The SC Office of Rural Health (SCORH), a 501(c)3 non-profit organization, is dedicated to ensuring equitable access to quality healthcare for all rural South Carolinians. With many South Carolinians living in rural or very rural communities, assuring quality healthcare is paramount.
SCORH’s vision is that SC’s “rural and under served people have optimal health care services that enhance the quality of life in every community.” In SC, 36 of the state’s 46 counties fall outside of a metropolitan area. Some portion, if not all, of 44 of the state’s 46 counties are medically under served.
According the 2014 Census, 27.8% of the state’s population is Black/African American and 5.4% is of Hispanic/Latino origin. According to the Economic Research Service (2013), rural South Carolina has a poverty rate of 25.1% compared to 17.3% in urban South Carolina. Coupled with lack of education and employment, only 80% of adults (ages 18-64) are insured (Commonwealth Fund, 2014). The Common Wealth Fund (2014) notes that 41% of SC adults 50 years and older receive recommended screening and preventive care and 54% of children have a medical home. These health statistics depict the overall access and quality of health care issues facing rural South Carolina.
Since 1991, the SC Office of Rural Health has been working to improve the health status of rural and under served people throughout the state.