By Jamie Shuster
Catherine Horne, RN
One of the most important aspects of public health is identifying challenges that people face in accessing our health services, and brainstorming new ways to fill these gaps. This month DHEC is excited to announce that Richland County has become only the second county in the nation to employ a Public Health nurse in a public library system, which will help thousands of customers access health services outside of our clinic walls.
Working with Richland Library, DHEC hired a new Public Health nurse, Catherine Horne, RN, to help library customers across the county access accurate health information and connect to local health services. Catherine is based at the library’s downtown headquarters, but will float to all 11 libraries in Richland County as needed.
By placing a Public Health nurse in the library, DHEC will be better able to provide health education and vaccination services to the general public, particularly to low-income and homeless population groups that can be harder to reach. Catherine will also work with library staff to develop health-related programs and education classes, and will serve as a resource for parents to discuss their children’s health issues during library story times.
Thank you to Billy Wiggins, Melissa Barton, and Suzanne Sanders of our Richland County Health Team for working with Richland Library to make this innovative approach to service delivery a reality.
By Jennifer Read
Several members of our Lowcountry Public Health team gathered with representatives from Orangeburg County, the USDA, and town officials to celebrate the recent opening of the Holly Hill government complex.
Above is a photo of Public Health team members Diane Williams, Rosalind Connell, LaTonya Wearing, Kathryn Gramling, Dana Millet, Deborah Trevithick, and Linda Ashley in front of the new complex.
Our new Holly Hill clinic is open for business in Orangeburg County, offering immunization, WIC, HIV/STD screening, family planning, maternal and child health, and home health services.
For more pictures of the Holly Hill ribbon cutting ceremony, visit our Facebook page.
By Jamie Shuster
Today is World TB Day, which provides the CDC and health departments across the country with an opportunity to raise awareness about tuberculosis–related challenges and solutions we’re implementing to prevent and control TB.
Worldwide, the CDC estimates that 1 in 3 people have been infected by the germ that causes TB. About 10% of people infected with the TB germ will develop the disease at some point in their lives.
Here in South Carolina, we’re fortunate that TB disease is rare. Over the last decade, we’ve seen a dramatic drop in TB cases reported to DHEC. In 2013, there were 112 TB disease cases reported in South Carolina, which marks a sharp decline from the 233 cases reported in 2004.
by Jamie Shuster
Today is Registered Dietitian Day, which provides the perfect opportunity to highlight some of the great work our RDs do here at DHEC Public Health.
RDs have degrees in dietetics, nutrition, public health or a related field and work in many different roles to ensure that people understand what they are eating and the impacts that food decisions have on their health. In South Carolina, RDs also must complete an accredited, supervised dietetic internship, pass a national exam, and attain a license to practice from LLR.
Here at DHEC, our RDs provide a variety of services including:
- offering medical therapy for our clients with complex medical conditions like diabetes
- working with families to help provide specialized diets for children with metabolic disorders
- helping parents use special equipment to feed children with a cleft lip or palate
- helping WIC clients learn about nutrition, achieve a healthy weight, and encourage breastfeeding
- assisting families and seniors with planning nutritious meals on a budget through the SNAP nutrition education program
- increasing access to locally-grown fruits and vegetables through the Farm to School program and farmers markets