Public Health Department in Delaware County

Public Health Department in Delaware County

Public Health Word Cloud

Public Health Department Study in Delaware County

The Leagues of Delaware County PA are advocating for the establishment of a health department for our county. This current study is an update to a past study from 2010 where the League stressed the importance of establishing a health department that would be on the front line of public health for the benefit of Delaware County communities.

Why it matters

Currently Delaware County is the only suburban county in the Philadelphia region without a county health department. Because of this fact Delaware County is not able to provide vital health services in a coordinated fashion for the health of our communities plus the County is not eligible to receive funds through Act 315, Pennsylvania's Local Health Administration Law. Act 315 provides funding to improve local health administration by authorizing state grants to counties and to certain municipalities which have established departments of health and meet certain prescribed requirements. Additional funding is provided by categorical grants from the state and federal governments and through local funds. 

Click below to watch Host Roberta Winters, President of the Radnlor Township LWV interview public health advocate and leader Rosemarie Halt discuss how Public Health Departments meet community heath needs.

Health services under Act 315 are aimed at improving the respective community's public health via the provision of direct health services, health education and community health leadership and control. Emphasis is placed on primary and secondary preventive health services. 

The overall goal of these programs is to reduce morbidity and mortality among the local service population and to promote healthy lifestyles. 

Local health departments play a central role in providing essential public health services in communities that fall into the following ten categories:

  1. Monitor health status to identify and solve community health problems.

  2. Diagnose and investigate health problems and health hazards in the community.

  3. Inform, educate, and empower people about health issues.

  4. Mobilize community partnerships and action to identify and solve health problems.

  5. Develop policies and plans that support individual and community health efforts.

  6. Enforce laws and regulations that protect health and ensure safety.

  7. Link people to needed personal health services and assure the provision of health care when otherwise unavailable.

  8. Assure a competent public and personal healthcare workforce.

  9. Evaluate effectiveness, accessibility, and quality of personal and population-based health services.

  10. Research for new insights and innovative solutions to health problems.

Click below to watch the video - What is Public Health?


What we’re doing 

The Leagues of Delaware County formed a Health Care Study Committee to continue the efforts of the previous health department consensus study which researched the public health infrastructure in Delaware County the laws governing public health in Pennsylvania, funding available to county health departments, structure of PA county health departments and if the county would benefit from a county based health department. This was an in depth process with consensus in favor of the need for a county based health department being reached. 


Action is needed to support the formation of a county based health department that:

  • meets state and federal requirements,

  • provides basic public health services,

  • monitors, targets and identifies public health and safety issues,

  • improves the health of residents,

  • promotes public education on these issues, and

  • coordinates responses to public health and safety emergencies.

By consolidating public health services in a single governmental entity that meets federal and state requirements, the County will:

  • make Delaware County eligible for federal and state funds,

  • bring taxpayer dollars back into the county,

  • provide additional resources that will improve the quality and scope of public health

  • service to all county residents, and

  • ensure better coordination of and timely response to public health emergencies.

What can you do

Read and share news articles that highlight Delaware County League efforts:

  • Visit other related Public Health Resources

Watch and Share the Hot Topic Talk - COVID-19 & Delaware County Public Health

For additional information contact our League Member, rohalt1989 [at] (Rosemarie O'Malley Halt RPh).