Take advantage of new 29203 program
If you live in the 29203 ZIP code and are eligible for Medicaid or Medicare and haven’t seen a primary care physician in a year or longer, there’s a team of health care workers waiting to help you.
The Innovations Health program announced last week by the Eau Claire Cooperative Health Centers is designed to send a nurse, nurse practitioner and/or community health worker to the homes of people who aren’t getting help through the current system. The cost is the same as most visits to a doctor’s office, which for many Medicaid and Medicare participants means it’s free.
If you think you might be eligible for this new service, call (803) 786-2121.
Capital Senior Center will be Lourie Center
If you routinely look for information about classes and events at the Capital Senior Center, you’ll need to get used to a new name for the facility.
Last week, the Capital Senior Center board announced the center will be renamed in April after the late Sen. Isadore Lourie. The full name will be The Senator Isadore E. Lourie Senior Center, but in most instances, it’ll be called The Lourie Center.
Lourie was well-known for his work as a champion of the elderly. He sponsored legislation that established the State Commission on Aging, the Interagency Council on Aging, the Homestead Exemption, the income exemption for the homebound elderly and a grant program that paid for construction or renovation of 72 senior centers in the state.
Flu appears to be starting winter rise
Influenza is on the rise in South Carolina, with five flu-related hospitalizations reported in the state in the first week of November.
That’s not unusual for this time of year, as cold weather arrives and more people spend time in large groups indoors. Despite the uptick in hospitalizations, the outbreak still is considered only minimal. Most of the hospitalizations and positive lab tests for flu have been in coastal areas.
State health officials stress that the best way to prevent flu is to get flu shots, which are readily available at clinics, physician offices and many pharmacies. Other than shots, the best flu tactics to prevent the spread of the virus are to wash your hands frequently and thoroughly, cough into the crook of your elbow and stay home when you have flu-like symptoms.
Diabetes more prevalent in U.S. and S.C.
The prevalence of diagnosed diabetes increased in all U.S. states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico between 1995 and 2010, according to a study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
From 1995-2010, the prevalence of diagnosed diabetes increased by 50 percent or more in 42 states, including South Carolina, and by 100 percent or more in 18 states, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
South Carolina barely avoided the 100 percent increase. The percent of adults diagnosed with diabetes in the state increased to 9.9 percent in 2010 from 5.6 percent in 1994, according to the diabetes report released last week.
The states with the largest increases were Oklahoma (226 percent), Kentucky (158 percent), Georgia (145 percent), Alabama (140 percent) and Washington (135 percent). The largest overall increases by region were in the South.
Type 2 diabetes, which can be prevented through lifestyle changes, accounts for 90 percent to 95 percent of all diabetes cases in the United States. The best ways to prevent diabetes is to lose weight through exercise and healthier diet.
Donation boosts nurse practitioner program
The BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina Foundation donated $250,000 to the Medical University of South Carolina College of Nursing last week to help expand the pipeline of primary care nurse practitioners.
MUSC plans to add 70 doctoral students per year who will become nurse practitioners working in primary care throughout the state.
“Most of these students are from South Carolina; they stay in South Carolina and many go into primary care in the rural areas where there is a critical need for more medical practitioners,” said foundation executive director Harvey Galloway. “Our nursing workforce is crucial for meeting the needs of underserved populations in South Carolina, yet our state ranks 35th nationally in the number of nurse practitioners. We see this as an excellent investment to improve the health of our citizens.”
USC study seeking participants with lung cancer
The University of South Carolina is seeking African-Americans in the Midlands who recently have been diagnosed with lung cancer to participate in a new study designed to improve survival rates.
The study, which also includes the University of North Carolina and East Carolina, will run for several years and is funded with a $330,000 grant through the American Cancer Society. The goal of the grant is to identify strategies that encourage patients to follow through on health care instructions.
African-Americans are more likely to develop and die from lung cancer than any other racial or ethnic group.
Information: (803) 799-5022 or ashleye.davis @uscmed.sc.edu
Compiled by Joey Holleman