Category Archives: Outreach

DHEC Celebrates the Importance of Adult Day Care Facilities

During the week of September 19-25, Adult Day Care (ADCs) facilities are celebrated and recognized for National Adult Day Services Week. There are currently 94 licensed ADCs in the state and they can be found by searching DHEC’s Find a Facility map. 

ADCs work to provide community-based day care services for those adults in need of a supportive setting, thereby preventing unnecessary institutionalization. ADCs provide a minimum of four and a maximum of 14 hours of operation a day. 

Continue reading

DHEC Celebrates National Assisted Living Week

National Assisted Living Week, observed September 12-18, is held to recognize the hard work, compassion and care involved in operating assisted living facilities and the residents they serve.

An Assisted Living Facility (ALF) is also known as a Community Residential Care Facility (CRCF) in South Carolina. There are currently 480 licensed CRCFs in the state.

“Compassion, Community, Caring” is this year’s theme for National Assisted Living Week. The COVID-19 pandemic has created challenges for CRCFs, but DHEC has continuously aided the facilities despite the many changes that have occurred during the pandemic.

Continue reading

DHEC Celebrates World Breastfeeding Week 2021 and National Breastfeeding Month

This week marks World Breastfeeding Week. Celebrated across the globe from Aug. 1-7, 2021, the annual awareness week seeks to encourage breastfeeding and improve the health of babies around the world. 

This year’s theme is “Protect Breastfeeding: A Shared Responsibility.” It focuses on how protecting breastfeeding is a shared responsibility. The World Alliance for Breastfeeding emphasizes the need for a public health approach to breastfeeding to build better systems. 

DHEC’s Women Infant and Children (WIC) team encourage its participants to choose to breastfeed as their first option for feeding their babies. Breastfeeding has many benefits for both mother and child including:  

  • Breast milk naturally has all the nutrients and antibodies babies need to grow, develop, and prevent illnesses.   
  • Breastfeeding is convenient and a great timesaver. You can breastfeed almost anywhere and anytime your baby is hungry.  
  • Breastfeeding helps the uterus return to its normal size.  
  • Breastfeeding reduces health care costs because babies are healthier. 
  • Breast milk is always sterile, warm, and ready to serve. 

WIC is part of the Bureau of Community Nutrition Services.

We understand breastfeeding can be challenging for some mothers, especially in the early days. Lactation consultants can help you find ways to make breastfeeding work for you and your baby. Click here to learn more about tackling breastfeeding challenges.  

In addition to World Breastfeeding Week, August is also National Breastfeeding Month. To help celebrate World Breastfeeding Week and National Breastfeeding Month, our regions will be conducting activities. If you’re visiting one of our clinics, look for special activities. We’ll also be sharing pictures later this month showing some of the special events taking place throughout our state.  

According to the World Alliance for Breastfeeding, scaling up breastfeeding can prevent:  

  • 20,000 maternal deaths annually 
  • 823,000 child deaths annually 
  • $302B in economic losses annually  
    ​​​​​​​

For more information about breastfeeding visit the World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action’s website where you can also sign a pledge to participate in World Breastfeeding Week. Also, you can learn about how WIC can help with breastfeeding by visiting our WIC webpage. 

DHEC Marks National Minority Mental Health Month

July is National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month and brings the opportunity to raise awareness and understanding of the mental health needs and experiences within BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) and other underrepresented communities. 

Continue reading

DHEC Encourages Vaccinations and Screenings for World Hepatitis Day

July 28 is World Hepatitis Day, and this year’s theme is “Hepatitis Can’t Wait.” This theme was chosen by the World Hepatitis Alliance because testing, vaccination, and treatment for hepatitis can’t wait, even during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

In South Carolina, hepatitis continues to be a major health burden on many in our communities. Chronic hepatitis B and C can lead to liver disease, cancer and death if untreated. Hepatitis A, while usually a mild illness, has caused increased hospitalizations during the ongoing outbreak in South Carolina that began in 2018. 

In 2019, 527 cases of chronic hepatitis B and 7,022 cases of chronic hepatitis C were diagnosed in South Carolina. Additionally, 2,000 hepatitis A cases have been identified since the outbreak began in November 2018.  

The best way to prevent viral hepatitis infection and liver damage is to be vaccinated for hepatitis A and B and to be screened for hepatitis C. People diagnosed with hepatitis C can be cured of the infection, and the risk of further liver damage can be reduced. 

Hepatitis can’t wait, and we can all do our part to reduce the burden of hepatitis in our communities. 

To learn more about hepatitis, please click here. To find hepatitis, STD and HIV services in your areas, please click here.