The BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina Foundation has awarded grants totaling $2.6 million to organizations in the state working to address childhood obesity, the lack of dental services for low-income residents, and the need for nurse practitioners in rural areas.
Grant recipients include the Greenville County School District to expand training to twenty additional elementary schools; the Williamsburg County School District to hire an additional school nurse for Project HOPE and to purchase and implement "The Organ Wise Guys Comprehensive School Program" in its elementary schools; S.C. Eat Smart Move More in Colleton County to implement the second phase of a community action plan that promotes healthy eating and physical activity; Classy Smiles of Georgetown, Horry, and Williamsburg counties to provide in-school preventive dental services to students in additional schools; and East Cooper Community Outreach in Charleston, Dorchester, and Berkeley counties to expand dental clinic services to rural residents and improve overall oral health care in those areas.
"South Carolina ranks fifth in pre-term births and fourth in low birth weight babies. In Williamsburg County, over half of the students are overweight or obese, and in Greenville County that number is nearly 60 percent. The primary reason for hospital readmissions in Greenville County is lack of ability to obtain prescription medications. Charleston, Dorchester and Berkeley counties have some of the country's highest prevalence of heart disease, strokes, obesity, diabetes, and infant mortality," said the foundation's executive director, Harvey L. Galloway. "We commend the recipients of our grants for the good work they are doing, and we hope our foundation grants will help make a difference."
For a complete list of recipients, visit the BlueCross BlueShieldWeb site.