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Program Descriptions South Carolina

South Carolina Arthritis Program

State Burden

In South Carolina, approximately 1 million adults or 31% report that they have some form of doctor-diagnosed arthritis in 2009. Arthritis affects both males and females of all ages, racial and ethnic groups, and income levels. However, it is more common among females, individuals with low-education levels, and older adults. Thirty-five percent of females aged 18 and older have arthritis, compared to 26% of males. Forty-three percent of persons with less than a high school education have arthritis, while only 28% of those with some college have the diagnosis. The prevalence of arthritis increases from 15% among people in the 18-44 age group to 40% among people in the 45-64 age group. The 65 and older age group has the highest prevalence of 55%. With the aging of the baby boomers, the number of people with arthritis is expected to increase in the coming years, unless preventive measures are taken.

South Carolina Arthritis Advisory Council

The South Carolina Arthritis Advisory Council’s mission is “building statewide partnerships to reduce the impact of arthritis in South Carolina.” Its primary functions are to offer guidance and support toward accomplishment of the goals set forth in the South Carolina State Plan for Arthritis 2008-2012 and to provide leadership for future direction of the program. This dedicated group includes representation from an array of state and private organizations, health care providers, universities, and consumers. The full council meets twice a year, with workgroups carrying out activities throughout the year to achieve the long-term goal of reducing the burden of arthritis in South Carolina.

Key Partners

  • Arthritis Foundation Carolina’s Chapter
  • Lt. Governor's Office on Aging and its statewide Network of Area Agencies on Aging and Aging Service Providers
  • University of South Carolina Arnold School of Public Health
  • South Carolina Department of Mental Health
  • South Carolina Department of Health and Human Services
  • South Carolina Department of Vocational Rehabilitation
  • AARP- South Carolina
  • Seventh Episcopal District of the African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church
  • South Atlantic Conference of the African Methodist Episcopal Zion (AME Zion) Church
  • South Carolina Congregational Nursing Network
  • South Carolina Parks and Recreation Centers

Intervention and Partnership Highlights

  • Build a statewide infrastructure of partners to expand and sustain a menu of evidence-based Life Improvement Programs toward the goals of improving the quality of life for people with arthritis and reducing the impact of arthritis in South Carolina.
  • Provide leadership, support, training, and technical assistance to delivery system partners, including the South Carolina Department of Mental Health, the statewide Aging Network, faith-based partners, and South Carolina Parks and Recreation sites. Through their organized networks, delivery system partners offer the following Life Improvement in many community locations throughout the state: 1) the Arthritis Foundation Self-Help Program, 2) the Stanford University Chronic Disease Self-Management Program (Better Choices Better Health), 3) the Arthritis Foundation Exercise Program, and 4) EnhanceFitness exercise program.
  • Promote policy change that will lead to more widespread and uniform distribution of the evidence-based programs. Our ultimate goal is to have programs accessible to everyone with arthritis in all areas of the state.
  • Heighten awareness of arthritis data and programmatic activities through the media, and implement the health communication campaign "Physical Activity, the Arthritis Pain Reliever" annually to increase awareness about the importance of physical activity among people with arthritis.
  • Work collaboratively with other chronic disease programs within the Department of Health and Environmental Control to increase the program's efficiency, effectiveness, and impact.

South Carolina Arthritis Program Website

Contact Information

Michele James
Program Manager
Arthritis Prevention and Control Program
South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control
2600 Bull Street
Columbia, SC 29201

Telephone: (803) 898-0349
Fax: (803) 898-0350

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  • Arthritis Program
    Mailstop F-78
    4770 Buford Hwy NE
    Atlanta, GA 30341-3724
  • Phone: 770.488.5464
    Fax: 770.488.5964
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