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Building Healthy Communities

Building Healthy Communities is a college-wide initiative to improve community health and well-being in South Carolina. The initiative involves four priority programs:

  • efforts with other Clemson colleges to address poverty, economic development and hunger in rural communities
  • a collaboration with the Medical University of South Carolina that addresses health care access and health disparities
  • a partnership with Prisma Health Oconee Memorial Hospital to open an aging center in the Upstate
  • a program to improve health and economic outcomes through food-focused curriculum, research and products.

Rural Economic Development

Our college is committed to working in and with communities in rural South Carolina to address poverty, economic development and hunger. Through a collaborative, cross-college initiative, CBSHS is taking the lead on a food systems project that addresses food insecurity, food access, and rural economic development through community-based partnerships in the 46 counties. Targeted communities include Allendale and Pickens counties, in addition to critical need in the SC Promise Zone counties.

Healthy Me – Healthy SC

The Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) and Clemson University are set to expand a statewide collaborative partnership called Healthy Me – Healthy SC. Created to improve health care access and combat health disparities across South Carolina, the newly expanded partnership extends the Clemson-MUSC health sciences collaboration that dates back more than two decades. Designed to build healthier communities by establishing innovative grassroots health partnerships, Healthy Me – Healthy SC will offer services that target areas where Palmetto State residents have a high prevalence of health issues.

Oconee Memorial Hospital – Clemson CBSHS Partnership on Aging

CBSHS, in partnership with Prisma Health Oconee Memorial Hospital (OMH), will open an aging center to address critical needs for aging population in the Upstate and the state of South Carolina. With the hiring of a SmartLIFE Endowed Professor in Aging and Cognition in fall 2019, the collaborative will provide clinical opportunities for Clemson University students to examine aging related to mobility and physical functioning. In addition, research laboratories from multiple disciplines will be housed at the center, along with the Clemson University Institute for Engaged Aging and the Clemson University Center for Research on Health Disparities. We anticipate the OMH Aging Center to be a leading research and programmatic hub for cutting-edge dissemination for excellence in aging studies.

CBSHS Land-Grant Local Food Systems Solutions

Land-Grant Local logoCBSHS Land-Grant Local Food Systems Solutions will enhance economic, social and health outcomes in South Carolina by more fully integrating the work of local farms into Clemson University. The program’s immediate goal is to bring foods from local farms into the Clemson environment. CBSHS leadership is already shaping future curriculum and research centered on food systems that stress solutions for food insecurity and hunger across the state.

Improving access to local foods has an immediate effect on health, but it also helps to stimulate the South Carolina economy, build relationships across communities, and introduce a model that others can emulate. Pursuing a program such as Land-Grant Local further positions CBSHS as a 21st-century, land-grant college dedicated to teaching, research and service to the state of South Carolina.

Land-Grant Local provides transparency about the proximity, qualities, and farmers of food that will appear in Clemson Dining in measured, reported form. The initiative is designed to impact student lives by increasing education in the dining setting and access to fresh, affordable food in the campus markets, and applying research to every step of the process from the farm to healthy outcomes.

The annual Food Forward research symposium highlights the work of CBSHS food systems researchers and their programmatic activities.