Focus on Health

Hope for Tomorrow Behavioral Health Report Endorsed

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.”

South Carolina Maintains 42nd Ranking for Health Outcomes

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.

Explore Trends in U.S. Health Spending

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.

Drug Overdose Deaths in SC Double

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.

2,400 Premature Deaths in South Carolina Could Be Prevented

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 Wins RWJF Culture of Health Prize

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.

Hospital Quality Guide Features SCale Down Initiative

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.

Behavioral Health & the Workforce – Challenges & Strategies

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.

SCale Down Quarterly Update – September 2015

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.

South Carolina Ranked 10th in Adult Obesity Nationally

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.

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© 2015 South Carolina Institute of Medicine and Public Health