ABOVE PHOTO: Members of the new Delaware County Health Dept. team take a photo. (Photo/delcopa.gov)
On February 22, Delaware County Health Department Director Melissa Lyon introduced the Delaware County Health Department (DCHD) leadership team that includes Marie Carbonara, division administrator of environmental health; Rosemarie Halt, interim division administrator of population health/COVID-19 and board of health chair; Stephanie Reese, division administrator of personal health; Lisa O’Mahony, public health physician, and Victor Alos Rullan, epidemiologist. These administrators are leading the department’s team of 53 newly hired local experts to improve the health, safety, and quality of life of Delaware County residents.
“After years of anticipation and preparation, this is an exciting time for Delaware County to finally have its own Health Department dedicated to the health, safety, and well-being of our residents,” said Delaware County Council Chair Dr. Monica Taylor. “With Melissa Lyon’s and the Division leadership, this team has started to build a comprehensive foundation for the Health Department that will help improve the lives of Delaware County residents.”
The Delaware County Health Department Division administrators have already started the process to address health equity in the following ways:
Environmental Health Division will prevent, minimize, and contain adverse health events and conditions resulting from communicable disease originating from food, water, vector-borne outbreaks, chronic disease, environmental hazards, injuries, and health disparities. Personal Health Division will promote healthy behaviors, preventing chronic illness and the spread of infectious diseases, and ensure accessibility to quality health care by offering specific services and programs to all residents in Delaware County.
In the next year, the team will focus on tuberculosis management and treatment, vaccines for children, HIV services, investigations of reportable diseases (for example, measles, Lyme disease, and meningitis), maternal-child health, rabies bite investigations, school nurse liaisons, and specialized clinics for Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs).
Population Health Division will utilize the Public Health 3.0 model to build cross-sector partnerships that enhance collaboration, create funding opportunities, and promote collective action with community partners, agencies, and healthcare institutions to ensure health equity in all communities.
These partnerships, along with department-led community health prevention strategies and emergency preparedness planning, will work to address social determinants of health determined by the analysis of hyperlocal data.
“While we focus on achieving the standards set forth by the State in Act 315, we are also delving into hyperlocal data to identify gaps in health and activate the necessary community stakeholders to tackle these issues and build a healthy, thriving, and stronger Delaware County,” Lyon said. “Our community-based approach will improve health equity for all residents, regardless of race, nationality, age, gender, and socioeconomic differences over time.”
Local healthcare partners, including Health Partners Plans, the Independence Blue Cross Foundation, Keystone First, Trinity Health, ChesPenn, Main Line Health, and community partner, The Foundation for Delaware County, were in attendance and recognized for their partnership, shared passion, and dedication in helping the County launch a health department to build healthy thriving communities.
“As the organization that established the Delaware County Public Health Fund to help raise charitable donations for the health department’s efforts, we are excited to partner with Ms. Lyon and her team to build a healthy Delaware County,” said Frances M. Sheehan, president of The Foundation for Delaware County. “Our citizens deserve the highest quality government services capable of addressing today’s health problems, and one that is prepared to tackle future challenges as well.”
The video presentation can be viewed at: www.youtube.com/watch?v=CmxpLO_z6ns.
For more information about the Delaware County Health Department, please visit: https://delcopa.gov/health.