Sessions & Workshops



Monday, October 23

11:15 AM – 12:15 PM

Breaking Tradition: Engaging Physicians (Docs Adopt) in School-based Obesity Prevention
Janice Key, MD, MUSC

As the prevalence of childhood obesity in SC rose and its complex underlying causes were revealed it became clear that traditional health care of individual patients was no longer adequate. Systemic changes that targeted the obesogenic environment and addressed healthy nutrition and increased physical activity were needed. For children, these efforts must be located in schools and childcare settings (Accelerating Progress in Obesity Prevention, National Academies Press 2012). Further, many organizations encouraged physicians to be part of these obesity prevention programs (Physicians as Community Health Leaders, AMA 2013). However, few schools or physicians followed these expert recommendations. The MUSC Docs Adopt School Health Initiative© (DASHI) grew out of these specific needs: (1) childhood obesity and underlying poor nutrition and physical activity, (2) an easy implementation tool for schools to do recommended evidence-based strategies, and (3) a way in which physicians could contribute. DASHI is included as a targeted, measured strategy in the SC Obesity Action Plan ( As with many health disparities, obesity is more common in minority, low income and rural communities, evidence that socioeconomic causes affect healthy lifestyles. School-based obesity prevention efforts however, can be effectively implemented regardless of the socioeconomic status of the community (Key JSCMA 2014).

11:15 AM – 12:15 PM

Addressing Food Insecurity and Improving Healthy Food Access in Rural Communities
Nicholas Julian, United Way of Kershaw County & Regina Nesmith and Suzette McClellan, SC DHEC Lee and Williamsburg Counties

This session will demonstrate the need for community collaboration to bring a collective impact in fighting food insecurity and inequality in rural communities. As an example, the United Way of Kershaw County’s Mobile Nutrition Center fights food insecurity and inequality by delivering food boxes, which addresses not only the concern of hunger, but the health ailments that low income residents face due to food insecurity and inequality. In the rural counties of Lee and Williamsburg in the Pee Dee Region of South Carolina, food security and access to healthy foods are factors that are linked to risk for overweight or obesity.  Collecting and using data to support obesity prevention activities as well as environmental supports and partnership development are promising strategies that are effective in addressing obesity related disparities.

11:15 AM – 12:15 PM

Connecting Communities with the East Coast Greenway
Brent Buice, East Coast Greenway Alliance & Katie Zimmerman, Charleston Moves

The East Coast Greenway is an ambitious project that will link hundreds of communities from Maine to Florida with a safe, off-road trail facility for walking and biking. In South Carolina, the Greenway travels 295 miles through Myrtle Beach, Awendaw, Georgetown, Mount Pleasant, Charleston, and Beaufort, linking up with Georgia’s segment in Savannah. With significant sections of the Greenway complete and under development, South Carolinians already can enjoy the benefits of the trail for active transportation and healthy recreation. Work remains to be down, however, especially in rural sections of the Greenway route. This session will explore how we can fill in gaps in the Greenway to provide a continuous, connected facility for active lifestyles along the coast and in the lowcountry. This session will also share the City of Charleston’s experiences with expanding the Greenway.

11:15 AM – 12:15 PM

Birds of a Feather Skill Builder: Coalition Leadership
Kelsey Allen, Eat Smart Move More South Carolina & Sally Wills, LiveWell Greenville

Effectively leading a community coalition can be both rewarding and challenging. This session will help local coalition leaders identify their personal leadership style through self-assessment tools such as the DISC assessment and the Meyers-Briggs test. Based on these results, leaders will determine strategies for creating a well-balanced and effective coalition.

2:30 PM – 3:30 PM

Implementation and Evaluation of the Spartanburg Healthy Schools Initiative
Melissa Fair, Furman University & Beth Barry, Alliance for a Healthier Generation

Comprehensive initiatives to advance policy and environmental changes for physical activity and healthy eating can facilitate obesity prevention within SC schools. This presentation will describe the year 1 implementation and preliminary evaluation of the Spartanburg Healthy Schools Initiative (SHSI). The SHSI is a four-year partnership between five organizations (Mary Black Foundation, Alliance for a Healthier Generation – AHG, Partners for Active Living, Furman University, University of South Carolina) within nine elementary and middle schools (and two control schools) in Spartanburg County. This initiative provides participating schools funding, technical assistance, training, and implementation strategies that align with AHG’s Healthy Schools Program Framework of Best Practices with the ability to tailor the intervention to individual schools’ needs/priorities. Evaluation of SHSI includes observational audits of the school environment, student attitudinal and behavior surveys, objective physical activity monitors, and analysis of attendance and office referrals, FitnessGram PACER and BMI data, and standardized test scores.

