LWK disseminated a Youth Wellbeing Assessment to the four high schools in Kershaw County to determine overall health and wellbeing status of its priority population. Indicators from the survey captured overall well- being, cognitive well-being, meaning and purpose, social well-being, emotional well-being, and physical well-being.
All four high schools completed this survey for a total of 1,229 responses. There is an estimated 3,150 high school students in the county for a survey response rate of 39%. The LWK team has stratified the results by zip code, grade level, race, and gender to provide student leaders with a starting point for targeted interventions addressing baseline results to then measure improvement of indicators overtime.
Our Coalition Director, Kathryn Johnson, attended South Carolina Office of Rural Health’s Annual Conference in Myrtle Beach, SC and had the opportunity to participate in a Poverty Simulation held by SC Thrive.
Here is her take on the experience:
I had the opportunity to participate in SC Thrive’s Poverty Simulation as part of the South Carolina Office of Rural Health’s Annual Conference. Not only was this three hour simulation eye-opening it was also frustrating…in a meaningful way. Upon arriving, each person was assigned a role in a family, as well as provided with context of how they fit into their family. I played the role of Warren Wiscott, a 52 year old disabled, high school graduate. I, along with my wife, Winona, have been raising our two grandchildren ever since our daughter was incarcerated for drug use. As part of the simulation, we were provided with some cash, five transportation vouchers, social security cards, and our monthly budget including all expenses that we need to cover. Various agencies and organizations were present for us utilize to stay afloat throughout our month of living including: a bank, grocery store, homeless shelter, employment office, inter-faith agency, school, pawn shop, pay day lending service, jail, Department of Social Services, mortgage lender, and others. Using the resources we started with and the story lines provided, we were expected to navigate these various systems to make sure our family’s needs were met.
By the end of the hour, the Wiscott family had failed to purchase ANY food for the entire month, spent 100 dollars cashing checks at the bank they were not a member of, pawned some jewelry in order to buy more transportation passes, was evicted from their home for not paying the mortgage on time, AND lost custody of the two grandchildren after failing to provide supervision for them during their “spring break.” (Winona was at work and Warren (myself) spent too much time filling out an application for EBT that turns out…wouldn’t provide benefits until the following month. I didn’t have enough transportation tickets to bring our grandkids with me on my errands. Our neighbor, who wouldn’t watch our grandchildren for us, called DSS for neglect…imagine that.)
Having trouble following this journey? Me too…and I’m still confused. It was an hour spent trying to budget, considering how to get transportation to multiple agencies that weren’t talking to each other, and juggling our grandchildren. Now think, millions of people live this every day…no simulation needed.
This experience reminded me of the lake and the fish analysis. I was recently introduced to this concept by the Racial Equity Institute. It goes like this… you happen upon a lake that is filled with dead fish. You start to pull each fish out and nurse them back to health (for this analysis…it works!) When each fish has been revived, you throw it back in the lake only to come back days later and find all those newly revived fish, dead once again. So what’s up with this lake? Is it possible that the groundwater seeping into the lake is contaminated? Our lake in this example is representative of a system or the interconnectedness of many systems that hold power over one’s livelihood. If we relate this example to healthcare and the work we do in trying to fix one component of an individual’s health without considering the system this person will return to…we only put a band-aid on the issue at hand, expecting this person to survive in a world where all things are not held equal. Looking at the world through the lake and the fish analysis feels bleak and unchangeable. Fight this feeling. The fact that these simulations exist acknowledges that there are organizations ready to examine the “groundwater” that is killing our “fish.” Look at the system you work in and identify improvements needed through the lens of your patient/customer/client. Our immediate next step should be to demand that the gatekeepers to these systems participate in a Poverty Simulation for a hands-on look at the frustrating processes associated with the systems we hold in place for those that need help the most.
The word is out! 🗣 Individuals across the state are hearing about the work being accomplished in Kershaw County through community partnership and collaboration. Over the past two weeks, we have shared our model at theSouth Carolina Office of Rural Health Annual Conference and at the Arnold School of Public Health at the University of South Carolina. This work could not be accomplished without the participation and collaboration of individuals and organizations in Kershaw County seeking population health improvement. 👥📈✅
We had the opportunity to co-create a shared vision for success in working with high school youth in Kershaw County. As part of our involvement with the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) as a SCALE 2.0 community, we were honored to include Executive Lead of 100Million Healthier Lives and Vice President of IHI, Dr. Soma Stout in this session. This was an excellent opportunity to demonstrate how Kershaw County collaborates to create community transformation to improve population health, as evidenced by our All-America City 2018 win. Moving forward, the coalition will be presented with the information that came out of this session in order to link community resources to the support that students need. Special thanks to Amy Speaks, Rose Montgomery, Casey Robinson, Mary Anne Byrd, and Maria Spring for representing Camden High, North Central High, Camden Military Academy, Lugoff-Elgin High, and the Kershaw County School District.
#100MLives #HealthyCarolinas #LWK
We live in a high-stress society so learning how to relive that stress is super important. An easy way to do this is practicing breathwork a little bit every day. Just taking deep even breaths helps relieve stress. -Izzy, NCHS
The summer Health Ambassadors had the opportunity to present research that has inspired them in the work they are doing to establish their own student-led programs at the school. Thank you, Mr. Cox and Amy Speaks for your positivity, feedback, and reinforcement that data matters! •
#leadingfromwithin #leadingtogether#leadingforoutcomes #100MLives#HealthyCarolinas
It’s our first day with summer interns! These four students submitted applications and were selected to be LWK Health Ambassadors representing each of their schools (Camden High, Camden Military Academy, Lugoff-Elgin High, and North Central High). Each will be building action plans for their school that will be ready for implementation upon return in August. Mary Reames, our Intern Coordinator will be overseeing the students’ work and providing lots of yoga/mindfulness breaks 💆🏽♀️👨🏻💻! Be on the lookout for updates from these student leaders 🤓🧠 Special thank you to @laurie_funderburk for allowing us to use your office for Day 1!
After conducting our focus groups, it was time to make sense of all the data! Three sensemaking sessions were held for Camden, Lugoff-Elgin and North Central High Schools. Thank you to everyone who attended for being our experts on what youth need to be healthy…physically, mentally, and socially 🤓🤗💪🏽🧠#HealthyCarolinas#100MLives
Rev. Richard Joyner came to share his journey in Conetoe, NC. His community engaged youth in a complete overhaul of the community’s food system with a focus on human development.
Pictured here L to R is our Health Ambassador Coordinator, Mary Reames, Rev. Joyner, Coalition Director, Kathryn Johnson, and Health Ambassador, Destiny Harris.