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Giving at South Carolina


Salk gets $100,000 for nursing program

The University of South Carolina Salkehatchie is set to receive a $100,000 grant to bring new technology to its Rural Nursing Initiative.

Last week, BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina announced that USC Salkehatchie would receive the funds to assist in establishing a Clinical Simulation Lab for its nursing program.

April Cone, director of the USC Salkehatchie Nursing Program, said in a press release from the university, “Due to advances in nursing education, and the increasing complexity of patient care, high fidelity simulation has been incorporated into the USC nursing curricula.

“Establishing a high fidelity simulation lab at the USC Salkehatchie campus will provide access to proven experiential methods of clinical education while allowing Salkehatchie-based students to fulfill their educational requirements close to home,” she added.

The simulation lab will also prepare current and future health care professionals to provide exceptional and safe health care services, all while providing them with a centrally located training facility without the burden and expense of extensive travel.

Cone explained that “the addition of this high-tech equipment allows the USC Salkehatchie Rural Nursing Initiative to remain true to its mission of ‘Growing our Own Nurses’.”

The USC Salkehatchie Rural Nursing Initiative partners with the University of South Carolina Columbia College of Nursing to provide students in the USC Salkehatchie service area access to the complete bachelor’s degree in nursing from USC.

Students complete the first two years of core requirements at USC Salkehatchie and then apply to the upper division of the USC Columbia College of Nursing.

Once admitted, they complete the degree locally at USC Salkehatchie by taking courses on the Salkehatchie Campus and completing clinicals at area health care providers in the USC Salkehatchie Region.

In announcing the USC Salkehatchie grant, one of 13 grants totaling $4.8 million awarded by the BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina Foundation, the foundation explained that it is committed to improving healthcare for all South Carolinians, particularly the economically disadvantaged such as rural South Carolina counties.

Harvey Galloway, executive director of the BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina Foundation, commended the Rural Nursing Initiative for its efforts toward this goal. “We are pleased to support the USC Salkehatchie Rural Health Nursing Initiative and advancing the education of our future nursing leaders,” Galloway said.

USC Salkehathie’s state-of-the-art simulation lab will provide access to experimental methods of clinical education to train 70 nursing students who will directly affect nearly 110,000 people living in the region, according to the foundation.

The grant to USC Salkehatchie was not the only one awarded by the BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina Foundation that will help address the health service needs of Colleton County.

* The Charleston based Palmetto Palace received a grant to increase local access to health care services through technology and telehealth.

Telehealth uses technology to deliver virtual medical services. A mobile health van will service Beaufort, Jasper, Hampton, Colleton and Allendale counties where 20 percent of residents had no health insurance in 2012, compared to a nationwide average of 14.8 percent.

A Community Health Needs Assessment Survey showed that the greatest barrier to accessing medical and services was transportation. The mobile health van will provide access to preventive care services, reducing the dependence on hospitals and financial strain of these services.

* The University of South Carolina Center for Colon Cancer Research (CCCR) was awarded a two-year grant to introduce fecal immunochemical testing (FIT) in remote counties, including Colleton County, that they do not currently serve.

The National Cancer Institute found these unserved counties experience a 20 percent higher mortality rate from colorectal cancer than the rest of the state.

CCCR seeks to address this through increased screening and early detection of an additional 375 patients. Since FIT can be done at home, more people can be screened, reducing the occurrence and mortality of colorectal cancer.

* Impact America uses innovative vision screening technology for children ages 6 months to 5 years old. The three-year grant will assist Impact America in providing free vision screenings using high-tech digital cameras in Head Start sites and daycares of low-income populations in Colleton and 30 other South Carolina counties.

Providing vision screenings to these young children will better prepare them to begin school by addressing vision problems.

Additionally, Impact America with SC Thrive will train individuals to provide tax preparation services to low-income, working families.

This program will ensure families receive the tax credits and assistance programs they need.