South Carolina Office of Minority Health
Prepared by National Association of State
Offices of Minority Health (NASOMH)
Shauna Hicks, Director
Office of Minority Health
South Carolina Department of Health and
Environmental Control
2600 Bull Street
Columbia, South Carolina   29201
Phone: (803) 898-3807
Fax: (803) 898-3810
Organizational Structure/History
The South Carolina Office of Minority Health (SC-OMH) was established administratively by the Commissioner of the state’s public health agency, SC Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) in February 1990. Prior to that, in 1989, the Commissioner created the South Carolina Task Force on Minority Health to examine minority health issues. The creation of an Office of Minority Health was one of the recommendations that resulted from the efforts of the Task Force.
Purpose/Mission Statement
The South Carolina Office of Minority Health serves as the principle advisor to the Health Department as well as to other agencies and organizations on public health and environmental issues affecting minority populations (African-Americans, Hispanic/Latinos, American Indians and Asian/Pacific Islanders) in the state.   Guided by the principles adopted by the National Association of State Offices of Minority Health, SC OMH focuses on 1) Eliminating racial and ethnic health disparities through monitoring priority communicable and chronic diseases, providing technical assistance and program/policy development; 2) Building the capacity of both public and private entities to develop, implement, monitor and evaluate high quality cultural competent policies, and resource and program development; and 3) engaging and empowering affected communities to support individual and community-based efforts.
The mission of SC OMH is to provide leadership and to serve as a focal point for addressing health disparities and other minority health issues. Its goal is to improve the health of minority communities by ensuring the development or modification of policies, programs, strategies and initiatives to effectively target and provide culturally competent services to minorities. SC-OMH is dedicated to accomplishing this goal to attain its vision of Healthy Minorities Living in Healthy Communities.
Program Focus/Activities
The SC-OMH is involved in a number of state and local initiatives to address health disparities and other issues, which impact the health status of racial/ethnic minority communities.
Health Planning and Policy Development
SC-OMH activities in this focus area include: 1) providing leadership in coordinating the development and implementation of a legislatively directed Health Disparity Study Report,
which forms the basis of the State Health Improvement Plan for Eliminating Health Disparities; 2) staffing the Commissioner’s Advisory Council for the Elimination of Health Disparities; 3) commissioning the first statewide Hispanic Health Needs Assessment, used to identify health needs to facilitate and promote policy, planning and the provision of appropriate health services for the state’s growing Hispanic population; 3) providing leadership in the development, implementation and evaluation of the agency’s Cultural Competence Initiative that includes training and polices which guide Culturally and Linguistic Appropriate Services; and 4) providing leadership in assuring minority health and health disparities are a priority in the agency’s strategic plan and annual budget requests.
Technical Assistance and Training
Initiatives focus on capacity building efforts in the minority community including: 1) Faith and Health Capacity Building Institute, which provides skills building training and assistance to churches in developing, implementing and sustaining health ministry activities; and 2) providing technical assistance in the development of the Road Map to Healthy Living, the African Methodist Episcopal Church (AMEC) Strategic Health Plan which serves as a model for developing partnerships with other faith groups.   
Health Initiatives Programs and Service
The focus of SC-OMH initiatives is on the development and implementation of market prototypes, demonstration models, and promoting adaptability for use in addressing health disparity and minority health issues such as: 1) Real Men Checkin’ It Out, a community driven, culturally appropriate education and communication prototype that addresses prostate cancer in the African-American Community; 2) Faith and Health Partnerships with the Seventh Episcopal District of the African Methodist Episcopal Church (AMEC),in development of a AMEC Strategic Plan; the development/enhancement of health ministries in minority faith-based organizations; and the “Protect Your Body …Your Temple”, a faith-based church bulletin insert health education/ health promotion campaign; 3) Partnering with IMARA (“powerful”)Woman Magazine, a personal lifestyle and growth magazine, targeting women of color, to plan the annual IMARA Woman Lifestyle Empowerment Tour, an educational outreach initiative that includes interactive health related workshops and health screenings; 4) Partnering with Greenville Hospital System to plan the annual Minority Health Issues Summit; 5) In partnership with the Office of Public Health Nutrition, Blue Cross Blue Shield of South Carolina and a local grower producing a health promotion and education calendar focusing on increasing fruit and vegetable intake among African Americans in South Carolina; and 5) Pandemic influenza planning for seasonal and H1N1 flu to ensure the development of culturally appropriate education/awareness and outreach activities that address the African American, Hispanic/ Latino and Native American communities.

Impact of Program Activities on Communities
The various programs and initiatives of the SC-OMH have fostered community involvement and engagement in planning and implementation through partnership development, education, awareness and outreach activities. Communities have been encouraged to advocate for policy changes through collaboration and coordination with other identified stakeholders. Some specific program outcomes: Real MenCheckin’ It Out Prostate Cancer Initiative has been implemented in a local public health region in the state, moving the project from 4 to 9 counties. The office will contract with an additional local public health region, comprised of 3 counties this year; the new “Road Map to Healthy Living” Seventh Episcopal of the AMEC Strategic Health Plan provides guidance for health initiatives for approximately 609 AME churches; assisted approximately 25 Baptist and other denominations with the establishment/expansion of health ministries; over 12,000 church bulletin inserts, addressing the six priority health disparity areas have been distributed, with an emphasis on promoting risk reduction; and through a contract with IMARA Woman Magazine, provided health education and promotion articles and ad to over 60,000 readers statewide. 
Program Evaluation
Methods include but not limited to data collection and analysis of education, outreach and other initiatives. 
Eliminating Health Disparities Statewide Initiatives
SC-OMH provided leadership in coordinating the agency’s development of a Health Disparities Study report in response to a legislative directive. The purpose of the study was to develop a state health improvement plan with recommendations to address coordination of services, elimination of duplication, and coordination of federal, state and other resources toward improving the health status of racial and ethnic minorities in the state. This report now serves as the State Health Improvement Plan for the Elimination of Health Disparities. In response to one of the recommendations, the Commissioner’s Advisory Council for the Elimination of Health Disparities was created. The Advisory Council is comprised of representatives from the major institutions of higher learning, business leaders, public and private agencies and community members. The group serves to provide the agency with guidance on addressing minority health issues across the state. 
Level of Funding Sources
Year                             Federal                         State                           Private

FY 2005
FY 2006
FY 2007
FY 2008
FY 2009
FY 2010

The SC-OMH has 3 FTEs which includes: 1 director, 1 assistant director, and 1 administrative coordinator; and 1 temporary grant employee. The director provides leadership, direction and overall management for the office and the assistant director provides coordination of policy, program and other minority health initiatives to include cultural competence, health disparities, and health promotions/partnerships. The administrative coordinator provides administrative support for the director and assistant director, services as office manager and performs administrative and fiscal/procurement functions.   The temporary grant serves as the project coordinator for the State Partnership grant. The administrative coordinator provides administrative support for the grant. 
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