Department of Population, Family and Reproductive Health
Mission Statement for Baltimore
The Department of Population, Family and Reproductive Health advances public health science and practice, globally and domestically, to improve the health of women, men, children, adolescents and the elderly, at both the family and the population levels. In Baltimore, the Department aims to improve birth outcomes, school success, and resilience in the city.
Nutrition for Women, Infants, and Children
The Johns Hopkins Baltimore City WIC initiative provides services to over 10,000 WIC-eligible clients at 12 clinic locations and several shelters for the homeless, victims of domestic abuse and pre-school age children in Baltimore. The program is supported at the state level with funds from the Maryland Department of Agriculture. The project includes studies to address maternal obesity, improve healthy food choices, and expand access to healthy food. In addition, assistant scientist Susan Gross works closely with the Women Infants and Children program at Johns Hopkins and has implemented and studied numerous initiatives aimed at improving rates of breastfeeding among mothers served.
Teen Pregnancy Prevention
Baltimore City’s U Choose Coalition, led by the Baltimore City Health Department (BCHD), intends to decrease the overall teen birth rate of 43.3 per 1,000 teen girls by 30 percent at the conclusion of the five-year project through reductions in disparities among African American and Hispanic teens, and to ensure sustainable delivery of evidence-based teen pregnancy prevention programs in Baltimore City. Through this project, the Health Department in partnership with the Baltimore City Schools and a network of seven Title X clinics, plans to reach 15,890 adolescents aged 12-19 each year with evidence-based teen pregnancy prevention programs implemented in middle schools, high schools, and Title X clinics in Baltimore City. BCHD will implement Project AIM in middle schools, Be Proud! Be Responsible! in high schools and Seventeen Days in the clinics. Assistant scientist Beth Marshall is a member of the Core Implementation Team and will be conducting the implementation evaluation of all project activities.
Youth Health and Wellness Strategic Plan
The Baltimore City Health Department is working with partner agencies to develop a Youth Health and Wellness Strategic Plan. This plan will build on the City’s B’More for Healthy Babies initiative by extending that strategic plan–which currently covers children through age 5–to provide coverage to age 19. Through a series of primary data collection activities with stakeholder groups, secondary data analysis of existing data, and a review of existing literature and best practices, working groups are prioritizing outcomes for young people in Baltimore City and aligning the work to existing City strategies. Beth Marshall of the Center for Adolescent Health is a member of the small working group guiding this work. The Center also supports the Youth Leadership and Advocacy Network. This is a network of about 35 youth-led organizations in Baltimore City. These leaders meet monthly in conjunction with the City’s Youth Council and have been working with City leaders to ensure there youth voices are represented in the work of Baltimore City that concerns youth.
Professor Anne Duggan of the Department of Population, Family and Reproductive Health-led Home Visitation team partners with Maryland in using evaluative research to build a statewide home visiting program to improve outcomes and promote health equity for vulnerable expectant families and families with young children. She has worked with Maryland to secure two competitive federal grants to build essential infrastructure to expand home-visiting availability and to promote its effectiveness in achieving state and local health priorities.
Population, Family and Reproductive Health Baltimore Project: Trauma-Informed Care
Over the coming year, the Department, in collaboration with the Urban Health Institute, will expand its work in trauma. Specifically, plans are being developed to explore a Baltimore city survey of police, teachers, social service providers and entry-level health professionals understand their early (childhood) and more recent exposures to adverse experiences as a step toward building a more trauma-informed community.