Proposed Bill to Defund Philadelphia

“What’s insane is that the new normal in Pennsylvania is that year over year, the overdose death rate is increasing by 30 percent,” said Devin Reaves, executive director of the Pennsylvania Harm Reduction Coalition. “All solutions to save lives must be on the table.”

The city’s official statement takes the same tack. “History has proven that the way governments handled previous drug epidemics was wrong, and to repeat it will result in the same disasters,” the Mayor’s Office and Health Dept. wrote. “And just as local governments had to lead during the HIV epidemic, cities like ours will be on the forefront of saving lives in the opioid crisis.”

https://billypenn.com/2018/09/12/this-state-rep-threatens-to-freeze-phillys-funding-if-an-overdose-prevention-site-opens/

By Michaela Winberg

Crisis Letal: Telemundo Coverage of the Opioid Crisis

Teaser: https://www.telemundo62.com/noticias/local/Serie-investigativa-_Crisis-Letal_-de-T62_TLMD—Philadelphia-491473001.html

Part 1: https://www.telemundo62.com/noticias/destacados/Crisis-Letal-Vertiginoso-ascenso-en-muertes-por-sobredosis-filadelfia-pensilvania-alexandra-zenteno-jose-lopez-thomas-farley-493088501.html

Part 2: https://www.telemundo62.com/noticias/destacados/Crisis-Letal-Ansian-el-cambio-de-lo-que-ven-como-normal-filadelfia-pensilvania-drogas-muertes-sobredosis-493192481.html

Part 3: https://www.telemundo62.com/noticias/destacados/Crisis-Letal-Empoderan-todo-aquel-que-ayude-filadelfia-pensilvania-departamento-de-salud-naloxone-493333991.html

By Iris Delgado and Rita Portela

STD Rates in Philadelphia

As the city has stepped up its screening efforts, it has documented more new cases, said Dr. Lenore Asbel, a medical specialist with the department.

“I don’t know if there is a substantial increase as much as there is an increase in our being able to find people who are infected,” she said.

https://whyy.org/segments/stds-are-up-in-philadelphia-across-the-country/

By Darryl C. Murphy

Black Breastfeeding Week Ads

he division set out to find women that the city’s health clinics served and use their images for billboards and promotional material to be distributed as part of the Philly Loves Breastfeeding campaign.

“Our campaign just shows real Philadelphia moms throughout the city breastfeeding their baby —  just normal, not a big deal, this is how you feed a baby,” Kinsman said.

https://whyy.org/articles/to-promote-breastfeeding-among-women-of-color-philly-campaign-features-black-moms/

By Nina Feldman

A Day in the Life Story

Over in North Philly, Emily Kehoe tramples through an overgrown back alley as a fierce-sounding dog locked up nearby barks like mad. Kehoe ignores the mutt and presses on, stepping over brambles and trash to a trap set the day before.

“There are leaves, buckets, tires, everything mosquitos like,” says the mosquito surveillance and control technician for the city’s Health Department. “I just saw this area yesterday, thought it’d be a good place for a trap, set one up, and we’ll see if we caught anything.”

She did – dozens upon dozens of Aedes albopictus mosquitoes, which like to breed in the small puddles that form inside old tires, discarded buckets, or broken bottles.

“It is an interesting job, that’s for sure – like nothing I’ve had,” says Kehoe, who has a master’s degree in public health. “I’m crawling through alleys, looking in people’s yards for standing water. I do get some strange looks, but once I explain that I’m here to help them get rid of mosquitos, they are fully on board… most of the time.”

Kehoe is on the lookout for Zika, West Nile, and other nasty viruses spread by the bloodsucking bugs. Every day, the city readies itself for a dreadful tomorrow. Officials monitor the outbreaks of diseases and the predicted paths of distant hurricanes. If there is an emergency on this day, the city has 15,552 water bottles on hand, just in case. It’s work that goes unnoticed. And everyone, including those who do it, hope that’s the way things stay.

http://planphilly.com/articles/2018/08/28/a-day-in-the-life-of-philadelphia-and-the-people-who-make-it-go

By Jim Saksa

Health Commissioner Feature

[I]n the world of public health, success and failure are measured in preventable deaths. And for that reason, Farley has become a key figure in the city’s battle against the overdose crisis, which claimed more than 2,100 lives between 2016 and 2017 in the doctor’s first two years on the job.

http://www.philadelphiaweekly.com/news/behind-the-philly-health-department-s-data-driven-fight-against/article_cdfb3dd8-8605-11e8-b7f7-dfd6da56bd48.html

By Max Marin

Fentanyl Crack Overdoses 4

Across the sidewalk, a woman named Kelly sat on a folding chair and watched Herens move down the block. She had heard about the cluster of overdoses, but it hadn’t deterred her from buying crack. She said she wasn’t interested in carrying Narcan: “I feel like it wouldn’t matter if I died,” she said. Her eyes welled with tears.

Herens walked over, flier in hand. It couldn’t hurt to learn a bit about it, she said. Kelly nodded, managed a smile, and took the flier.

http://www.philly.com/philly/health/addiction/west-philadelphia-nervously-watches-as-fentanyl-kills-the-unsuspecting-20180705.html

By Aubrey Whelan

State Preemption of City Tobacco Regulations

“We were certainly both surprised and disappointed to see that included, particularly in a bill that wasn’t out in the open for discussion,” said Dr. Cheryl Bettigole, the city’s director of chronic disease prevention. “There wasn’t a way to have a discussion about all the reasons that’s a terrible idea.”

https://www.phillyvoice.com/philly-ban-flavored-tobacco-state-budget/

By John Kopp