COVID-19 Updates

Delaware is currently under a State of Emergency due to the Coronavirus Outbreak. As of Tuesday, March 24, 2020, at 8:00 am, a Stay-at-Home Order is in effect for non-essential Delaware businesses, and individuals. On Sunday, March 29, 2020, Governor Carney ordered all out-of-state visitors to quarantine themselves for 14 days. Please do your part to keep everyone safe and, if you are able, STAY HOME!

  • Division of Health and Social Services
    • Information Line: 1-866-408-1899
    • Information Line (TTY): 1-800-232-5460
  • Press Releases related to the coronavirus can be found here
  • For the latest Delaware updates, please go to de.gov/coronavirus

While we will do our best to keep you up to date, due to the ever changing nature of this pandemic updates may lag behind realtime. Please visit the Immunization Coalition of Delaware webpage (a program of the Academy/DPHA and the Division of Public Health) and the DHSS website (above) for more up to date information.

More Resources:

Postponements and Cancellations due to COVID-19

As COVID-19 continues to spread in the United States, and now in Delaware, we are taking additional steps to slow or mitigate its spread and protect the well-being of our community. These steps include restrictions on events where the public is gathered together, including our jointly operated Delaware Mini Medical School (with ChristianaCare), and the UD-Osher Lifelong Learning Institute’s “Medical, Dental, and Public Health” lecture series. At this time, both Mini Medical School and the Osher Series have been postponed indefinitely.

We are considering options to continue Mini Medical School via an online platform, and we will communicate out to registered attendees as additional information becomes available.  It is our hope that the Osher Lecture Series will continue this fall.

Our 90th Annual Meeting, will be postponed. More details will be available as the situation unfolds.

THANK YOU for your help and understanding!

DPH Announces Coronavirus Call Center

DOVER, DE (March 4, 2020) As part of the state’s response to the ongoing coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak that has impacted many countries, including the U.S., the Division of Public Health (DPH) is announcing the opening of a call center at its State Health Operations Center (SHOC) in Smyrna. The call center is open to take questions from the public, schools, medical providers, state agencies and community organizations. Hours of operation will be 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. Hours may be adjusted to accommodate for peak volume. Any changes will be communicated through press release and social media communications.

The call center number is 1-866-408-1899. There is also an email address where individuals can submit questions: DPHCall@delaware.gov .  A recorded message will provide instructions for persons calling after 4:30 p.m. or on weekends who may have symptoms of concern.  Additionally, if you are a returning traveler from a country with a level 2 Travel Alert or higher (China, Japan, Italy, South Korea or Iran), and have a medical emergency, you should contact 9-1-1.

“We are receiving a tremendous number of calls from concerned individuals, and from organizations seeking guidance on what they should be doing to mitigate community spread of coronavirus disease, should it occur in Delaware,” said DPH Director Dr. Karyl Rattay. “Opening this call center will enable us to answer people’s very valid concerns and enable key epidemiology staff to better focus on the job of monitoring returning travelers, and maintaining our high level of surveillance.”

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DPH PRESENTS 2019 STATE HEALTH IMPROVEMENT PLAN PROGRESS REPORT

 

DOVER (October 23, 2019) – Today, the Division of Public Health (DPH), along with state and community partners, hosted its annual stakeholder meeting to discuss the Delaware State Health Improvement Plan (SHIP) and present the 2019 annual SHIP report. The report serves as an update on progress made and identifies to what degree, DPH and its stakeholders and partners are aligned with the SHIP’s priority areas. 

 

The purpose of the State Health Improvement Plan is to describe how DPH and the community it serves will work together to improve the health of Delaware’s population. Communities, stakeholders, and partners can use the SHIP to set priorities, direct the use of resources, and develop and implement projects, programs and policies. The SHIP’s four priority areas, identified through a State Health Needs Assessment (SHNA) process, are: chronic disease, maternal and child health, substance use disorder and mental health.

 

“The Delaware State Health Improvement Plan is more comprehensive than the roles and responsibilities of the health department alone, and depends on the participation of a broad set of community stakeholders and partners,” said DPH Director Dr. Karyl Rattay. “These community members have done an outstanding job to improve health by aligning efforts and investments in projects, programs and policies.”

