South Carolina’s rural communities are wonderful places to live, work, and visit. They are also communities where healthcare providers have the opportunity to provide innovative, affordable, and holistic primary care- a model for the rest of the country to follow as America transitions to a population-based system of health care.
This was the message shared at the Third Annual National Rural Health day celebration held November 21 at CareSouth Carolina in Hartsville. In addition to Ms. Ann Lewis, CEO of CareSouth Carolina, invited speakers at the event included Dr. Graham Adams, CEO of the South Carolina Office of Rural Health; Ms. Lathran Woodard, CEO of the South Carolina Primary Health Care Association; Mr. Tim Browne, CEO of Carolina Pines Regional Medical Center; Mr. Jeff Reece, Market CEO for Chesterfield General and Marlboro Park Hospitals; and Mr. Roy Hess, Division Director for the South Carolina Department of Health and Human Services.
In South Carolina this year, the day’s festivities focused on the work of rural providers’ abilities to successfully collaborate and coordinate care for some of the state’s neediest patients. Each of the featured speakers had a specific role in the recent Healthy Outcomes Plan initiative led by SC DHHS through the South Carolina 2013 Legislative Proviso 33.34. “In the last several months I think that one of the projects that is going on in the state of South Carolina… the Healthy Outcomes Plan… just brought together all of the different elements that really mean so much to making change effective and to really making a difference in communities,” stated Ann Lewis in her remarks.
The National Organization of State Offices of Rural Health created National Rural Health Day in 2011 as a way to showcase rural America and increase awareness of rural health-related issues. “National Rural Health Day gives NOSORH and its partners the opportunity to ‘Celebrate the Power of Rural’ and tout the good works being performed by America’s 59.5 million rural citizens,” notes NOSORH Director Teryl Eisinger