Delaware Falls Four Spots in Commonwealth Fund’s 2018 State Health Scorecard; Secretary Walker Says Health Care Spending and Better Outcomes Must Be Aligned
NEW CASTLE (May 3, 2018) – Ranking in the bottom half of states in a variety of health measures, including adults who smoke, annual diabetes treatment testing, and adults who are obese, Delaware fell four spots in The Commonwealth Fund’s 2018 Scorecard on State Health System Performance released today.
Delaware ranked 22nd among all the states on the more than 40 measures, which are divided among access to health care, quality of care, efficiency in care delivery, health outcomes and income-based health care disparities. Delaware’s worst trend was in deaths from suicide, alcohol and drug use increasing from 38.2 deaths per 100,000 population in 2013 to 49 deaths per 100,000 in 2016. Delaware ranked 31st in that category among the states.
On the positive side, Delaware ranked in the top five in three categories, including the top ranking for the lowest rate of deaths within 30 days of hospital discharge among Medicare beneficiaries. The state ranked third for the lowest rate of adults with a mental illness reporting an unmet need and fourth for the lowest rate of children ages 19-35 months who did not receive all recommended vaccines.
“This is another national health scorecard that indicates we are not a top state for overall health, despite being one of the top-ranked states in terms of per-capita health care spending,” said Delaware Department of Health and Social Services (DHSS) Secretary Dr. Kara Odom Walker, a board-certified family physician. Last June, a Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) analysis found that Delaware ranked third among the states for per-capita health care spending in 2014 at $10,254, or 27 percent above the U.S. average of $8,045. If that rate is maintained, CMS estimated that Delaware’s overall health care spending could double by 2025.
In September, Gov. John Carney signed House Joint Resolution 7 authorizing DHSS to develop a health care spending benchmark to bring transparency to how Delaware’s health care dollars are spent across the system – commercial insurers, Medicare and Medicaid. In February, Gov. Carney signed an Executive Order creating the Health Care Delivery and Cost Advisory Group to advise Secretary Walker on the creation of statewide health care spending and quality benchmarks.
“Across the health care spectrum, our goal is to examine health care costs and how to slow the growth of those costs, while improving the overall health of Delawareans at the same time,” Secretary Walker said. “The Commonwealth Fund rankings provide us with valuable insights into the areas where we need improved health outcomes.”
Dr. Karyl Rattay, director of DHSS’ Division of Public Health, said the rankings show there is more work to do to improve population health across the state. In a note of caution, Dr. Rattay said The Commonwealth Fund appeared to report Delaware’s infant mortality rate incorrectly at 9.1 deaths per 1,000 live births in 2015. Dr. Rattay said Delaware’s rate peaked at 9.3 deaths per 1,000 live births for the five-year time period ending in 2005 and has declined to 7.5 deaths per 1,000 live births for the five-year time period ending in 2016. “Our rate is still significantly higher than the U.S. average of 5.9 deaths, with higher disparities among populations and in specific geographic areas,” she said.
“While we are pleased to see Delaware ranked sixth among the states in the broad category of prevention and treatment,” Dr. Rattay said, “the Commonwealth Fund’s results indicate the areas where we must seek further improvement, especially in the healthy lives and disparity indicators.”
In another national health scorecard released earlier this year, Delaware ranked 30th in United Health Foundation’s 2017 America’s Health Rankings Annual Report, exceeding the national average in drug deaths per 100,000 population, obesity and physical inactivity rates among adults, cancer deaths per 100,000, diabetes rate among adults and violent crime offenses per 100,000. Delaware’s 2017 ranking improved one spot from 2016.
To read The Commonwealth Fund’s 2018 Scorecard on State Health System Performance:
The Department of Health and Social Services is committed to improving the quality of life of Delaware’s citizens by promoting health and well-being, fostering self-sufficiency, and protecting vulnerable populations.
Heart2Heart Hugs Warm Clothing Drive
Dover- Principal Shan Green of Central Middle School proudly presented opening remarks at the kickoff of the Governor’s Advisory Council for Exceptional Citizens (GACEC) Heart 2 Heart Hugs warm clothing drive. The annual drive, in its 9th year, collects new warm items for the children in Delaware who are homeless, under housed, or in foster care. This years campaign is an initiative to collect a broader range of warm items. New items such as sleeping bags, coats, hats, sweatshirts and gloves that will bring warmth to a child in need.
“As the weather gets colder and the holiday’s approach, it is important we remember to help Delawareans most in need.” Said Lt. Governor Bethany Hall-Long. “I’m proud to support he Heart 2 Heart Hugs campaign and its efforts to provide needed items to thousands of homeless and foster care children across the state.”
