Category Archives: events

Help Camp Burnt Gin Win “Best of Sumter” Title

Camp Burnt Gin, DHEC’s residential camp for young people with physical disabilities and chronic illnesses, has been nominated for the Best of Sumter awards. Voting for this recognition event sponsored by The Sumter Item is open until February 29, 2020.

Located in Wedgefield, SC, Camp Burnt Gin is a service of DHEC’s Maternal and Child Health Bureau/Division of Children with Special Health Care Needs and has operated since 1945. Staff members, in a ratio of one for every two campers, reside with the campers and assist them throughout a six-day session of activities. 

“The learning opportunities and experiences provided by the camp are invaluable,” said Camp Burnt Gin Director Marie Aimone.. “Camp Burnt Gin helps children to improve their social skills, self-esteem and independence. The camp’s activities are not only fun but help develop skills for a healthy, active lifestyle.”  

This summer’s sessions operate from June to August, and programming focuses on three age groups: 7-15, 16-20 and 21-25. Activities include swimming, arts and crafts, sports, and nature learning, and skits, carnivals, dances, and treasure hunts are part of special evening events. 

Click here to help Camp Burnt Gin claim this title!

How Can Campers Apply?

The camp is also accepting applications for the 2020 season.

“Camp Burnt Gin offers a variety of activities for children, teens and young adults who might not otherwise have a camping experience because of their health care needs,” Aimone said. “Some of the campers we serve live with physical disabilities like orthopedic conditions, hearing loss, epilepsy, sickle cell anemia, heart disease, cerebral palsy and craniofacial conditions.”

Camp Burnt Gin is seeking staff for the 2020 season, too, including counselors, activity specialists, waterfront assistants and nurses. 

“Working at Camp Burnt Gin is an excellent opportunity for someone planning a career in education, health-related professions or social services to gain experience,” said Thomas Carr, a seven-year staff member at the camp. “You come to Burnt Gin with the desire to make a difference in the life of a young person, but what you don’t realize is how much you can learn from the campers on a professional and personal level.”

The deadline for campers to apply for Camp Burnt Gin’s 2020 season is March 1. To apply as a camper or staff member, contact Marie at 803-898-0784 or campburntgin@dhec.sc.gov.

For more information, visit www.scdhec.gov/campburntgin.

Go Red For Women and Heart Health

As the number one killer of women nationally, heart disease claims the lives of nearly 500,000 women annually in the United States. This Friday, Feb. 7, DHEC is encouraging everyone to wear red to help raise awareness for women and heart disease.

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 both women and men to dress in red clothing to show their support for heart disease awareness.

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 percent of women have made at least one healthy behavior change.
  • More than one-third of women have lost weight.
  • More than 50 percent of women have increased their exercise.
  • 6 out of 10 women have changed their diets.
  • More than 40 percent of women have checked their cholesterol levels.
  • One-third of women have 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.

Join us, this Friday as we Go Red for women and heart health.

FREE HIV Testing Tomorrow for National HIV Testing Day

Participating local DHEC health departments will administer FREE HIV testing tomorrow, June 27, 2019 in recognition of National HIV Testing Day (NHTD).  No appointment necessary, but encouraged.  First observed in 1995, NHTD was created to increase awareness about HIV and encourage people to get tested.  This year’s theme is “Doing It My Way.”

HIV is a virus spread through certain body fluids that attack the body’s immune system, often called T cells.  Over time, HIV can destroy these cells so much that the body cannot fight off infections and disease and therefore creates a week immune system, making it susceptible to various diseases and cancers.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 1.1 million people in the United States are living with HIV, including approximately 166,000 people who are unaware of their status.  In the United States, HIV is mainly spread by having anal or vaginal sex with someone who is already infected without using a condom or sharing needles, syringes, rinse water, or other equipment used to prepare drugs for injection with someone who is infected.  Although it is not as common, HIV can be spread from mother to child during pregnancy, birth, or breastfeeding or by being stuck with an HIV-contaminated needle.

HIV Stats_SC Health Assessment

According to the 2018 South Carolina Health Assessment:

  • The number of new HIV cases decreased 32.3% from 1,170 cases in 1998 to 792 cases in 2016.
  • African-Americans made up 28% of the population in South Carolina, yet were comprised 68% of people newly diagnosed with HIV/AIDS.
  • People ages 20-29 years old had higher rates than other age groups.
  • People ages 50-59 years old comprised 31% of the people living with HIV/AIDS.
  • In 2011, 34.7% of adults had been tested for HIV, compared to 37.1% of adults in 2016.
  • Just over 46% of Hispanic/Latinos in South Carolina were tested for HIV.

HIV Testing_SC Health Assessment

By ensuring that everyone who has HIV is aware of their infection and is receiving treatment, new HIV infections in South Carolina can be dramatically reduced.  Visit your local public health clinic and get tested.  (Tell a friend, too!)

Last Day to Register for The Evidence Academy: Reducing Health Disparities in Our State, Held June 21

Join the South Carolina Cancer Alliance on Friday, June 21 from 9:30 AM to 3:00 PM for “Evidence Academy:  Reducing Health Disparities in Our State,” a FREE workshop for health care professionals and advocates.  The premise of the event is to discuss health disparities in cancer.  While mortality rates have declined for many cancers in South Carolina, significant racial disparities persist.

The event will be held at the South Carolina Hospital Association, 1000 Center Point Road, where attendees will learn how to:

  • Relate to the environment of underserved communities
  • Understand four major factors essential to self-development
  • Practice self-reflection and self-awareness
  • Understand bias, implicit bias, and privilege
  • Understand the collateral consequences of structural inequality.

Speakers include:  Scott E. Porter, MD, MBA, FACS, FAOA and Brian Chad Starks, PhD.  Dr. Porter currently serves as the Vice President of Equity and Inclusion and is the former Residency Program Director in the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery at Prisma Health – Upstate.  Dr. Starks is a nationally recognized expert on Cultural Competency, Diversity and Inclusion, Equity and the disruption of Implicit Bias.

Registration is FREE and lunch will be provided.  To register or for more information, visit www.sccancer.org or call 803.708.4732.