What Is Public Health?
The SC Department of Health & Environmental Control defines public health as an organized set of activities that protect and promote the health of communities. Here in Region 7 we share that vision of working towards the goal of healthy people living in healthy communities.
To help achieve the goal of healthy people living in healthy communities, Region 7 works to:
- Prevent epidemics and the spread of disease.
- Our EPI Team monitors and investigates infectious diseases to prevent further spread of disease.
- Our Food Protection program inspects restaurants and other food service establishments to ensure they practice food safety and sanitation standards.
- Our Immunization program works to make sure all children have their required immunizations to prevent the spread of disease and offer flu shots in the fall and winter months.
- Our Rabies program investigates animal bites to make sure humans who are bitten are protected from rabies. They track dead birds, especially crows and blue jays, to maintain surveillance for West Nile Virus.
- Our On-Site Sanitation program makes sure that proper guidelines are followed for the sanitary disposal of human and household waste products.
- Our Adult Health Services staff provides treatment for several infectious diseases, including tuberculosis, many sexually transmitted diseases and AIDS/HIV. They also conduct contact investigation on behalf of infected people to prevent the further spread of some diseases.
- We offer special flu shot clinics each year targeted to those who are most vulnerable to complications for the flu, those aged 65 or older.
- Prevent injuries.
- Our Health Promotion Team works with communities to promote the correct use of car seats, bike helmets, and ways to reduce the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).
- Promote healthy behaviors.
- Our Health Educators provide information on how to stop smoking, reduce the risk of AIDS and sexually transmitted diseases, practice good oral hygiene, and the importance of prenatal care.
- Our Health Promotion team works with communities on physical activity programs and how to reduce the risks of chronic diseases.
- Our Social Workers work with families and individuals on overcoming obstacles that may prevent healthy behaviors.
- Our Women's, Infants and Children's Special Nutrition Program (WIC) works with pregnant women and children (up to 5 years of age) to encourage proper nutrition.
- Our Diabetes Educators work with people diagnosed as diabetic to offer information on how to manage their disease.
- Our Family Planning program works with women of child bearing years on the best way to plan for a family and the need for good pre-conceptual health.
- Prepare and respond to disasters and assist in recovery.
- Our entire region is on call during disasters such as hurricanes. Our Nurses help to staff the Red Cross shelters. And our EPI Team stays alert for potential outbreaks of disease resulting from disasters or bioterrorism.
That's not all. We also maintain all birth and death records, make sure health services are available to all residents by operating eight public health clinics and work closely with many community organizations in many different ways to improve health. We provide skilled care to homebound people under a physician's care so they can recover faster in the comfort of their home. And we work closely with children with special needs and their families to coordinate their care. We undertake all this so that we can continue to protect the health of the people in Region 7. We are proud of how we help the residents of Berkeley, Charleston, and Dorchester counties live longer and safer lives.