Tri-County Health Network Receives a $450,000 Grant from The Duke Endowment
The Regional Medical Center on behalf of the Tri-County Health Network has received a $450,000 grant from The Duke Endowment to help fund community coalitions designed to improve the health of residents in Orangeburg, Calhoun and Bamberg counties.
The Tri-County Health Network, a diverse group of community organizations working collaboratively, is now one of 15 coalitions across the Carolinas participating in The Duke Endowment’s initiative, Healthy People, Healthy Carolinas.
RMC Vice President of Strategy & Compliance Brenda Williams led the creation of the Tri-County Health Network, as a 501(c)3 organization, in 2012, and currently serves as chair of the network.
“Receiving a grant from The Duke Endowment is a great acknowledgment of the work the Tri-County Health Network is doing in our communities,” said Williams. “Since its creation, the network has made a significant impact on health in Orangeburg, Calhoun and Bamberg Counties by implementing a variety of programs, including community gardens, faith-based health programs, area health summits and chronic disease forums. This funding will allow the network to have an even greater reach.”
Healthy People, Healthy Carolinas is active in 10 North Carolina regions. It now expands to five South Carolina counties — Greenville, Kershaw, Fairfield, Orangeburg and the Chesterfield/Dillon/Marlboro area — with plans to expand throughout the Carolinas over the coming years. The initiative began in early 2016 in five diverse North Carolina regions — Catawba, Chatham, Granville, Montgomery/Richmond and Wilkes counties.
The program takes a bold approach to addressing chronic health issues such as unhealthy weight, diabetes and heart disease. Local coalitions will involve leaders from a wide spectrum of community organizations in developing ways to engage residents in improving their health.
Members of the Tri-County Health Network include the Regional Medical Center, the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control, Orangeburg-Calhoun Technical College, Claflin University, South Carolina State University, Family Health Centers, Family Solutions of the Lowcountry and other community leaders.
The grant will be awarded over a three-year span, and the Tri-County Health Network will use the grant to expand the work of its three subcommittees: the Chronic Disease Subcommittee, the Faith-Based Health Ministries Subcommittee and the Healthy Eating/Active Living Subcommittee.
“The health challenges facing the Carolinas have been decades in the making,” said Lin Hollowell, Director of Health Care of The Duke Endowment. “They cannot be effectively addressed overnight, though we’re starting to see the roots of progress take hold in the first set of Healthy People, Healthy Carolinas communities. The health challenges also cannot be solved by individuals and organizations working alone. Through Healthy People, Healthy Carolinas, communities can work together to confront their problems and make the most progress in achieving solutions.”
Representatives from the coalitions will participate in a learning collaborative with opportunities to share information with each other as they develop best practices for organizing, planning and implementing evidence-based programs known to improve health.
“The coalitions selected by the Endowment are intentionally diverse and unique,” said Carmen Wilson of the South Carolina Hospital Association, which is providing expert assistance to each local coalition in the Palmetto State. “While there will be many opportunities for exchanging ideas, each community will receive support to pave its own path forward. The hope is that eventually the lessons of these coalitions can inform the work of others throughout the Carolinas.”
The RMC healthcare system includes a 286-bed, acute-care hospital with Advanced Primary Stroke Center Certification, and Level III Trauma Center designation, as well as 22 primary, specialty care practices. RMC is affiliated with MUSC Health, South Carolina’s most nationally recognized and comprehensive academic medical center, to further enhance select healthcare services for patients in the region.
Based in Charlotte and established in 1924 by industrialist and philanthropist James B. Duke, The Duke Endowment is a private foundation that strengthens communities in North Carolina and South Carolina by nurturing children, promoting health, educating minds and enriching spirits. Since its founding, it has distributed more than $3.5 billion in grants. The Endowment shares a name with Duke University and Duke Energy, but all are separate organizations.