The Delaware General Health District is dedicated to improving the health status of our local communities and in improving the quality of life. One important part of this is working with interested residents and community leaders to protect and promote the health of our environment.
One of our iniatives is to complete the Protocol for Assessing Community Excellence (PACE-EH) process designed to engage the community in environmental health assessment, planning and community health improvement through the implementation of a comprehensive Community Health Improvement Plan (CHIP). The PACE-EH process improves decision making by taking a collaborative community-based approach to generating an action plan that is based on a set of priorities that reflect both an accurate assessment of local environmental health status and an understanding of public values and priorities.
In 2009, the Health District convened a 45-member committee to facilitate the PACE-EH assessment. The committee distributed a public opinion survey and asked residents to rank each environmental issue to the extent that they felt it needed attention and/or resources dedicated to it at this time. The committee reviewed the top environmental issues by identifying the connection among health status and developing locally appropriate indicators. Indicators are tools for quantifying the environmental health issue. The committee ranked the issues, set priorities for action and developed a 2-year strategic plan.