Case Studies & Briefs

This section includes Case Studies and Briefs. The Case Studies present details of selected South Carolina organizations that are improving health outcomes for vulnerable populations. The Briefs highlight the efforts of statewide coalitions and taskforces that work on one or more of the Alliance priority areas.

SC Bright Spots: Case Studies

The 70 sites of the Charleston-Dorchester Community Mental Health Center

The Charleston Dorchester Mental Health Center (CDMHC) in South Carolina has partnered with community stakeholders since the 1950s to provide access to prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of mental illness in close to 80 sites in Charleston and Dorchester Counties.

CDMHC’s innovative programs divert hundreds of patients from the hospitals and emergency departments, increase community tenure for children with mental health conditions, prevent tragedy triggered by untreated mental illness, and improve the quality of life of the mentally ill in South Carolina’s Lowcountry.

What makes them a “bright spot”?

  • More than 2000 diversions from the ED per year
  • More than 500 inpatient diversions per year
  • One of the few mobile mental health units in the state
  • First mental health court in the state
  • Close to 80 points of access for residents of Charleston and Dorchester Counties

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Collaborative Behavioral Health/Primary Care Integration: CareSouth

This case study presents the story of CareSouth Carolina and the Northeastern Rural Health Network, a group of organizations that made the mental health of residents of Chesterfield and Marlboro County a priority, and have maximized the potential for primary care- behavioral health integration in an environment of economic instability and scarcity of psychiatric resources.

What makes them a “bright spot”?

  • Lowest disparity in primary care preventable use of the Emergency Department for patients with behavioral health conditions.

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Embracing Differentiology at AnMed Health

AnMed Health is a non-profit health system and the largest employer in Anderson County, South Carolina. It has achieved recognition in the National Call to Action for the Elimination of Health Care disparities through increased emphasis on recognizing and addressing the fact that “we all are diversity challenged in one way or another”, and collecting and using demographic data for quality improvement.

What makes them a “bright spot”?

  • National recognition in the automation and use of health care disparities dashboard.
  • First hospital to adapt the Diversity Leadership Initiative curriculum for an in-house diversity training: The Differentiology Academy at AnMed Health.

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Greenville Health System Commitment to Diversity

In 2006 the Board of Trustees of Greenville Health System (GHS) committed to develop a workforce that was reflective in both composition and culture of the racial and ethnic makeup of the communities and patients it served, and to assure cultural competence in patient care. Consequently, they strengthened their diversity department, changed leadership recruitment processes, and invested in an in-house leadership pipeline program. They are recognized as leaders in the National Call to Action for the Elimination of Health Care disparities.

What makes them a “bright spot”?

  • Most recognized case of diversification at all levels of leadership in South Carolina
  • First hospital in South Carolina to establish a Chief Diversity Officer

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Keeping children out of the hospital: Asthmania Academy

In this 2-page summary of the Asthmania Academy, find information about the infrastructure, process, results, keys to success, and opportunities to enhance impact in the life of children with Asthma.

“Asthmania Academy is one of 3 programs in the country to hold the American Association for Respiratory Care’s Asthma Self-Management Education (ASME) certification – something we are really proud of and something that we believe shows a commitment to improving life for children with asthma” Mike Shoemaker.

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MUSC Psychiatry: Increasing diversity while improving outcomes

Since 2007, The Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) Psychiatry Residency program has helped lead the way by significantly increasing their outreach, recruitment and graduation of URM residents as a major component of MUSCs Diversity and Inclusion strategic planning.   The percentage of URM Psychiatry residents has tripled over the last seven years (from 9% in 2008, to 28% in 2015). Every psychiatry residency graduate over the last four years has successfully passed the Psychiatry Certification Exam, commonly known as “the boards”; the program was named the 4th best Psychiatry residency program in the South in 2014, and the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences is rated as 8th nationally of all Departments of Psychiatry for research funding, according to the National Institutes of Health.

What makes them a “bright spot”?

  • The percentage of minority residents has tripled in the last 7 years while maintaining a 100% Board pass rate

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PASOs: A catalyst, a bridge builder, and an advocate for South Carolina's Latino population

In a nutshell:  “PASOs is the primary voice for the health and wellbeing of the Latino population of South Carolina and the primary connector for this population to health and early childhood services they need to thrive.”

What makes them a bright spot?

In 2011, PASOs was named a Promising Practice by the National Association of Maternal and Child Health Programs and awarded Promising Practice of the Year in 2012. In 2013, PASOs was awarded the Program of the Year award from the South Carolina Office of Rural Health, and also in 2013 was given the Community Catalyst award by the Central Carolina Community Foundation.

Road to Better Health Spartanburg

The Road to Better Health Spartanburg has proven that working collectively and in partnership with the community is more effective than working in silos when addressing community health challenges. This collaborative, established in 2008, and co-championed by the local hospital, places a strong focus on data, alignment of influence and resources, and partnerships with the community. Together, they have had significant impact on the health and well being of community members.

What makes them a “bright spot”?

  • 50% reduction in Infant Mortality when comparing 2005-2007 with 2011-2013
  • Rapid decrease of Low birth-weight rate since 2010
  • 35 Millions in savings for uncompensated care in the hospital
  • Very active inter-agency collaborative

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Together for Beaufort
The Human Services Alliance of Beaufort County is one of the oldest coalitions for health improvement in the state. Beaufort Memorial Hospital (BMH) has been a key partner in the development of initiatives to address issues prioritized by the Alliance and its members; most recently, in the community indicators project, Together for Beaufort County.

What makes them a “bright spot”?

  • Healthiest County in South Carolina
  • Longest standing inter-agency council in the state
  • African American Infant Mortality in Beaufort has been decreasing rapidly in the last 12 years. In 2012 and 2013, it was below the state rate of Infant Mortality for the White population.

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Coalition Briefs

Early Childhood Comprehensive Systems

This statewide coalition is leading the way in the creation of systems of care for all small children in South Carolina.

South Carolina Asthma Alliance

This statewide coalition is leading the way in the improvement of Asthma management in South Carolina.

Behavioral Health Taskforce

This statewide taskforce has established a set of goals and objectives for the improvement of the behavioral health system in South Carolina.

Birth Outcomes Initiative

This statewide coalition is leading the way in South Carolina in the reduction of infant mortality and low-birthweight.

DHEC Office of Community Health Improvement

This office is supporting communities to improve health for ALL. Contact them to join the improvement movement.


This coalition is implementing the South Carolina Obesity Prevention Plan 2014-2019.