President Bill Clinton visits Foundation projects at work in Baltimore

First day of multi-city tour of Clinton Foundation projects includes summit addressing opioid epidemic and a playground promoting early brain and language development

Clinton Foundation
Oct 31, 2017 · 4 min read

Today in Baltimore, President Clinton kicked off a three-day tour of Clinton Foundation work in the United States.

For over a decade, the Clinton Foundation has worked across the country on a wide range of issues, from improving health and wellness in our schools and communities, to empowering girls and women, to giving parents the tools to stimulate brain development in early childhood, and strengthening our economic competitiveness.

This work is carried out through a variety of initiatives and partnerships, including the Clinton Health Matters Initiative (CHMI), the Alliance for a Healthier Generation, Too Small to Fail, and commitments made through the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI).

Today’s visit kicked off at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, with President Clinton convening leaders from across the public health, business, labor, academic, law enforcement, government and employment sectors for a one-day summit: “The Opioid Epidemic: From Evidence to Impact.” This summit, focusing on what has become the worst drug epidemic in U.S. history, was co-hosted by the Clinton Health Matters Initiative (CHMI), an initiative of the Clinton Foundation, and the Bloomberg School’s Center for Drug Safety and Effectiveness and the Center for Injury Research and Policy.

President Clinton began the summit by talking about the stunning magnitude of the opioid epidemic in the United States:

“This is a public health problem, we recognize it — we’re finally seeing all these people as individuals. Unfortunately, there’s a woefully inadequate public health response that is not properly coordinated with law enforcement, with the treatment community, with insurers, and others.”

In a discussion with leaders from across health care, government, business, and labor, President Clinton discussed the critical steps that all sectors can take to fight this growing crisis. The panel included Rep. Elijah Cummings (MD-7th), Tom Geddes, CEO of Plank Industries; Randi Weingarten, President of the American Federation of Teachers; and Leana Wen, MD, MSc, FAAEM, Health Commissioner of the City of Baltimore.

Dr. Leana Wen described the progress they’ve made in Baltimore:

“We’ve been able to do a lot with very limited resources by changing policy so that we can get the blanket prescription for Narcan out there. We’ve gotten 30,000 people trained but it’s not just about getting people trained, it’s about getting people actually delivering the services too. I’m happy to report that our latest numbers are that in the last two years, every day residents have saved the lives of nearly 1,500 of their fellow community members, just by delivering Narcan to their family members, their friends, their community members.”

As part of this summit, the Clinton Foundation and the Bloomberg School co-released a landmark report with comprehensive recommendations aimed at stemming the epidemic — mapping out a blueprint for national action on the epidemic and detailing dozens of concrete, evidence-based steps for everyone working to fight the opioid crisis in America — from the health care, advocacy, nonprofit, government, academic, and business sectors.

The full report can be found by clicking here.

From there, President Clinton went to the Sollers Point Branch of the Baltimore County Public Library, where he saw the work of Too Small to Fail, a joint initiative of the Clinton Foundation and The Opportunity Institute. This partnership is leading a public awareness and action campaign in the United States to promote the importance of early brain and language development and to empower parents with tools to talk, read, and sing with their young children from birth.

President Clinton toured the library and saw firsthand how Too Small to Fail’s early literacy tools and prompts have been integrated into their curriculum.

From the library, President Clinton went to the playground to officially dedicate new “Talking is Teaching” themed panels that integrate learning with play. These panels use conversational prompts that encourage parents to talk, read, and sing with their children.

The panels were built through a partnership between Too Small to Fail, Shane’s Inspiration, and Landscape Structures Inc. To date, 83 early literacy-themed playgrounds have been launched in partnership with Shane’s Inspiration and Landscape Structures Inc.

After leaving the playground, President Clinton departed for the airport, en route to Jacksonville. Stay tuned tomorrow for stops from more Clinton Foundation work in Northeast Florida!

On Assignment with President Clinton 2017

On Oct. 30 — Nov. 1, 2017, we’re #OnAssignment with President Clinton to visit our partners and programs in the U.S. These stories highlight the Foundation’s work to combat the opioid crisis, help kids and families lead healthier lives, and empower the next generation.

Clinton Foundation

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Working with partners across the United States and around the world to create economic opportunity, improve public health, and inspire civic engagement.

On Assignment with President Clinton 2017

On Oct. 30 — Nov. 1, 2017, we’re #OnAssignment with President Clinton to visit our partners and programs in the U.S. These stories highlight the Foundation’s work to combat the opioid crisis, help kids and families lead healthier lives, and empower the next generation.

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