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South Carolina Arthritis Prevention and Control Program


The S.C. DHEC Arthritis Program in the Division of Healthy Aging works with many diverse partners who share leadership roles, deliver evidence-based programs, and serve in advisory and supportive roles. Partnerships have been formed with public and private sector organizations across the state, as well as with chronic disease programs within DHEC, such as Diabetes Prevention and Control, Heart and Stroke, and Obesity Prevention. Partnership activities aim to improve the quality of life and health status of adults with arthritis and other chronic diseases, as well as of those who are overweight, obese or do not get sufficient physical activity.

Leadership Partners
DHEC works collaboratively with state and region-level partnersto provide leadership, direction, technical assistance, quality assurance and evaluation to support, expand and sustain evidence-based programming.  The ultimate goal is statewide, uniform access to programs.

  • Arthritis Foundation, Mid-Atlantic Region
  • S.C. Lieutenant Governor’s Office on Aging
  • University of South Carolina School of Social Work and Arnold School of Public Health

Advisory Council Members
The S.C. Arthritis Program Advisory Council is comprised of a group of dedicated representatives from state and private organizations and consumers. The Council's primary functions are to offer advice, guidance and support toward accomplishment of program goals, and to provide input for the future direction of the program. The Council meets bi-annually.

Delivery System Partners
Delivery System Partners implement evidence-based Life Improvement Programs at three or more sites to expand the reach of exercise and self-management interventions throughout South Carolina. Some of our key delivery system partners are listed below:

  • Area Agencies on Aging, County Councils on Aging, and other aging service providers or senior centers
  • Eat Smart, Move More Colleton County
  • Lutheran Homes of South Carolina
  • South Atlantic Conference of the African Methodist Episcopal Zion (AME Zion) Church
  • South Carolina Faith Community Nurses Association affiliated networks and members
  • South Carolina Department of Disabilities and Special Needs
  • South Carolina Parks and Recreation Association member sites
  • South Carolina State Alliance of YMCAs
  • Sun City Hilton Head
  • William Jennings Bryan Dorn Veterans Administration Medical Center

Support Partners
Support Partners carry out a variety of supportive roles to increase access to and use of evidence-based Life Improvement Programs.  They promote programs, make referrals, offer space to hold classes or trainings, provide advocacy, introduce policy changes that support evidence-based interventions, and perform other activities that contribute to the Arthritis Program’s goals. 

Leaders and Instructors
The South Carolina Arthritis Program relies on many Leaders and Instructors to deliver programs at the local level for people with arthritis and other ongoing health conditions. This group of dedicated volunteers and professionals receives training and certification based on standards set by two national partners, the Arthritis Foundation and Stanford University. 

After Instructors have led two or more successful classes or workshops in accordance with the national standards, they may apply to become Trainers. Trainers are responsible for training more Leaders and Instructors to increase the pool of persons who are available to offer classes or workshops. Only the most experienced Leaders or Instructors become Trainers. They are trained and certified by the national organization responsible for designing and licensing the program, such as the Arthritis Foundation or Stanford University. There are strict standards that must be maintained in order to become a Trainer.