2:30 PM – 3:30 PM

Promoting SNAP Champions: Innovations with Farmers’ Markets and SNAP Outreach Strategies to Support Healthy Eating for South Carolina Families
Jaime Gibson, Hub City Farmers Market; Karen Waataja, SC Thrive; & Dana Bertolino, United Way of the Piedmont

This session explores practical ways to promote healthy eating by increasing access to nutrition programs through various initiatives, including Hub City’s “SNAP Champion” Model and SC Thrive’s SNAP Outreach Partnership Model. The SNAP Champion Model promotes equitable access to healthy food for low-income families by having a SNAP Champion solely dedicated to promoting SNAP spending at markets. The SNAP Champion primarily serves two functions: 1) Create and build on community partnerships, and 2) Create and build on one-to-one relationships with SNAP shoppers.  SC Thrive’s SNAP Outreach program partners with organizations across the state and uses both traditional and innovative approaches to teach eligible, low-income individuals who are not currently participating in SNAP, about the benefits of this nutrition program and options to apply.  The presenters will highlight the importance of community partnerships to increase impact of initiatives created to reduce food insecurity and promote healthy, stabilized communities.

2:30 PM – 3:30 PM

Funding Bicycle and Pedestrian Facilities and Programs in South Carolina, Using Local, State, and Federal Public and Private Sources
Amy Johnson Ely, Palmetto Cycling Coalition

This session focuses on funding bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure and programs. It is intended for all audiences – planners, engineers, municipal or school administrators, health professionals, or citizen committee members. Learn about over a dozen public funding sources, from the federal, state, and local levels, that could help you implement your bicycle or pedestrian master plan. Many sources of public funds are technically eligible in our state, from federal, state, and local sources, that can build bicycle and pedestrian facilities, but they are not well known. In addition, hear where in our state these sources were effectively utilized, IE where was it successfully politically feasible, so further communities can use these examples to use the same additional sources. Whether you’re looking to build sidewalks, streetscaping, improve watershed management, install bike lanes during repaving, build a new multi use path, or conduct a bike or pedestrian safety program, this session will explain how to get these funded. A follow up presentation will be given on which counties in our state have a greater racial disparity in bicycle and pedestrian safety, and therefore which are in greater need of targeted infrastructure improvements or programs, to achieve more equitable distribution of safe streets.

2:30 PM – 3:30 PM

Working Well Together: Aligning National Best Practices with Statewide Strategies to Impact Local, Community Initiatives
Emily O’Sullivan, SC Hospital Association; Sally Wills, LiveWell Greenville & Susan Johnson, MUSC

Working Well is a statewide worksite wellbeing initiative that helps employers of all sizes and sectors implement evidence-based best practices in employee wellbeing through policy, systems, and environmental change strategies. Working Well focuses on nine dimensions of employee wellbeing including nutrition/food environment and physical activity. Key elements include leadership engagement, organizational assessment, coaching and training, technical assistance, best-practice sharing and networking, evaluation, and statewide and local recognition. Working Well has partnered with two community initiatives to provide local businesses with a seamless alignment to national best practices, statewide strategies, and a connection to local resources. LiveWell Greenville is a healthy eating/active living coalition in Greenville County. Charleston Healthy Business Challenge is a workplace wellness initiative in the Charleston metropolitan area. Each local initiative provides support, guidance, and resources to businesses to assist them in creating comprehensive employee wellness programs, using Working Well’s online web platform called “Strategy for Wellbeing” as it’s framework for best practice implementation, evaluation, and recognition. The Working Well strategies are appropriate for all worksites, regardless of location, size, sector, or employee demographic, and therefore addresses health equity.

Tuesday, October 24

10:15 AM – 11:15 AM

Campus Community Health Practice: Applying Principles of Community Health in a Higher Education Environment
Jackie Knight, USC Student Health Services & Dianna Colvin and Sarah King, Healthy Carolina Initiatives

Staff from Student Health Services at the University of South Carolina will share how community health practice has been applied in a campus environment. This session will particularly highlight policies, systems and environmental strategies and partnerships formed to benefit nutrition and physical activity.

10:15 AM – 11:15 AM

Creating the First Municipal Food Policy Committee of SC and Replicating this Effort Across the State
Lauren Harper, City of Columbia & Carrie Draper, USC Center for Research in Nutrition and Health Disparities

The session will have two parts. First, a City of Columbia liaison will outline how the city formed the first municipal Food Policy Committee in the state, the purpose and will discuss the goals and the potential projects. Then, a member of the Food Policy Committee who specializes on food policy will discuss the importance and ramifications of a city making the decision to form an FPC in its municipal government.

