The Midday Healthwatch | WYPR

The Midday Healthwatch

It’s the Midday Healthwatch, with Dr. Leana Wen

Today, we’re focusing on the politicization of healthcare on the campaign trail, and on the coronavirus, which has now spread to more than 30 countries.

Dr. Wen was Baltimore City Health Commissioner from 2015 to 2018 and then chief executive of Planned Parenthood.  She is now a visiting professor of health policy and management at the Milken Institute School of Public Health at George Washington University. She’s also a distinguished fellow at the Mullan Institute for Health Workforce Equity at GW. She joined Tom in Studio A.

We livestreamed this conversation on the WYPR Facebook page.  Click here to watch. 

photo courtesy BC Health Dept.

On today's Midday Healthwatch, Tom's guest is Baltimore City’s new Health Commissioner, Dr. Letitia Dzirasa.  She was named to the position in February by then-Mayor Catherine Pugh.  She began serving in March and was officially sworn in on April 16.   She succeeds Dr. Leana Wen, who resigned last fall to become the president of Planned Parenthood

Dr. Dzirasa (pron. jih-RAH-zuh) is the first African American woman to be appointed as Baltimore’s Top Doc.  Baltimore has the nation’s oldest continuously operating health department, a high-profile city agency with an annual budget of 150 million dollars and more than 800 employees. Dr. Dzirasa is a pediatrician who trained at the John Hopkins Medical School.   She has worked in the private sector as the Health Innovation officer at Fearless Solutions, the Baltimore-based digital services company she co-founded with her husband Dilali. From 2013-2016, she was the director of school-based health services at Baltimore Medical System, a non-profit community health services organization.

Dr. Dzirasa is 37 years old.  She lives in Baltimore with her husband, their 2 year-old son and her 17 year-old stepson.

This conversation was live-streamed  on WYPR’s Facebook page; you can see the video here.