University of Delaware

Delaware Public Health Institute

New partnership aims at improving health outcomes


10:41 a.m., Feb. 20, 2014--The University of Delaware College of Health Sciences (CHS) has partnered with the state of Delaware Division of Public Health and Public Health Management Corporation to create the Delaware Public Health Institute (DPHI). The new institute was named an affiliate member of the National Network of Public Health Institutes (NNPHI), a membership-based forum for public health institutes (PHIs).

PHIs improve public health outcomes by fostering innovation, leveraging resources and partnering with government agencies, communities, the healthcare delivery system, media and academia.

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Based in Philadelphia, Public Health Management Corporation helped develop DPHI with UD in recognition of the fact that many health needs and services cross state lines between Delaware and southeastern Pennsylvania. The partnership between PHMC and CHS is a first-of-its-kind model for the development of a PHI. 

The DPHI executive board will include Kathleen Matt, dean of the UD College of Health Sciences; Allen Prettyman, director of UD’s Nurse Managed Health Center; and representatives from Delaware state government and PHMC.

“This institute will provide an enhanced connection to our partners in the community with similar goals and objectives related to improving the health of the public in Delaware,” says Prettyman.  “These enhanced and new connections will provide a framework for future collaborations that may involve clinical research focused on integrated healthcare models.”

PHMC and CHS will work collaboratively to initiate projects including development of a household health survey of residents across the state to identify unmet public health needs and creation of an online community health database to store the results in an easily accessible way. In addition, DPHI has been selected to lead the analysis of the Robert Wood Foundation’s County Health Rankings results for the state of Delaware.

“As we move forward on the path to healthcare innovation and patient-centered models of healthcare delivery, it is essential that we develop these plans based on knowledge of the communities we serve,” says Matt.  “DPHI will facilitate our work in surveying the community and capturing and analyzing data on health outcomes and healthcare economics.  This will assist us in developing evidence-based practice  plans that are focused on patients and aimed at delivering the most impactful healthcare in the communities where it is most needed.”

About the National Network of Public Health Institutes 

Created in 2001 as a forum for public health institutes, today NNPHI convenes its members and partners at the local, state and national levels in efforts to address critical health issues. NNPHI’s mission is to support national public health system initiatives and to strengthen PHIs to promote multi-sector activities resulting in measurable improvements of public health structures, systems and outcomes. To learn more about NNPHI and its member institutes, visit the NNPHI website.

About PHMC

Public Health Management Corporation (PHMC) is a nonprofit public health institute that creates and sustains healthier communities. PHMC uses best practices to improve community health through direct service, partnership, innovation, policy, research, technical assistance and a prepared workforce. PHMC has served the region since 1972. For more information on PHMC, visit its website.

Article by Diane Kukich

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