Black History Month Public Health Pioneers 2024

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Updated: February 8, 2024

In recognition of Black History Month, each Thursday this month the Delaware County Health Department (DCHD) will detail the careers and accomplishments of selected Delaware County Black community members making a difference in public health. For 2024, DCHD is shining a light on pioneers from Delaware County who support public health by promoting healthy habits and community well-being.

Elmore Hunter

Elmore Hunter It is with great pride that we announce Elmore Hunter has been recognized as this year’s first Delaware County Black Public Health Pioneer. Congratulations Elmore Hunter!

For the last 15 years, Elmore Hunter has served the Penn Wood community, devoting his time and expertise as a coach to the boy's and girls' track and field teams. He has brought record-breaking titles to Penn Wood High School while mentoring community youth for over a decade.

Coach Hunter is familiar with breaking historical records. In 1963, he became the first Black athlete to ever run in the Atlantic Coast Conference (A.C.C) for the University of Maryland. What brought Hunter to love physical fitness was being active while growing up in Washington D.C. Playing baseball, basketball, and racing with friends was at the core of his childhood memories. Hunter went from a beginner runner in 9th grade to having the 6th fastest high school time in the 440-meter race by 12th grade. This was no easy feat and is a reflection of Coach Hunter’s determination and hard work. This propelled him to have a choice of schools and scholarships to pick from and to be honored on game-changer row at the University of Maryland SECU stadium.

When asked about the importance of health, Coach Hunter said “As tech increases, we become less physical. Everything that went on when I was a kid was outside. Compared to kids whose fun is done indoors, sports are a great way to help formulate a healthy lifestyle.”

Over the course of his career, Hunter has dedicated his efforts to the betterment of youth both in Delaware County and Philadelphia. He introduced the 4 Hearts youth program to Chester and Philadelphia youth and used his position as Penn State Abington physical education teacher to introduce environmental science to local students. Hunter also organized Penn State Brandywine students to tutor Delaware County and Philadelphia students at Penn Wood Cyprus 9th Grade Academy.

Coach Hunter always reminds his runners to eat a healthy breakfast to fuel their bodies. With his career in track and physical education, he teaches that nutrition is key to being an efficient athlete. Hunter stresses that being active and maintaining healthy fueling is important, but it can be difficult in areas with limited options for healthy foods. Hunter is currently working on a project to help Penn Wood students explore the differences in the quality of food in specific grocery stores per neighborhood. He wants students to learn more about what is going into their bodies, and how to advocate for better food options in their neighborhoods. Coach Hunter also organized a cohort of students from Penn Wood to visit Penn State's main campus and tour the food science lab while learning about its agriculture department. As a testament to exposing his students to new concepts, his Penn Wood cohort learned how to create geographic data maps at Washington College in Chesterton, Maryland. His students learned about Washinton College’s Geographic Information System (GIS) program and collected water samples for analysis.

Today and every day, we honor Elmore Roy Hunter's legacy and thank him for all he has done for our community.

Rosetta Carter

Rosetta Carter Rosetta Carter is a lifelong resident of Chester Pennsylvania, and her passion for community advocacy and grand vision has always sought to improve the health and quality of life for those in which she serves. Early in her career Ms. Carter served as CEO for Carter Clearing House, selling computer supplies throughout the Tri-State area. Later, she was approached by a pastor to answer the call and serve Chester City in a more meaningful way. She served as an Administrative Assistant to Mayor Barbara Bohannon, the first elected African American female mayor in Chester. Twenty-five years later, she returned to serve the people of the City of Chester, with much prayer, love, and compassion.

Ms. Carter has a wealth of accomplishments over years of service at the local, state, and federal levels and has traveled extensively across the country advocating with prominent political leaders for change. She currently holds the position of Director of Community Health Education Services for the City of Chester. In this position, she has served as the Co-Chair for former President Obama’s “Strong Cities, Strong Communities (SC2)” initiative in the City of Chester. Under this initiative, 7 cities across the country were selected to strengthen their capacity to create jobs and implement locally driven community and regional planning approaches that lead to sustained economic growth. Carter also serves on the Chester City Health Board and has worked to improve the health, wellness and wellbeing for all residents.

In 2014 and 2015, Carter was invited to the White House for her role in the “Chester Let’s Move!” campaign. Sponsored by former First Lady Michelle Obama, “Chester Let’s Move!” is a program designed to address childhood obesity. Under Carter’s leadership, the City of Chester was recognized as the #1 Award Winning Let’s Move! City in the Country. Through this work she was recognized for her exemplary leadership in reducing childhood obesity and presented with the Most Dedicated City Staff Member in Delaware Country award by the National League of Cities.

In 2018, Carter was recognized as one of the 100 Most Influential Women in the State of Pennsylvania, along with being awarded the Woman of the Year twice in one year, by the Delaware County Chapter of the National Congress of Black Women. During the pandemic, she was the community champion for facilitating COVID-19 vaccines for Chester residents. Under the leadership of Councilman William Jacobs, Esq., Director of Public Safety, and in response to the many health challenges in the city of Chester, she was inspired to re-establish the Chester City Health Board in 2020. Through perseverance and a can-do spirit, she was able to convince professionals across multiple fields of how crucial the Chester City Health Board was to the well-being of Chester residents. The board consists of medical doctors, health providers, clergy leaders, professors, and social workers from the Chester City community and surrounding areas.

In 2022, Carter and the Chester City Health Board partnered with the Black Equity Coalition to obtain a grant providing free vaccines for Chester residents.

In 2023, Carter organized Chester’s First Women Health Conference at Widener University. The conference was a huge success that brought women’s health concerns to the foreground. It left participants feeling empowered and well-connected to one another. Luckily for the community, the women’s health conference will be making its return on March 23, 2024!

Rosetta Carter’s passion and drive for the residents of Chester is exemplary. She continues to be a pillar in targeting opportunities and bringing initiatives to address Chester’s unique health concerns. Today and every day, we honor Rosetta Carter’s accomplishments and showcase that loving what you do and the community you serve is the driving force to tangible change.

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Delaware County, presently consisting of over 184 square miles divided into forty-nine municipalities is the oldest settled section of Pennsylvania.

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