As the state’s public health agency, DHEC strives to be the example when it comes to healthy lifestyles—both for the public and other organizations.
In May, we participated in the Working Well Corporate Challenge, a partnership between the Governor’s Cup Road Race and the South Carolina Hospital Association. Over 100 DHEC employees and their families participated in the marathon, half-marathon, 5K, Main Street Mile and Kid’s Mile.
Last week, the South Carolina Hospital Association (SCHA) recognized DHEC for our winning participation in the challenge.
In 2017, the Governor’s Cup Road Race partnered with South Carolina Hospital Association’s Working Well initiative to form the Working Well Corporate Challenge. We congratulate the SC Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) who recruited and registered 104 participants.
DHEC promoted participation by creating an intra-office competition, with the winning team receiving a trophy and recognition at an ice cream social. DHEC promoted the event to walkers and runners alike by basing the competition on the total number of participants who finished a race, rather than distance or speed. This leveled the playing field between seasoned runners, new walkers, and everyone in between.
Will Britt, DHEC team captain, has seen an increase in physical activity interest since the Working Well Corporate Challenge. “The challenge went better than we expected,” said Britt. “We now have many employees who have already signed up for another race and are enthusiastic about toeing the line at the 2018 Governor’s Cup.”
Richard Chesley interviewed with ABC Columbia about our Don’t Waste Food S.C. campaign. Richard pointed out that 38.4 million tons of food are simply thrown away in the United States every year. To put it another way, 40% of all food processed is simply tossed in the circular file.
National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day
In observance of National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day on February 7th, we worked with community-based organizations to offer free HIV testing testing events across South Carolina. More than 12,600 African-Americans in our state are living with HIV/AIDS, and thousands more haven’t been tested. For more information about the fight against AIDS in South Carolina, including local HIV testing sites, call DHEC’s AIDS/STD Hotline at 1-800-322-AIDS (1-800-322-2437), or visit http://www.scdhec.gov/stdhiv .
Gold Star Honor for Tobacco-Free Efforts
This week DHEC was recognized by the South Carolina Hospital Association’s Working Well initiative and Prevention Partners for achieving the highest standard of tobacco-free excellence.
Jen Wright of Working Well visited DHEC to present Director Catherine Heigel and members of our Division of Tobacco Prevention and Control and Worksite Wellness team the Gold Star award for creating a tobacco-free workplace and providing high-quality tobacco cessation programs for employees..
In order for an organization to receive this recognition, it must have a tobacco-free worksite policy, refer its employees to effective quit programs and counseling, provide comprehensive cessation benefits (nicotine replacement therapy and prescription medications) and offer incentives to encourage employees to quit tobacco. These are among several evidence-based components recommended by Working Well and Prevention Partners for comprehensive quit-tobacco systems at worksites.
The word is finally getting out about the devastating statistics of heart disease in women. As the No. 1 killer of women nationally, heart disease claims the lives of nearly 500,000 women annually in the United States. In 2003, the American Heart Association introduced a new initiative known as “National Wear Red Day” to inform women of the dangers of ignoring their heart health and to teach them how to improve their heart and overall health. “Go Red Day” is held on the first Friday in February and encourages women and men to dress in red clothing to show their support for heart disease awareness.
In the 15 years since the inaugural “National Wear Red Day,” there have been significant accomplishments achieved to reduce the number of women dying from heart disease, including:
Nearly 90% of women have made at least one healthy behavior change.
More than one-third of women have lost weight.
More than 50% of women have increased their exercise.
6 out of 10 women have changed their diets.
More than 40% of women have checked their cholesterol levels.
One-third of women has talked with their doctors about developing heart health plans.
Today, nearly 300 fewer women die from heart disease and stroke each day.
Death in women from heart disease has decreased by more than 30 percent over the past 10 years.
Click here to read more about “Go Red Day” and how you can protect yourself from heart disease.
Impacting nearly 35,000 state employees, the new A Healthier State initiative is promoting improved health by providing comprehensive baseline worksite assessments, model policies, and wellness consultation services. Starting in May, DHEC proudly kicked off a component of the worksite wellness initiative by joining the 2015 National Bike Challenge.
A nationwide event uniting thousands of current bicyclists—and encouraging countless new riders, the challenge aims to unite 100,000 riders to pedal 35 million miles from May 1, 2015 until September 30, 2015.
Now that we’re well into the challenge, we wanted to provide everyone with a quick update. Helping to promote a healthy lifestyle and air quality, Team DHEC has collectively ridden over 3,000 miles, enough to make it from the east coast to the west coast, and burned over 159,000 calories. Keep up the good work team!
Interested in joining TEAM DHEC? There’s still time. To participate in this year’s challenge, please contact Leslie Coolidge at firstname.lastname@example.org.
As part of our A Healthier State Initiative, DHEC is offering FREE health screenings to employees through Prevention Partners. This is open to all DHEC employees, retirees, spouses and dependents who have the State Health Standard Plan, State Health Savings Plan, or Blue Choice HMO as their primary insurance. The cost is $55 for those who are covered under Medicare or Tricare.
Confidential health risk appraisal with family history, lifestyle information, medical history, BMI, blood pressure and weight
Comprehensive lab tests
Free prostate screening for men over 40
Additional testing for Hgb A1C, Vitamin D, Testosterone, and the Hepatitis C antibody is available for an extra fee.