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DPH Community Assessments Underway to Inform Future COVID-19 Response Efforts and Improve Health

Division of Public Health | Date Posted: Tuesday, January 25, 2022


DelawareSHIP logo

DOVER, DE (Jan. 25, 2022) – The Delaware Division of Public Health (DPH) will conduct a series of community health assessments to better understand the concerns and needs of Delaware communities during the COVID-19 pandemic and to improve the overall health in Delaware in the future. As part of Delaware’s State Health Improvement Plan (SHIP), DPH has partnered with the University of Delaware’s Partnership for Healthy Communities and Epidemiology Program to conduct a survey in each of Delaware’s three counties.

Households who have been randomly selected to participate in the voluntary survey will receive a postcard in the mail followed by a survey packet with instructions on how to complete the survey online or by mail. Incentives will be provided for completed surveys. The first set of survey packets will be mailed to Kent County households this week. In late February, teams of students and community volunteers will canvas Kent County neighborhoods to knock on the doors of those selected households who haven’t completed the survey by mail or online. Similar assessments will occur for New Castle and Sussex counties over the next two months. The dates for survey mailings and canvassing by county are:

Surveying begins:
  • Kent County – week of Jan 24
  • New Castle County – week of Feb. 7
  • Sussex County – week of Feb. 21

Canvassing begins:
  • Kent County – Feb. 25
  • New Castle County – March 11
  • Sussex County – March 25

The SHIP helps to prioritize areas, such as chronic disease, maternal and child health, mental health, and substance use disorder, where more work is needed to make Delawareans healthier.

“Delaware’s current five-year State Health Improvement Plan covers 2018 through 2023 and was initially developed prior to the pandemic,” said DPH Director Dr. Karyl Rattay. “Community assessments related to COVID-19 and broader conditions now impacting the health of Delawareans are critical to helping inform the current plan and guide the next state health needs assessment and planning process.”

“We are grateful that our students have the opportunity to gain real-world experience by conducting a Community Assessment for Public Health Emergency Response (CASPER), in Delaware for the first time,” said Dr. Jennifer Horney, founding director of the Epidemiology Program at University of Delaware. “It is important that these students, who are the State’s future public health workforce, embrace working directly with residents and communities to collect data that can be used for decision-making by public health leaders and emergency managers.”

In addition to community assessments being conducted at the household level to assess COVID-19 mitigation efforts, perceptions of risk, and preventative actions taken by Delaware households, two series of Community Conversations are also being planned to learn more about broader health impacts on communities. 

“These community conversations are being planned at a time when the federal government is making unprecedented investments in state, territorial, Tribal, and local governments” said Rita Landgraf, director of the Partnership for Healthy Communities at University of Delaware. “Never have communities had access to direct, flexible dollars at this scale. Not only can these resources assist with recovery from the pandemic, but they can also support communities in creating more equitable conditions for health and renewal. Working in collaboration with local partners across the state, we believe that it is possible to engage communities in dialogues that amplify their voices, increase equity, and inform community investments differently.”

The purpose of the Delaware State Health Improvement Plan is to describe how the Division of Public Health and the community it serves will work together to improve the health of Delaware’s population. The SHIP helps to prioritize areas, such as chronic disease, maternal and child health, mental health, and substance use disorder, where more work is needed to make Delawareans healthier. The National Public Health Accreditation Board explains, “Communities, stakeholders, and partners can use the SHIP to set priorities, direct the use of resources, and develop and implement projects, programs, and policies.” Effective state health improvement plans also continuously incorporate new information or data into the state health needs assessment and make updates as needed.

To learn more about Delaware’s State Health Improvement Plan, visit www.DelawareSHIP.org

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Anyone who is deaf, hard of hearing, Deaf-Blind or speech disabled can contact DPH by dialing 711 first using specialized devices (i.e., TTY, TeleBraille, voice devices). The 711 service is free and to learn more about how it works, please visit delawarerelay.com.

The Delaware Department of Health and Social Services is committed to improving the quality of the lives of Delaware’s citizens by promoting health and well-being, fostering self-sufficiency, and protecting vulnerable populations.

