BCBS introduces grants for healthy schools

BCBS introduces grants for healthy schools

The BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina Foundation has established Wellness Inspired School Environment grants to help schools create healthier environments. The grant funding is open to all public and private nonprofit schools in South Carolina serving grades K-12. One application from each school will be considered.

The foundation is partnering with the Alliance for a Healthier Generation and its healthy schools program framework that develops and monitors progress toward a wellness action plan, according to a news release. Applicants can use the funds to implement activities from these wellness action plans.

Schools can apply for grants ranging from $2,000 to $8,000 to support items based on the six evidence-based Alliance for a Healthier Generation modules:

  • School Health and Safety Policies and Environment
  • Health Education
  • Physical Education and Other Physical Activity Programs
  • Nutrition Services
  • Health Promotion for Staff
  • Family and Community Involvement

“Schools often want to do more to improve student well-being, but may not have the resources to do so. We want to make the healthy choice the easy choice, so we are supporting healthy school environments, which encourage and promote physical activity and healthy eating,” said Erika Kirby, foundation executive director, in the release. “This supports our long-term goal of improving the health and well-being of South Carolina’s children.”

Applications are being accepted and schools can learn more by visiting the BlueCross BlueShield Foundation website.






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New Website Launched to Track Emergency Medical Facility

New Website Launched to Track Emergency Medical Facility


Barnwell, SC– SouthernCarolina Alliance announced today that the organization has produced a website to track the development and opening of the Bamberg Barnwell Emergency Medical Center, which is currently under construction on S.C. Highway 70, just outside of Denmark near the Bamberg-Barnwell County line.

The site, www.regionalemergencycenter.com, will include photos and updates during the construction process, as well as news on hiring for the center, as provided by the Regional Medical Center.

Officials with the Regional Medical Center of Orangeburg and Calhoun Counties (RMC) announced plans in August 2017 to construct a 20,500 sq. ft.  emergency medical center that will provide medical care 24/7 to Bamberg and Barnwell Counties.

“We recognized that there was a critical need for medical treatment nearby for residents who live in this area. Having access to an emergency facility will help expedite the care they need for sudden illnesses and injuries,” said Charles Williams, FACHE, President and CEO of the Regional Medical Center.  “The new website will help provide residents with timely updates on our progress and help them to understand the services they can expect to receive at the new facility.”

“So many of our citizens in Bamberg and Barnwell Counties have been inquiring about the new emergency center, we felt that an online presence would be a good way to share the news and make sure that community information is shared about this facility,” said Buddy Phillips, Chairman of the SouthernCarolina Alliance Board of Directors.

Barnwell County Council Chairman Lowell Jowers, who also serves on the Board of Directors for SouthernCarolina Alliance, said, “We’ve been working on a regional solution for our emergency health care needs for years, and we are delighted that we will soon have this state-of-the art facility to serve our families.  It’s been the talk of the region, and now we have a way that citizens can go online and check out the facts about the new emergency medical center.”

Bamberg County Council Chairman Clint Carter added, “This regional facility represents a historic effort to bring emergency care to a multi-county area.  The ER center will operate 24/7 and greatly reduces travel time for the residents in Bamberg and Barnwell Counties during dire medical emergencies.  We are looking forward to watching the progress of this much needed medical facility.”

SouthernCarolina Alliance will post aerial drone footage and photos, news updates from the Regional Medical Center, and ways to follow the progress through social media.

“The citizens of Bamberg and Barnwell Counties are extremely grateful for the efforts of the Regional Medical Center and SouthernCarolina Alliance in successfully locating a facility near Denmark.  We believe that this location for an emergency medical facility will substantially reduce the time of getting the needed medical services for a patient in our community.  This will be a great benefit and we again are grateful,” said Denmark Mayor Gerald Wright.

RMC and SouthernCarolina Alliance worked with local elected officials and the regional legislative delegation, led by Senator Brad Hutto, Senator John Matthews, Representative Lonnie Hosey, and Representative Justin Bamberg, to secure funding to bring crucial emergency care services to the two rural counties.  The leaders of Bamberg and Barnwell counties,the S.C. Department of Commerce, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture played pivotal roles in making this project a reality.

The Bamberg Barnwell Emergency Medical Center is slated for completion in Fall 2018. For more information, visit www.regionalemergencycenter.com.


