DPH LAUNCHES MY HEALTHY COMMUNITY DATA PORTAL

DOVER (May 13, 2019) — Today, the Division of Public Health (DPH) launched a data portal allowing Delawareans to assess the overall health of their communities. The My Healthy Community data portal delivers neighborhood-focused population health, environmental and social determinant of health data to the public. The innovative technological showpiece, which was unveiled at the Rt. 9 Library and Innovation Center in New Castle, allows users to navigate the data at the smallest geographical area available, to understand and explore data about the factors that influence health.

“This is another example of how we are making data more transparent, accessible, and easy to understand,” said Governor John Carney. “Sharing community-level statistics and data allows Delawareans to understand what is occurring in their neighborhoods, make informed decisions about their health, and take steps to continue improving our quality of life.”

Delaware residents are able to explore a variety of data indicators in the following categories: community characteristics, the environment, chronic disease, and mental health and substance use. Air quality data, asthma incidence data, public and private drinking water results, and drug overdose and death data are currently available. Over the next several months, additional categories and data indicators are expected to be added including community safety, maternal and child health, healthy lifestyles, health services utilization, infectious diseases, education, socioeconomic influencers, lead poisoning, suicide and homicide, and populations vulnerable to climate change.

“Our health and the environment in which we live are inherently connected,” said DHSS Secretary Dr. Kara Odom Walker. “The portal will allow communities, governments and stakeholders to better understand the issues that impact our health, determine priorities and track progress. Communities can use the data to initiate community-based approaches, support and facilitate discussions that describe and define population health priorities, and educate residents about their community’s health and the environment in which they live.”

Residents can search health indicators by street address, ZIP code, census tract, neighborhood, town/city, county and state. In addition, they can compare their community’s health measures with other Delaware communities, their county, and the state as a whole, as well as view data trends over time. To ensure compliance with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), not all data can be made available at the community level therefore, the system is designed to provide data for the smallest geographic area possible.

“Access to data is a key factor in making progress toward a stronger and healthier Delaware. The ability to easily access such crucial information like substance use and overdose data by ZIP code enables Delawareans to compare it to larger areas and examine trends,” said Lt. Governor Bethany Hall-Long. Drug overdose deaths, non-fatal drug overdoses, and youth use of prescription pain medicines are available through My Healthy Community. Also for the first time, Emergency Department non-fatal drug overdose data from DPH, and Prescription Monitoring Program (PMP) data will be available thanks to a partnership with the Division of Professional Regulation.

“Addiction, air quality, chronic disease and drinking water quality impact every one of us,” said DPH Director Dr. Karyl Rattay. “When communities become aware of the level at which these issues are occurring in their neighborhoods, it can spur action that can improve the quality of life for current and future generations.”

“People want to know detailed information about the health of their communities,” said Rysheema Dixon, Wilmington City Council Member At-Large. “Providing this data with a neighborhood lens is going to open Delawareans’ eyes to how healthy – or unhealthy – their communities really are.”

My Healthy Community has been years in the making through a partnership among several DPH programs, the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC), the Division of Substance Use and Mental Health (DSAMH), and the Delaware Health Care Commission (HCC). $138,500 in seed funding for this project was provided by DNREC in 2016, $79,000 for the initial research phase, and $59,500 for construction of the of the data portal’s framework with supplemental funding from DPH through Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) grant funds ($30,000 for development). DPH’s contractor for this project was Green River of Brattleboro, Vermont.

“Health and environmental agencies have a long history of separately tracking trends, when, in fact, environmental conditions and health outcomes are often closely related,” said DNREC Secretary Shawn M. Garvin. “This public-access portal brings health and environmental data together and puts this information at the fingertips of all Delawareans, including healthcare and environmental professionals.”

Additional funding was provided by DSAMH for substance use disorder (SUD) data and from the HCC to build in additional health indicators starting this summer, that will also serve to highlight Delaware’s progress in meeting health care benchmarks (obesity, tobacco use, preventable Emergency Department visits, etc.) as part of DHSS’s ongoing efforts to bring transparency to health care spending and to set targets for improving the health of Delawareans. Future funding has been secured from DNREC for data on vulnerable populations and climate change, and from DPH through CDC grants for violent death data and internal sharing of timely SUD data.

My Healthy Community encompasses the Delaware Environmental Public Health Tracking Network (EPHTN), and benefits from participation in an Environmental Public Health Tracking Peer-to-Peer Fellowship program through the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO), with the Kentucky Department of Health as Delaware’s EPHTN mentor.

Access the My Healthy Community data portal at MyHealthyCommunity.dhss.delaware.gov. Comments can be submitted via an online feedback form.

