On May 4, 2016 we held a DEPlan4Health Workshop at the Kent County Administration Building in Dover, Delaware.
28 people attended this meeting including personnel from various Departments of the State of Delaware (planning & public health), the EPA, local federally qualified health centers, Nemours, the Delaware Alliance for Nonprofit Advancement (DANA), the Delaware State Housing Authority, NCALL Research, Bayhealth, and from the co-sponsors: Delaware Chapter of the American Planning Association and the Delaware Public Health Association.
The complete presentation can be viewed as a pdf document here: May 4 presentation with maps. The main presentation was made by David Edgell and Michelle Eichinger.
After the presentation we broke into two groups. Resulting from our group work on a SWOT Analysis (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) of the presentation we came up with the following notes:
Reactions to the Presentation and Data:
- Surprised Harrington did not show more need. of Public Health’s experience is that residents in that area need more services.
- Make sure to get the non-profit sector’s perspective on these issues.
- The presence (or absence) of sidewalks in suburban or rural areas is not necessarily a predictor of whether or not people / children will walk.
- Zip codes don’t track or reflect well with the landscape.
- Where does the Census data show areas of density. Zip codes all include built up as well as very rural areas.
- May need to focus on Census Tracts.
Strengths of Kent County in regards to Healthy Eating and Active Living:
- Emphasis on fresh produce.
- Organized sports.
- Scaling up community gardens for food and education.
- Renewed emphasis on crosswalks.
- Good agency collaboration.
- Governor’s emphasis on physical activity.
Weaknesses of Kent County in regards to Healthy Eating and Active Living:
- Fast food.
- Not a lot of community involvement or civic engagement.
- Still too much emphasis on traditional land use and development (e.g. zoning. . . ).
- Networking for help [presumably lack of networking- ed.]
- Destinations focused on the major highways – malls, auto centric.
- Emphasis on single occupancy vehicles, not public transit.
Opportunities to improve Kent County in regards to Healthy Eating and Active Living:
- How about a mobile green grocer?
- Improve bus transportation / transit.
- Improve headways
- Non-profit transit – community development network
- DNREC – 2 initiatives to link: Bayshore initiative (more trails); No child left inside.
- A lot of farms to link in – food distribution network.
- Willing governments in Kent County and the City of Dover.
- Significant medical resources.
- Schools are potential shared use of greenspace and recreational space.
- We need to connect the dots on what activities are going on in Delaware regarding health.
- Learn from the Bayhealth / Nanticoke / Beebe coalition in Sussex: Healthier Sussex County
- Education about lifestyle.
- Learn more about travel patterns through origin and destination studies.
- EPA tool called EJ Scan is indexed and can provide additional data at finer scale.
- State Department of Health and Social Services is a possible data source.
- Coordinate efforts with consumer representatives, non-profits in food and healthy eating space and faith communities.
- Align activities with the DE Center for Health Innovation.
- Focus on communities currently targeted for community rehab by Delaware State Housing Authority.
Threats in Kent County to improving Healthy Eating and Active Living:
- Resources [presumably lack thereof – ed.].
- Political will.
- Loss of insurance, e.g. Highmark [reference to current dispute between Bayhealth, Kent County’s hospital system, and Highmark Blue Cross / Blue Shield, the largest health insurance in the State – ed.]
Where should we focus for the charrettes?
- Collaboration – identify and work with these groups.
- Identify the communities in need.
- Use social media to engage, especially for charrettes.