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.
Updated/reviewed December 2019
- Need: To provide evidence-based psychotherapy for 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 home-based telehealth and the same treatment delivered in a traditional office-based format.
- Results: A 2015 study and two 2016 studies show that providing treatment via home-based telehealth to elderly veterans in South Carolina resulted in the same improved health outcomes, quality of life, satisfaction with care, and cost of healthcare compared to those receiving face-to-face treatment.
Updated/reviewed January 2020
- Need: Hispanic women have the highest incidence rates of cervical cancer among any ethnicity in the United States.
- Intervention: The development of a lay health worker (promotora) curriculum that provides information on cervical cancer, HPV, and the HPV vaccine to Hispanic farmworker women living in rural southern Georgia and South Carolina.
- Results: Significant increases in post-test scores relating to cervical cancer knowledge and increases in positive self-efficacy among promotoras.
Updated/reviewed December 2019
- 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.
Updated/reviewed May 2018
- 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.
Updated/reviewed December 2019
- 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.
Updated/reviewed May 2019
- Need: To increase healthy eating and physical activity levels in Fairfield County, South Carolina.
- Intervention: Community health advisors train church committees and deliver telephone-based technical assistance to improve opportunities, guidelines, messages, and pastor support for physical activity and healthy eating.
- Results: In a 2018 study, churchgoers reported seeing more opportunities for physical activity as well as more messages and pastor support for physical activity and healthy eating. Intervention churches also had fewer inactive churchgoers, compared to control churches.
Other Project Examples
Updated/reviewed November 2019
- 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: Since 2009, the program has been educating teens on making healthy choices and adults on having meaningful conversations with teens.
Updated/reviewed September 2019
- 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: Out of 46 counties in South Carolina, Beaufort County has reached the top ranking in health outcomes.
Updated/reviewed July 2019
- 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: MORE Care has led to increases in fluoride varnish administration, improvement in interprofessional communication, and patients' improved self-management of their daily oral health.
Updated/reviewed January 2019
- Need: Neonatal Intensive Care Units (NICUs) across the state of South Carolina were purchasing breast milk from out-of-state milk banks for preterm infants.
- Intervention: The Mother's Milk Bank of South Carolina (MMBSC) opened 17 sites in South Carolina for breast milk to be donated, safely pasteurized, and delivered to NICUs across the state.
- Results: Over 260,000 ounces of milk have been donated to MMBSC depot sites and over 186,000 ounces of milk have been delivered to South Carolina NICUs.
Updated/reviewed December 2018
- 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 (SCDMH) partnered with The Duke Endowment to create the SCDMH Emergency Department Telepsychiatry 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.
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.
Last Updated: 1/6/2020