July 10, 2012
Back on July 10, 2012, roughly 60 people gathered to discuss the state of population health and wellness in Kershaw County, South Carolina, working from the notion that living well starts with good health across the community. Those 60 visionaries brainstormed, collaborated, and completed a Community Health Needs Assessment (CHNA) for KershawHealth. They wanted to do more than simply check a box in completing the CHNA; they wanted to take meaningful actions driven by quantitative and qualitative data to make a lasting impact on health equity, health outcomes, and total population wellness in our area. The result of this monumental..Read More
In May of 2014 and after spending nearly two years to build the coalition, LWK was awarded a contract with the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) to address over-utilization of emergency room services after data revealed this issue among residents of the northeastern Kershaw County, a hotspot for chronic disease. The goal with this funding was for LWK to work to change healthcare for residents in the North Central area by working with Community Medical Clinic of Kershaw County to meet the need for medical care for chronic conditions by establishing satellite clinics in churches throughout the region...Read More
In January of 2015, this work was expanded by opening the first School-Based Health Center (SBHC) at North Central High School in Kershaw. Realizing that graduating from high school is the greatest predictor of health, LWK set up the county’s first SBHC as a “minute clinic” to see students for sick visits and sports physicals. The SBHC has proven to increase students’ time spent in class, thus increasing the likelihood of receiving a high school diploma.
In May of 2017, LWK was chosen to participate in the Duke Endowment’s Healthy People, Healthy Carolinas initiative to support our work to advance population health in Kershaw County. This award included a grant for $150,000 of annual funding, allowing LWK to grow under the leadership of a full-time director while also broadening our efforts to a county-wide approach. That same month, LWK opted to leverage Healthy People, Healthy Carolinas funding by joining the Institute for Healthcare Improvement’s Spreading Community Accelerators through Learning and Evaluation (SCALE) 2.0. Through this program, we were able to collaborate with communities championing health improvement..Read More
LWK launched the “Healthy Lifestyles for Youth” initiative in November of 2017 after the coalition examined data from a CHNA conducted in April of that year, funded by the Health Services District of Kershaw County, to identify the most pressing health needs of the community. Healthy Lifestyles for Youth focuses on preventative measures to stem negative outcomes associated with diabetes, teenage sexual activity, and tobacco/vaping use among high school students ages 14-18.
Also in 2018, Healthy Lifestyles for Youth created a new “Health Ambassador” program through which one high school student from each Kershaw County high school was selected to co-design an evidence-based intervention plan to implement in their schools. This program was recognized with a 2019 Golden Tusk Award from Carolinas Healthcare Public Relations and Marketing Society (CHPRMS).
As part of our ongoing efforts to improve health outcomes across all populations in Kershaw County, LWK convened a group of county residents and leaders in March of 2019 to build a Community Health Improvement Plan (CHIP). In that meeting, the group chose three top concerns to actively address through 2022, including access to health care, obesity, and emotional health. The CHIP is a written plan that outlines data-driven tactics for improving community health by hitting targeted goals and objectives as a team, sharing the collective resources of the community to improve efficiency and efficacy. The plan focuses on successful..Read More
This important work received a boost in 2020, when LWK was awarded another round of funding through the Duke Endowment’s Healthy People, Healthy Carolinas initiative. Thanks to this extended funding, LWK’s work will be sustained for another three years, powering us to put people on the ground who can advocate for and work toward improved community health across the county.