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Delaware Governor: Jack Markell

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  Archived Posts From: 2012


Guest Post: Theresa Strawder, DelaWELL Health Management Program

Written on: September 11th, 2012 in Guest Posts

Tobacco Cessation Resources

 Tobacco use is the single most preventable cause of death in the United States. Each year, cigarette smoking and exposure to secondhand smoke account for nearly 1 of every 5 deaths.

In Delaware, smoking is responsible for at least $430 million per year in direct medical costs and an estimated $621 million per year in lost productivity due to sickness and premature death.

The DelaWELL Health Management program is committed to providing state employees with a safe and hazard-free workplace, with abundant opportunities to promote individual health and foster a healthy work environment.

The use of effective tobacco cessation programs and policies can reduce health risks, improve the quality of life for state employees, retirees  and their families, lower direct costs such as insurance premiums and worker’s compensation claims and positively impact many indirect costs such as absenteeism and worker productivity.

Tobacco use contributes to an extensive list of serious diseases, including cardiovascular and cerebrovascular diseases, multiple cancers, emphysema, and bronchitis; and second-hand smoke contributes to pediatric illness.  We hope to reduce tobacco use within state government by offering  cessation programs that encourage tobacco users to quit, and by reducing exposure to second-hand smoke. 

The following DelaWELL Health Management programs are available to individuals who are currently enrolled in a State of Delaware Group Health Insurance Plan.

• Tobacco Cessation Health Coaching Program – Free, unlimited coaching for employees, spouses, dependents over 18 and non-Medicare retirees

• Online Tools – Tobacco learning center, tobacco cessation videos, Packwraps Program, daily check-in, online quit progress tracker, Smoke-Free Journal and more

• Plan My Quit website – free quit-smoking tools and information

• Tobacco Cessation Health Seminars

• “Beat the Pack Group Sessions” – 4 week onsite program that provides weekly tobacco cessation group sessions

• $0 copay on prescription Tobacco Cessation Medications

 By offering free tobacco cessation resources to state employees, retirees and their families, we hope to make a direct impact on their quality of life and help to facilitate a smooth transition to a tobacco-free environment by supporting them in living happier and healthier lives.

 For more about tobacco cessation resources, visit the DelaWELL Health Portal at or contact the Alere Nurse24 line at 1-866-674-9103, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

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New School Year, New Programs, Same Focus on Moving Forward

Written on: September 7th, 2012 in Education

Pens, pencils, laptops, netbooks and notebooks – it’s back-to-school time for thousands of Delaware students and this will be an important year for them, their parents, our educators and our state.

The summer provided many with a much-needed, well-deserved break, but as students and teachers head back into the classroom, there is plenty to do – building on existing programs and beginning new initiatives.

To build on our existing strengths, we will deepen implementation of our Race to the Top plan; raise the bar for students with Common Core standards; and support educators with more meaningful evaluations and professional development. 

We’ll also increase our support for struggling schools through the Partnership Zone and Focus School programs. Our teachers and students had great success last year – more than 10,000 additional children left school proficient in reading and more than 9,000 additional students reached proficiency in math. The gains occurred across all grades and subjects.

As excited as I am about that progress, our work isn’t over and there are a handful of new programs to help Delaware students realize success, both in the classroom and beyond. We are preparing hundreds of elementary school students with four world language immersion programs and launched new Early Childhood education initiatives.

While we are on the path to success, we must continue to work hard and we must focus on openly evaluating what is working and be willing to change direction when needed.

For now, I simply want to say thank you to educators, parents, students and communities who have worked so hard to improve student learning over the past few years. I look forward to the coming year and later celebrating with you the even greater gains to come.

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