Community Health Assessment Findings Help Set Health Priorities for 2024-2028 in Delaware County

 Home / Departments / Health Department / Community Health Assessment Findings Help Set Health Priorities for 2024-2028 in Delaware County

Released: February 26, 2024

Community Health Assessment Findings Help Set Health Priorities for 2024-2028 in Delaware County

The Delaware County Health Department (DCHD) and its Steering Committee selected areas to focus health improvement strategies for 2024-2028 through the Community Health Assessment (CHA) process. The goal of the CHA is to gain a complete understanding of the public health issues affecting Delaware County. DCHD staff and Steering Committee members reviewed findings to date from the CHA efforts, including community conversations, focus groups, partner input, and health data.

    The priority areas selected include, in order:
  1. ) Promote Whole Person Care and Prevent Mental Health and Substance Use Disorders
  2. ) Promote Maternal, Parental, and Infant Health
  3. ) Prevent Chronic Diseases

    Two overarching themes will guide the DCHD and its community partners as they set goals and objectives in the three areas. These are:
  1. ) Promote Health Equity
  2. ) Improve Access to and Awareness of Health Care and Community Services

Nearly 5,000 Delaware County community members participated in the CHA input sessions: 67 people participated in focus groups, 136 joined community conversations about health, and 4,728 people completed the community health survey. Over 60 community organizations participated in the process.

Priority areas were selected by the CHA Steering Committee members and key DCHD staff based on findings from community input sessions, results of the community health survey, and health data, in combination with input from community partners and professional experiences.

“Over the last year, the Delaware County Health Department has learned so much about this community, its assets, and its needs,” stated Delaware County Health Department Director Melissa Lyon. “We are grateful to the individuals, groups, and organizations who helped us gather thoughts and ideas about health from community members. These efforts will help set the course for community health improvement strategies over the next 5 years.”

Key findings

Based on comprehensive findings across all data collection efforts, two common themes were identified:

 Concerns about people struggling with mental health, and lack of access or lack of knowledge for how to access mental health/substance use disorder treatment

  Lack of awareness of available community and health services, and how to access them

In addition to these two consistent areas of need, findings for each of the types of input considered are outlined below.

Community Conversations:

  Concerns about air quality and environmental justice

  Uncertainty about access to medical systems and services due to recent closures and changes

  Need for youth programming, affordable childcare, access to healthy foods

  Need to address equity and access issues for traditionally underserved community members

Focus groups:

  Ensure consistent care at provider offices (high staff/provider turnover)

  Enhance multi-language support and translation services, multi-cultural staff

  Address racism, and recognize it as a public health crisis

  Enhance education about and support holistic maternal, physical, and mental health care

  Create more recreational opportunities for children

  Increase the number of Farmer’s Markets across Delaware County

  Make systems improvements to ensure access to services is easier


  Top overall concerns were chronic diseases, mental health, and environmental safety

  Young people are struggling with mental health

  Access to mental health and substance use treatment services, affordable housing, education, and childcare were challenging for residents

  Various municipalities showed difficulty accessing services, especially Trainer, Darby, and Chester

Health Data:

  Low birthweight births, high rates of c-section births, disparities across racial and ethnic groups

  Higher rates of death due to stroke, flu, pneumonia

  All cancers, but especially female breast and lung and bronchus cancer, and male colorectal and prostate cancers

  Higher rates of sexually transmitted infections and tuberculosis

  Higher rates of hospitalizations for stroke, respiratory disease, falls, and septicemia

The CHA report is expected to be shared for public comment in March. For the past several months DCHD and its community partners have been developing goals, objectives, and health improvement strategies for the Community Health Improvement Plan. Follow the CHA website to stay up to date on CHA activities.

Any questions about the CHA process can be directed to the Delaware County Health Department Wellness Line at (484) 276-2100 or

Contact Us

  •   201 West Front Street,
         Media, PA 19063
  •   8:30AM - 4:30PM
           Monday - Friday
  •   610-891-4000

About Delaware County

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

Read more