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South Carolina and the New Prevention Fund:
An Investment in the Future Health of America

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) included the creation of a Prevention Fund – to provide communities around the country with more than $16 billion over the next 10 years to invest in effective, provide prevention efforts, like childhood obesity prevention and tobacco cessation.

South Carolina is receiving $4,978,245 from the Prevention Fund this year to reduce disease rates in the state and help ensure today's children are not the first generation in U.S. history to live shorter, less healthy lives than their parent.

Preventing disease and injury is the most effective, common-sense way to improve health in the United States. Too often, however, we focus on treating disease and injury after they occur instead of preventing them – providing sick care instead of health care.

The ACA and the Prevention Fund give us the opportunity to turn that around – and provides the opportunity for all Americans to be as healthy as they can be.

Prevention Fund GrantsAmountDescription
Communities Putting Prevention to Work$1.6 Million $6 Million*
  • The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control received $1.6 million for a statewide obesity, physical activity, and nutrition program. South Carolina will pilot a statewide Farm to School program. Key objectives include developing and maintaining an infrastructure to support local implementation of farm to school programs. With approximately 1,100 public schools in South Carolina, school meals are a lifeline for many children, especially low-income children. Each day the state’s schools serve approximately 733,000 meals and provide opportunities for those students to learn about healthy nutrition and the importance of agriculture to South Carolina. Systems leveling approaches, like Farm to School programs, have the potential to impact not only the student population and school staff, but also the surrounding communities.
  • South Carolina adopted a 57 cent price increase on cigarettes, which is expected to protect more than 23,000 kids under the age of 18 in South Carolina who will never become smokers because they cannot afford to buy cigarettes. Of funds collected from the price increase, $5 million will support tobacco prevention and cessation efforts. Research shows that price increases on tobacco products are an effective intervention that prevents initiation of adolescents and young adults, reduces cigarette consumption, and increases the number of smokers who quit. A 10 percent increase in the price of cigarettes is estimated to reduce consumption by 4 percent.
  • In South Carolina, Florence County School District Five adopted a 100 percent smoke-free policy impacting three schools, 1,400 students, and 150 faculty and staff who are now enjoying the benefits of a tobacco-free, smoke-free environment.
  • Horry County’s new South Carolina Quitline program, which provides free nicotine gum and patches for all who register for services through the Quitline, experienced a 63 percent increase in calls for January 2011.
  • The South Carolina School Board Association in collaboration with the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC), Division of Tobacco Prevention and Control endorses the adoption of policies that address preventing tobacco use within schools. Three out of five school districts have adopted model tobacco-free school district policies and are now tobacco-free.
  • In May, the City of Florence passed a smoke-free workplace ordinance. Florence is now the 40th community in South Carolina and the first in the Pee Dee region to become a smoke-free community. Though the population of the city represents only about 24 percent of the county population, Florence is a regional hub for shopping, health care, and entertainment. The ordinance will protect more than 32,000 employees, customers, residents, and visitors from secondhand smoke exposure.
  • Atlantic Beach is a part of a string of beach resorts located in the Myrtle Beach area, also known as the Grand Strand. A smoke-free ordinance prohibiting smoking in all workplaces has been passed by Atlantic Beach authorities. The ordinance prohibits smoking in all workplaces, including bars and restaurants within town limits. Smoking is not allowed within 30 feet of the entrance way of all public buildings. Hotels and motels may have up to 25 percent of their rooms designated as smoking rooms. The fine for a person who violates the ordinance will be $25. Any business owner who does not enforce the ordinance will be fined a maximum of $100. Businesses will have 60 days to become compliant and will need a sign to notify patrons that the area is smoke-free. An estimated 15 million Grand Strand visitors and an estimated 400 Atlantic Beach residents will now be protected from secondhand smoke each year.
  • A Florence County, South Carolina school district passed a model tobacco-free school district policy that includes a no-tobacco industry sponsorship cause. Florence School District One (FSD1) has joined Florence School District Five (Johnsonville) in passing a tobacco free school district policy. There are five school districts in Florence County. FSD1 is the largest of the five school districts with over 15,000 students and over 2,000 staff in 23 schools.
  • In 2011, three Florence School Districts adopted model tobacco-free policies for schools. The new policies will dramatically improve the health and safety of almost 4,000 students, faculty and staff.
  • Leaders from multiple religious denominations have committed to reducing tobacco use in their congregations in Horry County. Twenty-five churches signed a memorandum of participation, and two congregational leaders have been trained by a parish nurse in a proven program modeled after The Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids’ Faith United Against Tobacco. The congregations are dispersed throughout Horry County in South Carolina and have a combined number of 3,555 members and 978 youth under the age of 18. By signing the memorandum, churches have agreed to post “No Smoking” signage around the buildings and grounds, use a specially-created bulletin insert about the dangers of secondhand smoke, and have the congregation sign a pledge that the faith community grounds and buildings will be tobacco-free.
