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Aligning for Better Health Symposium Launches Healthy Communities Delaware Initiative

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John Auerbach, president and CEO of Trust for America's Health, delivers morning keynote address.

By: Sarah Warkentin

January 14 marked an important milestone in the process to create and align sustainable investments in the social determinants of health in our state. Thanks to distinguished keynote speakers, a panel of local partnerships, and collaborative afternoon sessions, the Aligning for Better Health Symposium brought together individuals and organizations passionate about improving the health of Delaware communities.

The Aligning for Better Health Symposium successfully launched the Healthy Communities Delaware initiative into action, due to the work and support of the development team consisting of members from the Center for Community Research & Service (CCRS), Institute for Public Administration (IPA), Cooperative Extension, and Delaware's Department of Public Health (DPH) who planned and executed the event and have been working collaboratively to develop this initiative over the last 8 months. This team's collective work in creating a sustainable model that fosters relationships among stakeholders is representative of the need for Delaware to work together in order to positively affect the health and well-being of the state.

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Highlights of the Aligning for Better Health Symposium

 
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Panelists present their work which impacts Delawareans throughout the state.

  • Secretary of the Delaware Department of Health and Social Services Dr. Kara Odom Walker's welcome address discussed concerns about Delaware's declining quality of health, and spoke to the state's commitment to addressing social determinants of health.
  • Morning keynote speaker John Auerbach, president and CEO of Trust for America's Health, reflected Dr. Walker's concerns on a national scale and stressed the importance of cross-sectoral work to improve health.
  • A panel with representatives from collaborative partnerships presented their collective work to improve quality of life in each of Delaware's counties.
  • United States Senator Christopher Coons gave the afternoon keynote speech reaffirming the importance of the Healthy Communities Delaware initiative.
  • Breakout sessions in the afternoon served to continue Healthy Communities Delaware's commitment to receiving community input and gave people the opportunity to be inspired by other organizations' programs.
  • Governor John Carney finished the day by holding a conversation with the attendees about their experience and encouraged partners to continue their collective work.
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About Healthy Communities Delaware

 
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Partners from the University of Delaware have been heavily involved in creating the Healthy Communities Delaware collective impact model. Collaboration from the IPA, CCRS, and Cooperative Extension has transformed this idea into action.

Healthy Communities Delaware aims to align efforts and investments to improve the health of people in Delaware. HCD's Backbone Organization, Leadership Council, and Community Investment Council all work together with community stakeholders to make a positive, collective impact on Delaware's health.

The Healthy Communities Delaware Backbone Organization is a partnership between the Delaware Community Foundation, the University of Delaware's Partnership for Healthy Communities, and the State of Delaware's Department of Health and Social Services. The Leadership Council is made up of 30 individuals who represent each of Delaware's counties, as well as representing all sectors of work. The Community Investment Council is an ever-evolving group of financial, investment, and banking organizations. Each of these parts work alongside community stakeholders to create and implement programs that will improve the health and well-being of Delaware. 

For more information about the Healthy Communities Delaware initiative, please visit www.healthycommunitiesdelaware.org.

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The Aligning for Better Health Symposium, which launched the Healthy Communities Delaware initiative, brought together individuals and organizations passionate about improving the health of Delaware communities.
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Aligning for Better Health Symposium Launches Healthy Communities Delaware Initiative