Focus on Health
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.
Do you want to bring new ideas to your community, build and enhance your network, find new business opportunities and shore up your own professional portfolio? Register for the National Network of Public Health Institute’s (NNPHI) 16th Annual Conference May 17-19, 2017 in New Orleans. The theme, “Navigating Uncertainty, Spanning Boundaries, Improving Health,” explores cross-sector collaboration in public health.
The South Carolina Institute of Medicine & Public Health is pleased to announce new executive officers and members of the Board of Directors. Ms. Pamela Lackey has been named Chair and Mr. Joel A. Smith III Vice-Chair. Ms. Lackey is President of AT&T South Carolina, and Mr. Joel Smith is Dean Emeritus, University of South Carolina Moore School of Business and President (retired) of Bank of America East.
New board members elected for the 2017-2019 term are Dr. Chanita Hughes-Halbert, Professor, Medical University of South Carolina; Ms. Inez M. Tenenbaum, Of Counsel, Wyche P.A., Former Chairman, U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission and Former Superintendent of Education, State of South Carolina; and Dr. Windsor Westbrook Sherrill, Associate Vice President for Health Research, Clemson University and Chief Science Officer, Greenville Health System.
The Arnold School of Public Health at the University of South Carolina is currently preparing for reaccreditation through the Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH). Their site visit for accreditation review is scheduled for March 29-31, 2017. As a part of this formal process, CEPH is accepting written comments from any constituent of the Arnold School who wishes to provide input.
Trust for America’s Health Releases “Blueprint for a Healthier America” Report Featuring High-Impact Policies
The Trust for America’s Health released Blueprint for a Healthier America 2016: Policy Priorities for the Next Administration and Congress which calls for a new approach to health – prioritizing improving health and addressing major epidemics in the United States. The report highlights pressing crises and how investments could yield positive returns on investment by adopting proven health strategies. For instance: investing $1 in substance use prevention to realize as much as $34 in return, saving more than $16 billion through a more active and healthy population, connecting health and social services to cut billions in costs, reducing the $120 billion spent annually on preventable infectious diseases and realizing a 7-10 percent annual return by investing in early childhood education.
The Duke Endowment has released a Request for Applications for Healthy People, Healthy Carolinas (HPHC), a program to improve community health outcomes in North Carolina and South Carolina. This new opportunity is designed to support new or existing community coalitions in their efforts to improve population health through applying the Collective Impact framework, enhancing community capacity to implement evidence-based interventions addressing physical activity/nutrition and chronic disease and monitoring performance metrics to spur improvement. Mandatory webinars are scheduled for Nov. 22, 2016. Applications are due January 16, 2017.
Independent Review of Adult Protective Services Recommended by Creating Direction Long-Term Care Report Released
June 2015’s report from the Long-Term Care Taskforce recommended that the state “Ensure vulnerable adults are protected through an adequate Adult Protective Services (APS) Program and have access to preventive services that keep them safely in their homes and from requiring more expensive services.” To better understand the current APS Program and the needs of vulnerable adults, AARP-SC and the Lieutenant Governor’s Office on Aging engaged the law firm of Nelson Mullins Riley Scarborough to conduct an independent pro bono review in 2015-16. Following an extensive process, the report was released and outlines ten recommendations.
2016 Progress Report – Hope for Tomorrow: The Collective Approach for Transforming South Carolina’s Behavioral Health Systems
IMPH has released the first annual Progress Report presenting a status update on each recommendation from May 2015’s Behavioral Health Taskforce report, “Hope for Tomorrow: The Collective Approach for Transforming South Carolina’s Behavioral Health Systems.” Following the release of the report, IMPH formed an Implementation Leadership Council of key leaders to provide the vision for how the recommendations would be achieved, to foster collaborations and to propel forward movement in improving our state’s behavioral health systems. Significant progress has been made, including in Crisis Stabilization Units, Community Crisis Response and Intervention services, continuity of care and increasing access to evidence-based programs for detoxification from opioids.