Way to Wellville - Newsletter October 2016


October 2016

Greetings! We hope you are enjoying the beautiful fall weather this month. Thank you all for a fantastic and productive Wellville Co-Chair meeting on September 29. We appreciate your time and energy as we move forward to improve health and economic vitality in our community. This newsletter installment highlights efforts of the Core Team and our five Spartanburg Wellville committees.

Core Team Updates


We are thrilled that Spartanburg County was recently selected as one of 50 communities to participate in the Healthiest Cities & Counties Challenge: HealthyCommunity 50. The Challenge, a partnership among the Aetna Foundation, the American Public Health Association, and the National Association of Counties, will award $1.5 million in prizes to small and mid-sized cities, counties and federally-recognized tribes that are able to show measurable change over the course of two years. Each community will receive a $10,000 community seed award to begin implementing its proposals and will be in the running to receive additional prizes. Spartanburg County was selected for its proposal to improve health through the Healthy Schools and Healthy Communities Initiatives. The Healthy Schools Initiative will be implemented through a partnership with the Mary Black Foundation, Partners for Active Living, and nine Spartanburg County schools. The Healthy Communities Initiative will form a new partnership between local municipalities, the SC Hospital Association, Spartanburg Regional Healthcare System, and other interested entities. Michael Meissner, Mayor of the Town of Pacolet, will lead an effort to engage other elected leaders to participate. We are excited that the Healthy Schools and Healthy Communities Initiatives will strengthen and enhance efforts to improve health county-wide and align and further our Wellville goals in the city of Spartanburg.

Health 2.0 Conference in San Jose, CA

AccessHealth Spartanburg (AHS) and Healthy Outcomes Program Spartanburg (HOPS) have been busy representing our city well. HOPS Registered Nurse Case Manager Summer Tebalt traveled to San Jose, California, in September
for the Health 2.0 conference where she met with Wellville CEO Rick Brush and Healthify, Inc. Chief Revenue Officer Eric Conner to present an overview of the Health 2.0 pilot project. You will recall earlier this year we learned that the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation awarded Spartanburg with a Health 2.0 grant for a digital health pilot program that has resulted in a partnership with Healthify. Healthify will provide AHS with a community resource platform to help manage the social determinants of health. Though this conference is traditionally a technology-focused event, participants were eager to hear about daily challenges of working with complex patients as well as how technology has been and can be helpful. Summer shared, “Meeting with technology experts and innovators allowed me to share not only an overview of a case manager’s typical day, but also the detailed tasks each of us spend our time and energy on. Several conference attendees commented that this was the first opportunity they’ve had to get this perspective.” The pilot project with Healthify kicks off this fall so stay tuned for future updates.

Culture of Health Prize Alumni Trip – Princeton, NJ

Three Spartanburg representatives attended the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Culture of Health Prize Celebration and Learning Event October 19-20 in Princeton, New Jersey. This annual event recognized the 2016 RWJF Culture of Health Prize winners and connected representatives from past years’ winners, such as Spartanburg (2015), to learn from each other and explore potential partnerships to continue to build a culture of health. Mitch Kennedy (City of Spartanburg), Michael Meissner (City of Pacolet), and Heather Witt (United Way) attended the event on behalf of Spartanburg. We are always interested in opportunities to partner with other innovative communities.

Co-Chair Committee Meeting Dates in 2017

We have scheduled the next four quarterly Wellville Committee Co-Chair Meetings. Please mark your calendars for these dates in 2017:

Thursday, January 26 Thursday, July 27

Thursday, April 27 Thursday, October 26

Each meeting will be held at the Mary Black Foundation from 8:30-10:30 a.m.

Committee Updates

As you heard at our Co-Chair Meeting last month, our committees continue to do great work. The below is an update on each committee’s activities.

