Category Archives: Outreach

DHEC Partners with LiveWell Greenville to Help Create Healthier Communities

DHEC collaborates with Trident United Way to embrace service, leadership and collaboration with Stronger Together Campaign

In our next installment of the DHEC Stronger Together video campaign, we take a look at our partnership with LiveWell Greenville. Stronger Together is a video series of testimonials from statewide partners of DHEC. In these inspirational testimonials, we intend to share stories to raise awareness about DHEC’s work in the community and illustrate our strategic plan. In addition, these spotlights will show out core values – Embracing Service, Inspiring Innovation, Promoting Teamwork and Pursing Excellence – in action.

We kicked off the campaign with our partnership with the South Carolina Restaurant and Lodging Association. We then met with Trident United Way in North Charleston. Now we head to the Upstate with LiveWell Greenville.

LiveWell Greenville is a network of more than 100 community organizations that work together to ensure access to healthy eating and active living. DHEC has been a member of this coalition since its inception.

In 2008, Piedmont Health Care Foundation, a non-profit foundation in partnership with the Health and Wellness Taskforce of Greenville Forward, commissioned a youth obesity study and employed Furman University’s Department of Health and Exercise Science to serve as the research base.

“The results of the study were informative,” said Lillie Hall, DHEC Upstate Public Health Region Community Systems Director and founding member of the original coalition. “The study found about 41 percent of the roughly 1,600 Greenville County School students measured were overweight or obese.”

So, the Foundation convened a coalition to develop policy, systems and environmental approaches to address childhood obesity in the county. Originally called the Childhood Obesity or CHO Taskforce, the group included: Piedmont Health Care Foundation, DHEC, Greenville Forward’s Health and Wellness Taskforce, Furman University, PRISMA Health (formerly Greenville Health System), local physicians and pediatricians, and the YMCA of Greenville. In 2011, the name became known as LiveWell Greenville.

Since then, LiveWell Greenville has improved the overall health and wellness in schools, communities, faith organizations and worksites. Jervelle Fort, DHEC Community Health Educator, is on LiveWell Greenville’s “At Worship” and “At Work” subcommittees.

As part of her role on the subcommittees, Fort provides support through the region’s community work plan to create and maintain a community that supports HEAL (healthy eating and active living) strategies and promotes PSE (policy, systems and environmental) change. She also supports the promotion of school and community gardens, updating and maintaining access to DHEC’s fruit and veggie outlet inventory, assisting community partners to implement HEAL and PSE strategies like developing breastfeeding promotion policies in local churches, coordinating resources for creating physical activity resources and creating healthier environments at worksites.

Executive Director of LiveWell Greenville Sally Wills said that partnering with DHEC allows the coalition to have a greater impact, and Fort agrees.

“Partnerships like this help to make the community and state stronger because it groups us together and makes us whole,” Fort said. “It makes us one.”

DHEC embraces service with the LiveWell Coalition and allows us to be part of “healthy people living in healthy communities.” Partnerships like these showcase the agency strategy of leadership and collaboration.

For previous Stronger Together videos

From Other Blogs: Food Insecurity in the United States, Preventing Varicose Veins, Breast Cancer Treatment

A collection of health and environmental posts from other governmental blogs.

Food Insecurity in U.S. Households in 2018 is Down from 2017, Continuing Trend and Returning to Pre-Recession (2007) Level

In 2018, food insecurity returned to the pre-recession level of 11.1 percent, last observed in 2007. It is down from 11.8 percent in 2017 and a high of 14.9 percent in 2011. USDA’s Economic Research Service recently released its Household Food Security in the United States in 2018 on the incidence and severity of food insecurity in U.S. households. – From U.S. Department of Agriculture’s blog

What Can You Do About Varicose Veins

Varicose veins – they’re those dark blue or purple cord-like lines that show up on your legs and they are frustratingly common. But how much do you really know about the condition or how to address it? – From Flourish, Prisma Health’s blog

 

Getting the Right Treatment at the Right Time to Reduce Inequities in Breast Cancer Survival

Although death rates from breast cancer have been going down, the trend has not been equal among all women. Looking at breast cancer survival on a population level can tell us how effective our public health and health care systems are at early diagnosis, delivery of evidence-based treatment, and management of follow-up care. From The Topic is Cancer, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) blog

DHEC In the News: Flu season is here, Sand mine permits, Dispose of Vaping Devices

Here’s a look at health and environmental news around South Carolina.

Is it too early to be thinking about flu season? The CDC says no

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WLTX.com) It may still feel like summer outside, but the seasons will change in a few weeks. Influenza viruses circulate all year, but flu activity usually begins to pick up in October and peaks between December and February, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

DHEC considering sand mine permit in Cottageville

WALTERBORO, S.C. (The Press and Standard) A proposal to establish a sand mine in the Cottageville area will be the topic of a South Caroline Department of Health and Environmental Control public hearing next month. The public hearing on Nov. 14 at 6 p.m. in the cafeteria of Cottageville Elementary School, 648 Peirce Rd., will give residents an opportunity to voice their comments and views about MC Dirt Co. LLC of Summerville’s permit application.

