Way to Wellville - Newsletter March 2016


March 2016

Core Team Updates

Greetings and happy Spring! We’ve been working hard since our last newsletter to move Spartanburg’s Way to Wellville forward. This installment highlights efforts over the last two months.

Technology for Healthy Communities Selection

We are thrilled to announce that on March 21, Health 2.0, a catalyst for the advancement of new health technologies, selected Spartanburg as one of four communities nationwide to receive funding as part of a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation grant for the Technology for Healthy Communities digital health pilot program. The purpose of the program is to facilitate technology adoption at the community level by tackling pressing issues and matching the selected communities with technology innovators. The goal is to improve health outcomes and build sustainable, scalable partnerships. In our application, the team offered two potential areas of interest: 1) technology solutions to promote employee wellness, telehealth, healthy behavior, and condition management for small businesses; and, 2) a platform to improve resident engagement and use of community resources, especially among under-served residents with lower utilization of health and community services. Please see the Technology for Healthy Communities website (http://www.communityhealthtech.org/) for more information and stay tuned!

Georgia Health Policy Center

Our two-year technical assistance grant with the Georgia Health Policy Center from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation focuses on improving our community health through innovative financing. On February 4-5, representatives from the Core Team attended a two-day seminar in Atlanta with the Center and other grantees. On March 17, two representatives from the Georgia Health Policy Center visited Spartanburg for a strategy session to discuss collaboration with Spartanburg’s Road to Better Health coalition as well as opportunities for innovative financing with our Wellville initiatives. It was a very productive session and we look forward to continuing to receive guidance and assistance from the Georgia Health Policy Center team.

HICCup Visit Recap – February 24-25, 2016

Rick Brush and Jeff Doemland of HICCup, the Wellville sponsoring organization, visited Spartanburg February 24-25. Their visit was very helpful in continuing to define our efforts for each Wellville committee to achieve a “win” in 2016. Rick and Jeff focused time on the Kindergarten Readiness committee and its collaboration with the Institute for Child Success; the Community Pride committee and neighborhood engagement efforts; and the Health for the Insured committee. We also discussed high-level partnerships, next steps for our general Wellville movement in Spartanburg, and the annual convening
in which Spartanburg will host all five Wellville communities on June 7-9, 2016.

June Convening in Spartanburg – June 7-9, 2016

Speaking of the June convening, we are again thrilled that Spartanburg was chosen to host the 2016 gathering of all five Way to Wellville communities! We are working with HICCup to plan the event and look forward to featuring the many fantastic projects you all are working on by taking attendees on various site visits. We also look forward to working with the Spartanburg Chamber of Commerce and Visitors’ Bureau to ensure we showcase our wonderful city well.

Spartanburg’s Way to Wellville Survey

Thank you to everyone who took part in the annual Wellville survey and helped distribute it. The survey closed in February and we again found that the baseline data will be very useful in our 2016 efforts. If you’d like more information on the results, please email Jennifer MacPhail at jmacphail@spartanburgwellville.com.

White Elephant Productions Documentary

White Elephant has been in touch with Wellville committee co-chairs to interview them on camera for the multi-year Spartanburg Wellville documentary. Many co-chairs have already been interviewed and White Elephant has started shadowing some of our Wellville efforts for filming. We’re excited for this project and what will undoubtedly be a wonderful video documentary of our Wellville journey.

Committee Updates

Our committees continue to move forward toward attainable “wins” in 2016. The below is a short update on each committee since our last newsletter.

Obesity Prevention

The Obesity Prevention committee continues to focus on its food desert work in Spartanburg. The committee has teamed up with a group from Leadership Spartanburg to consider and evaluate the opportunity for a healthy vending machine in an underserved area of the city. The committee has also continued to develop a program to encourage local food outlets to offer additional healthy food items that would meet the MyPlate.gov standards.The committee is now also working with the City to assess the locations where residents can be physically active for free and will look to build upon the initial findings.

Access to Care for Uninsured

The Access to Care for the Uninsured committee continues to meet and have very thorough and engaging discussions on how to achieve goals for this year. The Care Message rollout is underway at AccessHealth Spartanburg and has received positive feedback thus far. We’ve teamed up with a statistician to monitor and eventually evaluate the program to understand its impact during this first pilot year.

Health for the Insured

The Health for the Insured committee is working on coordinating and scheduling a focus group roundtable for select small business employers in the city (50 or fewer employees) to discuss gaps in health care for the insured. We hope to conduct the first focus group within the next month.

Kindergarten Readiness

The Kindergarten Readiness committee is awaiting the results of a feasibility study with the Institute for Child Success to examine the potential for social impact financing for its goal of free 4K education for all children in the city. The committee has also broadened its approach to evaluate a potential continuum of services from cradle to career and is exploring additional partnerships. The results are expected this May.

Community Pride

The Community Pride committee is forming listening sessions that will begin in the next couple of months in various underserved neighborhoods in the city. These sessions with allow residents to voice their concerns and provide feedback as to how we can collectively increase pride of residents in our city. Samantha Overton, the Wellville Neighborhood Engagement Coordinator, is working with the neighborhoods and the committee to create these sessions. Please reach out to Samantha if you have thoughts or would like to assist (soverton@spartanburgwellville.com).

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 weekly Core Team meetings on Monday mornings from 9:30-10:30 a.m. at the Mary Black Foundation.