 

The SHIP process follows a five-year action cycle; the most recent SHIP began in 2015 to 2016, with the needs assessment. Wednesday’s annual SHIP meeting brought together stakeholders for the first time since working on the assessment, and provided an opportunity for attendees to discuss progress made this past year, as well as identify gaps. The 2019 SHIP Report discusses which recommendations have the greatest degrees of alignment with stakeholder efforts, and where more work is needed. The 2019 SHIP Annual Report is available on DelawareSHIP.org, which has an updated resources section and an updated look.

 

The report shows that there is substantial alignment underway across each of the Delaware SHIP priority areas, with the greatest emphasis seen in the area of chronic disease. The greatest degree of alignment was observed in “making the healthy choice the easy choice”; the least amount of alignment is occurring around efforts to increase the number of Medicaid dental providers in underserved areas. In the area of maternal and child health, stakeholder groups are more aligned to promote health education and emphasize healthy parenting in schools than they are around efforts to incorporate graduated levels for health education in schools. In addressing substance use disorder, stakeholder groups are in strong alignment to reduce substance use disorders overall, and are particularly focused on opioid use disorder. Less alignment is seen around reducing tobacco and tobacco substitute use; however, the passage and signing of Senate Bill 25 in 2019, which raised the minimum age to buy tobacco and vape products from 18 to 21, is a sign of great progress.  

 

In the area of mental health, stakeholders are most aligned around improving access to behavioral and mental health services, with less alignment found around providing each school with a trained mental health provider. However, efforts to help fund and/or expand these type of services are underway through the FY2020 state budget and federal grants. The needs assessment also determined that none of these recommendations can or should be implemented separately. To receive the biggest benefit, the Delaware SHIP recommends a policy, systems and environmental (PSE) approach. System-wide, stakeholders have promoted health in all policies, engaged in social marketing campaigns, and addressed social determinants of health. 

 

In 2021, the SHIP’s partners will participate in another needs assessment, which will lead to the publication of the next SHIP in 2023. 

 

Implementation of the SHIP project involves a collaboration between DPH, the Partnership for Healthy Communities at the University of Delaware and the Delaware Academy of Medicine/Delaware Public Health Association. Other stakeholder groups include hospitals, Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs), health-focused groups, coalitions, and research and education institutions. As part of the SHIP’s five-year action cycle, DPH conducts a periodic review process that helps the agency understand the needs of the community, identify gaps in services, and respond to emerging and continuous trends in health and well-being.

 

Dr. Kara Odom Walker, Secretary

Jill Fredel, Director of Communications

302-255-9047, Cell 302-357-7498

Email:  jill.fredel@delaware.gov

 

DPH Media Contact:
Jennifer Brestel
302-744-4907, Cell 302-612-6223
Email: 
jennifer.brestel@delaware.gov

in memoriam – LTG William Herbert Duncan, MD (DE NG Ret.)

 LTG WILLIAM H. DUNCAN. M.D.

18 February 1930 – 19 December 2018

Authored by Joseph Kestner MD; Past-President (2006-2008) and current Board member, Delaware Academy of Medicine / Delaware Public Health Association

Bill was a native Delawarean hailing from New Castle.  He attended the William Penn High School and graduated from the PS DuPont High School in Wilmington.  After a year at the University of Delaware he entered the U.S. Military Academy by means of a competitive appointment as the son of a deceased veteran of WW II.  Following graduation from West Point in 1952 and some training which included jump school he was sent to Korea as an infantry lieutenant.  At the completion of his military obligation he entered Temple University Medical School graduating in 1959.  An internship at the Delaware Hospital followed.  Bill then opened a family medicine practice at Foulk and Silverside Roads in North Wilmington.  Shortly thereafter Bill was appointed the part time supervisor of the Delaware Hospital ER.  Following the merger of the Delaware, Memorial and Wilmington General Hospitals, Bill became the director of ambulatory and emergency services of the Wilmington Medical Center, a full time position.  In 1975 Bill was appointed vice president for medical affairs at St. Francis Hospital

This is when I first met Bill.   He and I interacted on the credentials committee where applications to join the medical staff were reviewed and evaluated.  On occasion there was controversy.  Bill always valued the perspective of the committee members. Bill was also a source of advice on dealing with hospital administrators.  If there was an adverse event or unexpected death (prior to review committees) Bill would be on the phone wanting to know the details.  As an examiner for the FAA and air traffic controllers he would follow up on patients he referred.  We worked together on nominating committees where he was transparent and open to advice and suggestions.  Bill retired from St. Francis in 1993.