Want to Get Rid of Vaping Devices? Now You Can Hand Them Over to the Feds

SACRAMENTO, C.A. (The Sacramento Bee) People throughout the Southeast can hand over their vaping devices as an “emerging public health threat” looms, federal officials say. The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration announced its Charlotte District Office was teaming up with local officials to accept vaping devices and cartridges at sites across the region on Saturday.

DHEC continues to monitor and update confirmed and probable cases of severe pulmonary disease related to e-cigarette use or vaping.

Promoting Teamwork to Improve Health Outcomes in the Lowcountry

DHEC collaborates with Trident United Way to embrace service, leadership and collaboration with Stronger Together Campaign

DHEC relies on strong partnerships to realize our vision of “healthy people living in healthy communities.” Our Stronger Together video series campaign highlights strategic partnerships throughout the Palmetto State. In these inspirational testimonials, we intend to share stories to raise awareness about DHEC’s work in the community and illustrate our strategic plan. In addition, these spotlights will show out core values – Embracing Service, Inspiring Innovation, Promoting Teamwork and Pursing Excellence – in action.

We kicked off the campaign with our partnership with the South Carolina Restaurant and Lodging Association. Our second highlighted partner is Trident United Way in North Charleston. DHEC sat down with Kellye McKenzie, Director of Health and Amanda Lawrence, Vice President of Community Impact to learn about the ways we work together.

“From planning and prep to providing staff, DHEC has been a partner in the Tri-County Health Needs Assessment,” said Kellye McKenzie, Director of Health for Trident United Way. “The aim is to improve health outcomes and the well-being of every person in Berkeley, Charleston, and Dorchester counties, which aligns perfectly with DHEC’s vision.”

DHEC also currently holds a seat on the Healthy Tri-County Executive Committee.

In the first quarter of 2019, DHEC and Trident United Way worked together to lead the efforts and completion of the community health needs assessment.

“The network consists of 60 organizations that advocate, educate, and support the Tri-County Health Improvement Plan,” said Felicia Veasey, DHEC Community Systems Director for the Lowcountry Region.

In this testimony, Cinti Mwangu, DHEC Health Educator in the Lowcountry, touches on the importance of sharing resources to ensure no community or area is left behind in our collective focus on the health and well-being of South Carolina’s residents. Amanda Lawrence, Vice President of Community Impact for Trident United Way, also mentions collective resources and praised the talented DHEC staff.

The Tri-County Health Needs Assessment underscores our agency’s core value of Embracing Service and strategy of Leadership and Collaboration.

To learn more, watch the video, and stay tuned for our next featured partner, LiveWell Greenville!

7 Fast Facts about Lead during National Lead Poisoning Prevention Week

National Lead Poisoning Prevention Week, recognized October 20-26, 2019, was created to increase awareness about lead poisoning prevention and decreasing potential exposure to lead. This year’s theme is “Get the Facts, Get Your Home Tested, Get Your Child Tested.” According to the 2018 South Carolina State Health Assessment, 36,083 children were tested for childhood lead poisoning, representing a 15.6% increase from 2013. The main sources of lead in South Carolina are related to contaminated soil or dust and chipping lead-based paint in older homes.

Here are some facts about lead and lead poisoning

  1. Lead, a naturally occurring metal, can be found in homes built before 1978 (when lead-based paints were banned). When the paint peels and cracks, lead dust is created. Children can be poisoned if they swallow or breathe that dust.
  2. Lead can also be found in certain water pipes, toys, jewelry, and imported candies.
  3. Occupations and hobbies that involve working with lead-based products, like stained glass work, may cause adults to bring lead into their homes.
  4. Lead poisoning is 100% preventable. Blood lead tests determine if you or your child have been exposed to lead.
  5. There is no cure for lead poisoning. That is why preventing exposure to lead, especially among children, is important. Finding and removing sources of lead from the child’s environment is needed to prevent further exposure. While there is no cure, parents can help reduce the effects of lead by talking to their doctor and getting connected to learning, nutritional, and behavioral programs as soon as possible. Finding and removing the sources of lead from your environment is necessary to prevent further exposure.
  6. Long term effects of lead poisoning may include: brain damage, loss of IQ points, learning disabilities, developmental delay, and behavioral and attention problems.
  7. Lead-safe certified contractors can safely renovate your home. Visit the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for more information about the Renovation, Repair and Painting Program.

Lead poisoning along with other toxic substances within our homes and communities impact our health and safety. For more information about where to find lead and ways to prevent exposure, visit www.scdhec.gov/lead.