Health Department Virtual Town Hall Highlights Health Needs in Delaware County

A screenshot of the virtual town hall meeting from Aug. 20. Image via Philadelphia Tribune.

Delaware County updated its health department plans with a virtual town hall Thursday attended by 200 people, writes Zachariah Hughes for the Philadelphia Tribune.

Delaware County Council, The Foundation for Delaware County, and WHYY co-hosted the meeting.   It was moderated by Sandra Clark, WHYY’s vice president for news and civic dialogue.

“By the end of 2021, we hope, and our goal, is to have a Delaware County health department that is operational,” said Dr. Monica Taylor, vice chairwoman of the Delaware County Council.

Access to health care, mental health services and environmental health topped the list of health needs, according to a Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health report presented at the meeting.

The report showed depression, suicide, sexually transmitted diseases, asthma, cardiovascular disease and deaths from drugs and guns have worsened in the county.

Infant mortality rates have gone down in the county but are still three times higher for Black infants.

With no health department, the county couldn’t track cases, provide testing or coordinate communication when the pandemic struck.

The Johns Hopkins report recommended a department that could consolidate resources, gather data and create accountability for health care services.

Read more about the virtual town meeting here.

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