At a SCMA Board of Trustees meeting in August 2011 where former DHHS Director Robert Kerr spoke on the widespread obesity epidemic in South Carolina, Dr. Vincent Degenhart, Columbia anesthesiologist, and former SCMA Trustee, recognized that physicians needed to lead in the fight against this health crisis. Through his leadership, the South Carolina Childhood Obesity Taskforce was created, consisting of numerous community and healthcare leaders all committed to stopping childhood obesity in South Carolina dead in its tracks.
Through the talents within the task force, led by chairs Dr. Janice Key and Dr. Michael Finch, work is already under way. To date, numerous meetings have been held where leaders have discussed their ideas for the tools, resources, and methods of education needed in our state. The task force has further outlined four key areas where efforts need to be concentrated: schools, childcare, health care and insurance, and advocacy.
Projects that have developed from the Taskforce thus far include; A Toolkit for South Carolina pediatricians and family medicine practitioners, Prescription for Parks, multiple educational sessions, implementation of obesity coding through Medicaid, partnerships with DHEC to eliminate obesity in more rural areas, and a future journal symposium issue detailing obesity-related activities in the state, to name a few.
Childhood Obesity Toolkit
To become involved on the SCMA Childhood Obesity Taskforce or obtain a copy of the childhood obesity toolkit, please send an email to Kate Morrow at firstname.lastname@example.org.