Live Healthy Spartanburg releases 3-year plan to address health issues and disparities in the county

Published: Mar. 14, 2023 at 10:24 PM EDT
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SPARTANBURG, S.C. (FOX Carolina) - Education, income, housing stability and transportation—all the things that could have an impact on a person’s quality of life, can also impact their health. Live Healthy Spartanburg, a health collaborative, has formed a plan to address health disparities in the county starting at the root.

“We utilize it as basically our framework or a guide to how we hope to improve health outcomes,” said JaLisa Jordan, the Program Manager for Live Healthy Spartanburg.

They call it CHIP—or the Community Health Improvement Plan. The goals are based on the numbers. For example, they found the leading cause of emergency room visits for both children and adults in Spartanburg is mental health. And many people say they delayed medical care due to lack of insurance.

“That can create crisis health situations where you need to go to the emergency room, or sometimes people use the emergency room as their primary care because they’ve delayed  care,” said Carey Rothschild, the Director of Community Health and Policy for Spartanburg Regional Healthcare System.

Also more than 10% of the population is uninsured. Which leads them to seek basic medical care from the emergency room.

“They’re utilizing those emergency centers because they are not connected with a primary care physician,” said Jordan.

Organizations like St. Luke’s Free Medical Clinic helps bridge those disparities by serving people who are uninsured.

“Our partners Access Health and  ReGenesis Health Care have improved on individuals overutilizing our emergency centers,” said Jordan.

Live Healthy Spartanburg’s other solutions include establishing more mobile sites, increasing access to transportation, expanding outreach, increasing some treatment options for low-income and uninsured residents and sharing mental health resources in more schools and public buildings.

“If we aren’t addressing the social determinants of health individuals aren’t going to be worried about addressing just their basic health needs,” said Jordan.

This plan will be in place for the next three years. After that—they’ll take a look at their progress and create another plan. If you’re interested in reading the full plan and solutions click here.

On Saturday April 22, CHAD will be hosting a Community Awareness Day, residents will be able to get free health screenings, enjoy family activities, food entertainment and more. This will take place at the TK Gregg Community Center on Howard Street from 8am to 2pm.