CareSouth Carolina Awards & Recognition

Due to its success meeting its mission, CareSouth Carolina has been honored with several awards and recognition for its service to the community.

+2014 Major Contributor for the Behavioral Health Integration Implementation Guide

CareSouth Carolina was one of only four primary care practices being highlighted in the Behavioral Health Integration Implementation Guide.  The implementation guide is a suite of materials to help primary care practices integrate behavioral health.  We were profiled in the October 2014 of the Organized, Evidence-Based Care:  Behavioral Health Integration.

+2013 LEAP Selection by Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
LEAP Group PhotoFollowing a rigorous nationwide review process, CareSouth Carolina has been selected as an exemplary model of workforce innovation for a new project: The Primary Care Team:  Learning from Effective Ambulatory Practices (The LEAP Project). The LEAP Project is a joint initiative of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and MacColl Center for Health Care Innovation at Group Health Research Institute. CareSouth Carolina is one of 30 primary care practices that has been selected for this distinction, out of hundreds of practices that were nominated by national experts and rated by a National Advisory Committee. The LEAP Project will study and share innovative staffing arrangements that make primary care more accessible and effective for patients.
+2012 John Gilbert Award
ann receiving john gilbert awardThe National Association of Community Health Centers (NACHC) has presented Ann Lewis, CEO of CareSouth Carolina, with the 2012 John Gilbert Award.  The award, which recognizes longstanding excellence and leadership in community health, was presented to Ms. Lewis at the 43rd annual NACHC Community Health Institute in Orlando Florida, a national conference attended by nearly 2,000 community health leaders from across the country.
+2012 Visionary Award
Ann Lewis was recognized by the South Carolina Primary Health Care Association at its 2012 Annual Conference for her extraordinary leadership, commitment, and dedication to the vision and mission of community health centers.   Under the leadership of Ann Lewis, CareSouth Carolina has stayed the course and a step ahead of those forces that continue to alter the landscape of the health care field. It has never shied away from its responsibility to the underserved, and its visionary clinical programs have received national exposure and recognition from national legislators as well as the CBS Evening News, the ABC Today Show, Time Magazine, the Institute of Health Care Improvement, the Wall Street Journal, and others.
+2012 Community Health Care Leadership Award
CareSouth Carolina was presented with the 2012 Community Health Care Leadership Award for its steadfast commitment to the health of the medically underserved populations in South Carolina by the South Carolina Primary Healthcare Association.     “The Community Health Care Leadership Award recognizes an outstanding organization in South Carolina that honors the Community Health Center movement and it’s principles by demonstrating a commitment to the state’s medically underserved populations,” said Lathran Woodard, executive director of the South Carolina Primary Health Care Association.   “This year’s award goes to an organization that has a positive and direct impact on low-income, uninsured and underinsured individuals and their families, and others experiencing barriers to accessing health care.”  Woodard recognized CareSouth Carolina for its organizational commitment to advocating for the needs of the most vulnerable and for community health. 
+2011 Visit and Praise by AirForce Surgeon General
Airforce Surgeon General 008The Air Force Medical Services of the United States is part of a Military Health System that is second to none in the world.   It has earned more than a stellar reputation for transforming the way health services are provided on and off the battlefield.  So, when the Surgeon General of the Air Force decides he wants to visit CareSouth Carolina in Hartsville to learn how they have been so effective, staff at the local community health center were a bit shocked.

“Sure, over the past decade, we have earned a national reputation for providing quality patient-centered care – for being innovative and doing everything in our power to ensure the best for everyone in rural communities here in the Pee Dee,” said Ann Lewis, CEO at CareSouth Carolina.   “But, when you receive an e-mail requesting a visit from the senior-most medical services officer in the U.S. Air Force –  it sort of blows your socks off.  We are truly honored.”

Surgeon General Lt. Gen. (Dr.) Charles B. Green brought a team to Hartsville to hear presentations by CareSouth management staff, ask questions and tour the facility.  Included in the team was Ray S. Jeter, Colonel, USAF, DC Chief, Air Force Medical Services Innovations; Lt. Col. Mickey T. Goodridge, Traveling Executive Officer, AF Surgeon General ; and was escorted from Shaw Air Force Base in Sumter by Ahmed Calvo, M.D., MPH, senior medical officer at the Health Resource Service Administration’s Office of Health Information Technology and Quality.
“I was so impressed with you and your team,” said Surgeon General Green about the visit with CareSouth Carolina staff.   “I have been talking about what you shared non-stop with my entire team.   I only hope I can do a little of what you have so aptly demonstrated can be done when the focus is on the patient and the community.   Bravo!!”   General Green presented Ann Lewis with the Air Force Surgeon General Coin, a tradition honoring excellence in the provision of medical care.   

+2010 Margaret J Weston Award
South Carolina Primary Health Care Association presented Ann Lewis, CEO at CareSouth Carolina, this award for her persistence in overcoming barriers and obstacles to ensure quality health care services are provided to those most in need.  The award is presented annually  in honor of the late Margaret J. Weston.    Ms. Weston, who passed away in November of 1991, served as a pioneer in the delivery of health care services to the underserved in South Carolina.
+2009 Selection for Harvest of Driver Insights - HRSA and National Institute of Health (NIH) National Center on Minority Health and Health Disparities
CareSouth Carolina was ushered into the national spotlight as one of the very best at providing quality health care.    In fact, of the more than 1,900 community health centers in the nation, CareSouth Carolina was one of only three asked to present its story at a national conference focused on showcasing those that have achieved and sustained improved health outcomes for patients.  The “Harvest of Driver Insights” conference was jointly sponsored by the Health Resources Services Administration (HRSA) and the National Institute of Health (NIH) National Center on Minority Health and Health Disparities.  Ann Lewis, CEO at CareSouth Carolina, presented the organization’s focus on achieving some of the best health outcomes in the nation for patients to an audience of some of the most influential policy makers in the nation, including Mary Wakefield, the new administrator for HRSA, as well as senior leaders and project officers from a broad representation of those in the federal government currently involved in the dialogue on health care reform.
+2009 Health Center of the Year Award
CareSouth Carolina was recognized by the South Carolina Primary Health Care Association for innovative, comprehensive approaches to community-based health care that improves access to care.
+2008 Community Health Center of the Year
The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control’s South Carolina Diabetes Prevention and Control Program awarded CareSouth Carolina this award for their evidence based work in diabetes care.
+2006 Selection as Top Six Health Center for Improving Clinical Depression Outcomes - Health Resources and Service Administration
CareSouth Carolina has been selected as one of the nation’s top six Community Health Centers for improving clinical depression outcomes.  The center was selected using national data by the National Health Disparities Depression Faculty for the Bureau of Primary Health Care, Health Resources and Services Administration. Each of the six community health centers was interviewed and will be featured in a report entitled “Pathways to Successful Management of Depression in Primary Care.”  The report is intended to provide a road map for other centers managing depression in primary care. The report is scheduled to be released in the spring, and faculty also plan to publish key findings and highlights of the report in clinical journals in the future.   “This really should be congratulations to all CareSouth Carolina staff, and I mean all staff,” says Liz Kershner, LISW, Director of Behavioral Health at CareSouth.  “We should congratulate providers, nurses, care managers, behavioral health, front office, data entry, medical records, senior leadership, patient advocates for providing crucial pharmaceutical assistance – everyone – on their commitment to assisting our patients with depression and mental health needs.  By routinely assessing for depression using the Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ- 9), tracking outcomes, and providing evidenced-based treatment – we have proven that we can make a real impact.  But, that wouldn’t be the case if we didn’t work as a team on behalf of our patients.”
