Hepatitis Data Exposure

The reporter found the records on a public data tool built by the health department in October, shortly after the hepatitis records were posted. Minutes after being notified by The Inquirer of the exposed records, the department deleted them. As such, “there was no risk to confidentiality,” said Jim Garrow, health department spokesperson.

https://www.inquirer.com/news/health-hepatitis-opioid-data-breach-20191220.html

By Nat Lash

Homeless Death Statistics

Release

Health Commissioner Dr. Thomas Farley said, “The opioid crisis is both exacerbating the homelessness problem in Philadelphia and increasing the number of homeless people who die of drug overdoses. The health department is working with many other City agencies to reduce the number of people who become addicted and help those who are addicted – homeless or not – begin drug treatment.”

https://www.phila.gov/2019-12-19-opioid-crisis-fueling-increase-in-philadelphia-homeless-deaths/

Inquirer

And most deaths in the city’s homeless population were due to overdoses, Hersh said. That’s a sea change from just a few years ago. Between 2009 and 2015, about 37% of deaths among the homeless population were from overdoses. Between 2016 and 2018, overdoses accounted for 59% of such deaths.

By Aubrey Whelan

Getting Ready for Marijuana

At Wednesday night’s gathering, Philadelphia public health policy adviser Jeffrey Hom pointed to ad campaigns in states where marijuana is legal that echo strategies used decades ago by Big Tobacco, to make the substance look cool to young people. He also cautioned about the packaging of edible marijuana products that looks like candy bars.

https://whyy.org/articles/philadelphia-officials-are-revving-up-for-recreational-marijuana/

By Nina Feldman

Lead Testing in Charter Schools

“In consultation with the Health Department and the School District, L&I will put such a process in place,” she said.

Yet while the underlying legislation makes lead testing a prerequisite for school building occupancy, Guss could not say what penalty schools would face for skipping tests.

https://whyy.org/articles/most-philly-charter-schools-failed-to-test-water-for-lead-and-city-gave-them-a-pass/

By Ryan Briggs and Avi Wolfman-Arent

Philadelphia’s Opioid Crisis Compared to Pittsburgh

“We are having a targeted strategy in the same way that Allegheny County has,” said Thomas Farley, Philadelphia’s health commissioner, adding that his colleagues pay more attention to the nation’s biggest cities than to Pittsburgh.

“But we, for decades, have become this big heroin market. We’re a distribution site for a very broad area. That drug availability is going to make it harder for us.”

https://www.inquirer.com/health/opioid-addiction/opioid-overdoses-philadelphia-pittsburgh-naloxone-20191209.html

By Aubrey Whelan