  • Horry County Schools, the third largest school district in South Carolina, has adopted a 100 percent tobacco-free school district policy, assuring the 38,206 students and 5,295 staff members will be protected from the dangers of tobacco and secondhand smoke exposure. The comprehensive policy will take effect immediately for the 51 schools in the district. The adoption of the policy will be accompanied by an extensive education campaign that will be overseen by the District Wellness Committee.
  • The South Carolina Tobacco Quitline is a free comprehensive, clinically-proven tobacco treatment service for South Carolina residents 13 years-of-age and older who are looking to quit smoking. Utilization of the Quitline in Horry County has increased, with 326 residents registering with the Quitline during March 2011 and 276 registering during April 2011. In comparison, there were 40 callers to the Quitline in November 2010. The increase can be attributed to an aggressive public awareness campaign using traditional and social media outlets, and increasing the awareness of the cessation resource in the medical community. Television commercials from CDC’s Media Campaign Center are placed at peak times on major networks. In addition, the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control developed an online training which explains the referral process in three easy steps and offers continuing education credits to medical professionals who complete the training.
Public Health InfrastructureSouth Carolina State Department of Health and Environmental Control $200,000 (FY10) $300,000 (FY11)Awarded to state, tribal, local and territorial health departments to improve their ability to provide public health services. The 5-year cooperative agreement program will provide health departments with needed resources to make fundamental changes in their organizations and practices, so that they can improve the delivery of public health services including: Building and implementing capacity within health departments for evaluating the effectiveness of their organizations, practices, partnerships, programs and use of resources through performance management; Expansion and training of public health staff and community leaders to conduct policy activities in key areas and to facilitate improvements in system efficiency; Maximizing the public health system to improve networking, coordination, and cross-jurisdictional cooperation for the delivery of public health services to address resource sharing and improve health indicators; Disseminating, implementing and evaluating public health's best and most promising practices; and Building a national network of performance improvement managers that share best practices for improving the public health system.
Epidemiology and Laboratory Capacity for Infectious Diseases$231,176 (FY10); $459,589 (FY11)The funding, which is provided through Epidemiology and Laboratory Capacity for Infectious Diseases (ELC) and the Emerging Infections Program (EIP) cooperative agreements, is intended to increase epidemiology, laboratory and health information systems capacity at health departments. The award is to support: hiring and training of epidemiologists, laboratory scientists, and health information specialists who can work on multiple infectious diseases; increasing the number of modern, well-equipped public health laboratories using electronic laboratory information systems to manage and exchange information effectively between labs and public health departments; and developing capacity for public health departments to participate in meaningful use of electronic health records, e.g. through implementation of electronic laboratory-based reporting according to national standards.
ARRA evaluation (Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System)$0Grants awarded intended to help states “create additional tobacco quitters,” as well as increase data collection efforts for tracking flu-like illnesses to support ongoing pandemic influenza preparedness activities.
HIV Laboratory$87,900CDC awarded grants to expand HIV prevention efforts under the President’s National HIV/AIDS Strategy (NHAS).  The funding, allocated to CDC by the President as part of NHAS, will help to further focus HIV prevention on high risk populations and communities, as well as fill critical gaps in data, knowledge and understanding of the epidemic. The majority of the grants will support demonstration projects to identify and implement a “combination approach” to enhance effective HIV prevention programming in 12 hard-hit areas across the country.  These efforts will determine what mix of HIV prevention approaches can have the greatest impact in the local area, supplementing existing programs in these communities and helping jurisdictions to better focus efforts on key at-risk populations and fulfill unmet needs. Grants went to state and local health departments to increase HIV testing opportunities for populations disproportionately affected by HIV and help link HIV-infected persons with appropriate services, as well as to improve the reporting of HIV data.
HIV Testing$145,567CDC awarded grants to expand HIV prevention efforts under the President’s National HIV/AIDS Strategy (NHAS).  The funding, allocated to CDC by the President as part of NHAS, will help to further focus HIV prevention on high risk populations and communities, as well as fill critical gaps in data, knowledge and understanding of the epidemic. The majority of the grants will support demonstration projects to identify and implement a “combination approach” to enhance effective HIV prevention programming in 12 hard-hit areas across the country.  These efforts will determine what mix of HIV prevention approaches can have the greatest impact in the local area, supplementing existing programs in these communities and helping jurisdictions to better focus efforts on key at-risk populations and fulfill unmet needs. Grants went to state and local health departments to increase HIV testing opportunities for populations disproportionately affected by HIV and help link HIV-infected persons with appropriate services, as well as to improve the reporting of HIV data.
