SC Center for Rural & Primary Healthcare Announces Funded Projects

The South Carolina Center for Rural and Primary Healthcare announces awards to five projects centered in rural library systems across South Carolina to increase access to high value, quality healthcare. “We are proud to work with local libraries and their partners,” Dr. Kevin Bennett, Director of the Center for Rural and Primary Healthcare, said. “Our primary goal is to help improve rural residents’ access to quality healthcare. Relying on solutions proposed by those in the community will only further that goal.” 


The mission of the SC Center for Rural and Primary Healthcare is to support and develop sustainable rural and primary care education and healthcare delivery in South Carolina through clinical practice, training and research. They do this through creating and supporting programs, collaborating with partners in South Carolina and adopting regional and national models. 

person in library getting assistance

“Nationally and in South Carolina, libraries have increasingly been serving their communities to connect patrons to healthcare. Libraries are community hubs that are welcoming to everyone and natural places people access for information,” stated Dr. Megan Weis, Director of Community Engagement for the Center. “These programs will build on established, trusted relationships to increase access to healthcare and other supportive social services in their respective communities.”  


Rural populations often must travel for access to many essential preventative services. Using library locations will provide vital opportunities in these under-resourced areas. The awarded projects represent library systems from all regions of our state and include support for social workers, community health workers, and telehealth access at library locations. The programs aim to increase access to a variety of services, including behavioral health, health screenings, and reproductive health with the ultimate goal of connecting community members to the appropriate services for consistent and sustained preventive care and treatment.   


“The Rural Libraries and Health Rural Innovations cooperative agreement with the Center will allow us to build on our previous experience and increase our services to the community and meet the needs we see daily among our patrons," shared Taylor Atkinson, Interim Director of the Union County Library System. “Libraries are committed to being welcoming and safe places where people can access services and information related to healthcare, housing, workforce development, financial assistance, and more. We are honored to provide a space in Union County where social workers can work with our residents to help them navigate the resources in our community and identify high-need populations and gaps in services for the Library to address.” 


In addition to the Union County Library System, other awarded organizations are: the Charleston County Public Library System (focused on rural branch locations in Charleston County), Foundation for Community Impact and Health Equity (Lee County), Tri-County Health Network (Orangeburg County), and the Kershaw County Library (Kershaw County). 


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