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COVID-19 Updates and Resources

College of Behavioral, Social and Health Sciences

Building Healthy Communities

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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 and Nutrition Security Initiative, a partnership with other Clemson colleges to address poverty, economic development and hunger in rural communities through food security initiatives
  • Clemson Rural Health, an outreach effort that addresses health care access and health disparities
  • Oconee Memorial Hospital-Clemson CBSHS Partnership on Aging, a partnership with Prisma Health Oconee Memorial Hospital to open an aging center in the Upstate
  • CBSHS Land-Grant Local Food Systems Solutions, a program to improve health and economic outcomes through food-focused curriculum, research and programs
  • Race, Ethnicity, Youth and Social Equity Collaboratory, which conducts research about the influence of social inequalities and social injustices on the development of racialized and ethnitized youth populations
  • Public Opinion Research and Outreach through the Social Media Listening Center, which helps organizations gauge and share information about important social and political happenings


  • Clemson Food and Nutrition Security 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 food systems projects that address food and nutrition security and rural economic development through community-based partnerships in the 46 counties. Projects include partnership with the United Way of Pickens CountyFood Access MapCDC Obesity Prevention Project, and BlueCross BlueShield South Carolina Foundation.

    Upstate Food Access Map

    The College of Behavioral, Social and Health Sciences has created a Food Access Map as part of its efforts to aid Upstate residents facing food insecurity during the COVID-19 pandemic. The map includes nearly 400 providers across 10 counties complete with information on the type of assistance they provide as well as operating hours and availability. The college’s Land-Grant Local initiative worked with the the United Way of Pickens County, the nonprofit organization Ten at the Top, and Clemson’s Joseph F. Sullivan Center interdisciplinary health center on the project, which provides information on different food resources across the Upstate. If you experience any accessibility issues with this map, please contact for support.

  • Clemson Rural Health

    clemson-rural-health.pngClemson 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 Alliance, the Department of Public Health Sciences (PHS), the School of Nursing, CU Center for Research on Health Disparities, 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

    CBSHS Land Grant Local initiativeCBSHS Land-Grant Local Food Systems Solutions works to enhance economic, social and health outcomes in South Carolina through local food systems development. CBSHS leadership is already shaping future curriculum and research centered on local food systems that stress solutions for food insecurity and hunger across the state. Improving access to local foods has an immediate effect on health, and also helps to stimulate the South Carolina economy and build relationships across communities. 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. The annual FoodForward research symposium is a premier Land Grant Local program that highlights the work of researchers and service members throughout the university.


    Mike McGirrMike McGirr
    Food Systems Program Manager, Land-Grant Local

    McGirr previously served as executive director of Feed & Seed, a nonprofit collaborative organization seeking to increase food security for all South Carolinians. He works directly with CBSHS Dean Leslie Hossfeld and partners with Clemson’s College of Agriculture, Forestry, and Life Sciences and other entities to develop, nurture and create local food systems initiatives at the university. His work is to bring together an interdisciplinary service-learning, research, facilities and community-programmatic team focused on local food systems development. 

    Dr. Mary Beth JohnstoneDr. Mary Beth Johnstone
    Research Associate,
    Land-Grant Local

    Dr. Johnstone has 15 years of project management experience and more than 20 years of research experience in varied fields including materials science, genomics, and clinical trials. Dr. Johnstone has extensive experience in grant writing, data analysis and scientific writing and presentation.


    food-forward-symposium.pngOne of the key initiatives of Land-Grant Local is the FoodFORWARD Research Symposium, hosted jointly by the College of Behavioral, Social and Health Sciences and the College of Agriculture, Forestry and Life Sciences, and The Watt Center. Started in spring 2019, the symposium brings together Clemson food researchers, staff, and extension members for campus-wide collaboration. Researchers from areas such as food systems, food safety, food packaging, food production, food anthropology, food insecurity, and food communication come together for poster presentations and talks from experts in food research.

  • Race, Ethnicity, Youth and Social Equity Collaboratory

    Race, Ethnicity, Youth and Social Equity Collaboratory InitiativeThe 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

    Social Media Listening Center initiativeThe 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.

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