In strategic partnership with SC Department of Health and Environmental Control Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity and Obesity Prevention (SCDHEC DNPAO), Wholespire is pleased to co-lead Healthy Palmetto, the state coalition of organizations that collectively addresses healthy eating, active living and healthy weight for the Live Healthy SC State Health Improvement Plan. Wholespire assists in leading a coordinated effort to unify and mobilize organizations working on healthy eating and active living efforts in the state.
“We are proud to be a leader of leaders in the healthy eating and active living sector of public health. When we were invited to take a leading role with this collaboration, it made perfect sense to us because the partnership complements our strategic intention to foster statewide collective success with diverse stakeholders,” said Meg Stanley, executive director of Wholespire.
Since 2007, Wholespire has nurtured and maintained relationships with organizations and leaders across the state, creating a credible reputation as experts in policy, systems and environmental change and thought leaders in public health innovation. A unique aspect of Wholespire is its ability to advocate to elected officials.
Wholespire works closely with the SCDHEC DNPAO and Healthy Palmetto partners to achieve better health for all South Carolinians as outlined in the SC State Health Improvement Plan. The coordinated effort aims to:
- Minimize the duplication of work,
- Elevate and connect the expertise of its unique partners,
- Facilitate learning through information sharing and discussion, and
- Involve and engage all partner organizations in healthy eating and active living efforts.
“When multiple organizations are focusing on the same community health improvement strategies, communication and coordination becomes imperative for ensuring our communities’ needs are being met,” said Stanley. “This type of collective leads to a greater impact.”
Using national recommendations from Trust for America’s Health State of Obesity Report, the Leadership Council identified six priority areas that partners are currently implementing:
- Improve Outdoor Environments in Early Childhood Settings: Support the efforts of Grow Outdoors SC to transform early childhood outdoor spaces into diverse, naturalized environments that spark play and learning.
- Prioritize Physical Activity in Schools: Support SC FitnessGram partners to improve student health by enhancing physical education (PE) and creating more opportunities for physical activity before, during, and after school.
- Promote Trail Connectivity: Support the development of a SC trails coalition to increase trail connectivity in South Carolina and promote the use of trails and walking paths through increased knowledge and outreach.
- Expand Awareness of WIC: Expand awareness of the benefits and services of the Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) program to increase enrollment of eligible participants.
- Increase Senior Enrollment in SNAP: Support the SC Department on Aging and SC Thrive to increase enrollment of eligible older adults in Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) through community-based outreach and marketing initiatives targeted towards older adults as well as training for SNAP counselors/community workers.
- Increase Access to Healthy Food: Support the SC Food Policy Council to strengthen local food systems in South Carolina, address food insecurity through the health care system by expanding screening and referral tools and resources, and explore strategies to address community design for physical activity and access to healthy food.
Healthy Palmetto is comprised of statewide organizations including Alliance for a Healthier Generation, Alliance for a Healthier South Carolina, Clemson University School of Public Health, Diabetes Free SC/ BlueCross BlueShield of SC®, Grow Outdoors SC, SC Department of Education Office of Health and Nutrition, SC DHEC Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity Prevention, SC FitnessGram, SC Food Policy Council, SC Hospital Association, SC Office of Rural Health, SC Recreation and Parks Association, SC Trails Coalition, SC Women, Infants, and Children Nutrition Program, SNAP for Seniors, University of South Carolina Children’s Physical Activity Research Group, University of South Carolina SNAP-Ed Implementing Agency and Wholespire.