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DPH Community Assessments Underway to Inform Future COVID-19 Response Efforts and Improve Health

Division of Public Health | Date Posted: Tuesday, January 25, 2022


DelawareSHIP logo

DOVER, DE (Jan. 25, 2022) – The Delaware Division of Public Health (DPH) will conduct a series of community health assessments to better understand the concerns and needs of Delaware communities during the COVID-19 pandemic and to improve the overall health in Delaware in the future. As part of Delaware’s State Health Improvement Plan (SHIP), DPH has partnered with the University of Delaware’s Partnership for Healthy Communities and Epidemiology Program to conduct a survey in each of Delaware’s three counties.

Households who have been randomly selected to participate in the voluntary survey will receive a postcard in the mail followed by a survey packet with instructions on how to complete the survey online or by mail. Incentives will be provided for completed surveys. The first set of survey packets will be mailed to Kent County households this week. In late February, teams of students and community volunteers will canvas Kent County neighborhoods to knock on the doors of those selected households who haven’t completed the survey by mail or online. Similar assessments will occur for New Castle and Sussex counties over the next two months. The dates for survey mailings and canvassing by county are:

Surveying begins:
  • Kent County – week of Jan 24
  • New Castle County – week of Feb. 7
  • Sussex County – week of Feb. 21

Canvassing begins:
  • Kent County – Feb. 25
  • New Castle County – March 11
  • Sussex County – March 25

The SHIP helps to prioritize areas, such as chronic disease, maternal and child health, mental health, and substance use disorder, where more work is needed to make Delawareans healthier.

“Delaware’s current five-year State Health Improvement Plan covers 2018 through 2023 and was initially developed prior to the pandemic,” said DPH Director Dr. Karyl Rattay. “Community assessments related to COVID-19 and broader conditions now impacting the health of Delawareans are critical to helping inform the current plan and guide the next state health needs assessment and planning process.”

“We are grateful that our students have the opportunity to gain real-world experience by conducting a Community Assessment for Public Health Emergency Response (CASPER), in Delaware for the first time,” said Dr. Jennifer Horney, founding director of the Epidemiology Program at University of Delaware. “It is important that these students, who are the State’s future public health workforce, embrace working directly with residents and communities to collect data that can be used for decision-making by public health leaders and emergency managers.”

In addition to community assessments being conducted at the household level to assess COVID-19 mitigation efforts, perceptions of risk, and preventative actions taken by Delaware households, two series of Community Conversations are also being planned to learn more about broader health impacts on communities. 

“These community conversations are being planned at a time when the federal government is making unprecedented investments in state, territorial, Tribal, and local governments” said Rita Landgraf, director of the Partnership for Healthy Communities at University of Delaware. “Never have communities had access to direct, flexible dollars at this scale. Not only can these resources assist with recovery from the pandemic, but they can also support communities in creating more equitable conditions for health and renewal. Working in collaboration with local partners across the state, we believe that it is possible to engage communities in dialogues that amplify their voices, increase equity, and inform community investments differently.”

The purpose of the Delaware State Health Improvement Plan is to describe how the Division of Public Health and the community it serves will work together to improve the health of Delaware’s population. The SHIP helps to prioritize areas, such as chronic disease, maternal and child health, mental health, and substance use disorder, where more work is needed to make Delawareans healthier. The National Public Health Accreditation Board explains, “Communities, stakeholders, and partners can use the SHIP to set priorities, direct the use of resources, and develop and implement projects, programs, and policies.” Effective state health improvement plans also continuously incorporate new information or data into the state health needs assessment and make updates as needed.

To learn more about Delaware’s State Health Improvement Plan, visit www.DelawareSHIP.org

###

Anyone who is deaf, hard of hearing, Deaf-Blind or speech disabled can contact DPH by dialing 711 first using specialized devices (i.e., TTY, TeleBraille, voice devices). The 711 service is free and to learn more about how it works, please visit delawarerelay.com.

The Delaware Department of Health and Social Services is committed to improving the quality of the lives of Delaware’s citizens by promoting health and well-being, fostering self-sufficiency, and protecting vulnerable populations.

image_printPrint

Related Topics:  , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,


Graphic that represents delaware news on a mobile phone

Keep up to date by receiving a daily digest email, around noon, of current news release posts from state agencies on news.delaware.gov.

Here you can subscribe to future news updates.