Health in Brief
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(page 7 of 8)
Nanticoke Memorial Hospital keeps its finger on the pulse of its community in Western Sussex County.
When it comes to healthcare, Nanticoke Memorial Hospital CEO Steve Rose says partnering with local community groups is key to reaching Nanticoke’s underserved.
“We have a significant Hispanic community here in Sussex County,” Rose explains. “That’s why we’ve developed an alliance with groups such as Esperanza and La Red to identify residents who are not receiving basic care and screenings.”
Nanticoke, based in Seaford, does much the same to reach Sussex’s growing Haitian population, as well. It’s all part of the hospital’s strategic plan developed by its Community Benefit Committee.
“It’s very important that we understand the unique cultural differences of our ethnic populations,” says Rose. “We miss the boat when we try to impose our culture on them.”
Rose says it’s also important to understand the area-wide demographics.
“We’re located on the western side of Delaware, where the rural demographics couldn’t be more different from the eastern side,” he says.
Among the initiatives that Nanticoke has launched, in addition to its outreach to ethnic groups, is an alliance with West Seaford Elementary to provide teachers with tools and resources to help improve the wellness of its students.
“We start with children, but when it comes to screenings for chronic disorders such as diabetes and obesity, we’re looking at all age groups.”
Because of the cultural differences and demographics that drive the area, Rose says Nanticoke cannot afford to pretend to know everything.
“We can’t assume a ‘if we build it, they will come approach,’” he says. “We’ve got to continue to see healthcare through the eyes of the community and not just our own.”
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