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This week, I wrote about why I'm leaving the ER (for now) for public health: 

Why I Left the ER to Run Baltimore's Health Department

I also lay out my goals and vision in the Baltimore Sun:

Geography Should Not Be Destiny

I will be on this Blog infrequently from now on. Please follow us on our website and new blog, B'Healthy in B'More! And on Twitter @BMore_Healthy.

Dear Readers,

I am writing to share some exciting news: this Thursday, January 15th 2015, I will be joining the administration of Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake as the Commissioner of Health in Baltimore City. In this role, I will be overseeing our agency of 1,100 strong to lead the activities of the Health Department, which include health promotion and disease prevention, aging and care services, environmental health, animal control, and food safety.

This is an amazing opportunity to serve and to combine my passion for community engagement, public health, and patient-centered care to help those who were most vulnerable. Baltimore faces many health disparities that are rooted in poverty, violence, and substance abuse—but it’s also a city with extremely committed civic and faith leaders, engaged community organizations, strong foundation presence, and the longest continuous-serving health department in the country that has an outstanding history of service and innovation.

My last couple of years at George Washington University have been fantastic. I’ve loved teaching residents and students and providing care in our ER; serving as Founding Director of Patient-Centered Care Research; leading a new collaboration between GW and Kaiser Permanente on social mission and health policy with my mentor Dr. Fitzhugh Mullan; and researching and speaking about paradigm changes in healthcare reform (including a talk on Who’s My Doctor and our transparency campaign that is now on TED.com). While I’m sad to leave my inspiring students and extraordinary colleagues, I am honored and humbled to be selected to this new role to fight for health equity and social justice.

Thank you for following this blog for the last two years and advancing our common vision that patients, families, and providers can work together to be empowered to better health. I will be continuing to comment on public health and healthcare transformation on my Twitter account @DrLeanaWen and Facebook site. We will also be featuring announcements and guest posts at the official Baltimore City Health Department Twitter @BMore_Healthy and BCHD Facebook page.

Ten years ago, I wrote an essay for The New York Times that began with a quote by the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., that injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. I end this blog (for now) with another quote by Dr. King, as it explains my core vision and drive: “Of all the forms of inequality, injustice in healthcare is the most shocking and most inhumane.”

Thank you for all that you have done and continue to do. Please join me in this next chapter to fight against injustice and to improve health and well-being.


Leana Wen, M.D. M.Sc.