Plan4Health Workshop

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.

dle pics 222  dle pics 225

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.
  • Networking
  • 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.