Connecting South Carolinians to Care

By Jamie Shuster

Connecting South Carolina families to health and wellness services is one of our core commitments as the state’s health department. To facilitate these connections, DHEC Public Health operates a toll-free hotline service called the Care Line (1-800-868-0404) from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday.

Our Care Line is managed by Tracey McCloud and her dedicated team of five staff members who field calls from the public in English and Spanish. These trained staff members help callers learn how to access important services like WIC, family planning, immunizations, and Medicaid. They also provide referrals to breast and cervical cancer screenings, well child checkups, and can help callers find rides to medical appointments. From time to time, our Care Line team is also called upon to work extended hours to help field questions from the public during disease outbreak investigations.

Recently, I learned that the Care Line team received a call at the end of the work day from a person who was threatening self harm and to hurt others. The Care Line team quickly responded, working to calm the person down over the phone and contacting 911 to get emergency help for the caller. They stayed on the line until they received confirmation that emergency services were responding to the situation to get the person the help needed. This is just one example of the Care Line team’s willingness to go above and beyond the call of duty to help others access the care and services they need.

Thank you Tracey, Maxine McNeill-Johnson, Maritza Thompson, Ann Marie Mantilla, Ethel Foulks, and Carrie Keefe for the great work you do every day to connect South Carolina families with important health and wellness services.

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