“Heart 2 Heart Hugs is a statewide drive that begins in November- with various organizations and companies throughout the state offering their time and resources to collect and deliver items to Delaware’s Nearly 5,000 children who are homeless, in foster care or under housed. Representative Harvey Kenton shared, “It was an honor and privilege to attend the Heart 2 Heart Hugs kickoff event today. Everyone deserves to have warm clothing and a hug. I encourage everyone to get involved…”
“Additionally, out of the nearly 5,000 children in Delaware who are homeless or in foster care, approximately one-third are children with disabilities,” explained Wendy Strauss, Director of GACEC which serves as the state advisory panel for the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and its amendments. “We connect hearts and collect hugs for children who are underprivileged.”
Dover Mayor Robin Christiansen, who has been involved with the drive for many years, shared “Heart 2 Heart Hugs is a program that for 9 years has warmed not only the children in need but also the hearts of those who embrace this cause. It helps each of us, young and old, to live the Golden Rule. I heartily encourage everyone to become a part of something bigger… by helping others.”
The warm clothing drive will collect new items through February 10, 2018. Drop off points are located throughout the state and can be found on the GACEC website at www.gacec.delaware.gov. Interested parties may also contact GACEC offices (302) 739-4553 for additional information a bout drop offs or about becoming a partner.
“Coming Home, the Toll of War”
-Program contrasts the experiences of veterans returning from World War I with those of today-
(DOVER, Del.—June 12, 2017)—Richard Claypoole, Vietnam veteran and former director of the Office of the Federal Register at the U.S. National Archives and Records Administration, will facilitate “Coming Home, the Toll of War,” a program that explores the experiences of veterans returning home following World War I and how they compare with today’s veterans’ experience. The two-part program will take place on Tuesday, June 20, 2017, from 1 to 4:15 p.m., at the Lewes Public Library located at 111 Adams Ave. in Lewes, Del. Admission is free and open to the public. For additional information call 302-645-1148.
The agenda for the program is as follows:
Beginning at 1 p.m. Part 1: “Soldier’s Home” by Ernest Hemingway
Discussion of Hemingway’s story found in “World War I and America: Told by the Americans Who Lived It.” This fictional context provides for a conversation regarding the lives of veterans returning home following World War I and how that compares with today’s veterans’ experience.
Beginning at 2:45 p.m. Part 2: “License to Remember”
Viewing and discussion of “License to Remember,” the Delaware Humanities Forum’s 17-minute film focusing on the homecoming reception received by some of Delaware’s Vietnam War veterans and how this experience of returning from war has changed in the last 100 years.
“Coming Home, the Toll of War” is a component program of Delaware’s 19th annual Chautauqua tent show, “Service, Suffrage, and Swing: World War I Era in Delaware,” that will take place at a variety of downtown Lewes, Del. locations from June 18–22, 2017. The five-day event is being held in commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the United States’ entry into the “war to end all wars” that was fought between 1914 and 1918. Except where noted, admission is free and open to the public. Go here for a complete listing of Chautauqua activities.
Online survey seeks public input regarding the preservation of historic places in Delaware
(DOVER, Del.—June 7, 2017)—In recent months, the Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs has been working with partners from across the state on the development of Delaware’s next statewide historic preservation plan. As part of the process, the division has been gathering public input regarding issues and priorities facing historic places in the state.
The survey contains nine questions requiring approximately 15 minutes to complete. The deadline for completing the survey is Friday, June 30, 2017. For additional information, contact the Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs’ State Historic Preservation Office at 302-736-7400.
Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs to sponsor 16 special events during June 2017
(DOVER, Del.—May 25, 2017)—During the month of June 2017, the Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs will be sponsoring 16 special programs at sites across the state. A full schedule is included below. Except where noted, all programs are free and open to the public.
Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs special events, June 2017
Saturday, June 3, 2017 “Bring Your Partners: Learn the Art of Old English Country Dancing.” Inter-active program in which visitors will discover the style that was the precursor to square dancing. First Saturday in the First State program. The Old State House, 25 The Green, Dover. Programs at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. Museum open 9 a.m.–4:30 p.m. 302-744-5054.
Saturday, June 3, 2017 “Man’s Best Friend.” Theatrical presentation explores artist Francis Barraud and his painting of one of the most celebrated canines in the world—Nipper, the dog who adorns the Victor trademark, “His Masters Voice.” First Saturday in the First State program. Johnson Victrola Museum, 375 S. New St., Dover. Programs at 1:30 and 3 p.m. Museum open 9 a.m.–4:30 p.m. 302-739-3262.
Tuesday, June 6, 2017 Lecture by retired Justice Randy Holland of the Delaware Supreme Court. Part of the Friends of the John Dickinson Mansion annual meeting. John Dickinson Plantation, 340 Kitts Hummock Road, Dover. Reception and tours of the mansion at 4 p.m. followed at 5 p.m. by the annual meeting and Justice Holland’s talk. The group will then adjourn for dinner at Sambo’s Tavern in Leipsic. Cost of the dinner is $50 per person which includes beverages and gratuity. Persons interested in attending may contact email@example.com or send a reservation and check to P.O. Box 1110, Dover, DE 19903. 302-739-3277.
