White House HIV Plan

But Tom Farley, Philadelphia’s public health commissioner, isn’t impressed.

“We’re glad that the administration is talking about eliminating HIV infection,” Farley said. “That’s certainly important. Our question is, really, what’s new about this plan? And that’s not clear.”


By Dana Bate

Hypothermia Death


The Philadelphia Medical Examiner’s office confirmed Tuesday that Fomalont’s death “was caused by hypertensive cardiovascular disease with a contributing factor of environmental hypothermia,” a Health Department spokesman confirmed.  “This death was ruled accidental.”



According to the Philadelphia Medical Examiner’s office, Gerald Fomalont died of environmental hypothermia after being exposed to the harsh winter temperatures.

The hypothermia was exacerbated by hypertensive cardiovascular disease, officials said.

His death was ruled accidental.

Overdose Fatality Review

Kendra Viner, the public health department’s opioid surveillance program manager, said the city has been planning an overdose fatality review for the past year, but it’s been delayed by legal challenges.


By Grace Shallow

Chinese Fentanyl in Kensington

Philadelphia Health Commissioner Thomas Farley told the Post that tackling overprescription is one of the city’s three prongs in confronting the opioid crisis.

In addition to developing policies that would prevent doctors from overprescribing pain medication, he said, the city’s Department of Public Health is also trying to reduce the bureaucratic hurdles that confront opioid users seeking treatment. That sticking point has become increasingly pressing with the rise of fentanyl, the short half-life of which means the window for intervention is far narrower than that of traditional opioids like heroin.

The department also hopes to make naloxone – the opioid overdose antidote – more widely available to the public, and is convening open training sessions across the city to educate members of the public on how to recognise and treat opioid overdoses.

Farley said he was not familiar with the Trump administration’s efforts to stem the production of fentanyl at its Chinese source. His department “would love to be able to reduce the supply to the streets of Philadelphia”, he said, with an important caveat: “I don’t expect that to happen anytime soon.”


By Owen Churchill