Focus on Health
Trust for America’s Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Release 2017 State of Obesity Report
Adult obesity rates are showing signs of leveling off nationally, according to the 14th annual State of Obesity: Better Policies for a Healthier America report from the Trust for America’s Health (TFAH) and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF). In this year’s report, South Carolina’s adult obesity is 32.3%, which ranks South Carolina as 12th in adult obesity in the nation.
Arnold School Researcher Katrina Walsemann Receives Grant to Contribute to the Enhancement of RWJF County Health Rankings
Katrina Walsemann has been awarded nearly $100K to play a key role in improving the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s County Health Rankings. Walsemann’s project, Creating a School Quality Indicators Database to Enhance the RWJF County Health Rankings, aims to create a contextual database that includes county-level indicators of school quality, school segregation and academic achievement using data from all public elementary and secondary schools in the United States.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Health Statistics released the 40th annual report card on the nation’s health. Health, United States, 2016 features long-term trends in health and health care delivery over the past 40 years and explores population changes which have affected patterns of disease, as well as health care access and utilization. The 27 charts and 114 tables present birth rates, life expectancy, leading causes of death, health risk behaviors, health care utilization, insurance coverage and health care expenditures.
This SCale Down update features highlights of the work in five settings including the new and improved website of the South Carolina Recreation & Parks Association, a new walking trail on the grounds of the South Carolina State House, work of the Diabetes Prevention Program in South Carolina, outdoor learning environments for children and Cooking Matters.
SC Public Health Association Recognizes Dr. Megan Weis with Michael D. Jarrett Excellence in Customer Service Award
At the 2017 South Carolina Public Health Association Annual Meeting, associate director Dr. Megan Weis was recognized with the Michael D. Jarrett Excellence in Customer Service Award. The late Michael D. Jarrett, former commissioner of the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control, left a profound legacy for all public servants to follow his promotion of providing exemplary customer service. Mr. Jarrett’s philosophy was to view and treat customers as their most valuable resource and his legacy lives on through commendable service consistently provided to those seeking services relating to Public Health by anyone offering public health services within South Carolina.
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) has released a report defining health equity and identifying crucial elements to guide effective action to reduce disparities in health status. Simply put, “health equity means that everyone has a fair and just opportunity to be healthier. This requires removing obstacles to health such as poverty, discrimination, and their consequences, including powerlessness and lack of access to good jobs with fair pay, quality education and housing, safe environments, and health care.”
Senator Ronnie Cromer has joined IMPH’s Board of Directors. Sen. Cromer serves South Carolina as State Senator for Senate District 18. He was first elected to the seat in a special election on April 15, 2003, and has risen through the ranks of the Senate Republican Caucus. He currently serves as chairman of the Senate Banking and Insurance Committee. In addition, he serves on four other Senate committees: Fish Game and Forestry (former chairman), Finance (subcommittee chairman,) Invitations and Rules (former chairman.)
2017 has been off to an exciting year of progress and transitions for the SCale Down Initiative. We look forward to continuing to build upon our remarkable progress thus far with active engagement from nearly 100 stakeholders to implement the State Obesity Action Plan. Through this collaborative work, SCale Down is making strides in addressing obesity in our state through policy, systems and environmental changes. This update highlights the successes of the previous year.
All of us at IMPH are deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Rep. Joe Neal. A board member and Fellow of our inaugural Health Policy Fellows Program Class, he has been a positive voice for South Carolina during his entire career. We share our deepest condolences to his family, friends and all of South Carolina.
Fitbit recently featured the South Carolina Hospital Association’s A Healthier State House in a case study highlighting the successes of the first year of the program. During the 2016 session, 18% of participants lost significant weight and were longer considered overweight or obese and 78% of participants with elevated total cholesterol were able to reduce it.