Together They Create a Healthy Community!

April 2019
Together They Create a Healthy Community!

Healthy Individuals Make Up Healthy Neighborhoods

Sussex County Health Coalition will be entering its fifteenth year in 2019. We are proud to have touched the lives of thousands, both individually and organizationally, to remove systemic and individual barriers to promoting and providing community health opportunities. In 2018, Sussex County Delaware was ranked the healthiest county in Delaware according to the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute. This meant that if you live in Sussex County you are more likely to be healthier and have a better quality of life than others who live in other counties in Delaware. The rankings analyzed length of life, quality of life, health behaviors, clinical care, social and economic factors and physical environment as gauges for this assessment. We were excited about this ranking as we know that Sussex County has one of the largest geographic areas for a county east of the Mississippi. It has high rates of need and health concerns equal to its counterparts in the northern half of the state, has a lack of key service providers in health fields and it spends philanthropically less than 50% per citizen on health and human service needs as New Castle County. This 2018 ranking could potentially be contributed to better inter-organizational communication, structured collaboration and increased alignment of work to improve the health and wellness of our citizens.

What the rankings did not demonstrate was the significant areas of growing need that include:

  • The opioid epidemic
  • Inequities in babies born healthy
  • The growing number of teens engaging in high risk behaviors
  • The growing number of teens suffering from mental health concerns
  • A serious growing obesity crisis facing our county

SCHC exits to create and foster community infrastructure that promotes collaboration to address these community health needs. Although I believe as a county, we do so much with so little, our work is even more critical now than ever with increased efforts and focus in the following arenas: The Opioid Crisis, Chronic Health Conditions, Teen Prevention, Equity in Babies Born Healthy, Literacy and Intergenerational Poverty!

The Sussex County Health Coalition would like to thank our partners for their hard work and our funders who have supported this work. We are doing a lot, but the work must continue, and this only happens when we all come to the table. We appreciate everyone, locally and statewide, who continue to partner with us and continue to welcome those who have yet to have a seat!

Peggy Geisler
Executive Director, Sussex County Health Coalition

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