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Female Trouble podcast: Kathy Westcoat, Behavioral Health System Baltimore president (episode 26)

In a recent Baltimore Sun story, Erin Cox and Michael Dresser reported that 41 percent of Maryland residents said the escalating opioid epidemic has directly affected them or someone they know over the past five years. That number comes from a Gonzales poll, and among Baltimore city residents, the percentage affected was even higher, at 68 percent. One of the nonprofits attempting to halt this epidemic, along with addressing other mental health and addiction issues, is Behavioral Health System Baltimore, and at the head is Kathy Westcoat. Kathy, the organization's president, got her start in Baltimore as a dietitian, and she talked about what prompted her to interrogate and address the larger factors that contribute to public health. Behavioral Health System Baltimore acts as the city's behavioral health authority, and Kathy joined the organization in 2015, after serving as president of HealthCare Access Maryland. Kathy talked about how her upbringing has informed her work, preparing for the possible repeal of the Affordable Care Act and fighting the stigma around addiction and mental illness.

Using our app? Go to baltimoresun.com/femaletrouble to listen to the podcast.

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