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Looking Back, Looking Ahead: Major Changes in Rural Health and Human Services
by Beth Blevins - Winter 2013

Since this is our Tenth Anniversary issue, we’ve tapped some folks who have appeared in past issues—as well as those new to these pages—to discuss significant trends and topics in rural health and rural human services from the last decade and what might be coming in the next ten years.

“There has been a fundamental shift from treating patients to treating diseases.” — Dr. Monnie Singleton, rural health clinic CEO/physician

Read full article at http://www.raconline.org/newsletter/winter13/interviews.php

Measuring up: S.C. one of nation's unhealthiest; T&D Region reports poor health

January 22, 2013 5:00 am • By DIONNE GLEATON, T&D Staff Writer

According to the 23rd edition of America’s Health Rankings by the United Health Foundation, South Carolina is one of the nation’s five least healthy states, having one of the highest rates of diabetes and more than a quarter of children younger than 18 living in poverty. The state also has a high prevalence of low birth weight and a low high school graduation rate.

Orangeburg, Bamberg and Calhoun counties didn’t fare much better in the 2012 County Health Rankings report, which ranks the overall health of nearly every county in the nation. Each of the state’s 46 counties were ranked on key factors that affect health, such as obesity, binge drinking, access to primary care providers and the number of children living in poverty.

“Poverty is associated with poor health, along with low rates of education and unemployment,” said Dr. Monnie Singleton of Singleton Health Center in Orangeburg. “Until we address those issues, we’re going to remain at the bottom.”

Read the full article at http://thetandd.com/lifestyles/health-med-fit/measuring-up-s-c-one-of-nation-s-unhealthiest-t/article_5d06f748-640f-11e2-96ad-0019bb2963f4.html

SC BlueCross Expands Patient-Centered Medical Home Model in 4 Counties

December 18, 2012

Columbia, S.C. – More than 4,000 additional South Carolinians in Sumter, Orangeburg, Greenville and Pickens counties are eligible to participate in a new health care model designed to improve health outcomes, reduce cost and improve the patient’s experience.

The new model — patient-centered medical homes (PCMHs) — was launched recently in physician practices in those counties with support from BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina and BlueChoice® HealthPlan of South Carolina.

Hosting the new patient-centered medical homes are Singleton Health Center and Medical Center of Santee in Orangeburg County; Colonial Family Practice in Sumter; and Bon Secours Medical Group (BSMG) with practices in Greenville and Pickens counties. In addition to BSMG’s established medical homes at Cornerstone Family Medicine, Milestone Family Medicine and Piedmont Family Practice, new BSMG participants include the Center for Adult and Family Medicine, Covenant Internal Medicine, Doctors Family Medicine, Foothills Internal Medicine, Hillcrest Family Practice and Millennium Internal Medicine.

Read the full article at

Rural health campus gets go-ahead from Planning Commission

August 26, 2012 3:30 am • By GENE ZALESKI, T&D Staff Writer

Orangeburg County planning officials gave the go-ahead Wednesday for the development of a rural health care campus in Orangeburg. The matter will now go before Orangeburg County Council for a final decision.

“This is the most complete planned unit development that has ever been submitted to us," Orangeburg County Planning Commission Chairman Jim Albergotti said. He said the project would be a positive for the community.

Plans call for the project to eventually feature a health center, grocery store, restaurant, fitness club, retail shops, community garden, conference center, rental cabins and assisted living facilities, among other uses.

Read the full article at http://thetandd.com/news/rural-health-campus-gets-go-ahead-from-planning-commission/article_ff773560-ef25-11e1-9d28-0019bb2963f4.html

Rural practice on the front line of the war on addiction

Posted: Aug 07, 2012 4:17 PM EDT
Updated: Aug 17, 2012 4:17 PM EDT
By Jeremy Turnage

"I work on my feet all the time," Dingley said. "I was taking care of my mother with Alzheimer's, my handicapped daughter, mornings started early, ended late, I basically thought of them as my Superman pill. They didn't effect how I acted, but they kept my legs strong and young."

When a supposed super pill becomes a super problem, that's where Dr. Monnie Singleton steps in. "They don't feel guilty," Singleton said of pain pill addicts. "They don't necessarily see something wrong with it because, 'Hey, I got a prescription for it.'"

Singleton is Dingley's doctor. A big part of his rural practice is treating pain pill addictions. "Many of the people addicted to pain pills have jobs, go to work everyday, may be sitting next to you, and you would never know it," Singleton said. Ultimately, Singleton says recovery is about facing what you've been hiding from and that without pain they're cannot be gain.

Read the full article at http://www.wistv.com/story/19218630/rural-practice-on-the-front-line-of-the-war-on-addiction

Doctor plans to develop rural care campus here

March 19, 2012 7:15 am • By DIONNE GLEATON, T&D Staff Writer

Dr. Monnie Singleton shares his plans for development of the Singleton Rural Healthcare Campus in Orangeburg during a community awareness meeting at Trinity United Methodist Church’s Curry Center on Feb. 21. He said the facility’s focus on preventative health care will distinguish it from other facilities.

Singleton said his plans for the proposed Singleton Rural Healthcare Campus are “the fruition of a vision formed over 15 years ago.” “This health campus development is designed to bring health care services in Orangeburg and surrounding counties into the 21st century,” he said.

“The campus is being developed with health in mind as opposed to caring for diseases only.”

Singleton said his focus on preventative health care will distinguish the campus. The facility will use technology to “close the gap of distance and time in providing services to rural communities,” with an increased focus on social determinants of health such as education, fitness and nutrition, he said.

Read the full article at http://thetandd.com/business/local/doctor-plans-to-develop-rural-care-campus-here/article_c7073cf0-7173-11e1-bad0-0019bb2963f4.html

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