Delaware County, PA

Health Department Director

Location: Delaware County, PA
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Delaware County Health Department Director 

The Community

With a population of 562,960, Delaware County is a dynamic, fast-growth region strategically located southwest of Philadelphia.  Named for the Delaware River, Delaware County is the oldest settled section of Pennsylvania presently consisting of over 184 square miles divided into forty-nine municipalities. 

Delaware County is the fifth most populous in the state and the third smallest land mass. From Delaware County you can efficiently reach domestic and global markets through a robust network of highways, railways, waterways, and airways. The county is poised for success and complemented by some of the best educational institutions and medical facilities in the country along with cutting edge technology such as the Boeing Vertol V-22 manufactured in Delaware County. Delaware County houses eleven colleges and universities including Villanova University, Haverford College, Swarthmore College, and Penn State Brandywine Campus.

Delaware County is home to six county parks and Ridley Creek State Park which encompasses more than 2,606 acres of Delaware County woodlands and meadows. The gently rolling terrain of the park, bisected by Ridley Creek, is only 16 miles from center city Philadelphia and is an oasis of open space in a growing urban area. 

Delaware County's neighborhoods offer boundless options to satisfy a wide range of preferences that include thriving urban centers, peaceful suburbs, diverse housing options, exceptional schools, award-winning healthcare, nature, playgrounds, and shopping. Delaware County offers world-renowned art museums, festivals, gardens, and historic battlefields; five-star restaurants, wineries, and hometown brew pubs are also a staple of the region. 

Government


Delaware County consists of a five-member elected Council.  In May 1975, the residents of Delaware County approved a Home Rule Charter plan which was later effective in January 1976.  The County thus because the first in the state of Pennsylvania to become a Home Rule county. 

The Home Rule Charter gives County Council the authority to pass ordinances, resolutions and proclamations and to provide budget and personnel to the needs of the residents as they arise. Council is responsible for adopting a budget each calendar year, raising funds through taxes or bonds for capital projects, setting payroll scales and employee size. 

County Council is involved in activities pertaining to economic development, public transportation, waste disposal, human services, land use and culture. The Council also decides the best means of providing services which are required by law or are necessary for the well-being of the county and determines the participation of the County in intergovernmental programs involving federal, state, and local government as well as distribute federal and state grants for social services. 

The Council is also responsible for all legislative and administrative functions of the county government. Although Council has overall responsibility for all actions of county departments, the Executive Director, a County Council appointee, is directly responsible for the operations of certain departments as outlined in the Home Rule charter or as assigned by county Council. The primary administrative level staff assistance is provided to Council by the Executive Director and the County Clerk. Legal guidance and representation is provided by the Solicitor. 

Members of County Council are elected on an at large basis to four-year terms at staggered two-year intervals when municipal elections are held, which occur in odd numbered years.  

The Health Department


Delaware County is establishing its first county health department, with its first hire being the County Health Director.  The County Health Director will be responsible for a three-phase development of the health department as follows: 

Phase 1:  Develop and launch all programs required by Act 315 of PA Local Health Administration Law.  Program planning is underway, and the director will hire staff, establish department policies and procedures (consistent with Public Health Accreditation Board requirements), oversee the Act 315 proposal submission, develop key relationships in the community, and lead the health department through its inaugural 1-2 years of operation.  Anticipated milestones:

  • Initial hires – to begin as soon as possible
  • Act 315 proposal submission – November 2021
  • Proposal acceptance/official health department launch – January 2022 


Phase 2:
  Add additional programs and function to improve population health outcomes and advance health equity.  This phase officially will begin with conducting an accreditation readiness assessment within two years of the official launch of the health department.  The director will add programs and staff needed to achieve accreditation, modify the organizational chart, and lead the department through this period of expansion.  It is anticipated that it will take approximately three years to add the additional capacity required to meet accreditation standards and undergo the accreditation process. 

Phase 3: Attain accreditation status from the Public Health Accreditation Board.  This third and final phase is anticipated to begin in 2027, and marks expanding the health department’s work in the community. The result potentially will be additional programs administered by the health department; however, the work may also result in enhancing the health department’s capacity to bring additional resources into the community.  The attainment of accreditation will mark the health department’s “maturation,” with well-established structures and functions to successfully meet the public health needs of Delaware County into the future. 

The Position

The County Health Director is responsible for the direction and administrative management of the county health department.  The County Health Director shall assume all duties, responsibilities, and enforcement in accordance with Pennsylvania public health statutes and codes. 

