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DHSS Press Release

Rita Landgraf, Secretary
Jill Fredel, Director of Communications
302-255-9047, Cell 302-357-7498
Email: jill.fredel@delaware.gov

Date: November 14, 2014


NEW CASTLE (Nov. 14, 2014) - As part of the 2014 Outdoors Summit on Monday at the Stockley Center in Georgetown, Department of Health and Social Services (DHSS) Secretary Rita Landgraf and other state officials will detail new expanded uses of the Stockley Center, a state-operated facility for individuals with developmental disabilities on 750 acres of state-owned land south of Georgetown.

At the summit, Dr. Gerard Gallucci, medical director for DHSS, will talk about introducing telehealth services to the community at the Stockley Center. Ray Bivens, director of State Parks for the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control, will speak about the role of trails and recreation for healthy and active lifestyles. As part of the summit, temporary trail signs will mark potential community walking, running and biking trails. DHSS Secretary Landgraf will talk about how these first steps will lead to additional uses at the Stockley Center.

"Leveraging our state facilities and our state lands will improve the health of more residents of Sussex County and lead to a more inclusive community," Secretary Landgraf said.

The initiatives are the result of work being done by the Stockley Collaborative, a group of community people carrying out a strategic plan for the Stockley Center and its surrounding land that will benefit the health and wellness of all Delawareans, particularly the residents of Sussex County, as well as continue to support and protect residents with disabilities. John Hollis, senior adviser for Delaware Valley government relations for Nemours/A.I. duPont Hospital for Children, is the organizer of the summit and chair of the Stockley Collaborative

"As part of the summit, it is exciting to showcase the first steps forward in expanding the uses of the Stockley Center," Hollis said. "Thanks to the ongoing work of the collaborative, the community will benefit from these additional uses. We know it is just the start."

Since 1921, the Stockley Center has enriched Sussex County and the rest of Delaware with services and housing for people with developmental disabilities. At the height of activity in the 1970s, the Stockley Center was home to more than 700 residents with disabilities of all ages.

Today, the Stockley Center includes a state-of-the-art 50-bed skilled nursing facility and housing residences for a total of about 65 individuals with developmental disabilities. The center also has a fully accessible, aquatic therapy facility, a full-size gymnasium, medical and dental offices, a computer training center, a chapel, a daycare center, and is home to the Delaware Adolescent Program, Inc. and the southern office of the Division of Forensic Science. Just down the road is Sussex Central High School.

The center sits on 750 acres of state land, just south of Georgetown, including miles of interlinking trails over varied terrain.

Other speakers at Monday's 2014 Outdoors Summit in the All-Star Building on the Stockley Center Campus include Gov. Jack Markell, who will talk about "The Realization of a Vision," and Dr. Karyl Rattay, director of DHSS' Division of Public Health, who will introduce representatives of some of Delaware's Healthy Communities as honored by the Governor's Council on Health Promotion and Disease Prevention and the Delaware Coalition for Healthy Eating and Active Living (DE HEAL). The summit is scheduled from 8:30 a.m. to 1:15 p.m. in the All-Star Building at the Stockley Center, 26351 Patriots Way, Georgetown.

To learn more about the summit, go to: www.sussexoutdoors.org/

To learn more about the Stockley Collaborative, go to: dhss.delaware.gov/dhss/admin/stockleycollaborative.html. Join the Friends of Stockley on Facebook at www.facebook.com/FriendsofStockley.

Delaware Health and Social Services is committed to improving the quality of the lives of Delaware's citizens by promoting health and well-being, fostering self-sufficiency, and protecting vulnerable populations.