Public Health Education is the process of organizing and facilitating learning opportunities to encourage behaviors that promote personal, family, and community health. It is an important component in assuring the public’s health, since lifestyle and behavior changes are key factors for addressing many of the health problems facing our citizens. Utilizing sound behavioral science, health educators are able to help develop, implement and evaluate interventions for preventing diseases. Through organized and preventative approaches, such as patient education and broad-based community initiatives, health educators are poised to help reduce the impact of chronic diseases, injuries, infectious diseases, sexually transmitted diseases, and maternal/child health problems.
In Public Health Region 2, chronic disease health educators are serving in roles that complement SCDHEC’s statewide efforts. Regional health educators are also skilled in creatively bringing together organizations, agencies, people and themes to implement strategies for change to improve health. Partnerships with both traditional and non-traditional partners are necessary to create and sustain more effective, cross-cutting strategies to achieve a healthy community. Health educators use their skills to initiate and coordinate community health assessments, goal setting, and strategic planning.
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Public Health Nursing is a dynamic profession. It is the synthesis of the art and science of nursing and public health. Public health nurses play a major role in all aspects of public health including: preventing epidemics and the spread of disease; protecting against environmental hazards; preventing injuries; promoting and encouraging healthy behaviors; responding to disasters and assisting communities; assuring the quality and accessibility of health services.
In public health nurses assess health status, develop policy for programs, and provide assurance in their interventions with individuals, families, and communities. Recognizing the complex forces affecting health delivery systems, public health nurses work as members of interdisciplinary teams and in collaboration with other public entities and the private sector to provide essential public health services.
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The nutrition staff in Region 2 includes Registered Dietitians, Nutrition Education Specialists and a Breastfeeding Coordinator. We work as members of interdisciplinary teams in a variety of settings to provide medical nutrition therapy to groups and individuals.
Our goal is to promote optimal nutrition status for individuals and families though evaluation and education. Our staff also provides technical assistance to physicians, community groups and other health professionals. The nutrition staff is available to all clients of the region and has expertise and training in a wide variety of medical conditions as well as general nutrition throughout the lifecycle.
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There are diverse and complex functions that must be coordinated in order to mount an effective response to an act of bioterrorism, a serious epidemic or other public health emergency. Emergency management and response functions are integrated into each Public Health Program and into each employee’s job description. Public Health Preparedness and Disease Surveillance address the critical response capacity of our community by strengthening the public health infrastructure for epidemic disease control and emergency response. Extensive and continuous assessment of the our public health system is underway along with the development of local and statewide plans for a collaborative response to incidents of bioterrorism, infectious disease outbreaks, and other threats to public health . The following Focus Areas are directed toward utilization of scientific methods and technology to ensure the existence of systems to provide ongoing disease surveillance and epidemiology training for public health, clinical, and other healthcare professions.
- Preparedness planning and readiness assessment
- Surveillance and epidemiology capacity
- Laboratory capacity
- Network communications and information technology
- Risk communication and dissemination of health information
- Education and training
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Public Health social workers, as team members, work in different settings to provide direct clinical services to clients and comprehensive community services. Staff are trained in group, family, and individual counseling, as well as systems intervention and community organization.
Social Work services are designed to maximize health outcomes for individuals, families, and communities. Services are geared toward the prevention, early identification, and alleviation of psychosocial issues impacting the use of primary care and the client's response to health services. Public Health Social Workers have expertise with critical issues, such as: teenage pregnancy, HIV/AIDS, violence, depression, elder abuse, child abuse, substance abuse, family dysfunction, children with special health care needs, and caregiving issues.
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