The Delaware General Health District (DGHD) continues to do great things for county residents, and now it can add a prestigious honor to its impressive run. DGHD Commissioner Sheila Hiddleson has been selected as a 2019 Public Health Reaching Across Sectors (PHRASES) Fellow by the de Beaumont Foundation and The Aspen Institute.
Hiddleson is one of 15 public health officials from around the country who were selected as PHRASES Fellows.
“PHRASES is designed to improve the ability of public health professionals to communicate the impact and value of the public health field to other sectors in language that resonates and fosters cross-sector partnerships and alliances,” the PHRASES’ mission statement reads.
“Forward-thinking public health professionals are reaching across sectors to build healthier communities. Recognizing that effective collaboration advances everyone’s mission, Public Health Reaching Across Sectors supports an ‘all-hands-on-deck’ approach with tools to build communication skills and strategies designed for success,” the statement goes on to state.
A press release from PHRASES on the selections states, “These leaders have demonstrated a commitment to developing cross-sector collaborations in their communities and a passion for improving the way public health communicates its value to decision-makers in other sectors to forge those critical partnerships.”
Fellows will take part in in-depth training from the FrameWorks Institute to hone their skills in the art and science of message framing, network with fellow forward-thinking public health pros, and serve as ambassadors for the PHRASES Toolkit, which will be released in July.
Hiddleson said she applied for the fellowship after seeing information on it in a national public health publication.
“One of the things we’ve been working really hard on for the last few years is working with all our political subdivisions to really look at the policies they make and how they can have an impact on their constituents’ health,” Hiddleson said. “When I saw this fellowship and it talked about making a tool kit for other public health officials to use to help their constituents, I was really intrigued, because I think we can always do better at that.”
Hiddleson said the most difficult thing for the district is to “help people to understand the ‘what’s in it for me’” aspect. She said she is hoping the fellowship will provide new ideas and approaches in presenting policies that will resonate more with their partners.
She went to say of being selected, “It really is quite the honor. I feel very privileged to be able to participate in this. Not only because I think it will benefit my ability to convey the message to the people we work with, but at the end of the day, when we finish all this training, we’ll have this really nice tool kit so that I can help other health commissioners across the state or possibly even nationally to be able to know how to communicate with their partners.”
Hiddleson said she will be conducting a presentation of her work in the fellowship this fall at the annual Association of Ohio Health Commissioners conference, which gathers the 113 health districts in the state.
Reach Dillon Davis at 740-413-0904. Follow him on Twitter @ddavis_gazette.