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DHSS Press Release

Josette Manning, Secretary
DPH Media Contact
Laura Matusheski
Media Relations Coordinator

Date: June 20, 2024


By aligning outreach efforts at the Positively Dover African American Festival, DPH and DST aim to improve health outcomes statewide.

DOVER, DEL. (June 20, 2024) - The Delaware Division of Public Health (DPH) Cancer Prevention and Control (CPC) Bureau and the Community Health Mobile Unit are partnering with the Dover Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority (DST), Inc. to inform the community on all aspects of cancer prevention at the Positively Dover African American Festival on June 22, 2024. This event is sponsored by the Inner-City Cultural League, Inc. to celebrate and honor African American culture and heritage.

The partnership aims to educate the public on cancer risk factors, screenings, treatment, and survivorship through culturally inclusive and equitable approaches to access and care on the four most common cancers worldwide: breast, colorectal, lung, and prostate cancer. DPH's Community Mobile Health Unit will also be onsite to offer a variety of health screenings.

"We are thrilled to collaborate with DST at the Positively Dover African American Festival," said DPH Director Steven Blessing. "This partnership gives an opportunity to reach a diverse audience and provide them with valuable information and resources to improve their overall health. By offering free health screenings and education, we hope to empower individuals to take control of their health and make informed choices."

In Delaware, DPH has made considerable progress since 2001 to shrink the racial disparity in colorectal cancer. The Delaware Cancer Registry for 2016-2020 indicates non-Hispanic Black Delawareans have a slightly higher mortality rate for colorectal cancer compared to non-Hispanic White Delawareans (14.9 vs. 12.8 per 100,000 population). Although non-Hispanic White Delawareans have a higher mortality rate for lung cancer compared to non-Hispanic Black Delawareans (40.5 vs. 37.1 per 100,000 population), 48% of distant stage lung cancer cases were diagnosed in non-Hispanic Black Delawareans compared to 41% in non-Hispanic White Delawareans. Distant stage cancer cases are more severe, decrease survival, and are harder to treat compared to cases diagnosed in earlier stages.

Non-Hispanic Black Delawareans are also more affected by breast and prostate cancers compared to non-Hispanic White Delawareans. According to the Delaware Cancer Registry for 2016-2020, non-Hispanic Black women have a higher mortality rate from breast cancer compared to non-Hispanic White women in Delaware (26.8 vs. 20.3 per 100,000 population). Similarly, non-Hispanic Black men die from prostate cancer at double the rate compared to non-Hispanic White men in Delaware (32.6 vs. 15.7 per 100,000 population). These trends in breast and prostate are not unique to Delaware and are consistent with national trend in cancer. For more information, visit

"The Dover Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. has a long-standing tradition of service and advocacy," said DST President Wanda Davis. "Our partnership with the DPH allows us to expand our reach and effectiveness in promoting health and the overall well-being of Kent County community residents."

For more information on the Positively Dover African American Festival, visit their website at To learn more about the Dover Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated, visit their website at For more information on preventing, detecting, and treating cancer, visit


The Delaware Division of Public Health (DPH), a division of the Delaware Department of Health and Social Services, is a nationally accredited public health agency recognized by the Public Health Accreditation Board for its outstanding dedication to driving change through innovation.

Dover Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. (DST) is a Divine Nine member organization of the National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC) committed to service, scholarship, sisterhood and social action. With a rich history of community engagement and advocacy, the sorority strives to make a positive impact through various educational, cultural, and health-focused initiatives.

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.