Skip to Content

Building Healthy Communities

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

  • Clemson Food Security Initiative, in partnership with other Clemson colleges to address poverty, economic development and hunger in rural communities through food security initiatives
  • Clemson Rural Health outreach 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 programs
  • a Race, Ethnicity, Youth and Social Equity Collaboratory conducting research about the influence of social inequalities and social injustices on the development of racialized and ethnitized youth populations.
  • the Social Media Listening Center, which helps organizations gauge and share information about important social and political happenings

Clemson Food Security Initiative and 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 food systems projects that address food insecurity, food access, and rural economic development through community-based partnerships in the 46 counties. Projects include partnership with the United Way of Pickens County, Food Access Map, CDC Obesity Prevention Project, and BlueCross BlueShield South Carolina Foundation.

Clemson Rural Health Initiative

Clemson Rural Health initiative logoClemson Rural Health is the organizing framework for Clemson’s health service delivery and prevention efforts statewide. Housed in the College of Behavioral, Social and Health Sciences (CBSHS), Clemson Rural Health includes the Joseph F. Sullivan Center (JFSC), Clemson Health Clinic – Walhalla, our mobile health van fleet, our at-risk community COVID-19 screening teams, our collaborative projects with the Clemson-MUSC Healthy Me, Healthy SC.pngHealthy Me – Healthy SC Alliance, the Department of Public Health Sciences (PHS), and community development projects led by the Dean and faculty across CBSHS.

Key activities include:

  • integrated chronic disease support with local clinician practices and hospitals
  • operating mobile health clinics to deliver health care services in target counties and clusters
  • operating primary care clinics (fixed and mobile) where gaps in health care services exist
  • providing short-term behavioral health support
  • providing nutrition counseling to communities and individual chronic disease patients
  • delivering lifestyle behavior change intervention programming
  • delivering telehealth/virtual visits
  • supporting CBSHS on major projects related to food security and health as an economic strategy for rural communities
  • leading (with collaborators) various cancer screenings
  • facilitating the implementation of approved research protocols (Clemson and MUSC) related to chronic disease and target conditions
  • facilitating the implementation of technology-driven, home-based monitoring of chronic disease patients
  • School of Nursing, with support from the Center for Research on Health Disparities, has created the Appalachian American Alliance of Nurse Practitioners (AAANP), a networking and educational resource for nurse practitioners who work in Appalachian areas. Appalachian nurse practitioners are often geographically isolated from each other and have difficulty finding educational opportunities; AAANP aims to break down those barriers serving as a professional resource and foster research collaborations to eliminate health disparities in Appalachia.

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 the SmartLIFE Endowed Professor in Aging and Cognition, 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.

Race, Ethnicity, Youth and Social Equity Collaboratory

REYSE logoThe Race, Ethnicity, Youth and Social Equity (REYSE) Collaboratory conducts systematic and community-engaged research designed to explore, create and share knowledge that contributes to understanding how social inequalities and social injustices may influence the development of racialized and ethnitized youth populations. Led by faculty members in the Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism Management, the lab works with students, educators, community members, scholars, policymakers, organizations and the media to ensure its resources are accessible to all, in order to make practical, usable connections between research, outcomes, policies and best practices. The lab has four key priorities: advancing knowledge, sharing progress, collaborating with communities, and creating dialogue.

Public Opinion Research/Outreach

smlc.pngThe Social Media Listening Center helps organizations gauge and share information about important social and political happenings. The center partnered with the Department of Political Science to release the Clemson University Palmetto Poll – which researched public opinion about the South Carolina presidential primaries and COVID-19 – and they assisted the South Carolina Emergency Management Division during Hurricane Florence and Clemson’s Emergency Operations Center during the pandemic.