+2006 Primary Health Care Provider of the Year
Dr. Stephen Smith has been awarded the 2006 Primary Health Care Provider of the Year by the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control’s Diabetes Prevention and Control Program.  The award recognizes an outstanding primary care provider in the field of diabetes for dedication and innovation in the daily practice of patient care.   Nominees must have been actively engaged in clinical practice for at least three years, with attention to provision of patient-centered care based on the national diabetes recommended standards of care (clinical and self-management education).  Dr. Smith has been practicing at CareSouth Carolina’s Rosa Lee Gerald Center in Society Hill for 11 years.  Over the past several years, he has made significant strides towards improving health outcomes for patients with diabetes.  He is leading the organization on numerous performance measures.  Outcomes for his panel of 195 disease patients, in most cases, approach or exceed national process and outcome goals. His competitive spirit as a medical provider has also challenged his peers to improve their process and outcome measures.  This has contributed to improved outcomes for the 2,711 patients currently in CareSouth Carolina’s diabetes registry. 
+2005 Co-Chair of National Forum on Quality Improvement in Health Care - Institute for Healthcare Improvement
Ann M. Lewis, CEO of CareSouth Carolina, Inc., co-chaired the 17th Annual National Forum on Quality Improvement in Health Care December 11-14th in Orlando, Florida.  The Forum, hosted by the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI), is the premier “meeting place” for people committed to the mission of improving health care.   The event drew approximately 5,000 health care leaders from around the world in person and an additional 6,000 via satellite.  The forum featured more than 100 presentations and workshops encompassing critical health care issues from patient safety to workforce excellence to leadership and governance.  Plenary session speakers included internationally known leaders and motivators Donald M. Berwick, MD, MPP, FRCP; Ronan Tynan; Stephen H. Lewis, and John E. Wennberg, MD, MPH. There were also a slate of passionate, committed professionals who provided inspirational messages and practical advice on how to make positive changes in the way health care is delivered on a local level.
+2005 Volunteer of the Year
Ann Lewis was honored as Volunteer of the Year by Southern Economic Development Council.
+2004 South Carolina Ambassador for Economic Development
Governor Mark Sanford presented Ann Lewis this award for outstanding commitment to economic development.
+2004-05 Volunteer of the Year
South Carolina Economic Developer’s Association recognized Ann Lewis for her work in economic development to benefit the citizens of South Carolina.
+2004 Geriatric Best Practice
CareSouth Carolina received this honor from the South Carolina Hospital Association, The Sage Institute, and The Duke Endowment for improving patient wellness and services by adopting the chronic care path preventive program and working with the Council on Aging.  Over a two-year period, as part of the Geriatric Best Practice Initiative, the SAGE Institute explored, evaluated and catalogued senior healthcare and non-health care practices across South Carolina, its bordering regions, and some across the United States.   The initiative visited more than 200 sites and explored an additional 100 senior services.   Of these, CareSouth Carolina was selected as one of 16 best practices based upon criteria and evaluations developed by the Geriatric Best Practices Advisory Board.
+2003 Outstanding Community Service Award
CareSouth Carolina was presented this award by the Southeastern Association of Area Agencies on Aging and was nominated for their efforts in helping seniors obtain prescription medication through the agency’s indigent med program. 
+2002 Margaret J. Weston Award
South Carolina Primary Health Care Association recognized Ann Lewis, CEO of CareSouth Carolina, for her professional career in the health care industry and overcoming barriers and obstacles to ensure quality services are provided to those most in need.  The award is presented annually  in honor of the late Margaret J. Weston.    Ms. Weston, who passed away in November of 1991, served as a pioneer in the delivery of health care services to the underserved in South Carolina.

“This is a tremendous honor,” Lewis said.  “To be associated with Margaret J. Weston is extremely humbling.  I only hope that I can be as innovative, as persistent and as caring as Margaret.  She provided a standard, a legacy, of improving the state’s health status by whatever means necessary.  I think all of us in this business should not lose sight of that vision.  I truly appreciate the honor.”

