THE DUKE ENDOWMENT’S HEALTHY PEOPLE, HEALTHY CAROLINAS INITIATIVE CONTINUES SUPPORT OF LIVEWELL KERSHAW COALITION
LWK will receive $450,000 to continue community health improvement efforts in Kershaw County over next three years
Kershaw County, S.C. —Kershaw County has a lot to be proud of. It has been named an All-America City by the National Civic League. Its local government staff has been actively invested in keeping the community safe during a global pandemic. And now, it can add one more item to the list.
The LiveWell Kershaw Coalition (LWK) has received a second round of funding from The Duke Endowment to improve community health in Kershaw County. LWK was one of the first five counties in South Carolina to receive this funding and is now one of 20 coalitions across the Carolinas participating in The Duke Endowment’s initiative, Healthy People, Healthy Carolinas.
The Duke Endowment will have invested $900,000 in Kershaw County through the Healthy People, Healthy Carolinas initiative between 2017 and 2023.
“We used our first three years of funding to build relationships and demonstrate small successes through our initial interventions,” Livewell Kershaw Coalition Director Kathryn Johnson said. “Our next three years will be rooted in data management, large-scale initiatives, and strengthened evaluation of those efforts.”
LWK brought Kershaw County leaders together back in March 2019 to create a Community Health Improvement Plan (CHIP). Residents and leaders worked together to determine what top three health priorities should be addressed over the next three years. After completing a data walk and table discussion for each of the seven potential topics, the group determined Access to Care, Mental Health, along with Healthy Eating and Active Living should be kept top of mind moving forward. Individuals signed up for workgroups that took a deeper dive into each of these topics to create actionable steps, along with specific measures for implementation. (To learn more about each action team, see the sidebar.)
Research shows that South Carolina ranks 42nd among all states when it comes to the overall health of its residents, earning poor rankings for its obesity and physical inactivity rates. Healthy People, Healthy Carolinas, an initiative of The Duke Endowment recognizes that health and well-being are created and sustained not just through individual and clinical efforts, but through the cooperation and support of the extended local community.
“Where we live, where we go to school and work, how we spend our free time—even our ability to access fresh food and safely exercise near our homes—all contribute to our health and well-being,” said Johnson. “In a life-expectancy map, provided by the Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC), we see that residents of Kershaw County are not anticipated to live past the age of 80. Diving even further, we see that there is a 10-year difference in life expectancy from one end of our County to another. These types of disparities exist for many reasons. We aim to be part of the solution that increases life expectancy and well-being throughout years lived in Kershaw County.”
Healthy People, Healthy Carolinas provides opportunities to bring together leaders from hospitals, health departments and other health-promoting organizations. A crucial first step—and one that is funded by The Duke Endowment’s grant—is to strengthen the infrastructure of the local coalitions that are coordinating the effort, so that they’re well-positioned to identify and implement interventions that work.
“The health challenges facing the Carolinas have been decades in the making,” said Lin Hollowell, Director of Health Care at 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.”
Healthy People, Healthy Carolinas is an initiative of The Duke Endowment. The program promotes behavior change that addresses chronic issues such as unhealthy weight, diabetes and heart disease by increasing physical activity and nutrition. The LiveWell Kershaw Coalition has been selected to lead a coalition of leaders from a wide spectrum of community organizations in developing ways to engage residents in improving their health.
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 awarded more than $3.5 billion in grants.
LWK was founded by a group of community members interested in using data to guide action aimed at addressing the health issues faced by the residents of Kershaw County. Today, LWK works to foster collaboration between citizens of all ages, working in partnership with public and private sector organizations and schools to increase community awareness of health issues. The goal is to improve access to quality healthcare and encourage the people of Kershaw County to take ownership of the health of the whole county, acting together to reduce chronic disease and obesity among the members of the community. To learn more, visit livewellkershaw.org
SIDEBAR ABOUT CHIP AND ACTION TEAMS
Each action team formed from the Community Health Improvement Plan, are made up of community members who meet monthly to work on each team’s goal. To get involved in a CHIP Action team, contact Johnson at Kjohnson@cmcofkc.org.
