Building Healthy Communities

As the health care landscape changes, MUSC is moving towards a preventative approach to health care and their new strategic plan - Imagine MUSC 2020 includes a goal to create healthier communities, beginning with their own. In 2012 MUSC became a designated Center of Excellence by the South Carolina Hospital Association Working Well Initiative and shortly thereafter developed the MUSC Office of Health Promotion, which provides leadership in our community and across the state to create healthy workplace environments and healthy communities. As a result of efforts in the Working Well initiative, MUSC earned Prevention Partners' WorkHealthy America Excellence Recognition, the highest honor for worksite wellness and was also recognized by Prevention Partners with the Hospital Prevention Excellence award.

To create a culture of wellness requires commitment to what they value, connection to the community, and leading by example. Collaborative engagement is crucial to achieving this goal, as is creating healthy places where people work and live. Examples of MUSC’s organization-wide commitment to wellness can be seen in several top-level initiatives implemented in the past year.

Starting with the most senior leaders, Dr. Pat Cawley announced the addition of a new Population Health Goal to engage the entire MUSC community in leading by example to improve the health of their fellow employees and MUSC Health Plan members. MUSC Health Innovation Center recently launched an Employee Wellness Idea Campaign and received over 200 creative submissions with plans to pilot the top five among select employee groups.

According to University President Dr. David Cole, “MUSC’s commitment to healthy communities will contribute to a higher quality of life, healthier environment and overall wellness for our communities.” During remarks at an event held in the MUSC Urban Farm to kick off a community Food Day celebration, he stated that “MUSC is dedicated to helping our patients, our community and our employees achieve healthy communities by combining world–class medical care and quality wellness programs.”

In a recent announcement regarding a new Medical District that will provide more green space, walking areas, Health Promotion Director Susan Johnson, Ph.D., said the medical district embodies what she and other campus leaders have been working on for years. “It really embraces this idea of the built environment and what that means in terms of people’s behavior and their overall health and well-being. We’ve always felt at MUSC that when people are here on our campus, everything they experience needs to be positive for their health and well-being.”

Located at 17 Ehrhardt Street, Suite 5, the Office of Health Promotion houses MUSC Employee Wellness, MUSC Urban Farm, and Sodexo Wellness Dietitian at MUSC and serves as an organization-wide resource for multi-disciplinary health promotion and wellness programs and initiatives. Full-time staff include Dr. Susan Johnson, Director of Health Promotion, Suzan Whelan, Wellness Coordinator, and Debbie Petitpain, RD, Wellness Dietitian.

01-20-2016 08:24 (EST)