Alcohol and drug abuse, mental health, obesity, healthcare, medication access and food insecurity are the county’s top health priorities, its health commissioner told Delaware City Council.
Delaware General Health District Commissioner Shelia Hiddleson discussed the agency’s community health assessment, accreditation, and renewal levy at council’s last meeting.
Hiddleson said a 35-member Partnership for a Healthy Delaware County was commissioned by the DGHD to do the assessment in 2013. The assessment included a phone survey of 1,218 county residents, and an online and in-person survey of 265 county residents. She said the Partnership, with community members, will develop strategies to address those health priorities in a Community Health Improvement Plan that should be completed this summer.
The assessment data is posted on the Featured Links portion of the DGHD’s website (delawarehealth.org).
“Another exciting thing for us is we have applied for national accreditation,” Hiddleson said. She said there are 22 agencies across the country that are newly accredited, and only two in the state of Ohio. Hiddleson said the district has had a site visit and should know soon whether they will receive the accreditation.
“What that shows is that we are able to provide the 10 essential board of health services,” she said.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention lists the services as: monitor health status to identify and solve community health problems; diagnose and investigate health problems and health hazards in the community; inform, educate, and empower people about health issues; mobilize community partnerships and action to identify and solve health problems; develop policies and plans that support individual and community health efforts; enforce laws and regulations that protect health insurance and safety; link people to needed personal health services and assure the provision of health care when otherwise unavailable; assure a competent public and personal health care workforce; evaluate effectiveness, accessibility, and quality of personal and population-based health services; and research for new insights and innovative solutions to health problems.
“The health district will have renewal levy on the ballot May 6,” Hiddleson said. “It’s just a renewal. We have a 10-year levy that is the same millage as 1984, 0.7 mill. If you have a property valuation of $100,000, it will cost you $19.20 a year. So we think we’re a pretty good bargain. That does help us to be able to provide a lot of essential services.”
Lastly, Hiddleson said there will be a District Advisory Council meeting next week to appoint members for the DGHD’s Board of Health. The board is appointed by the county’s mayors, township trustee presidents and a county commissioner.