CareSouth Carolina celebrates National Health Center Week

CareSouth Carolina’s Society Hill office staff members pose inside the Rosa Lee Gerald Center in preparation for Community Health Center Week.

HARTSVILLE, S.C. – National Health Center Week started Sunday and ends Saturday, and CareSouth Carolina is celebrating it as a way to give back to the Pee Dee community and bring awareness to the organization’s mission and goals.

National Health Center Week is an annual celebration that brings awareness to the mission and accomplishments of America’s health centers over the past five decades. Health centers serve 28 million patients a year and look to provide high-quality healthcare and education in the communities in which we serve.

For more than 30 years, CareSouth Carolina has served as a medical home — a place where people can experience healing, caring relationships — regardless of their personal circumstance.

“What makes us a success is our patients,” Chief of Community Health Joe Bittle said. “It’s great to celebrate nationally what we do and what we offer to our community to help meet the needs of our patients. It’s about building relationships with them, finding out what their needs are and striving to meet those needs to give them the best health care possible.”

Three health issues that CareSouth Carolina is working hard to address and fight are high blood pressure, diabetes and obesity.

“We’re working to instill proactive health care in everyone,” Bittle said. “Don’t wait for it to become paramount. It’s great for us to be able to assist them in getting tests done that might not be covered otherwise and to collaborate with other organizations in the community as a group to meet needs.”

To celebrate National Health Center week, CareSouth Carolina will host and be a part of several community events including:

>> “Healthcare for the Homeless” today. The Community Health Team will partner with the Community Kitchen of Bennettsville to conduct health screenings and provide personal care supplies to the soup kitchen patrons.

>> “Provider Dinner” today. This event is held annually to show appreciation for CareSouth Carolina’s health providers.

>> “Healthcare for the Homeless” on Wednesday. The Community Health Team will partner with the Hartsville Soup Kitchen to conduct health screenings and provide personal care supplies to the soup kitchen patrons.

>> “Senior Health Expo” on Wednesday. CareSouth Carolina will conduct health screenings and provide personal care supplies for seniors at the Cheraw expo.

>> “A Day of Service” on Friday. CareSouth Carolina will partner with the Hartsville Soup Kitchen to assist them in preparing and serving meals.

>> “Back to School Bash” on Saturday. CareSouth Carolina will host a “Back to School Bash” at the Bishopville Recreation Department giving free back-to-school supplies to the first 300 participants. Free food, health screenings and games will be provided.

>> “Marlboro County School District Back to School Bash” on Saturday. CareSouth Carolina will give free back-to-school supplies at the event.

CareSouth Carolina serves more than 35,000 patients each year in more than 14 centers across the Pee Dee region.

This year’s National Health Center Week will highlight how health centers are at the forefront of a nationwide shift in addressing environmental and social factors as an integral part of primary care, reaching beyond the walls of conventional medicine to address the factors that might cause sickness, such as lack of nutrition, mental illness, homelessness and substance use disorders.

Community health centers’ success in managing chronic disease in medically vulnerable communities has helped reduce health care costs for American taxpayers.

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