Focus on Health
The work and focus of the Behavioral Health Taskforce continue to make news as the critical need for crisis stabilization and chronic care services are highlighted around our state. Two articles appearing in The Greenville News recently illustrate that need.
With the release of the South Carolina Obesity Action Plan in the fall of 2014, a new phase of obesity prevention work began in our state. The plan provides clear direction for focused action in multiple settings on a 5-year horizon. To ensure that such action occurs, the SCale Down Initiative was launched in January 2015 to support this effort by engaging partners to achieve the objectives outlined in the Action Plan. This update highlights the activities and successes that have occurred during the first year.
Twenty-seven members of the South Carolina General Assembly have been recognized as Health Policy Fellows by the South Carolina Institute of Medicine and Public Health (IMPH). The elected officials were participants in the fall 2015 offering of the Fellows Program, offered by IMPH and supported by The Duke Endowment and Sisters of Charity Foundation of South Carolina. The program is a non-partisan initiative providing evidence-based information on health and health care issues in South Carolina.
More than 100 state lawmakers will use the Fitbit Wellness platform to help reach their health and fitness goals. Rep. Neal Collins has teamed up with the South Carolina Hospital Association (SCHA) and the Alliance of YMCAs to create A Healthier State House among state legislators and legislative staffers.
The South Carolina Medical Association (SCMA) Board of Trustees and the Alliance for a Healthier South Carolina (Alliance) have formally endorsed the South Carolina Institute of Medicine and Public Health Behavioral Health Taskforce’s final report, “Hope for Tomorrow: The Collective Approach for Transforming South Carolina’s Behavioral Health Systems.”
The United Health Foundation released the 2015 America’s Health Rankings, based on 2012-2014 data. South Carolina was ranked 42nd in health outcomes, the same ranking as last year. This means that 41 other states are healthier than South Carolina. The state improved in 23 of the 34 indicators used to calculate the Rankings – including childhood immunizations, infant mortality and preventable hospitalizations; but it was not enough to improve the overall ranking.
The Kaiser Family Foundation has released an update to the Health Spending Explorer, an interactive tool on the Peterson-Kaiser Health System Tracker that allows users to analyze the most up-to-date data on U.S. health spending, then build, display and share the charts that are created.
According to a new report, Reducing Teen Substance Misuse: What Really Works, from the Trust for America’s Health, drug overdose death rates among 12- to 25-year-olds have doubled in SC over the last 12 years. South Carolina ranked 12th lowest for the number of youth drug overdose deaths, with a rate of 5.8 per 100,000 youth, ages 12 to 25. The national rate is 7.3 per 100,000.
There are substantial health differences among South Carolina counties, and eliminating those differences could prevent over 2,400 premature deaths every year, according to a new report released by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute. The report highlights health gaps among SC’s counties and details strategies for improvement.
Spartanburg County is one of eight communities nationally to win the prestigious 2015 Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) Culture of Health Prize. The prize honors communities for working to ensure that everyone in their community has the opportunity to live a longer, healthier and more productive life.