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DHSS Press Release

Rita Landgraf, Secretary
Jill Fredel, Director of Communications
302-255-9047, Pager 302-357-7498

Date: May 13, 2015


DOVER (May 13, 2015) - Nurses make a difference in the lives of Delawareans every day. As National Nurse's Week comes to a close, the Division of Public Health (DPH) recognizes the contribution of nurses throughout the state and within its own agency. Nursing is the largest profession in the health care workforce and continues to be the most trusted profession in America, according to a 2014 Gallup poll. Nurses protect and promote the public's health through patient care, advocacy, care management, counseling, coalition building, disease investigation, health teaching, policy development, quality improvement, and much more.

DPH nurses are working hard to achieve the Affordable Care Act's National Quality Strategy (NQS) goals. The goals are part of a larger effort to improve the health care system and include better quality care, affordable care, and healthy people and populations. DPH nurses work in home visiting, clinic, and community settings in a wide range of specialty areas including: child development watch, health promotion and disease prevention; disaster preparedness, response and recovery; HIV case management, immunizations, lead poisoning prevention, population health, health equity, sexual and reproductive health, and tuberculosis elimination.

Division of Public Health nurses and their work include:

Nurse Consultant Lisl Phelps, M.S.N, R.N., based in Milford, is chair of the Breastfeeding Coalition of Delaware, and works with Delaware hospitals to support their achievement of Baby-Friendly Hospital status. She also works in collaboration with the Medical Society of Delaware on the EPIC BEST program to provide onsite training to prenatal, family, and pediatric practices in breast feeding education and support.

Nurse Epidemiologist Paula EggersR.N, based in Dover, investigates and works to control communicable disease from pertussis (whooping cough) to measles, MRSA, and influenza. She is a key resource to Delaware's school nurses, providing consultation and continuing education on a range of topics from Ebola to Lyme disease.

Nurse Manager Terry DombrowskiM.S.N, R.N, leads efforts to strengthen the Division of Public Health Smart Start home visiting program using the evidenced-based Healthy Families America framework and Partners for a Healthy Baby curriculum.

Alethea Miller, M.S.N, R.N, supervises a team of Smart Start nurses, providing the support they need to, in turn, educate, and support young parents. Both nurses are based in Newark.

Advanced Practice Nurses Remi Adepojou, M.S.N, A.P.N, and Jill Dugar, MSN, APN, provide specialized nursing assessment and intervention services to enhance the development of infants and toddlers with developmental delays or disabilities and to enhance the capacity of their families to meet the needs of their young children. Both nurses are based in Newark.

Lead Nurse Gerry Yancy, B.S.N, R.N, based in Newark, provides early intervention and case management services to children who have been exposed to lead poisoning to monitor and improve their health, while also offering education to reduce/prevent further exposure.

Nursing Supervisor Marie O'Leary, B.S.N, R.N, Betty Jo Charles, B.S.N, R.N, and Dianne James, B.S.N, R.N, lead the Tuberculosis Services at Hudson, Williams, and Adams State Services Centers in Newark, Dover, and Georgetown, respectively. Their efforts assure that those with TB disease get the treatment they need, and prevent TB from spreading through the community.

HIV Nurse Rebecca WiedemerM.S.N, R.N, based in Newark, provides expert case management services to support and coordinate care for those living with HIV/AIDS in the community.

Advanced Practice Nurse Matilde Cruz, M.S.N, A.P.N., based in Dover, and Dr. Kim Rogers, D.N.P, A.P.N, based in Georgetown, provide sexual and reproductive health services to teens and adults.

Adults and children interested in exploring a career in nursing can learn about 104 specialties, including public health nursing, by checking out at, which features video of nurses on the job and offers seven surprising facts about the nursing profession.

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. DPH, a division of DHSS, urges Delawareans to make healthier choices with the 5-2-1 Almost None campaign: eat 5 or more fruits and vegetables each day, have no more than 2 hours of recreational screen time each day (includes TV, computer, gaming), get 1 or more hours of physical activity each day, drink almost no sugary beverages.

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.