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Rural Health Information Hub

South Carolina Center for Rural and Primary Healthcare

  • Program Representatives Interviewed: Kevin Bennett, Director; Andrea Mitchell, Program Manager; Alexia Hopkins, Program Coordinator; Michele Stanek, Associate Director; Megan Weis, Director of Connecting Communities
  • Location: Columbia, South Carolina
  • Program Overview: The Center for Rural and Primary Healthcare is a partnership between the University of South Carolina School of Medicine and the state's Department of Health and Human Services. The Center aims to expand healthcare services for patients and providers in rural and underserved communities in South Carolina. The Center funds chronic disease management programs in rural areas across the state, including mobile health units, pharmacist initiatives, and chronic care management programs. Examples of funded programs include:
    • iCARE – The iCARE program increases local access to subspecialty clinics, such as pulmonology, endocrinology, and cardiology. The program brings these clinics into rural communities several times per week or month to provide direct services to patients.
    • Connecting Communities – The Connecting Communities to Care Program supports community health improvement programs that connect patients to healthcare services to reduce rural health disparities. Connecting Communities funded programs include Improving Health Outcomes and Behaviors through expanding the YMCA's Chronic Disease Prevention Programs to Rural Communities and the Trident United Way Diabetes Prevention Program Expansion Program.
    • Mobile Health Unit Enhancement Program – The Mobile Health Unit Enhancement Program funds organizations with established mobile health units that are interested in expanding services to rural communities. The Abbeville Area Medical Center mobile clinic, for example, was once a COVID-19 testing and vaccination site and is now used to support care management for patients with chronic diseases.

Models represented by this program: