection has said this year marks the highest level statewide for West Nile virus activity in the mosquito population since 2000.

As a result, the city’s health department is taking steps to control mosquitoes but is asking for the public’s help too.


By Frank Kummer

Philadelphia Health Commissioner Thomas Farley issued a statement Friday urging residents to wear mosquito repellent and dump standing water, which is essential to breeding.

Anyone who experiences unexplained headaches, weakness or fatigue should contact their primary care physician.

The Philadelphia Health Department has treated more than 57,000 storm drain inlets with larvicide to prevent mosquito breeding. The department also has conducted four aerosol sprays to kill adult mosquitoes in areas where West Nile Virus is known to occur.


By John Kopp

Philadelphia health officials are confirming nearly a dozen cases of the mosquito-borne West Nile virus so far this year. KYW Newsradio’s Mark Abrams reports.


By Mark Abrams

Record Numbers of Teen Vaccinations

Dr. Kristen Feemster,  medical director for the immunization program at the Philadelphia Department of Public Health, said vaccination rates are on target for tetanus, diphtheria and pertusis along with meningococcal disease.

“We have providers that are making strong recommendations to families. We have an immunization program here to support our providers,” said Feemster. “We have a very robust registry so that we can keep track of how well we’re doing and when you know how well you’re doing you know where you can work and improve even more.”


By Lynne Adkins

Sodium Labeling Bill Signing


By Adam Hermann


By Mike Denardo


By Tom MacDonald




By Ali Gorman


By Sarah Luoma

Opioids Crisis in South Philly

While the opioid crisis is most acute by far in Kensington, overdose deaths in South Philly increased by 41 percent from 2016 to 2017. All told, 132 of the city’s 1,217 overdose deaths last year were in the community. Jefferson Methodist Hospital’s ER on South Broad Street had the city’s third-highest volume of overdose patients in the city in 2016.


By Aubrey Whelan

Rise in Hospitalizations from Overdose

Farley said the increases in heroin overdose cases were “reflective of how the entire problem has shifted.”

“It started out as a prescription problem, but people are switching to heroin because it’s cheaper,” he said. He said doctors need to continue reducing opioid prescriptions “to stop people from getting addicted in the first place.” But, he said, those reductions must be coupled with more accessible treatment, so that people already dependent on pills don’t turn to heroin if a doctor reduces their prescription.


By Aubrey Whelan