The Outreach Coremanages all outreach projects. This core focuses on increasing each community's ability to plan, implement, and evaluate health promotion programs that address potential and existing health problems.
Outreach Core Director: Dr. Chinyelu Okafor, 2003 - 2007
Community Steering Committee
The Outreach Core convened a Steering Committee with members representing the four Low Country EXPORT counties. Steering Committee members helped identify the scope and direction of EXPORT project activities. The committee met bi-monthly during the first two years of the EXPORT Project and provided resources and guidance on how to approach the target counties. The committee appointed a team of six community liaisons, each representing an area in the Low Country counties. The liaisons, with support from the Steering Committee and Outreach Core, organized town meetings in their respective areas to garner input from community members regarding the community's health needs and strategies to meet the those needs (see description below).
Six liaisons were identified by the Steering Committee to serve as Community Representatives. The liaisons continue to facilitate communication between communities in the counties and the partnering academic institutions. The Community Representatives planned, coordinated, and facilitated town meetings in each county. Three of them also served as facilitators (interventionists) for the LIFE Project.
Two town meetings were held in each of the Low Country counties for a total of eight meetings. Community members attended the meetings to provide input and their perspectives on health issues in their communities. In the first meetings, the participants described and discussed predominant health issues and problems related to obesity. In the second meetings, participants prioritized community health concerns and recommended strategies or interventions they believed should be implemented to remedy the identified problems.
Coordinator: Adrian West (Voorhees College)
The TigerPower program is a water aerobics and health education program for senior citizens. The group meets semi-weekly on the Voorhees campus and has enrolled over 35 participants. During the course of the program, participants receive screenings for blood pressure, BMI, weight, and blood sugar. The program has an educational element with focuses including nutrition, diabetes information, weight control, and wellness. Constant recruitment efforts are made by way of radio and public postings.
Under the direction of core director, Dr. Chinyelu Okafor, and co-director, Dr. Moreen Joseph, the Outreach Core collaborated with the Research, Training, and Administrative core staff to develop the LIFE project in response to the needs articulated by African American women in South Carolina. EXPORT staff conducted community forums and informal discussions to gather community members’ ideas and concerns about health and wellness, particularly related to obesity. These conversations with the community revealed three themes, named the Three D’s:
Annual Health Fairs are held at Voorhees College for residents of Bamberg and surrounding counties. Attendees receive health-related services and information, including physiological screenings (e.g. blood pressure and blood sugar checks) and information on physical activity, nutrition, and general healthcare.
Upstate Outreach Activities
In the second and third years of the EXPORT Project, the Outreach Core convened a committee of community members in the Upstate counties. As with the Low Country Community Steering Committee, the Upstate committee provided input to help EXPORT develop linkages that would facilitate activities designed to eliminate health disparities in the Upstate region. Recommendations and ideas from the committee resulted in the development of a catalogue of Upstate health resources and several linkages and partnerships. As a result of these linkages, the Outreach Core is partnering with Clemson University's Sullivan Center and its Mobile Clinic to address health needs of the Hispanic community primarily in Oconee County.
EXPORT Center is a program
of the Center for
Research on Health Disparities and is housed jointly in the Clemson University College
of Health, Education, and Human Development and the Voorhees
College Center of Excellence in Rural and Minority Health.