Responsibilities and Duties of the Executive Director:

  • Develops and administers the organization chart and translates the department’s mission, vision, and values into action. Oversees all programs assigned to the responsibility of public health by the federal, state or county government. Supervises the operations and administration of the department. 
  • Ensures that the health department reflects the Public Health 3.0 model, with an emphasis on the role of chief health strategist, cross-sector collaboration, timely data collection and analysis, health equity, and achievement of accreditation by the Public Health Accreditation Board.
  • Leads a “Health in all Policies” approach with the Delaware County government and County Council.
  • Responsible for the development and expenditure of operating and capital budgets for the Public Health Department. Proposes rates and fees for services to the Board of Health for approval.  Develops and negotiates contracts, written agreements and understandings. Identifies new funding sources and oversees the development of grant proposals.
  • Oversees development and ongoing implementation of a strategic planning process, performance management system, and collaborative community health needs improvement planning process. 
  • Develops and maintains partnerships with key agencies and organizations; collaborates with partners and the community to achieve shared goals aimed at improving population health outcomes and advancing health equity.
  • Oversees the identification and analysis of data-driven and evidence-based public health policy issues and alternatives, and collaboration with the community and partners in seeking policy change and action on public health issues. Proposes local ordinances and works with the Board of Health, county council, and state elected officials to advance policy toward healthier communities.
  • Oversees data-driven and evidence-based program development, modification, and evaluation, in collaboration with the community, to ensure that community needs are addressed with appropriate services and in a culturally competent manner. 
  • Oversees preparation and maintenance of necessary records and reports, and accurate reporting of services rendered to appropriate local, state, and federal representatives.
  • Oversees monitoring, investigation, and education about diseases, conditions, or events in the community that constitute a threat to public health.  Ensures the enforcement of all statutes, codes, and ordinances to reduce the threat of a health hazard or to resolve an identified health hazard.
  • Consults with the Medical Advisor in interpreting services, identifying community needs, and establishing appropriate policies and programs.
  • Oversees the development and implementation of a communication plan that utilizes principals of social marketing and health education to reach specific populations and utilizes mass media, internet and social media to reach the public at large regarding health-related issues, concerns and threats. Oversees development and implementation of an agency branding strategy.
  • Ensures agency response on a 24/7 basis to public health or other community emergencies.


Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities

  • Comprehensive knowledge of public health services, current public health issues, health equity, practices, sciences, programs, statutes, rules, regulations, and codes.
  • Knowledge of community agencies and resources.
  • Understanding of epidemiology and other public health and natural sciences.
  • Comprehensive knowledge of program development and evaluation principles.
  • Ability to establish a new department, provide leadership as it expands and evolves, and incorporate change management principles.
  • Ability to generate complex reports and data to evaluate department operations and facilitate decision making.
  • Excellent organizational and financial management skills and knowledge of grant procurement and implementation.
  • Knowledge of the political process, policy issues and strategies to inform and influence the county government and others for the benefit of the department. 


Education and Experience


Qualified applicants will have a Master's degree in public health or a related area, plus at least ten years prior experience as a local public health director.  Experience in a PHAB-accredited health department is preferred. Qualified candidates should have access to a motor vehicle and ability to meet and maintain the county’s automobile insurance requirements. 

The Ideal Candidate


The ideal candidate will have experience leading an organization through a period of growth and/or change and have a “Health in All Policies” approach to policy development. This is a key position within the County and the successful candidate will need to work closely with the Executive Director to carry out initiatives and set the tone and vision. The Executive Director will rely heavily on the expertise, judgment and recommendations of the County Health Director so this individual should have the ability to effectively delegate authority and responsibility while maintaining appropriate levels of operational control. 

The ideal candidate should be skilled in building and maintaining a broad and diverse spectrum of partnerships with City/County Officials, county departments, agencies, state officials, and with a wide-variety of cross-sector partners. Effective communication along with strong collaboration and team building skills will be necessary for this individual to be successful; advanced written and oral communication skills including listening skills are imperative.

The ideal candidate should have excellent interpersonal skills and inspire staff.  This person will need to set a positive example of competence, professionalism, energy, and work ethic to the organization and community.

This individual must be able to adhere to the highest ethical and moral standards and be able to demonstrate trustworthiness, integrity and appreciation of public health ethical principles.

Salary


Delaware County is offering a competitive salary commensurate with experience and a comprehensive benefits package. Relocation assistance will also be available for the successful out-of-area candidate.

How to Apply


Interested applicants should forward a cover letter and resume to: 

resumes@affionpublic.com
Reference: DELCOHDD
 

Affion Public
PO Box 794
Hershey, PA 17033
888.321.4922
www.affionpublic.com 

**The deadline to receive resumes is July 13, 2021** 

The Delaware County is an Equal Employment Opportunity Employer.