The CHIP Access to Care Action Team is working toward the goal of increasing and improving ways to access affordable healthcare and transportation services among rural and underserved residents. Their current initiatives are:
The CHIP HEAL Team is working towards Increase healthy lifestyles among families countywide in order to decrease the obesity epidemic. This action team is helping Kershaw County “slim down” by:
The CHIP Emotional Health Team’s goal is to improve the emotional well-being of Kershaw County residents by increasing the quality, availability, and effectiveness of Community Health Programs. This team is working to improve residents’ mental and emotional wellbeing by:
We kicked off a Health Improvement Plan for Kershaw County on Wednesday, March 27th, 2019. Residents and leaders worked together to determine what top three health priorities should be addressed over the next three years. After completing a data walk and table discussion for each of the seven potential topics, the group determined Access to Care, Mental Health, and Obesity should be top of mind moving forward. Individuals signed up for workgroups that will take a deeper dive into each of these topics to create actionable steps, along with specific measures for implementation. Follow along on this journey to health improvement for Kershaw County. If you would like to be involved, send us a message!
Special thanks to our core team facilitators for the day: Breanna Grant, Representative Laurie Funderburk, Laurey Carpenter, Sallie Harrell, Susan Witkowski, Tina Griggs, and Linda Pekuri.
To learn more, check out the coverage in the Chronicle-Independent.
Happy Monday, everyone! Last Friday afternoon, the Health Ambassadors from Camden Military Academy (Rodrigo), Camden High (Deniah), and Lugoff-Elgin High (Destiny) worked from 4-6:30pm on an action plan for each of their schools for the remainder of the school year. Key topics discussed? Sustaining their clubs through leadership growth and tracking measurable improvements! These guys got it… 🤓🗣✅
Huge thanks to Camden Military Academy for allowing us space to brainstorm 👍🏻
We missed you, Izzy and Daniel!
⚠️LiveWell Kershaw Coalition is leading a Community Health Improvement Plan for Kershaw County. ⚠️
To begin this process, we will host a kick-off meeting convening local leaders and residents to examine various data sources to pinpoint 3-4 priority areas around health and well-being.
Coalition members met last week to review what this improvement plan process will look like… and even shared a few laughs! More updates to come 🗣
Last week we had the opportunity to sit in on Health Ambassador, Destiny Harris’ club meeting at Lugoff-Elgin High School. She did a phenomenal job engaging her peers and leading discussion on next steps for potential wellness activities. 😎💪🏾🗣👟
Several members of our team had the opportunity to once again collaborate with communities across the nation on community transformation work as a SCALE 2.0 community with the Institute for Healthcare Improvement. After several days of training, story telling, and idea exchange in El Dorado, Puerto Rico, we are back in Kershaw County and establishing next steps. We are inspired by the transformative work of our fellow SCALErs and the mindset shifts that have already occurred in our community. 💡✅
🌀SAVE THE DATE🌀
We invite you to join us on our next endeavor of completing a Community Health Improvement Plan (CHIP) that will identify health priorities for Kershaw County, along with established workgroups and measurement plans for each. Our kickoff meeting will take place on March 27, 2019. For more information, send us a message or email email@example.com
Mary Reames, Ambassador Coordinator, completes a journey map of LWK’s milestone moments and shifts along the way.
Community Navigator, Yolanda Roary, leads a deep-dive session with Community Champions.
Mindset shifts are hard when it comes to years of status quo. Here is a guide to get you started!
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.
Partnership and collaboration are key ingredients to implementation. We are blessed to have community leaders that identify resources that match our mission. Way to go North Central High School and Laurie Slade Funderburk! We are so proud of our Intern, Izzy Baipho, for her ongoing role in these activities and Mary Reames, our Intern Coordinator, for being the summer inspiration to spark our students to action🤸♀️🗣️💚
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.