HIV Planning$0CDC awarded grants to expand HIV prevention efforts under the President’s National HIV/AIDS Strategy (NHAS).  The funding, allocated to CDC by the President as part of NHAS, will help to further focus HIV prevention on high risk populations and communities, as well as fill critical gaps in data, knowledge and understanding of the epidemic. The majority of the grants will support demonstration projects to identify and implement a “combination approach” to enhance effective HIV prevention programming in 12 hard-hit areas across the country.  These efforts will determine what mix of HIV prevention approaches can have the greatest impact in the local area, supplementing existing programs in these communities and helping jurisdictions to better focus efforts on key at-risk populations and fulfill unmet needs. Grants went to state and local health departments to increase HIV testing opportunities for populations disproportionately affected by HIV and help link HIV-infected persons with appropriate services, as well as to improve the reporting of HIV data.
Emerging Infections Program$0The funding, which is provided through Epidemiology and Laboratory Capacity for Infectious Diseases (ELC) and the Emerging Infections Program (EIP) cooperative agreements, is intended to increase epidemiology, laboratory and health information systems capacity at health departments. The award is to support: hiring and training of epidemiologists, laboratory scientists, and health information specialists who can work on multiple infectious diseases; increasing the number of modern, well-equipped public health laboratories using electronic laboratory information systems to manage and exchange information effectively between labs and public health departments; and developing capacity for public health departments to participate in meaningful use of electronic health records, e.g. through implementation of electronic laboratory-based reporting according to national standards.
Capacity Building Grants$0Money awarded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will go to various national, non-profit professional public health organizations to support efforts by state, tribal, local and territorial health departments to ensure successful adoption of effective practices that strengthen core public health infrastructure investments. These national public health organizations will provide technical assistance, training, and information for health departments to improve their public health infrastructure and the delivery of public health services.
Tobacco Prevention$73,468State Supplemental Funding for Healthy Communities will be used to help states implement plans to reduce tobacco use through legislative, regulatory, and educational arenas, as well as enhance and expand the national network of tobacco cessation quitlines to significantly increase the number of tobacco users who quit. Money will also support states and terrritories enhance and expand the national network of tobacco cessation quitlines to increase the number of tobacco users who quit. Quitlines are hte toll-free numbers people can call to obtain smoking cessation treatments and services.
Health Care Surveillance$0Grants to fund data collection and analysis to monitor the impact of the Affordable Care Act on the health of Americans and boost the collection and analysis of environmental hazards data to protect the health of communities.
Workforce$0The programs are designed to build the primary care workforce and provide community-based prevention. States will receive funding to support comprehensive workforce planning and implementation strategies that best address local current and projected workforce shortages.
Training Centers—HRSAUniversity of South Carolina $650,000The Public Health Training Centers Program helps improve the public health system by enhancing skills of the current and future public health workforce. Funded organizations (1) plan, develop, operate and evaluate projects that support goals established by the Secretary in preventive medicine, health promotion and disease prevention; or (2) improve access to and quality of health services in medically underserved communities. Other PHTC activities include assessing the learning needs of the public health workforce; providing accessible training; and working with organizations to meet strategic planning, education, and resource needs.
Primary care and Behavioral Health ServicesSouth Carolina State Department of Mental Health $471,654The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) at HHS awarded grants to support and promote better primary care and behavioral health services for individuals with mental illnesses or substance use disorders. The grants seek to improve health by improving the coordination of healthcare services delivered in publicly funded community mental health and other community-based behavioral health settings.

*One-Time Funding from FY2010


Trust for America's Health is a non-profit, non-partisan organization dedicated to saving lives by protecting the health of every community and working to make disease prevention a national priority. www.healthyamericans.org

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation focuses on the pressing health and health care issues facing our country. As the nation's largest philanthropy devoted exclusively to improving the health and health care of all Americans, the Foundation works with a diverse group of organizations and individuals to identify solutions and achieve comprehensive, meaningful and timely change. For more than 35 years the Foundation has brought experience, commitment, and a rigorous, balanced approach to the problems that affect the health and health care of those it serves. Helping Americans lead healthier lives and get the care they need--the Foundation expects to make a difference in our lifetime. For more information, visit www.rwjf.org.

Media Contacts

Albert Lang
(202) 223-9870 x 21
alang@tfah.org