Friday and Saturday, June 9 and 10, 2017 Separation Day. Celebration marking the 240th anniversary of Delaware’s separation from Great Britain and Pennsylvania and the formation of the Delaware State. Programs include activities at the New Castle Court House Museum. Downtown New Castle. Friday, 5–10 p.m. Saturday, 11 a.m.–10 p.m. 302-323-4453 or 302-545-1650.
Saturday, June 10, 2017 Demonstrations by the Thistledown Fiber Arts Guild. Program explores spinning, weaving, knitting and other fabric arts. John Dickinson Plantation, 340 Kitts Hummock Road, Dover. Program 1–3 p.m. Museum open 10 a.m.–4:30 p.m. 302-739-3277.
Thursday, June 22, 2017 “Spring Flower!”: Wine Glass Painting Party. Aided by an art instructor, guests to one of Delaware’s most historic estates will create their own hand-painted wine glass. Event includes light hor d’oeuves and cash bar. Buena Vista Conference Center, 661 S. Dupont Highway (Route 13), New Castle. 6–8 p.m. Admission $40 in advance. Go to the following for tickets. For information, call 302-323-4430.
Exhibits and displays, June 2017 In addition to special programming, the Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs is sponsoring the following exhibits and displays:
Thru August 2017 “World War II Through the Lens of William D. Willis.” Designed by the Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs, the exhibit features photographs taken by Dover, Del. native William D. Willis during World War II. From the collections of the State of Delaware. Middletown Historical Society, 216 N. Broad St., Middletown. Fri., 9 a.m.–3 p.m. First Sat. of each month, 9 a.m.–Noon. Third Wed. of each month, Noon–4 p.m. Other times by appointment. Free admission but call 302-378-7466 before planning a visit.
Ongoing “Discovering Delaware’s Maritime Past.” Display explores the DeBraak, a shipwrecked 18th-century British warship including a photo of the hull recovery, reproductions of items aboard ship, and a model of the vessel. Zwaanendael Museum, 102 Kings Highway, Lewes. April 1–Oct. 31: Tue.–Sat., 10 a.m.–4:30 p.m.; Sun., 1:30–4:30 p.m. Nov. 1–March 31: Wed.–Sat., 10 a.m.–4:30 p.m. 302-645-1148.
Ongoing “Five Stories.” Display explores the varied lives of people who lived on the plantation including Dickinson family members, tenant farmers, tradesmen, free blacks, indentured servants and enslaved individuals. John Dickinson Plantation Welcome Center, 340 Kitts Hummock Road, Dover. April 1–Sept. 30: Tue.–Sat., 10 a.m.–4:30 p.m.; Sun., 1:30–4:30 p.m. Oct. 1–March 31: Tue.–Sat., 10 a.m.–4:30 p.m. 302-739-3277.
Ongoing “The Old State House: A True Restoration 1976-2016.” Display explores preservation work that has been conducted since Delaware’s first state capitol building was restored to its original appearance in 1976. From the collections of the State of Delaware. The Old State House, 25 The Green, Dover. Mon.–Sat., 9 a.m.–4:30 p.m. Sun., 1:30–4:30 p.m. 302-744-5054.
Ongoing “A Seaborne Citizenry: The DeBraak and Its Atlantic World.” Exhibit utilizes artifacts recovered from His Majesty’s Sloop of War DeBraak, a British warship that sank off the Delaware coast on May 25, 1798 to tell the story of the vessel, its crew and the historical context within which it operated in the Atlantic World of the late 18th century. Zwaanendael Museum, 102 Kings Highway, Lewes. April 1–Oct. 31: Tue.–Sat., 10 a.m.–4:30 p.m.; Sun., 1:30–4:30 p.m. Nov. 1–March 31: Wed.–Sat., 10 a.m.–4:30 p.m. 302-645-1148.
Ongoing Sculpture by Charles Parks. Display of works by the noted Wilmington artist featuring historical and political figures including a Minute Man, and presidents Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford and George W. Bush. New Castle Court House Museum, 211 Delaware St., New Castle. Tue.–Sat., 10 a.m.–4:30 p.m. Sun., 1:30 p.m.–4:30 p.m. 302-323-4453.
Ongoing “Simple Machines.” Exhibit demonstrating the six “simple machines”—incline ramp, screw, wedge, pulley, lever and wheel—that constitute the elementary building blocks of which many more-complicated machines are composed. John Dickinson Plantation Welcome Center, 340 Kitts Hummock Road, Dover. April 1–Sept. 30: Tue.–Sat., 10 a.m.–4:30 p.m.; Sun., 1:30–4:30 p.m. Oct. 1–March 31: Tue.–Sat., 10 a.m.–4:30 p.m. 302-739-3277.