About the SouthernCarolina Regional Development Alliance
SouthernCarolina Alliance is the nonprofit regional economic development organization providing services to Allendale, Bamberg, Barnwell, Beaufort, Colleton, Hampton and Jasper Counties.  SCA specializes in marketing and industrial recruitment, assisting member counties with existing industry growth, as well as community and product development.  For more information, visit www.SouthernCarolina.org.

About the Regional Medical Center
The Regional Medical Center (RMC) healthcare system includes a 286-bed, acute-care hospital certified by The Joint Commission, and 22 primary care and specialty care practices. It is also certified by The Joint Commission as an Advanced Primary Stroke Center and designated as a Level III Trauma Center by the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC).

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Join us for an exciting workshop to help you

“Kick Start Your Job Search in 2018”


Kick Start Your Job Search in 2018

When:  Wednesday, February 28th

Where:  Barnwell County Library,  40 Burr Street, Barnwell, SC 29812

Morning Session:  9 am – 11 am  “Learn about jobs right here in Barnwell County.”

Afternoon Session:  1pm – 3pm    “Strengthen your Resume and gain valuable Interviewing Tips.”

Bring your resume and come dressed for an interview.

Allow us to help jump start your job search in 2018.

This is NOT a hiring event! 

Featuring panelist from Barnwell County Companies.

Sponsored by:  SC Promise Zone, SC Department of Commerce, Lower Savannah Council of Governments, SC Works, Adult Education.



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The Parker Companies to Locate IT Hub and Facility in Jasper County


  The Parker Companies to Locate IT Hub and Facility in Jasper County


The Parker Companies, LLC, has announced that the company will invest more than $1 million in a new 20,000 SF facility at the Hardeeville Commerce Park in Jasper County, South Carolina, to expand their operations. The new facility is expected to employ 14-16 individuals.

“We are thrilled to build this important asset in Hardeeville and Jasper County,” said Greg Parker, President and CEO. “As we continue to develop Parker’s into the Charleston market, we positioned our support departments into what we see as our future regional center. The new warehouse will be a 20-minute drive from our downtown Savannah headquarters. Because of its location on I-95, it is perfectly located to service our, soon to be, 54 stores. Our goal is to build 30 new stores in South Carolina in the next three years. We would like to offer a big thank you to the City of Hardeeville, Sandy Steele and the SouthernCarolina Alliance team.”

The facility at Hardeeville Commerce Park will house the IT operations for Parker’s Convenience Stores, which owns and operates 51 stores strategically located across Georgia and South Carolina.  The facility will also be utilized for fuel and facilities maintenance and warehousing.

“We are proud to have the Parker Companies investing in our region and creating jobs. It’s a testament to our growing economy and to the success that can be achieved when communities invest in product development,” said SouthernCarolina Alliance Vice Chairman Marty Sauls. “We salute Mr. Greg Parker and his team, the City of Hardeeville, Jasper County and the Rural Infrastructure Authority for their partnership in upgrading the infrastructure and creating a first-class business environment and location for the IT facility.”

“South Carolina is not only leading the manufacturing renaissance – we’ve become a top choice for distribution and logistics operations as well. We’re excited to have The Parker Companies on the list of renowned companies that call the Palmetto State home, and look forward to celebrating their continued success,” said SC Secretary of Commerce Robert “Bobby” Hitt.

According to Jasper County Council Chairman Tom Johnson, “Jasper County appreciates Parker Convenience Stores’ investment in our people and our community. Not only are they investing capital and creating jobs, they will locate their IT hub for their 51 stores here in Jasper County. We look forward to working with Parker Convenience Stores for many years to come and tomaking sure that Jasper County is the best location in the country to grow their investment.”

Mayor Harry Williams of Hardeeville added, “The City of Hardeeville welcomes the Parker Companies. This highly regarded business will be the first to call the Hardeeville Commerce Park ‘home’ and the city is honored to be part of their future plans. The Parker Company will be the cornerstone of the city’s 166-acre commerce park that will be a model for a beautifully planned commercial zone that the entire community will be proud of. Congratulations and Best Wishes to Parker for being a leader in the economic development of Hardeeville and Jasper County.”

The Parker Companies, LLC has been included on the Inc. 5000 list of the fastest-growing private companies in America for the past three years. For more information on The Parker Companies and Parker’s Convenience Stores, visit their website:  www.parkersav.com.


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