SCale Down Update – Summer 2017
The SCaleDown Initiative continues to work collaboratively with over 100 stakeholders across the state of South Carolina to move the needle on obesity. This quarterly update will highlight an initiative in each setting focused on policy, systems and environmental changes that has contributed to the progression of the State Obesity Plan.
Highlights of Key Efforts in Obesity by Settings
The South Carolina Recreation & Parks Association unveiled their new and improved website: https://www.sctrails.net/.
Some of the new features include:
- Search Functionality – Users are now able to easily search by trail type, location, difficulty, keywords or trail name.This can be done using the search engine found on the Find Trails page, as well as navigating through the map by zooming in.
- GPS and Coordinates – The trails are now all GPS routes, so users are able to use the map on the website to find the trail. For more strenuous trails, website users can actually download the trail route to their phone and follow the exact route of the trail.
- Mobile Responsive - The website is now responsive to whatever device the visitor is using – whether that be iPhone, iPad, Android, Laptop, Tablet, Windows XP, etc.
- General Design – The Trails site has a much more modern/attractive look and feel to it. The site had almost no images, and now there are pictures for visitors to see exactly what the trail/park looks like ahead of time.
- Content Management – The new website can be updated in real time, at any time. Each Trail Manager can update their trail pages whenever necessary.
- Website Interactivity – Users can comment on trails, as well as save their favorite trails (My Trails) for the future. Comments must be approved before showing up on the site to avoid any inappropriate language.
The website will continually evolve and new features will be added in the future.
On March 22, in the East Gardens of the South Carolina State House Grounds, state leaders unveiled historic and healthy monuments. There are 2 monuments, one positioned on the Gervais Street side and one on the Pendleton Street side, depicting 4 trails ranging from ¼ mile to 1 mile.These trails are mapped on the markers and each marker has a QR code and website URL that takes anyone using a mobile device directly to online maps on the A Healthier State House website. The maps can also be viewed by going to www.ahealthierstatehouse.com, clicking on “Follow Our Journey” and then following the links at the top of the page to the respective trails. These monuments serve as a symbol of the state’s dedication to encouraging healthy, active lifestyles among its citizens.
The National Diabetes Prevention Program (National DPP) is a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) evidence-based diabetes prevention lifestyle change program. The program is led by a trained lifestyle coach who facilitates the CDC approved curriculum in a group setting. The program teaches participants to make lasting lifestyle changes, such as eating healthier, adding physical activity into their daily routine, and reducing stress. The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (SCDHEC) is available to assist organizations in the following ways:
- Provision of cost free training to individuals who are interested in becoming a National DPP Lifestyle Coach
- Provision of Prevent T2 marketing/outreach and necessary class materials; and
- Provision of technical assistance for completing the CDC application for program recognition.
The following are updates on the National DPP in South Carolina:
- The Diabetes Advisory Council of SC’s (DAC) Pillar 1, Provider Engagement, is in the process of developing a SC themed provider toolkit based on the AMA/CDC Prevent Diabetes STAT toolkit. The toolkit will be utilized as a guide to screen, test and refer patients to a National DPP.
- The chair of the DAC, in partnership with the SC Medical Association (SCMA) hosted three presentations on prediabetes and the draft SC Provider Toolkit to introduce the toolkit and how it is designed to help providers talk with their patients about the risks of prediabetes and how they can prevent or delay a diagnosis of diabetes. A total of 40 providers and health care team members participated in one of three presentations across the state.
- Forty-nine sites are currently implementing the National DPP and 75 cohorts (classes) of the National DPP in 24 counties are in progress or have been completed. The DAC has contracted with SPLASH Media to develop their website which will house diabetes prevention information for health care providers, persons with prediabetes or at high risk, worksites/insurers and National DPP sites. The proposed launch date for the website is late September 2017.
- Four roundtables were conducted across the state with a total of 49 lifestyle change program representatives implementing the National DPP to identify successes and barriers to achieve full program recognition from CDC.
- SCDHEC diabetes prevention staff have made several presentations to the members of the SC Business Coalition on Health, which has resulted in inquires by eight businesses and two new employer-based National DPP sites.
- With SCDHEC support, two large employers in the Upstate have trained their onsite staff to begin implementing the National DPP in July.
Developed by the Natural Learning Initiative (NLI) at the NC State University College of Design,Preventing Obesity by Design is an on-going comprehensive, health promotion design intervention focused on the outdoor environments of child care centers. Initiated in 2015, Preventing Obesity by Design South Carolina (POD SC) is a pilot project being implemented in select child care centers in SC through the collaborative work of SCDHEC, South Carolina Department of Social Services ABC Quality Rating and Improvement System and Clemson University Department of Landscape Architecture.
As pilot sites for POD SC, Big Blue Marble Academy and Kids First Child Development Center in Spartanburg County received an outdoor learning environment plan designed by NLI. Using the plan to guide their renovations, each center recently held a ribbon cutting ceremony to celebrate their new outdoor learning environment. The centers were also featured in an article on outdoor learning space in the Spartanburg Herald Journal.
Before and after pictures at the Big Blue Marble Academy in Boiling Springs and Kids First Child Development Center in Chesnee show the progress each center has made in creating a more natural outdoor environment to promote movement and learning.
Cooking Matters is part of the non-profit organization Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry campaign to end childhood hunger in America. Founded in 1993, the program teaches participants to shop smarter, use nutrition information to make healthier choices and cook delicious, affordable meals. Currently, the SNAP Ed Program, Office of Professional and Community Nutrition Services and DHEC staff teaches Cooking Matters to adults, parents, families and children. Each Cooking Matters course is six weeks in duration and each class is two hours long. The course graduate rate is approximately 85%.
Recently, Cooking Matters partnered with Orangeburg County School District 4 and Edisto Fork United Methodist Church to teach the parent program. The program utilizes volunteers and chefs from the community. This particular program utilized the culinary skills of the District Parent Coordinator, Kimberly Ray, a former culinary instructor. District 4 parents taking the course believe that what they are learning will make a difference for their families.
Connecting the Dots
With these advances and others, significant progress is being made to achieve the objectives in the South Carolina Obesity Action Plan. The dedication and collaborative spirit of a diverse array of state and local partners are the fundamental reasons for this success. Many thanks to all of the stakeholders who continue to work diligently on policy, systems and environmental approaches that are making SC communities healthier places to live, learn, work and play. Working together, the ambitious goal of reducing and preventing obesity in our state will be achieved!