Dr. Kandi Fredere, Upstate Public Health Director, SC DHEC
Dr. Lisa Carlson, Upstate Medical Director, SC DHEC
Do you recommend getting a J&J shot if you had one shot of the Pfizer and had an allergic reaction from it? Is mixing ok?
This is best decided with your doctor and make an individual decision.
Are 3rd shot boosters really necessary, and how do they improve efficacy?
Data continues to change. Currently, a 3rd dose is for someone who received Moderna or Pfizer and they have an expectation that they would not mount a good response to the initial 2 doses due to immune deficiencies. Which shows that the 3rd vaccine helps mount a better response. The booster is for all individuals who would have had the expected initial immune response, but the immunity has started to wane, especially the 65+ crowd. CDC has expanded it to include individuals exposed frequently to potential COVID exposure.
Can you talk about the Monoclonal Antibodies?
Monoclonal antibodies: for a short time, there was excess supply. Effective in preventing disease and can be given subcutaneously via injection. Must have doctor’s orders. They’re available to some via medical providers.
Does DHEC track excess deaths in South Carolina?
They look at observed vs. expected for death rates.
Megan Rogers, Carolina Center for Behavioral Health is a 156-bed acute care hospital that is open 24/7. They help with psychiatric and substance use disorder treatment and do not require a referral. See Megan’s TATT newsletter article here.
Carson Lecroy, Hamilton Career and Technology Center helps over 1000 high school students through 20 different programs to help students have some college credit or meaningful adult experience to use post-high school graduation. See Carson’s TATT newsletter article here.
The RobinHood Group established FoodShare Union County in June 2021.
During the 2020 and 2021 SCAFM annual meetings and at our most recent board meeting we discussed the importance and need for partnering and collaborating with each other on grant funding opportunities, mentoring new markets and visiting each other’s markets. This year four counties, Greenville, Spartanburg, Union and Williamsburg are partnering with FoodShare SC and local medical facilitators to apply for the USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture’s Gus Schumacher Nutrition Incentive Program (GusNIP) grant funding for the Veggie Rx prescription program to combat diabetes in the counties. The RobinHood Group’s local partners include Rebekah’s Harvest, a local nonprofit that has distributed over 10,000 USDA free produce boxes; the Union County Library System, which serves as the local hub for community activity and the Union Medical Center that serves as our medical facility. These organizations are also members of the Union County Public Health Taskforce.
Another exciting benefit of FoodShare is being able to help our neighbors and family members reduce illnesses. FoodShare South Carolina was awarded a five-year grant to improve South Carolinians’ access to fresh, healthy food as a foundational step to decreasing the impact of diabetes on the state. In Union County with a population is 27,316, the diabetes rate is 12.2%, 47% of adults are classifies as obese and we have a children poverty rate of 32%. In comparison South Carolina’s overall diabetes rate of 8%, 20% adult obesity rate and only 15% of children living in poverty, Union County is falling behind on these key health indicators. FoodShare Union County is providing a great service to the County, an awesome benefit to residents and increasing income for farmers and keeping revenue in the County.
The Hamilton Career and Technology Center, located in Oconee County, strives to live up to it’s slogan, “Discovering Passion, Finding Purpose.” We serve the high school students in the School District of Oconee County and have 1027 students enrolled this school year. The students spend half of their day on our campus, taking one of our 24 different course offerings that prepare students for many different types of business and industry. Our courses also pave the way for students to continue their education at Tri-County Technical College or another post-secondary institution. Our tremendous faculty, composed of traditionally trained educators and teachers coming from actual industry, work hard to provide students with authentic learning opportunities to prepare them for the workforce or post-secondary education.
Our goal is to have every student that completes one of our programs to be a “college or career ready” student and have work based experience or an industry-recognized credential in their pocket when they graduate. A career-ready “completer” is a student who completes a course of study worth six credits or more. That is over 700 hours of classroom time learning technical and career based skills that will directly impact a bountiful workforce in Oconee County and the Upsate!
Another proud program at the Hamilton Career and Technology Center is our Transition Program. Our Transition Program serves students that receive specialized education and teaches them life skills and career skills, in order to live a fulfilling, independent life. These students run a school based restaurant, The Considerate Cafe. The restaurant is open to the public on Fridays from 11-1:00, and the students operate every facet of the restaurant, including serving up favorites like meat and three or barbacoa tacos.
The following is a list of courses offered at HCTC:
Early Childhood Education
Emergency Medical Services
Certified Nursing Assistant
PLTW Biomedical Sciences
AP Computer Science
Machine Tool Technology
Auto Collision Repair Technology
Employability Education Courses
Independent Living Skills
This is the Hamilton Career and Technology Center’s second year at our new campus on Highway 11 in Westminster. The state of the art facility includes a one-of-a-kind paint booth in auto collision, over 20 CNC tooling machines, and a replica hospital wing for nursing students, just to name a few. One new and unique opportunity at the Hamilton Career and Technology Center is the upcoming Emergency Communications course. The Hamilton Career and Technology Center has partnered with the Oconee County Sheriff’s Office to create a fully functional 911/dispatch room that will serve as the Sheriff’s Office official backup. Our law enforcement instructor will teach a course that will end in a Certification test for students to pursue a career in dispatch after graduation if they wish. The Hamilton Career and Technology Center is thankful to partner with the Sheriff’s Office, as well as the many other businesses that provide equipment, shadowing, and work-based learning opportunities for our students. Want to get involved and learn more information about taking on a “work-based learner” at your business? Please reach out to us!