APHA Call for Abstracts

Present on Behalf of DPHA at the APHA Annual Meeting (Scientific Sessions, Posters) Public Health 3.0 builds on the past successes and provides a new focus where public health is no longer defined solely by the public health department and its traditional programs. The APHA Council of Affiliates (CoA) is …

DHSA’s Population Health Shark Tank!

Join the DHSA for a Live Event!

Three research teams have been chosen to have the chance to pitch their population health research proposal to a panel of DHSA representatives! The panel will score the proposals, and the highest scoring proposal will receive a check for $50,000 to fund their research!

Proposals will be scored on the following:   

  • Overall research plan
  • Innovative aspect of the population health-based proposal
  • Sustainability of the  project
  • How the project will be impactful to the Delaware  community

Click here to learn more!

Surgeon General’s Message on the Current Measles Outbreaks

Dear Partners,

The Nation’s Doctor would like to share a very important message with you about the current measles outbreaks occurring throughout our country.

Measles is a highly-contagious respiratory disease caused by a virus. It spreads through the air through coughing and sneezing. Measles starts with a fever, runny nose, cough, red eyes, and sore throat, and is followed by a rash that spreads all over the body.

Measles is so contagious that if one person has it, 9 out of 10 people around that person will also become infected if they’re not yet vaccinated. You can get measles just by being in a room where a person with measles has been, even up to two hours after that person has left.  And what is even more worrisome is that an infected person can spread measles to others even before the infected person develops symptoms—from four days before they develop the measles rash through four days afterwards.

The good news is that measles can be prevented with the MMR (measles, mumps, and rubella) vaccine.

The MMR vaccine has an excellent safety record and is highly effective. It is one of the most effective vaccines we have in our country.

Surgeon General Adams hopes you will share his message with your networks. It’s up to us to protect the health of our communities.

For more information, please visit CDC.gov

Office of the Surgeon General

Lt. Governor’s Challenge

Lt. Governor Bethany Hall-Long invites you to join the celebration as the state of Delaware kicks off the Lt. Governor’s Challenge — an ongoing opportunity for Delawareans to embrace healthier living, inspire their peers and be recognized for their achievements. More than a recognition program for health and wellness initiatives, the Lt. Governor’s Challenge is an opportunity for everyone to drive change and to elevate the well-being, productivity, and prosperity among communities in our state!

The Kickoff Celebration is a free public event, open to all individuals and groups in Delaware that are passionate about improving physical and emotional health through individual and communal activities.

When: Thursday, October 25 from 2:00 – 3:00 pm
Where: DE TURF Sports Complex | 4000 Bay Road | Frederica, DE 19946
Find the flyer here!

Kickoff Highlights

  • Remarks by the Lt. Governor!
  • Official reveal of the Lt. Governor’s Challenge vision and platform!
  • Preview of the Lt. Governor’s Challenge nomination and resource website!
  • Networking with state leaders in health and well-being!

Please RSVP by October 23 to info@ltgovernorschallenge.org

Flu Season

2018-2019 Flu Season

Check out the Division of Public Health’s Bulletin – Special Flu Edition to learn more about the flu.

Numerous flu clinics are scheduled across Delaware.  To find them:

Department of Public Health Flu Clinics

New Castle County

  • Monday to Friday | 8:15 am – 11:30 am | Hudson State Service Center | 501 Ogletown Road, Newark
  • Monday to Friday | 8:15 am – 11:30 am | Porter State Service Center | 509 W. 8th Street, Wilmington

Kent County

  • Monday (1:00 pm – 3:00 pm) & Wednesday (9:00 am – 11:00 am) | Milford State Service Center | 253 NE Front Street, Milford (By Appointment Only)
  • Monday to Thursday | 8:00 am – 3:30 pm | Williams State Service Center | 805 River Road, Dover (By Appointment Only)

Sussex County

  • Monday – Friday| 8:30 am – 4:00 pm | Shipley State Service Center | 350 Virginia Avenue, Seaford
  • Thursdays | 9:00 am – 11:00 am | Adams State Service Center | 544 S. Bedford Street, Georgetown

Mini Med 2018 On YouTube!

Did you miss 2018’s Mini Medical School? Watch it on YouTube!

The 2018 Mini Medical School program, a collaboration between the Delaware Academy of Medicine and Christiana Care Health System, concluded in April, with six lectures and hundreds of eager-to-learn attendees. For the first time in the annual program’s history, the lectures have been captured on video and are now available for viewing on YouTube.

Watch here!

Smartphone CPR App in New Castle County

Leaders in New Castle County, Delaware, have launched a new smartphone application they say will save lives when help is urgently needed.

Activated when a call is made to 911, the PulsePoint app alerts and directs trained residents to people nearby who need cardiopulmonary resuscitation or CPR. County Executive Matt Meyer said citizen responders, who include off-duty first responders, can make all the difference in those critical moments before first responders arrive.

Learn more