10:15 AM – 11:15 AM

Planning for Active Living and Healthy Food Access at the Statewide and Local Levels
John Cock, Alta Planning + Design; Sherry Barrett, Upstate Forever; & Alissa Duncan, Broadmoor Planning

This session will outline how communities can successfully incorporate health into local planning. Alta Planning + Design has recently explored the concept of walkability in rural communities through an effort to develop pedestrian plans in 16 South Carolina communities. These plans range from citywide master plans to roadway redesigns and each includes an assessment of access to healthy foods and active spaces.Several communities have implemented new local programs, secured new infrastructure funding, or adopted a new policy. Through a creative partnership, the City of Landrum in Spartanburg County successfully completed a Comprehensive Plan focusing on active living components. This plan, and the related pedestrian plan, addressed increasing active living opportunities through the built environment and recreational opportunities. This session will provide concrete guidance for creating real change related to walkability in rural communities. This session will also explore how a local community embraced partnerships to marshall resources to produce a healthy comprehensive plan and share strategies for active-living related policies.

10:15 AM – 11:15 AM

Partnering with Churches to Improve Health in Rural Communities
Kathryn Johnson, LiveWell Kershaw & Sara Wilcox, USC Prevention Research Center

Partnerships with faith-based organizations can extend the reach of public health efforts to rural areas.  This session will describe partnerships with churches in two rural counties, including how an integrated model of care is being delivered via community health workers and experiences implementing an evidence-based program to promote physical activity and healthy eating (Faith, Activity, and Nutrition).

11:30 AM – 12:30 PM

Innovative Health Initiatives in Early Childcare Settings
Dale Murrie and Michaela Schenkelberg, USC Shapes & Kerry McKenzie, The Bradshaw Institute Farm to Belly

Early Childcare efforts can influence students and families to make healthier choices. This session will introduce Choosy Farm to Belly, a multifaceted program around growing, cooking, eating and sharing fresh food. The program aims to influence food choices, help students and families make healthy food selections, and to increase the amount of home-cooked meals in low-income households by providing families with access to fresh produce.  Evaluation findings indicate that children increased their fruit and vegetable recognition, improvement in willingness to eat fruits, vegetables, and other healthy snacks, and that there were improvements in home meal preparation, planning, and family eating behaviors.  This session will also provide an introduction to and practical experience with strategies for incorporating more physical activity into the childcare setting using the SHAPES program. This session will provide hands-on experience with physical activities that can be incorporated into teaching/learning sessions, classroom breaks, and outdoor recess periods. An orientation to the SHAPES online teacher training program will be included.

11:30 AM – 12:30 PM

Building Community Partnerships for Community Integrated Health
Amanda Metzger, Summerville Family YMCA & Amy Splittgerber, SC Alliance of YMCAs

YMCAs across the country exist to strengthen their communities and to ensure that everyone, regardless of age, income or background, has the opportunity to learn, grow and thrive. South Carolina Ys are focusing on strengthening clinic to community relationships to better serve South Carolinians who want to reclaim their health after being diagnosed with chronic conditions such as cancer, pre-diabetes, high blood pressure or arthritis. This session will discuss how YMCAs around the state are building relationships with healthcare partners, worksites and insurers to create a sustainable network to offer a variety of evidence based programs to improve community health. This collaborative approach is integral to creating a culture of health in SC communities to improve health, well being and equity.

11:30 AM – 12:30 PM

#ShareYourStory: Collecting and Using Stories for Successful Fundraising Strategies
Shelli Quenga, Palmetto Project

Sharing the stories of the consumer we serve is the best way to raise awareness and dollars to support our work. Storytelling is not a new concept to most of us, but is there a way we can combine an emotional hook of a well-told story and our good works? Storybanking is a way to leverage our love of story to share in a deeper way exactly how our mission-driven work impacts the lives of the consumers with whom we work. Using a model supported by two national advocacy organizations, Palmetto Project started systematically collecting the personal stories of its consumers to better share the deeper impact of programs that are sometimes difficult to quantify or explain. Now with more than 40 stories documented in just 15 months, the stories are being shared with media, policy makers, donors, and volunteers.

11:30 AM – 12:30 PM

Birds of Feather Skill Builder: Civics 101 & How to Advocate Locally
Hannah Walters, ESMMSC & Jim Headley, SC Recreation and Parks Association

It’s been years since we all had high school civics, and many things may have escaped our memory. And, because each local government runs differently, the advocacy process differs. Get a refresher on civics and learn how to effectively advocate for local healthy eating, active living policies. Learn from others in the session and build new relationships to support your local advocacy efforts.

1:30 PM – 4:00 PM

Subliminal Health: Why Transportation Planning and Design Matter to Health Outcomes
John Cock, Aileen Daney, Tee Coker, ALTA Planning + Design

This 2.5 hour workshop focuses on research related to the link between transportation planning and design and health outcomes and guides the audience through specific strategies that create opportunities for healthier lifestyles. Alta’s regional senior staff will provide case study examples from South Carolina and southeastern communities. The session will include an exercise with audience participation to apply information gained during the event.


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