Focus on Health
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.
The South Carolina Business Coalition on Health featured the SCale Down Initiative in their 2015 publication of the Hospital Quality Guide. The guide is distributed to over 25,000 employers and employees via hard copy and electronic formats. The publication is intended to help people navigate the health care system through identifying safe, quality health care.
U.S. News & World Report recently published a series of blog post by Dr. Lloyd Sederer exploring the mental health workforce crisis in the United States. In the first post, he explores the increased demand for mental health professionals. The second post explores numerous strategies to increase the number of professionals and efficiency in delivery care to rural areas. The third and final post explores the social determinants of health and health literacy, and their role in solution to the crisis.
It has been one year since the release of the South Carolina Obesity Action Plan in September of 2014, and we are making great strides in achieving the plan’s 74 objectives. SCale Down has become the unifying link for obesity efforts across the state by creating multiple opportunities for partners to connect and collaborate. Highlights of these successful efforts are included in this update.
A new report ranks South Carolina 10th in adult obesity nationally, maintaining the same rank as the 2014 report though the percent of adult obesity rose from 31.7% to 32.1%. In SC, IMPH works facilitates implementation of the South Carolina Obesity Action Plan in partnership with the SC Department of Health and Environmental Control through the SCale Down Initiative.
Bridging for Health: Improving Community Health Through Innovations in Financing, supported by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, recently announced the first four sites selected to participate in this new, national initiative. Spartanburg’s Way to Wellville is among the first communities selected for this innovative program.
With the second quarter of activities now complete, the SCale Down Initiative is fully underway with active engagement from over 90 SCale Down partners. This positive energy is reflective of the many innovative approaches being used to achieve the objectives of the Obesity Action Plan.
South Carolina’s long-term care system is not ready to meet the coming demand as the older population will nearly double over the next 15 years. However, it is not only older adults who need long-term care; 43% of those needing long-term care are under the age of 65. The 30 recommendations in the Long-Term Care Taskforce report are the culmination of a year and a half of work by numerous experts and provide a guide for improving long-term care in South Carolina.
Hope for Tomorrow: The Collective Approach for Transforming South Carolina’s Behavioral Health Systems
Recommendations to improve our state’s behavioral health systems have been issued by a statewide taskforce convened by the South Carolina Institute of Medicine & Public Health (IMPH) to transform South Carolina’s behavioral health systems. These recommendations include actions to make behavioral health care as accessible as care for physical illnesses, such as a heart attack or trauma, and to integrate primary and behavioral health care in order to reduce overall health care costs and improve health outcomes.