Author Archives: SC DHEC

DHEC and DNR Work Together to Prevent Possibly Contaminated Shellfish From Reaching Public

Photo courtesy of SCDNR

After several weeks of a joint investigation by the S.C. Department of Natural Resources Beaufort Unit and the DHEC Shellfish Division, two individuals who were illegally harvesting and selling oysters in the Bluffton/Hilton Head area were apprehended. 

On March 17, 10 bushels of adulterated oysters were seized from the scene, and 10 summons and 2 warnings were issued to the two individuals. This illegal trade puts the citizens at risk due to the health standards not being involved in the process.  

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Nursing Homes: Apply for CMP Funds

DHEC’s Healthcare Quality would like to remind all nursing homes that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid’s (CMS) Civil Money Penalty Reinvestment (CMP) Program is an amazing funding opportunity to apply for that can provide aid and resources to nursing home facilities in South Carolina.

CMP funds may be used for, but not limited to, the following:

  • Activities that protect or improve the quality of care or quality of life for residents
  • Facility improvement initiatives, such as training or technical assistance
  • Assistance to support and protect residents of a facility that closes or is decertified
  • Culture change/quality of life
  • Projects that support resident and family councils and other consumer involvement in assuring quality care in facilities
  • Resident transition due to facility closure or downsizing
  • COVID-19 specific funding for virtual technology, such as iPads and tablets
  • COVID-19 specific funding for tents and shelters for outdoor visitation

More information regarding the CMP Program and its different application types, including COVID-19 Communicative Technology Funding and COVID-19 In-Person Visitation Aids Funding, is available in DHEC’sNursing Home Civil Money Penalty (CMP) Reinvestment Projects web page.

Contact CMPFunds@dhec.sc.gov with any questions regarding the program.

Program Spotlight: SC Adopt-a-Stream

World Water Day was observed this week on March 22. DHEC would like to take this opportunity to highlight the SC Adopt-a-Stream program.  

SC Adopt-a-Stream is a statewide, volunteer water quality monitoring program that is led by DHEC’s Bureau of Water and Clemson’s Center for Watershed Excellence.

The program educates and certifies citizens in protocols for collecting stream data. The program has a meaningful impact on citizen science because the data generated by SC Adopt-a-Stream volunteers helps to screen for water quality issues, show trends in water quality over time and can be used for educational purposes.  

SC Adopt-a-Stream was founded on the belief that people who spend the time to get to know their streams and waterways, through recreation or data collection, will want to work to protect them. The program is a fun, easy way to make a positive impact in your community and help the overall health of South Carolina waterways.  

If you are interested in becoming an SC Adopt-a-Stream volunteer or you simply want to learn more about the program, explore the website at www.scadoptastream.org.

DHEC Highlights National Kidney Month

March is National Kidney Month. DHEC recognizes everyone living with kidney disease, healthcare professionals striving for treatment advancements and cures, and the renal dialysis facilities across South Carolina that continue to provide care to patients in need.

This year’s focus is self-sufficiency and helping people take charge of their health by educating themselves on the many factors that go into managing kidney disease.

In the past decade, the number of South Carolinians currently on dialysis and new cases has increased by 15%. Kidney-related deaths from nephritis, nephrotic syndrome, and nephrosis remain the 8th leading cause of death in the state. [BJ1] Many cases of Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) go undetected for long periods of time and are often overlooked until moderate to severe symptoms appear. CKD is progressive and can put you at risk for serious health complications, including kidney failure.

Kidneys are vital to our health. While each is only about the size of a computer mouse, they filter all blood in your body every 30 minutes in order to remove waste, toxins, and excess fluids. They also help control blood pressure, stimulate production of red blood cells, and keep your bones healthy. Visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website for more kidney-friendly tips and related information.

Follow these healthy lifestyle tips to take charge of your kidney health:

  1. Meet regularly with your health care team. Staying connected with your doctor, whether in-person or using telehealth via phone or computer, can help you maintain your kidney health.
  2. Manage blood pressure and monitor blood glucose levels. Work with your health care team to develop a plan to meet your blood pressure goals and check your blood glucose level regularly if you have diabetes.
  3. Take medicine as prescribed and avoid NSAIDs like ibuprofen and naproxen. Your pharmacist and doctor need to know about all the medicines you take.
  4. Aim for a healthy weight. Create a healthy meal plan and consider working with your doctor to develop a weight-loss plan that works for you.
  5. Reduce stress and make physical activity part of your routine. Consider healthy stress-reducing activities and get at least 30 minutes or more of physical activity each day.
  6. Make time for sleep. Aim for 7 to 8 hours of sleep per night.
  7. Quit smoking. If you smoke, take steps to quit.

It may seem difficult, but small changes can go a long way to keeping your kidneys and you healthier for longer!

For those currently afflicted with CKD and are looking for assistance in finding the right treatment plan or dialysis options, DHEC’s Healthcare Quality team strongly encourages those individuals to locate renal dialysis facilities near them by using our Find A Facility application. Contact information, licensing details, and a myriad of other data are available when searching through the GIS map.

Regulation 61-97, Standards for Licensing Renal Dialysis Facilities, was updated last year and its amendments became legally effective in the summer of 2020. The changes made to the regulation have allowed patients, families, renal dialysis facility staff, and our community to benefit from the improvements specified in the regulation. DHEC encourages the public to read the regulation to learn more about state-approved dialysis management, facility licensure requirements, current provider language, and a variety of useful information regarding our state-licensed renal dialysis facilities.


 [BJ1]Source, (most current data published by DHEC): https://scdhec.gov/sites/default/files/Library/CR-011604.pdf

DHEC Celebrates National Athletic Trainers Month

March is National Athletic Training Month (NATM) and DHEC would like to celebrate how Athletic Trainers (ATs) across South Carolina impact healthcare and improve lives. Athletic Trainers are highly skilled healthcare professionals who provide preventative services, emergency care, therapeutic intervention, and rehabilitation of injuries and medical conditions. ATs are educated on handling a myriad of medical events, including catastrophic injuries such as spinal cord injuries, sudden cardiac arrest, heat illness, and concussions. With over 1,050 state-certified Athletic Trainers working in South Carolina today, this is a career field that is steadily growing and yet still enigmatic to the general public.

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