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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 three priority programs: 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, and an effort with other Clemson colleges to address poverty, economic development and hunger in rural communities.

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 (in 2018) 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.

The four major areas of focus are:

  • cancer, with a goal to increase preventive screenings
  • chronic disease, including diabetes, heart disease and obesity
  • women’s and children’s health, with a focus on infant mortality
  • mental and behavioral health, centered on pain management and addiction.

Healthy Me – Healthy SC touches all four regions of the state (e.g. Upstate, Midlands, Pee Dee, Lowcountry) with onsite assets in Barnwell, Williamsburg and Anderson counties. In 2019, Healthy Me – Healthy SC is likely to expand onsite assets in Marion and Chester counties. The Healthy Me – Healthy SC partnership is synergizing efforts with faculty-driven grants such as the new CDC funding for a study aimed at reducing and preventing obesity in Hampton, Lee and Marion counties.

Healthy Me – Healthy SC brings together various units at Clemson: the Joseph F. Sullivan Center (nurse practitioner-led clinic with mobile vans), the Cooperative Extension Service (housed in county offices), and experts in Public Health Sciences. At MUSC, the partnership brings together various clinical departments (e.g. pediatrics, medicine), their telehealth program, and the Boeing Child Wellness Program.

Oconee Memorial Hospital – Clemson College of Behavioral, Social, and Health Sciences Partnership on Aging

The Clemson University College of Behavioral, Social and Health Sciences, 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.

Rural Economic Development – Food Forward Initiative

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.