Access to Care for Uninsured

The Access to Care for the Uninsured committee has many new and ongoing initiatives. The Other 45, a partnership with the Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine (VCOM), began on October 21 and will be open Fridays at three locations: Middle Tyger, St. Luke’s Free Medical Clinic, and ReGenesis. The Other 45 is a patient education initiative that will act as a supplement to the patient’s normal 15-minute medical appointment in which the patient meets with a VCOM medical student for the remaining 45 minutes of an hour for a stress-free conversation about his or her health. The goal is to create an empowered, educated patient who can be a partner in health while also educating medical students on barriers to health for certain patients. CareMessage, the text message healthcare management tool that AccessHealth Spartanburg (AHS) launched last December, has continued to be successful during its first year. As highlighted above, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation grant with Health 2.0 awarded in March for a digital health pilot program has resulted in a partnership with Healthify. Healthify will provide AHS with a community resource platform to help manage the social determinants of health and the launch is planned for this fall. Finally, Healthy Smiles and ReGenesis are exploring ways to get the mobile medical unit back up and running to provide dental care for those in need.

Health for the Insured

The Health for the Insured committee kicked off the Wellville Small Business Collaborative this month after conducting two focus groups earlier in the year with small employers here in Spartanburg. The Collaborative brings together 10 local small business employers, Wellville Core Team and national team members, and two representatives from the South Carolina Business Coalition on Health (SCBCH) to work together to develop health improvement strategies with small employers in our city. The SCBCH has been retained to provide services for one year and will be meeting with members of the Collaborative every other month. This partnership provides a great opportunity for health advancement among local smaller businesses. We will update you as the work progresses.

Obesity Prevention

The Obesity Prevention committee is currently working with the City of Spartanburg GIS on a mapping project that will identify at a high-level what residents in the city have access to locations to be physically active and access healthy food within a half-mile of walking distance from their home. The focus of this new mapping project is on walkability of the half-mile radius. Once the project is complete and the committee can analyze the results, it will continue to move forward
with addressing both the activity and food deserts in the city.

Kindergarten Readiness

The Kindergarten Readiness committee received the results of a feasibility study with the Institute for Child Success that examined the potential for social impact financing for the committee’s expanded goal of no-cost birth through 4K
educational services to families in Spartanburg. The results were very favorable: three proposed home visiting programs and one parenting program have sufficient evidence for outcome-based financing. Next steps for this committee include identifying interested philanthropies and impact investors; determining the size and source of government payments; agreeing on financing structure; finalizing and pricing outcome metrics; and determining how to evaluate success. There’s a lot of work to be done, but it’s all exciting and innovative!

Community Pride

The Community Pride committee’s current focus on listening sessions kicked off with a full-day training session for community volunteers on Saturday, October 15, 2016, led by Way to Wellville Neighborhood Engagement Coordinator Samantha Overton, Way to Wellville national team representative Jeff Doemland, and Rethink Health coach and trainer Pedja Stojicic. This initiative began earlier in the year with the goal of forming listening sessions in various underserved neighborhoods in the city to allow residents to voice their concerns and provide feedback as to how we can collectively increase community pride. A support team of leaders reached out to individuals in five targeted neighborhoods and offered this recent training program to learn to how conduct listening sessions in their respective neighborhoods. Over 20 new volunteers attended along with existing leaders. We are energized about the potential of this effort! Please reach out to Samantha if you have thoughts or would like to assist (soverton@spartanburgwellville.com). Also, co-chair of the Community Pride Committee and President & CEO of the Chapman Cultural Center Jennifer Evins coordinated Seeing Spartanburg in a New Light, one of the city’s largest community pride efforts to date that has gained national attention. The lights project generated community engagement, discussion, joint resident and business efforts, and set the stage for future opportunities to increase pride in our city. We are so proud of the work of Jennifer and her team!

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 feel free to attend one of our Core Team meetings on Monday mornings from 9:30-10:30 a.m. at the Mary Black Foundation or reach out to Jennifer MacPhail at jmacphail@spartanburgwellville.com. Be bold, be brave, be well!