By Megan Rogers, Director of Business Development for The Carolina Center
We are almost two years into the COVID-19 pandemic and there is no doubt that it has had a major effect on almost all aspects of our lives. Many of us are facing extreme challenges emotionally, socially and financially that can lead to overwhelming stress. Persistent isolation can also increase stress and anxiety, especially in those who are already vulnerable.
A crisis is growing in mental health as the widespread impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and the economic hardship it has brought affects many across the nation. A June 2020 survey from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention of 5412 US adults found that 40.9% of respondents reported “at least one adverse mental or behavioral health condition,” including depression, anxiety, posttraumatic stress, and substance abuse, with rates that were 3 to 4 times the rates 1 year earlier.1 Remarkably, 10.7% of respondents reported seriously considering suicide in the last 30 days.1
People who have had the virus may still be feeling the physical effects and may be depressed with survivor syndrome, which can include guilt and elements of PTSD. Many who never had a mental health condition before contracting COVID now may be struggling mentally as a result of facing new limits on activity levels or they may be feeling concerned about their long-term health.
COVID-19 has also presented unique challenges for people with substance use disorders and for those who are in recovery. The pandemic has presented enormous challenges for these individuals, as evidenced by significant increases in drug use since March of 2020. Some people with no history of addiction may have turned to drugs or alcohol to self-medicate and deal with increased stress and anxiety.
As we continue to grapple with these challenges, it stands to reason that the increased stress and impact on mental health has spilled into the workplace as well, affecting employee productivity and job satisfaction.
So, how can employers support their workers?
Open the door. Ask employees how they are doing. While some may not be comfortable with such an open conversation, more than 40% of employees report that they would like their manager to approach the topic.2 And it’s not a conversation to outsource to HR. When people were asked to rank who they were willing to talk to about mental health concerns, peers and managers came in at the top of the list.
Ensure that employees’ needs are met — make sure they have access to personal protective equipment, transportation and other resources to do their jobs. This level of support increases confidence and job satisfaction.
Provide clear communication to employees and supervisors about expectations, support resources and new policies that respond directly to impacts created by the pandemic. This reduces uncertainty at work, which is a major contributor to employee stress.
Supervisors should not expect work to continue at the same level as before. Creating this expectation can lead to employee burn-out. Instead, help employees prioritize what work is critical and what can wait. Employers also should emphasize that using sick leave applies whether someone isn’t feeling well physically or mentally.
Communicate available resources. Make sure you are very clear about the mental health resources available to everyone at your company. Employees who said their company has proactively shared how to access mental health resources are more likely to feel that their company cares about their wellbeing.
Unfortunately, we will all shoulder the effects of this pandemic for the foreseeable future. If we support each other and approach these challenges with empathy and an open mind, perhaps we can make some things a little easier.
The Carolina Center for Behavioral Health is here to help. Located off Interstate 85 and Hwy 14 in Greer, we offer inpatient and outpatient psychiatric and substance use disorder treatment options for adolescents, adults and senior adults. If you or someone you know is having a hard time coping with the mental health effects of the pandemic, we are here to help. We offer no-cost assessments 24/7. Visit us at thecarolinacenter.com or call 864-235-2335 to learn more.
Czeisler MÉ, Lane RI, Petrosky E, et al. Mental health, substance use, and suicidal ideation during the COVID-19 pandemic: United States, June 24-30, 2020.
Thank you for registering for Ten at the Top’s Technology in Law Enforcement workshop yesterday. Please share this recording of the workshop with any Upstate organizations or members of your community that might be interested in hearing about how technology like license plate readers, body cameras, and drones are being used to solve crimes in our communities.
The law enforcement panel included Chief Jorge Campos from the Clemson Police Department, Captain Fred Forman from the Simpsonville Police Department, and Chief Matt Hamby from the Greer Police Department.
Chief Hamby introduced body-worn cameras (BWCs) and the evolution of BWC technology. Chief Campos discussed accountability, standards, and guidelines, the use of BWCs to in court cases, automation to increase usability and accuracy, privacy issues, and limitations of the technology. Captain Forman discussed the Simpsonville department’s use of license plate readers (LPRs) to solve crimes quickly in an objective and unbiased manner while saving taxpayer dollars.
Community leaders who participated in this session were Yvonne Reeder and Corey McDowell.
This workshop was highly informative about what technology law enforcement is using, how it works, how it is being used and how it is not being used, and methods utilized to maintain the safety and privacy of Upstate citizens. If you were not able to attend the workshop, please take some time to watch the recording and share it widely.
As part of the Creating a Safer Upstate initiative, Ten at the Top will continue to host this series of “Beyond the Shield” Virtual Workshops featuring conversations between law enforcement officers and community leaders around key law enforcement topics. Watch for a date for the next workshop featuring information on law enforcement recruitment, retention, and training.