DPH invites public to help refine State Health Improvement Plan

DOVER — The public and health stakeholders are invited to engage in a virtual roundtable to further refine the 2020 State Health Improvement Plan Progress Report.

The annual SHIP report describes how the Division of Public Health and the community it serves will work together to improve the condition of Delaware’s population and the conditions that support health and well-being.

Karyl Rattay

“The work of protecting and improving health in Delaware depends upon the collaboration and collective action of many public and private sectors, partners and stakeholders,” said DPH Director Dr. Karyl Rattay. “While the state health department has an important role to play and can provide guidance and data, we can only help Delawareans reach their optimal health when working with a broad and robust network of partners.”

Partners from government, nonprofit, business and community-based organizations/grassroots collectives within health and non-health sectors can use the State Health Improvement Plan report to set priorities, direct the use of resources and develop and implement projects, programs and policies.

Hosted by DPH and the Partnership for Healthy Communities at the University of Delaware, the roundtable will be held Jan. 20 from 9:30-11:30 a.m.

The virtual event will discuss the report findings and allow participants to provide input. Although there is no fee to join, registration is required. For more details and to register, visit delawareship.org/upcoming-ship-events.

“We all have a role to play in working to improve the health outcomes of Delawareans and the distribution of such outcomes in communities across our state,” said PHC Director Rita Landgraf. “Cross-sector collaborations, community engagement and partnerships are key.”

The SHIP has four priority areas: chronic disease, maternal and child health, substance use disorder and mental health.

The 2020 SHIP report provides an opportunity to assess progress and ensure that stakeholder activity is synergistic and aligned around recommendations from the 2018-23 SHIP plan.

As the state is midway through the five-year plan, this report highlights new and emerging evidence-based strategies and promising practices for population health improvement to be considered moving forward, while summarizing key activities already underway in Delaware.

Systemwide recommendations call for policy, systems and environmental change, strategies to address the social determinants of health, the promotion of health in all policies and the incorporation of social marketing.

DPH and PHC will implement the State Health Improvement Plan. PHC will oversee UD’s new SHIP Fellowship Program and provide structured opportunities for student engagement and scholarship to support SHIP stakeholders in planning, implementation and refinement of the state plan.

The SHIP Fellowship Program and this type of community-engaged scholarship for health will be especially timely for the state’s COVID-19 recovery.

The 2020 SHIP Progress Report is available at delawareship.org, which has updated resources and a new look.