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South Carolina Models and Innovations

These stories feature model programs and successful rural projects that can serve as a source of ideas. Some of the projects or programs may no longer be active. Read about the criteria and evidence-base for programs included.

Evidence-Based Examples

Telepsychology-Service Delivery for Depressed Elderly Veterans
Added December 2016
  • Need: To treat depression in elderly veterans who are unable to seek mental health treatment due to distance or stigma.
  • Intervention: Telepsychology-Service Delivery for Depressed Elderly Veterans compared providing behavioral activation therapy via telehealth and face-to-face for those with major depressive disorder.
  • Results: A 2015 study and two 2016 studies show that providing treatment via telehealth to elderly veterans in South Carolina resulted in the same health outcomes, quality of life, satisfaction with care, and cost of healthcare as those receiving face-to-face treatment.

Effective Examples

funded by the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy Health Coaches for Hypertension Control
Updated/reviewed September 2017
  • Need: A cost-effective approach to help rural patients with hypertension learn to manage their condition.
  • Intervention: Community volunteers trained as health coaches provided an 8-session hypertension management training program to hypertension patients older than 60, with an optional supplemental 8 sessions focused on nutrition and physical activity.
  • Results: Just 16 weeks after the program, participants had improved systolic blood pressure, weight, and fasting glucose, greater knowledge of hypertension, and improved self-reported behaviors.
Abbeville County’s Community Paramedic Program
Added December 2015
  • Need: To reduce non-emergent visits to the emergency department as well as inpatient stays in rural South Carolina.
  • Intervention: A community paramedic program was started in Abbeville County, providing in-home preventive care to patients.
  • Results: Emergency room visits have decreased by 58.7% and inpatient stays by 60%. Many patients previously needing consistent services now only need occasional check-ups.

Promising Examples

funded by the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy Community Health Coaches for Successful Care Transitions
Updated/reviewed September 2017
  • Need: To help older patients with chronic conditions learn to manage their illnesses and thereby reduce hospital readmissions in Oconee County, South Carolina.
  • Intervention: Community volunteers trained as health coaches mentor discharged patients with certain chronic conditions, to help them transition from home health care to self-care.
  • Results: Participants had improved health behaviors and reduced readmissions.

Other Project Examples

SCDMH Emergency Department Telepsychiatry Consultation Program
Added December 2017
  • Need: The shortage of mental health professionals in rural South Carolina resulted in an influx of patients admitted to emergency departments who were in need of psychiatric care.
  • Intervention: South Carolina Department of Mental Health partnered with the Duke Endowment to create the SCDMH Emergency Department Telepsychiatry Consultation Program. Rural emergency departments can now reach a psychiatrist to assess a patient via telehealth.
  • Results: The program has improved access, affordability, and provided quality care for rural providers and patients with mental illness.
Tea Time with Teens
Updated/reviewed September 2017
  • Need: To lower teen pregnancy rates in Marlboro County, South Carolina, and develop teen leaders.
  • Intervention: Tea Time with Teens brings together community leaders, mothers, and daughters to build life skills and make healthy decisions.
  • Results: Over 50 teens participate in the Tea Time with Teens program in Marlboro County, and the program has served approximately 100 teens since its inception.
funded by the Health Resources Services Administration MORE Care
Added June 2017
  • Need: To improve rural residents' oral healthcare.
  • Intervention: MORE Care creates interprofessional oral health networks to 1) better integrate oral health into primary healthcare and 2) coordinate oral health between primary and dental healthcare.
  • Results: Operating in 3 states, MORE Care has led to increases in fluoride varnish administration, improvement in interprofessional communication, and patients' improved self-management of their daily oral health.
The Dawn Center Intensive Outpatient Program
Updated/reviewed June 2017
  • Need: To treat substance addiction in rural South Carolina avoiding expensive inpatient facilities, including a treatment aim of keeping patients in their home communities.
  • Intervention: The Dawn Center offers an outpatient program for patients with substance abuse and addiction.
  • Results: Patients can receive counseling and treatment closer to home while becoming a part of the local recovery community.
Together for Beaufort County
Updated/reviewed June 2017
  • Need: A community-wide collaborative process to identify and address specific quality-of-life challenges confronting the citizens of Beaufort County, South Carolina.
  • Intervention: Together for Beaufort County facilitates the coordination of nearly 2 dozen coalitions that address economic, social, health, educational, and environmental factors through data sharing and goal setting of like-minded community agencies.
  • Results: Communication and collaboration among agencies has greatly increased. The community has experienced successes such as the improvement of prenatal health rates.
Mother's Milk Bank of South Carolina
Updated/reviewed January 2017
  • Need: A source of nourishment for the high number of premature infants born in South Carolina.
  • Intervention: The Mother's Milk Bank of South Carolina (MMBSC) manages 17 drop-off sites where mothers can donate their surplus breast milk to be delivered to neonatal intensive care units (NICUs) across the state.
  • Results: Over 99,916 ounces of milk have been donated to MMBSC depot sites and over 96,000 ounces of milk have been delivered to NICUs across the state of South Carolina.
Black Corals Cancer Education
Added October 2015
  • Need: African American women in rural South Carolina are almost 40% more likely to die from breast cancer and over 3 times more likely to die from cervical cancer than Caucasian women in the state.
  • Intervention: St. James-Santee Family Health Center implemented a breast and cervical cancer screening promotion program called Black Corals.
  • Results: In 2 years, Pap smear and mammogram rates increased by over 10% and missed appointment rates were decreased by over 30%.

Last Updated: 12/5/2017