Focus on Health
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.
The University of South Carolina Arnold School of Public Health and the Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) have been working together to examine South Carolina’s transition of clinical services from health departments to primary care providers.
On April 8th, 2015 the South Carolina Institute of Medicine and Public Health, in conjunction with several partners including the South Carolina Academy of Physician Assistants (SCAPA), will host the “A How-To for South Carolina PA’s: Communities & Practices Join the Obesity Fight” teleconference.
The month of January is National Cervical Cancer Awareness Month. During this time the National Cervical Cancer Coalition, along with the various chapters of the coalition around the United States, focuses on spreading awareness for Cervical Cancer, HPV disease and the importance of early detection.
In December IMPH’s Health Policy Fellows Program offered a one day session for legislative staff of the South Carolina General Assembly. This offering, entitled “Improving Health in South Carolina – Challenges and Opportunities,” afforded legislative staff the opportunity to view health in its broadest sense as a driver in other policy areas that should be considered in all policies.