Our Vision: Healthy, Thriving Communities for All

Although access to affordable and high-quality healthcare is critical to health and well-being, we know that health happens largely outside of the doctor’s office—in the community where we live, go to school, work, play, and pray. We also know that many of our residents live in communities that lack the resources needed for good health and often shoulder a disproportionate share of threats or risks to health. Thriving communities with affordable, high-quality housing; well-paying jobs; good schools; safe parks, and welcoming community spaces; as well as affordable and high-quality healthcare, translate into positive health outcomes for their residents.

The Partnership for Healthy Communities is inspired by the possibility of this reality for all Delaware communities; as well as being inspired by a vision of equity in health. This prompts our work so that all of our residents can live in communities with the resources that are necessary to promote optimal health, and the burdens or threats to good health are minimized.

Our Civic Action Plan

Community engagement describes the collaboration between our college and our larger communities (local, regional/state, national, and global) for the mutually beneficial exchange of knowledge and resources in a context of authentic partnership and reciprocity. Faculty, staff, and students create, implement, and sustain mutually beneficial projects and experiences with community partners that address public issues. This work may be in teaching, research/creative activity, or service. The College will seek to apply our disciplinary knowledge in collaboration with community partners to benefit local, regional, and/or global communities while contributing
to the scholarship and learning of our college members.

The mission of the University of Delaware’s College of Health Science (CHS) Partnership for Healthy Communities (PHC) is to support engaged research, expand service-learning opportunities, and build community capacity for improved health and well-being in Delaware
communities experiencing health and social inequities. Through impactful partnerships, PHC works to increase access to holistic care in communities experiencing health disparities while building campus-community capabilities by providing tailored services and programs in neighborhoods, schools, places of worship, and work settings to promote and improve health.

PHC distinguishes its core pillars of community engagement in the following ways:

Discovery & Translation

Expand the capacity for transformative interdisciplinary research and research translation conducted by researcher/practitioner teams in areas including population health, community health promotion, Vital Conditions and social determinants of health (SDOH), health inequities, and health policy.

Education & Experiential Learning

Expand population health-related experiential learning opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students through new and expanded instructional programs and hands-on learning opportunities.

Engagement & Partnership

Enhance the university’s capacity to build trusted partnerships with community-based organizations and state agencies that improve the health and well-being of residents living in the highest-need communities in Delaware and beyond.

A Message from the Interim Director

In May 2023, I was honored to join the Partnership for Healthy Communities as Interim Director. During that time, our team has grown and our linkages with programs across the College of Health Sciences and the University of Delaware have strengthened. We have also re-engaged our Steering Committee, which includes representatives from organizations across Delaware working in areas that include housing, transportation, health, and youth empowerment and mentoring.

Over the last 20 years, I have worked in close collaboration with governmental and community-based partners in North Carolina, Texas, and since 2018, in Delaware. In each of these settings, I have been deeply engaged in developing authentic and equitable programs that meet the needs of both students and communities, conducting research focused on inequitable exposure to contaminants, and serving in volunteer roles related to building community resilience.

While we are proud of what has been done, there is always more to do. We value your voices and will prioritize listening to them and engaging the next generation of engaged scholars to do so as well. We all look forward to working with you in service, in our classrooms and clinics, and in our communities to improve health and health equity.

In Partnership,

Jennifer  A. Horney, PhD, MPH, CPH
Interim Director, Partnership for Healthy Communities
Professor and Founding Chair, Epidemiology Program

UD Partnership for Health Communities

Tower at STAR, University of Delaware
100 Discovery Blvd
Newark, DE 19713
Suite 614

Email: phc-info@udel.edu