Released: April 7, 2022
Delaware County Health Department Director Melissa Lyon provided an update on the newly established County Health Department during the County Council Public Meeting on April 6.
The Delaware County Health Department (DCHD) was approved by the Pennsylvania Department of Health to act in its official capacity as a health department on April 2, 2022. This marks the first health department to be established in the state of Pennsylvania in the past 33 years.
“While there is still much foundational work being done, I’m excited to share that within each of our departments, many of the standard operating procedures are under way,” said Delaware County Health Department Director Melissa Lyon. “For example, under the guidance of our Environment Health Division, inspectors are currently in the field monitoring and enforcing Delaware County health codes, in addition to state and federal regulations. They’re responding to applications – which can be found on our website, and addressing and investigating public health complaints and inquiries, many of which are coming into the DCHD Wellness Line.”
During the presentation, Director Lyon provided several examples of the current responsibilities and services provided by each division of the County Health Department including the Environmental Health, Population Health, and Personal Health Divisions.
Under the leadership of the Population Health Division, the newly rebranded Delaware County Health Department Wellness Line staff has been receiving calls and emails from across the county addressing a variety of issues and connecting callers to much needed resources. Members of the Health Department have worked with local homeless shelters to provide PPE requested for the safety and protection of those staying at the shelters and the staff.
The Personal Health Division, in partnership with the Pennsylvania Department of Health continues to work to address the increase in reported cases of STIs across Delaware County and launched its first STI clinic in the Chester community. The Personal Health Division effectively managed its first case of Tuberculosis with medication management and Direct Observed Therapy set up a mini-clinic to launch the Vaccines for Children Program in support of a family from Ukraine with two school-aged children to receive up to date immunizations in order to remain in school through the academic year.
COVID-19 mitigation remains a top priority. The Delaware County Health Department continues to monitor the data surrounding the BA.2 variant, currently the most predominant and highly transmittable variant of COVID-19. While the percentage of positive cases has increased slightly due to the BA.2 variant, the community level of COVID-19 remains low. County-sponsored vaccine clinics have seen an increase in participants with the recent FDA recommendation for a second COVID-19 booster.
This week, the Delaware County Health Department welcomed Deputy Health Director, Lora Werner. Deputy Director Werner joins the Health Department team with twenty-plus years’ experience in public health at the federal level, having served as Regional Director for Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry.
“This is an extremely exciting week for Delaware County!” said Delaware County Council Chair Dr. Monica Taylor, who has led the efforts to establish a County Health Department over the past two years, beginning just days after being elected in Nov. 2019. “Our residents deserve their own health department—one with a local team who understands the needs of the county and is working to ensure our residents have the highest quality of life possible. This is something Council promised our residents in 2019 and thanks to the dedication, passion, determination, and countless hours from the County team community partners, and residents who shared our vision- we were able to deliver on that promise.”
Residents are encouraged to learn more about the Delaware County Health Department and the services and resources it provides by visiting: www.DelcoPA.gov/health
The Delaware County Health Department Wellness Team is able to assist residents with public health-related topics, including:
PHONE: (484) 276-2100