All during this time Bill was active in the PA and later the DE National Guard eventually as commanding officer of the 116th Surgical Hospital (Mobile Army) and later as commander of the 261st Signal Command.  During his military career Bill served in three branches of the army:  Infantry, Medical Corps and Signal Corps.  He retired from the National Guard in 1987 receiving many recognitions and awards.  Bill was appointed a charter member of the Army Historical Foundation.  His lifelong interest in the military also continued with the Delaware National Guard Heritage Committee and the Delaware Military Museum.

Bill was the 19th president of the Delaware Academy of Medicine in 1976 and 77.  He was chairman of the planning committee for the Academy’s 50th anniversary celebration in 1980.  This three day event included cultural, educational and social activities.  Some notable speakers included Isaac Asimov, Ph.D., Eli Ginsberg, Ph.D., and Edmond Pelligrino, M.D.  Bill believed his most significant accomplishment while president of the Academy was to stabilize a precarious financial situation.

Bill was an author.  His Founders of the Medical Society of Delaware, was published in 2017.  He was working on a biography of James Tilton, M.D., a founder of the Medical Society of Delaware and its 1st president at the time of his death.  He documented the service of Delaware Physician Veterans of WW II (1994) and the Korean War (2000) in the Delaware Medical Journal.  His most recent effort, the Contemporary Veterans Project published in the Delaware Medical Journal in Nov-Dec 2018 was to recognize the service of those Delaware Physician Veterans post Korean War.  This is where Bill and I reconnected.  It was my honor to assist Bill in completing this project and identifying every possible Delaware physician veteran post Korean War.  This collaboration was interesting, rewarding and fun – all because of Bill Duncan.

Bill was a leader.  He was open, transparent, articulate and he listened.  He had a vision of what was to be accomplished.  He led infantry units, medical services, the St. Francis Hospital Medical Staff, Temple University Alumni, a U.S. Army Mobile Surgical Hospital and Signal Battalion, the Medical Society of Delaware and the Delaware Academy of Medicine.  One thing to recognize is whatever Bill did – he did well.

He would on occasion speak of his Dad, a soldier and veteran of WW I and WW II who died when Bill was quite young.  I can just imagine what Bill’s Dad might say if he was here today, “Well done, son.  Mission accomplished.”

Ted Kestner, M.D.

To see an interview of Bill Duncan, MD, taped in 2012, click here

Delaware Mini Medical School

Due to COVID-19, and with an abundance of caution for the well-being of our community, Mini Medical School is being postponed indefinitely.  We are exploring options to deliver
the course content online to previously registered individuals, and will communicate details as they become available.

Designed for individuals who want to gain a deeper understanding of the world of medicine, Mini-Medical School is a free, six-week series of lectures for adults of all ages and high school students co-sponsored with ChristianaCare.

Attendees learn about important trends in diagnosing and treating illness and general health topics. Faculty will provide in-depth lectures and allow time for questions to enhance the experience. There are no tests or grades. No previous medical training is required. Participants who attend all six sessions will receive a Certificate of Achievement.

Light refreshments will be served.

 

2020 Mini-Med Lecture Schedule

Week 1. Special Health Care Needs – Making the Transition to Adulthood for those with Special Needs

Thursday, February 27, 2020
Registration – 6:30 p.m., Lecture – 7 to 9 p.m.

 

Week 2. Kidney Transplant: Preparation by the Donor and Recipient

Thursday, March 5, 2020
Registration – 6:30 p.m., Lecture – 7 to 9 p.m.

 

Week 3. Psychological Assessment: Tools and Methods for Understanding Our Behaviors

Thursday, March 12, 2020
Registration – 6:30 p.m., Lecture – 7 to 9 p.m.

 

Week 4. The Evolution of the Nurse Practitioner & Physicans Assistant Role in Medicine

Thursday, March 19, 2020
Registration – 6:30 p.m., Lecture – 7 to 9 p.m.

 

Week 5. The New Field of Immunotherapy

Thursday, March 26, 2020
Registration – 6:30 p.m., Lecture – 7 to 9 p.m.

 

Week 6. Parkinson’s Disease and Movement Disorders

Thursday, April 2, 2020
Registration – 6:30 p.m., Lecture – 7 to 9 p.m.

 

Seating is limited. Register online or call 800-693-CARE (2273).