Lewis has served at the helm of CSC since 1980, when she started with herself, one doctor, a nurse and part-time bookkeeper at the then Society Hill Family Health Clinic.    Under her leadership, CareSouth Carolina, Inc. has grown to employ 165 residents, cover a six-county area, and be a national model of success in the delivery of health services to rural communities.

+2002 Selection for ACT Report - National Coalition on Health Care and Institute for Healthcare Improvement
At a national meeting held in Washington, DC – “Raising the Bar:  Improving Quality of Care for the Chronically Ill Through Best Practices and Public Policy” –  CareSouth Carolina was recognized as a model of chronic care delivery that meets appropriate quality standards and should be adopted by other practices across the country.  The meeting was sponsored by the National Coalition on Health Care and the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) as part of an initiative to identify innovations that improve the quality of care, to document their impact and to disseminate that information to all parties involved in health care, including providers, purchasers and consumers.   The Institute of Medicine hosted the meeting at the National Academy of Sciences.   CareSouth Carolina was profiled as one of the institutions to be modeled in the report issued on May 16 in conjunction with the meeting:  Curing the System:  Stories of Change in Chronic Illness Care.   The report points to CareSouth Carolina’s success with Diabetes and Depression patients through its adoption of the chronic care model in the delivery of care. 
+2001 Outstanding Rural Health Practice
CareSouth Carolina has been named the 2001 Outstanding Rural Health Practice in South Carolina by the South Carolina Rural Health Association. The award was presented to Ann Lewis, executive director of CareSouth Carolina, by Governor Jim Hodges with Masters of Ceremony assistance from Ed Sellers, President and CEO of Blue Cross & Blue Shield of South Carolina.

“Ann  Lewis, as CEO of CareSouth Carolina, has brought the company from a $250,000 operation to a $6 million corporation that employs over 90 people,” Sellers said. “That achievement is something any business leader would admire.  Considering the altruistic nature of CareSouth Carolina’s work, it truly is something special to see its success.”

Last year, CareSouth Carolina became one of only 15 ambulatory care facilities in the state to obtain accreditation by the Joint Commission of Health Care Organizations.

“Ann Lewis, a Pee Dee native, provided the leadership to start CareSouth Carolina two decades ago,” said Buddy Watkins, executive director of the South Carolina Rural Health Association. “and she has been instrumental in orchestrating the progress of the program into the nationally acclaimed, state of the art health services organization it is today.
The South Carolina Rural Health Association bestowed this honor on CareSouth Carolina for their services and community commitment that have resulted in significant improvement in the delivery of primary health care service in rural areas.

+1999 Health Center of the Year
CareSouth Carolina, Inc. has been selected as the 1999 Community Health Center of the Year by the South Carolina Primary Care Association.  The Community Health Center Achievement Award is presented annually by the association to a community center that has improved access to care through innovative and comprehensive approaches.

“This award is in recognition of tireless commitment and service towards improving access to community-based health care,” said Roland J. Gardner, president of the South Carolina Primary Care Association. “This organization, founded in 1978 as the Society Hill Family Health Clinic, has grown from seeing twenty-one patients on its first day to seeing over 1100 patients a week.  Most importantly, CareSouth Carolina truly embodies the caring spirit in all aspects of its operation.  The evidence is in the high levels of patient satisfaction and trust, the integration into the community, and the longevity and commitment of staff. ”

+1998 Community Pride Award
The Greater Darlington Chamber of Commerce presented the award to CareSouth Carolina in recognition for outstanding contribution to the community.
+1996 Partners In Progress Award
Awarded to CareSouth Carolina by the City of Hartsville for outstanding commitment to Hartsville’s New Downtown by deciding to invest in it’s future.
+1987 Community Health Center Legislative Award
Ann Lewis received this prestigious award for her dedication and support of the goals and purposes of the Community Health Center Movement from the South Carolina Primary Care Association.