Promise Zone to benefit from new federal grants


Health-related grants will pump nearly $2.5 million into Promise Zone, neighboring areas

JULY 26, 2016  — Promise Zone communities and neighboring counties have received four federal grants worth almost $2.5 million that will pump health-related services into the region.

“These grants are the kind on-the-ground funds that should help make kids and adults healthier in our areas,” said Dean Van Pelt, coordinator of the S.C. Lowcountry Promise Zone, which includes all or parts of Allendale, Bamberg, Barnwell, Colleton, Hampton and Jasper counties.  Funding includes:

  • Nursing training. The University of South Carolina has been awarded $264,144 from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to increase the number of rural primary care nurse practitioners in rural areas through the Advanced Education Nursing Traineeship program.  Some 30 percent of students funded through the program are expected to come from Promise Zone counties.
  • Telehealth equipment. Palmetto Care Collections of Bamberg has received $158,214 in funding from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Utility Service to purchase telehealth equipment for clinic sites and schools in Allendale, Bamberg and Barnwell counties to improve access to quality health care.

Promise Zone counties will benefit with neighboring counties in two grants recently awarded to Family Health Centers, Inc., in Orangeburg:

  • Health insurance enrollment. FHC is to receive $1 million to enroll more eligible children in the region to receive available health benefits through Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program.  The grant, through HHS, seeks to build on progress to insure all children.  An estimated one in 20 nationally are uninsured.
  • Oral health services. FHC also has won a $525,000 HHS federal grant that will be used to purchase a mobile dental health vehicle that will travel between seven sites, including some schools in Bamberg County.  The grant will be used to increase access to oral health care.  Three doctors will provide dental care to students in the schools.  The funding is part of $2.3 million from the agency that is benefitting six health centers in South Carolina.

The South Carolina Lowcountry Promise Zone, a project of the SouthernCarolina Alliance, seeks to catalyze efforts in Allendale, Bamberg, Barnwell, Colleton, Hampton and Jasper counties to boost the quality of life and revitalize rural communities. 

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