Rita Landgraf

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - State officials are rolling up their sleeves to fight the flu, and encouraging you to do so as well.

Gov. Jack Markell is joining Health and Social Services Secretary Rita Landgraf, and state Public Health Director Dr. Karyl Rattay in urging Delawareans to get their flu shots.

Markell planned to get his yearly flu shot at a press conference Thursday at which officials also will tout the first drive-thru flu clinic in Kent County.

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WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) - Some Delaware residents are going elsewhere to fight drug addictions due to a lack of services in the state.

Marc Blum tells The News Journal that he violated his probation and went to Florida because he couldn't get treatment for his heroin addiction in Delaware. Marc Blum's mother, Karen Blum, says she believes he would have died if he stayed in Delaware.

Delaware recently increased the number of residential treatment beds from 78 to 95 but has struggled to keep up with demand.

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Enrollment in Delaware’s health exchange under Obamacare is up.

State officials say that more than 28,250 people signed up for plans or were automatically renewed.

That was a 13 percent increase over last year.

State Health and Social Services Secretary Rita Landgraf says that 22 percent involved new enrollees as of late December while 78 percent were renewals.

Nationally, there were around 12.7 million people who signed  up or automatically renewed their plans.

The deadline for signing up on the exchange was last Sunday.

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - Delaware officials have decided not to develop the state's own health insurance exchange under the Affordable Care Act and instead will keep the current state-federal partnership model.

Delaware was granted nonbinding approval in June to develop a supported state-based health insurance marketplace, but Health and Social Services Secretary Rita Landgraf said Thursday that the state will not move forward with the plan.

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NEW CASTLE, Del. (AP) - The Department of Health and Social Services says Democratic State  Rep. Michael Barbieri has been named director of the Division of Substance Abuse and Mental Health.

Secretary Rita Landgraf announced the appointment Monday, saying it is effective on Aug. 4. Barbieri, ,who has represented the Newark area since 2008, will resign from the House on Aug. 3.

Barbieri, a social worker, is chief executive officer of Crossroads of Delaware, a youth treatment center in Wilmington. He says he will relinquish his ownership in Crossroads.

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - Delaware officials have received conditional approval from the federal government to switch to a state-run health insurance exchange under the Affordable Care Act.

While receiving approval Monday, officials cautioned that a final decision on moving to a state-run exchange has not been made.

Delaware currently is one of seven states that operate exchanges with the help of the federal government, including using the federal web portal to enroll people.

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While Delaware draws big crowds for NASCAR and musical events, in Dover that may have an adverse effect on the homeless.

With attendees willing to pay high prices for hotel rooms hundreds of homeless may not find shelter under programs which do not pay as much.

Christy Gordon, vice president of the Foundation for a Better Tomorrow, told the Wilmington News Journal that hundreds of homeless including mothers and small children can find themselves pushed out and back on the streets.


Only 23 percent of millennials in Delaware are signing up for the Affordable Care Act.

And that is among the lowest in the nation and 5 percent below the national average.

These are people between the ages of 18 and 34.

Delaware Health and Social Services Secretary Rita Landgraf told the Wilmington News Journal that she was hesitant to think that there has not been enough outreach.

Landgraf said that Medicaid enrollment may have contributed to the low signup rate for millennials.

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - The state of Delaware reports two more people have died of the flu, bringing the season's total so far to 23 fatalities.

The Division of Public Health says Delaware is close to exceeding its highest number of lab-confirmed flu cases in 10 years. The state has had 2,172 lab-confirmed cases to date this winter.

Health Secretary Rita Landgraf says the number of new lab-confirmed cases is slowing, although that doesn't mean flu season is over. She says sudden increases in new flu cases are not uncommon, even after a season seems to be slowing down.


WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) - Democratic Gov. Jack Markell is fleshing out a proposal in his State of the State speech to improve substance abuse treatment and prevention programs in Delaware.

Markell plans to join Health and Social Services Secretary Rita Landgraf, Department of Correction Commissioner Robert Coupe, Democratic Attorney General Matt Denn and other officials on Monday to talk about his plan.

He's also scheduled to tour an Oxford House program in Newark for people in recovery.