Baltimore Health Commissioner Leana Wen Profiled in NPR Report

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Baltimore's new health commissioner
Dr. Leana Wen

Leana Wen was once again the focus of a national news story. During drive time on Thursday, NPR’s Andrea Hsu concluded her series on the Baltimore City Health Department with a look at the health commissioner herself during All Things Considered.

The profile talks about Wen’s efforts as the city’s doctor. She told Hsu she sees more direct ability to help people in the public health role than as an emergency room physician.

“It’s so real for me every day,” Wen said. “These drug-related deaths are preventable.”

A big theme of the profile is impatience. Ben Seigel, executive director of the 21st Century Cities Initiative at Johns Hopkins University, says she is impatient to see results, like curbing drug overdose deaths.

That’s been a facet of her life from an early age. In addition to her work with the Health Department, the profile discusses the 33-year-old TED Talk star’s effort to overcome a stutter. She couldn’t say the word neuroscience, so she didn’t apply.

“She didn’t have patience for her own speech failures. It was unacceptable to her not to do the things she wanted to do,” says her speech therapist, Vivian Sisskin.

Read the full story.



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