Way To Wellville - Newsletter January 2016


January 21, 2016

Core Team Updates

Greetings! We are excited to share our first newsletter installment with you. The purpose is to keep all key Wellville participants informed, encourage communication, and continue to all work together to make Spartanburg an even better place to live. We are excited to start year two of this Wellville journey with you!

The Core Team

The Core Team consists of the following individuals: Kathy Dunleavy, Renee Romberger, Kathleen Brady, Chris Story, Molly Talbot-Metz, and Senthil Premraj. The Core Team meets weekly on Monday mornings from 9:30-10:30 a.m. at the Mary Black Foundation. Please know you are always welcome to attend! Jennifer MacPhail (jmacphail@spartanburgwellville.com) has joined the Wellville team as director of community health projects and Samantha Overton (soverton@spartanburgwellville.com) is the new neighborhood engagement coordinator. Will Rothschild (wrothschild@cityofspartanburg.org) is heading up Wellville communications efforts beginning this month. We’re excited to expand the Wellville team here in Spartanburg!

Spartanburg’s Way to Wellville Survey

Until the end of January, the annual Wellville survey is live at the following link: https://uscuie.co1.qualtrics.com/SE/?SID=SV_b1tEICACgf0Vtn7. We conducted this survey a year ago and intend to do so at the beginning of every year of our Wellville initiative. We hope to have many more responses by the
end of the month, so please complete and pass on to others! Thank you in advance.


Representatives from HICCup, the Wellville sponsoring organization, attended our Co-Chair Meeting on January 11, 2016, here in Spartanburg. Their report and updates included some exciting new potential external partnerships for Wellville communities. We will keep you updated as we learn more. HICCup
CEO Rick Brush will likely be visiting us again in February. Along with HICCup and ReThink Health, an initiative of the Rippel Foundation, the Core Team recently completed drafting a high-level business plan/overview of Spartanburg’s Way to Wellville. This process was a positive exercise for us to
focus and align our thinking, goals, and actions for Spartanburg’s Way to Wellville efforts. We are also excited to announce that Spartanburg will host the 2016 convening of all five Way to Wellville committees June 8-10, 2016. Stay tuned as we get closer to June for more information.

Georgia Health Policy Center

We were thrilled to receive a one-year technical assistance grant with the Georgia Health Policy Center from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation that will focus on improving our community health through innovative financing. Our first meeting with the Center this year will be in February.

White Elephant Productions Documentary

The Core Team is excited to partner with White Elephant productions this year to document our Way to Wellville efforts through film. White Elephant individuals will be in touch with committee co-chairs to discuss filming opportunities.

Committee Updates

Our active committees have had a great first year in our Wellville challenge. The below efforts are a sampling of what each of the five committees is up to. As mentioned, on January 11, we held a very productive committee co-chair half-day meeting along with two representatives from HICCup to discuss progress, challenges, wins, and goals for year two.

Obesity Prevention

The Obesity Prevention committee is currently focused on understanding and addressing food deserts in Spartanburg. Based on standards from MyPlate.gov, it has conducted an audit to identify healthy food outlets in the city where residents can purchase fruit, vegetables, whole grain, protein, and dairy. Further, in collaboration with the City, the committee has identified the half-mile radius from each of these outlets. The members are now working to understand and address the current gaps that have been pinpointed, both by urging already-existing establishments to meet the MyPlate.gov standards and by evaluating potential new outlets in these areas, such as new establishments or healthy vending options. The committee is also beginning to identify all locations where residents can be physically active within the city, which includes any green space, parks, public institutions offering free wellness options, and sidewalks immediately outside a resident’s home for walking or running. The Obesity Prevention committee is stressing the importance of water intake over less healthy options by working with the city of Spartanburg Water to support its launch of a “Choose Tap” campaign this January. The committee is also exploring the possibility of outfitting fifth grade students at a local elementary school with Sqord activity trackers. This program would provide students and their parents with visibility to their activity levels and would serve as a tool to educate and encourage physical activity.

Access to Care for Uninsured

The Access to Care for the Uninsured committee is working on a number of initiatives. The Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine (VCOM) has committed to opening and operating a medical clinic to city residents. The clinic will be staffed by VCOM faculty with VCOM students assisting. The location of the clinic will be near the VCOM campus, which is in an area of the city that has historically been home to a significant percentage of uninsured residents. Additionally, VCOM intends to incorporate a program called “The Other 45” at its new clinic that it is currently piloting at Spartanburg’s only existing free medical clinic. After the traditional 15-minute provider appointment, VCOM students will spend the remaining “other 45” minutes of an hour with a patient explaining in more detail various aspects of the appointment, patient-specific healthcare, and answering questions. The committee is also excited about the rollout of Care Message at AccessHealth Spartanburg. Care Message is a cell phone application that sends medical appointment reminders and provides personalized medical information to patients via text messages. This program will serve as a critical bridge in fostering ongoing communication with patients who quality for cell phones and text messages services through government programs.

Health for the Insured·

The Health for the Insured committee is exploring additional opportunities to survey business employers in the city of Spartanburg to identify gaps relating to health and wellness options for the insured. The committee will utilize this data to inform its target goals. It also may consider the possibility of a broader community forum to engage employees themselves in identifying ways to improve health offerings. The committee is exploring the possibility of creating a health cooperative in which local businesses could purchase shares for health care services for employees. The co-op could be staffed by nurse practitioners a couple of days a week with one or more locations.

Kindergarten Readiness

The Kindergarten Readiness committee’s work is aligned with the work of the Spartanburg Academic Movement (SAM) and its “Kindergarten Success Collaborative Action Network.” This collective impact partnership is guided by continuous improvement processes and coached by BMW Manufacturing’s Six Sigma experts. The Kindergarten Readiness committee was thrilled to receive a grant from the Institute for Child Success for the purpose of conducting a feasibility study to examine the potential for social impact financing to meet its above-stated goal. The committee is deeply engaged in the study at the moment, and expects the outcome to clarify the likely potential for such financing or provide suggestions for alternative funding options. The committee will be able to make a decision about whether to move forward with social impact financing or explore other funding options following conclusion of the one-year ICS grant.

Community Pride

The Community Pride committee is energized but faces the inherent challenge that civic pride is difficult to objectively measure and improve quickly on a universal basis. In discussing the objectives early in the process, it was decided to spend the first year listening to the community in order to understand what the prevailing sentiments are about the city and what the overarching desires for a more prideful community could be. The committee could not react quickly with action items before understanding what city residents felt was missing. The committee co-chairs worked with Rethink Health on listening coaching sessions. In January 2015, the committee conducted a baseline survey of residents to understand the strength of community pride. The survey will be repeated every year for five total years, with the next survey collection in January 2016. The committee has engaged Clemson University to review and analyze social media trends and commentary on the city of Spartanburg. The study is underway and the committee will use the results to inform next steps. A neighborhood engagement coordinator has recently been hired to focus on five of Spartanburg’s most challenging neighborhoods. This individual will work closely with the committee and these neighborhood associations and residents to understand their sentiments are and work toward establishing action items to increasing civic pride.

Thank You!

Thank you for all your efforts as we work toward the Way to Wellville here in Spartanburg! We always welcome your feedback and suggestions, so please reach out or attend one of our Core Team Meetings.