Monthly Archives: July 2016

LEAP to Spark Creative Ideas, Develop Leaders

S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control is investing in its future leaders with the launch of its inaugural Leadership Excellence and Achievement Program (LEAP) this summer. Twenty-four participants will take part in the 12-month DHEC employee program designed to develop future DHEC leaders while cultivating new ideas that will create overall improvements for the agency.

Often the best ideas come from within, and LEAP offers the perfect opportunity to grow those concepts to boost the agency.

Congratulations to the first class of participants: Chrissy Chavis, Abby Kesler and Bentley White of Health Regulations; Tripp Clark, Whitney Cofield, Kandi Fredere, Holly Gillam, Chris Hoots, and Kim Paradeses of Operations; Harley Davis, Emma Kennedy, Shenika McCray, Kristin Pillion, Rachel Radcliffe, and Mike Smith of Health Services; Susan Fulmer, Travis Fuss, Robin Mack, Michael Mattocks, Kyle Maurer, and Chris Stout of Environmental Affairs; Bryony Wardell of Communications; Michael Traynham of the Office of General Counsel; and Patrice Witt of Human Resources.

It’s hurricane season: Those with special medical needs must be prepared

We’re a month into the 2016 hurricane season. Are you prepared? While we all should have emergency kits and evacuation plans, that’s doubly true for those of us who depend on a regular regimen of medication, medical equipment or special diets.

If you have special medical needs and haven’t developed an evacuation plan in case the need arises, today is the day to do so.

Don’t wait until a storm is bearing down. Waiting until the last moment could lead to mistakes, such as critical medicine, medical equipment or other essentials being left behind in a rush. You can avoid that by planning ahead so that you’re ready to move out of harm’s way at a moment’s notice.

Think it all through — from what you would need to take with you to where you would go. Be sure to maintain a list of items you need during emergencies, including medications, medical supplies and other items.

Here are two lists to get you started:pills
What will you take?

  • Ample medication and medical supplies for at least seven days
  • Medical equipment used at home, such as oxygen concentrators, wheelchairs, canes, walkers, etc.
  • Special dietary foods and items
  • Health insurance cards
  • Names and phone numbers for health care providers, pharmacies and medical equipment companies (such as your oxygen provider)
  • Name of the utility service that provides power at you home

Where will you go?

Shelters should be the place of last resort. In the event that it is necessary, special medical needs shelters will be made available during storms.

  • Before opting to go to a shelter, try staying with family or friends or in a motel out of the area.
  • Shelters should be used only when no other options are available.
  • If a special medical needs shelter is necessary and available, organize an adult caregiver who can go with you and care for you.
  • Be sure to make arrangements for your pets; many shelters do not allow pets.
  • Tell family members where you will be during the storm.
  • Be sure any home health services you receive can be continued in the shelter.

Visit  for additional information on preparing for and recovering from a storm.

Click below to download a comprehensive guide to hurricanes or visit

Hurricane Guide 2016

Prevention is the best defense against heat-related illnesses

The National Weather Service forecast projects the next several days to be scorchers, hitting or coming close to 100 degrees or more in various parts of South Carolina.

Be careful and take steps to avoid heat-related health problems.

Prevention: The best defense

Here are some tips from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to help you beat the heat:

  • Drink more fluids. Whether you’re active or not, it’s important to stay hydrated. Don’t drink liquids that contain alcohol or large amounts of sugar because they cause you to lose more body fluid. Avoid very cold drinks as well; they can cause stomach cramps.
  • If your doctor generally limits the amount of fluid you drink or has you on water pills, ask your physician how much you should drink while the weather is hot.
  • If possible, stay indoors in an air-conditioned place. If your home does not have air conditioning, go to the mall or public library for a break from the heat. Just a few hours spent in air conditioning can help your body stay cooler when you go back into the heat.
  • Electric fans may provide comfort, but when the temperature soars into the high 90s, fans will not prevent heat-related illness. Take a cool shower or bath, or go into an air-conditioned place.
  • Wear lightweight, light-colored, loose-fitting clothing.
  • NEVER leave anyone in a closed, parked vehicle.

While anyone can suffer from heat-related illness, it’s particularly important to keep a close watch on infants and young children, people aged 65 and older, people with mental illness and those who are physically ill. Visit older adults at least twice a day and watch them for signs of heat exhaustion or heat stroke. And it goes without saying that infants and young children need more frequent monitoring.

For more information on heat-related illnesses, visit


Learn to Cook Healthy Recipes While You Shop

Kristin Ross and Kayla Lyles at Sandhills Farmers MarketAdding fresh fruits and vegetables to your grocery list is a first step in eating healthier. But, what if you aren’t sure how to prepare them?

S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control SNAP-Education nutrionists are  solving that problem by traveling to farmers markets and roadside stands across the state and conducting healthy cooking demonstrations.

See the schedule below and stop by and see us! 

July 5,  3-6 p.m.
Ringo’s Produce – Roadside Stand / Farmer’s Market
10545 Garners Ferry Rd, Eastover, SC 29044

July 7, 1-4 p.m.
Lake City Farmers Market
117 Henry Street, Lake City, SC 29560

July 8, 1-4 p.m.
Cayce Farmers Market
2329 Charleston Hwy, Cayce, SC 29033

July 11, 9:30 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Pee Dee Farmers Market
2513 W. Lucas St.,  Florence, SC 2950

July 13, 3-6 p.m.
Forest Acres Farmers Market
3400 Forest Drive, Columbia, SC 29206

July 14, 8:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
Peaches N Such produce stand
2120 Pond Branch Road, Gilbert , SC

July 15, 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.      
Right Choice Farmers Market, Orangeburg
3310 Magnolia Street, Orangeburg, SC 2911

July 16,   8:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
Lee County Farmers Market
220 E Church Street, Bishopville, SC

July 16, 8 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
Summerville  Farmers Market
200 South Main Street, Summerville, SC

July 20, 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
Lourie Center (Seeds of Hope)
1650 Park Cir, Columbia, SC 29201

July 21, 8:00 a.m. – Noon
Tree of Life  (Seeds of Hope)
6719 N Trenholm Road, Columbia, SC 29206

July 26, 1:00 – 6:00 p.m.
Sandhills Farmers Market
900 Clemson Road, Columbia, SC 29229

July 27, 8:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
Peaches N Such II
3771 HWY 23, Monetta, SC 29105

July 28, Noon – 4:00 p.m.
Carolina Apts (Seeds of Hope)
3201 Meadowlard Dr., Columbia, SC 2920

July 29,  9:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
Dixon Produce  roadside stand
448 West Bobo Newsome Hwy, Hartsville, SC 29550

August 5, 9:00 – Noon
Right Choice Fresh State Farmers Market
3310 Magnolia St, Orangeburg, SC 29115

August 11, 1:00 – 4:00 p.m.
Lake City Farmers Market
117 Henry Street, Lake City, SC 29560

August 12,  9:00 – Noon
Right Choice Fresh State Farmers Market
3310 Magnolia St, Orangeburg, SC 29115

August 20, 8:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.
Summerville Farmers Market
200 S. Main St.  Summerville, SC  29483

CR-009871Farmersmarket recipe book_Page_01
Get Recipes

Download a copy of the Farmers Market Nutrition Program Recipe Book.

S.C. Farmers and Roadside Market App

To find a farmers market or roadside stand near you and see when they’re open and what payment types they accept (including WIC, SNAP and Senior vouchers) visit


Tips for a Healthy and Safe 4th of July


S.C. Department of Health and Environmental wishes everyone a happy and healthy 4th of July. Here are a few tips to keep the festivities fun.

Packing the perfect cooler

  • Everyone gets thirsty on hot days. Use a separate cooler for drinks so the one containing food isn’t opened as much and can keep food at the perfect temperature.
  • When using a cooler, keep it out of the direct sun by placing it in the shade or shelter.
  • Avoid opening the lid too often, which lets cold air out and warm air in.
  • Pack raw meats, poultry, or seafood on the bottom of the cooler and wrap them in plastic. This will reduce the risk of bacteria from raw juices dripping on other foods.
  • Pack coolers until they are full. A full cooler will stay cold longer than one that is partially full.
  • Use an insulated cooler with sufficient ice or ice packs to keep the food at 40 °F or below.
  • Pack food right from the refrigerator into the cooler immediately before leaving home.
  • Only take out the meat and poultry that will immediately be placed on the grill.


Travel like a backyard bbq pro

  • When transporting food to another location, keep it cold to minimize bacterial growth.
  • Put the cooler in an air-conditioned car not a hot trunk.
  • Bring extra plates, grilling utensils and napkins and use different platters and utensils for raw and cooked meat and poultry.
  • Keep raw meats seperate from fresh produce and ready-to-eat foods.
  • Wash hands, work area, and all utensils before, during, and after preparing food.
  • If you’re eating away from home, find out if there’s a source of clean water. If not, bring water for preparation and cleaning. Or pack clean cloths, and moist towelettes for cleaning surfaces and hands.
  • Refrigerate any leftovers promptly in shallow containers. Discard any food left out more than 2 hours (1 hour if temperatures are above 90 °F).

Firework Safety Tips

  • Leave it to the professionals. There are many great displays across state, so just sit back and enjoy the oohs and ahhs. 
  • Adults only. Never let children play with fireworks. Even sparklers, a firework often considered by many to be the ideal “safe” device for the young children, burn at very high temperatures.
  • Take a seat. If you’re setting of fireworks, don’t allow running or horseplay while lighting them.Be sure other people are standing at a safe range before lighting fireworks.
  • Set off fireworks outdoors in a clear area on a flat, solid surface so that fireworks don’t tip over or shoot into areas where there are houses, dry leaves, grass and other flammable materials.
  • Never have any portion of your body directly over a firework while lighting. Don’t look over/into a “dud.”
  • Keep a bucket of water nearby.
  • Do not try to relight or handle malfunctioning fireworks. Soak them with water and throw them away.
  • Never light fireworks in a container, especially a glass or metal container.
  • Store fireworks in a cool, dry place.Check instructions for special storage directions.
  • Keep our beaches and neighborhoods clean. Fireworks produce debris and litter. Be sure to clean up your litter by the next morning and dispose of it in a trash can.