In South Carolina, the Department of Health and Environmental Control offers numerous services to its residents. From health screenings and immunizations to medications and support for lower-income families, the Health Departments in South Carolina are something all residents should be aware of.
DHEC’s Lowcountry region serves 1.2 million residents with 20 clinics in 11 counties in the lower part of the state. R. Taylor Lee, DHEC’s Lowcountry region public health director, emphasized that he wished that residents had a better understanding of the programs and services that are available.
“DHEC offers a variety of services focused on preventive health, immunizations and vaccinations, child and teen health, family planning, obesity, opioids, oral health and tobacco cessation. Many of the services are provided through our Health Departments. Every county in the state has at least one Health Department; not all services are offered at all locations, so a quick call to the closest clinic may be helpful in locating the service desired,” said Lee.
DHEC offers postpartum and newborn home visits from a nurse to Medicaid-eligible moms. Furthermore, DHEC provides nurse-family partnerships for first-time moms, where a registered nurse can visit mothers in their homes throughout their pregnancy and up until the baby is 2 years old. Women, Infants and Children (WIC), provides healthy food, nutrition and health services to families in South Carolina who qualify. While Lee stressed that this is one of DHEC Community Health Services’ most successful and well-known programs, increasing participation in programs for new moms is an ongoing goal.
“DHEC has some great resources for first-time mothers: newborn home visits; healthy food and nutrition education; and health services,” Lee said. “We are staffed with outstanding nurses and health care professionals who are ready, willing and able to serve those who are eligible to receive such services.”
In addition to these services, DHEC offers immunizations to adults and children.
“Immunizations are the No. 1 public health achievement in the last century, saving millions of lives and preventing illness and lifelong disability in millions more,” said Lee.
DHEC clinics are a wonderful resource for immunizations, whether you are looking for your annual flu vaccine or are in need of tetanus or pneumonia shots. Parents who are wondering which shots their child will need before school starts can stop by the Health Department for the list and have their child immunized at the clinic.
“Without immunizations, serious outbreaks of many of the diseases we are now protected from can reoccur,” Lee pointed out. “Immunizations are the single most important way parents can protect their children from serious diseases.”
DHEC also provides reproductive health services, pregnancy testing, treatment for sexually transmitted infections, treatment for tuberculosis and more. For more information about these services, visit your local health department or www.scdhec.gov.
SERVICES PROVIDED AT A
SOUTH CAROLINA PUBLIC HEALTH CLINIC:
*Note: Not all services are offered at every location.
- Birth control (family planning)
- Nurse-family partnerships for first-time moms
- Postpartum/newborn home visits from a nurse
- Pregnancy testing
- Services for children/teens with special health care needs
- Shots (immunizations/vaccinations)
- Tuberculosis treatment
- Treatment for sexually transmitted infections
- Fast track (15 Minute) STI test
- Teen clinics
- Women, infants and children (WIC) services
- VITAL RECORDS
- Maintain and issue certified copies of birth and death certificates.
- The main DHEC office also maintains and issues certified copies of marriage records back to 1950 and reports of divorce back to 1962.
By Ashley Mitchell