DHSA and DIMER: Partnerships & Progress for Delawareans

December 16, 2019

For nearly 20 years, Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine (PCOM) has served as the official osteopathic medical school of Delaware—a state that currently does not have its own medical school—through its partnership with the Delaware Institute of Medical Education and Research (DIMER). The organization provides funding to the College to deliver medical education to Delaware residents, in the hopes that those students will return to practice after graduation.

PCOM and DIMER recently celebrated their relationship, and the 50th anniversary of DIMER, with a dinner honoring Sherman Townsend, board chair of DIMER and honorary degree recipient from PCOM; alumnus and PCOM Board Member Vincent Lobo, DO ’65, who was instrumental in facilitating the partnership between DIMER and PCOM; and Omar Khan, MD, MHS, president and CEO of the Delaware Health Sciences Alliance—of which PCOM is a member institution.

“By partnering with DIMER for these many years, PCOM has been able to provide high-quality medical education for individuals with a passion for healthcare, who may not have otherwise been able to receive it,” said Deborah Benvenger, chief admissions officer at PCOM. “It is our hope that these caring, competent students will return to their home state to serve their hometown communities.”

Read the article here.

During the evening, DHSA President and CEO Omar Khan, MD, MHS, discussed the relationship between DHSA and DIMER.  That presentation can be found here.

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

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.

Lecture Series @ Osher Lifelong Learning Institute, Spring 2020

 

 

Due to COVID-19 the University of Delaware has
canceled all classes, a decision which the Academy/DPHA
strongly supports for the well-being of the community.


February 11, 2020: 
Hickam’s Dictum

February 18, 2020: A Persistent Fever

February 25, 2020: What’s Old is New Again

March 3, 2020: A Tale in Two Parts

March 10, 2020: The Genetics of Disease

March 17, 2020: Irritable Bowel Syndrome

March 24, 2020: Basic Lifesaving Techniques

March 31, 2020: Spring Break (no class)

April 7, 2020: Unplanned Weight Loss

April 14, 2020: Dicken’s Diagnosis

April 21, 2020: A Disease So Old, It’s Mentioned in the Bible

April 28, 2020: Infant Emergencies

May 5, 2020: Serious Accidents

May 12, 2020: Young Adult Diagnoses

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 Journal of Public Health Covered in the APHA Nation’s Health Newspaper

We are honored to have been interviewed and included in the July issue of The Nation’s Health, in an article titled:

Affiliate journals advance health research, collaboration: Field practice garnering publication

Executive Director and publisher, Tim Gibbs, and Deputy Editor, Liz Healy, are quoted in the article which you can read here:

http://thenationshealth.aphapublications.org/content/48/5/17.1.full?ijkey=4ftC0maqDf1PA&keytype=ref&siteid=nathealth

The Nation’s Health is the monthly newspaper of the American Public Health Association, a source of news from and for the public health field. The newspaper covers issues of interest to public health professionals, including news on federal, state and local public health policy; developments and trends in public health science and practice; global health issues; research findings; and coverage of state and local health departments.