HARTSVILLE, S.C. – CareSouth Carolina serves more than 36,000 patients in a five-county radius in the Pee Dee region of South Carolina.
Among those five counties (Chesterfield, Darlington, Dillon, Lee and Marlboro), the average ratio of people to primary care physicians is 4,166:1, compared to the South Carolina ratio average of 1,490:1.
In terms of health outcomes and health factors, which measure how long and well the residents of the community live, the five counties are near the bottom in almost every category, with both Dillon (No. 45) and Lee (No. 46) counties being ranked last in the state.
To help combat the problems that come with poverty in rural counties, CareSouth Carolina uses its ROADS mobile units to provide more access to good health care in convenient places.
“We, at CareSouth Carolina, realize that the traditional health care model is not always the best model for some of our most vulnerable populations: people in rural communities,” said Jeri Andrews, director of mobile health and off-site services. “We are committed to improving the health rankings in each of the five counties we serve, and the ROADS program is one of the many tools we utilize to fulfill this commitment.”
Approximately 21.9 percent of residents in remote rural counties are uninsured, compared with 17.5 percent in rural counties adjacent to urban counties and 14.3 percent in urban counties.
More than 240,000 South Carolina children live in poverty and have little access to health care because of lack of transportation and income in their households.
The ROADS (Reach Out and Deliver Services) team offers comprehensive, remote medical care to both children and adults in the area and features three fully-equipped medical exam units: Freedom ROADS, Mobile ROADS and Care ROADS.
Each unit can be used for different tasks, but they all are used for the same to purpose: to provide easier access to health care in rural areas.
“We are able to bring quality, compassionate health care to children and adults in rural settings who might otherwise lack the resources to receive such care,” Andrews said.
Mobile ROADS provides school-based care for students in 57 schools in five different school districts in the Pee Dee. Care ROADS also provides school-based care, but can be dispatched during natural disasters to provide remote care. Freedom ROADS provides remote Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) services on-site at three area addictions-treatment agencies weekly for those struggling with substance abuse disorders.
The ROADS mobile units can serve at schools, businesses, churches and other community organizations. For more information, contact the ROADS team at 843-309-8102.