The South Carolina Office of Rural Health (SCORH) honored six rural healthcare providers and community members at its 25th Annual Rural Health Conference on Wednesday.

“Each year, our office honors those in our rural communities who have shown excellence in their work to make their communities healthier, either through direct healthcare delivery, or efforts to make their communities stronger and more resilient,” said Graham Adams, CEO of SCORH. “As a token of our appreciation, we present a piece of artwork each year, made by an artist in a rural community. This year, we commissioned Winnsboro artist Christy Buchanan to create these awards.”

Each of the following honorees received a unique and colorful Palmetto tree painting, with a crescent moon and frame made from reclaimed wood:

The Rural Practitioner of the Year Award is presented to a rural primary health care practitioner whose service and community commitment has resulted in significant improvement of primary health care services. This year, the rural practitioner of the year is Dr. Trey Moore, a family medicine physician at Abbeville Area Medical Center. His coworkers nominated him for this award for his forethought and diligence in confronting the COVID-19 pandemic before it even appeared in South Carolina. By creating a “Fast Track” clinic to identify and treat COVID patients, his work is credited with saving many lives.

The Outstanding Community Health Project or Initiative Award recognizes an outstanding educational program or direct service that has positively impacted a community’s health services. This year, the award was given to Tidelands Community Care Network for its positive impact on community health in Georgetown and surrounding communities.  The network is a public-private partnership created by Tidelands Health that serves many of the community’s most vulnerable citizens with complex conditions and needs, providing access to care, specialty services and care management.

The Power of Rural Award is presented to a community-based project, program or initiative that has embodied the spirit of the “Power of Rural” by demonstrating positive attributes of rural South Carolina, including those that are outside of the health care services sector. This year’s award goes to the Rural Resource Coalition, in particular for shining a light on the needs of Black and Brown farmers in the state, and building inclusive and cross-sector partnerships to support them.

The Rural Health Provider of the Year Award is presented to a provider of rural health services where the health status of a rural community was significantly enhanced. This year’s award goes to Allendale County Hospital, a 25-bed critical access hospital and one of the only remaining independent hospitals in the state.

The Award of Excellence is not an award that is presented every year. It is reserved for those individuals whose efforts have made a truly outstanding and notable contribution to health, health care, or a health care delivery system in rural South Carolina. The 2022 Award of Excellence was given to Dee Robinson, deputy director of the Tri-County Commission on Alcohol and Drug Abuse, for her persistent work to bring behavioral health to the forefront of our healthcare conversations, and to build partnerships that create a behavioral health safety net for the residents of Orangeburg, Calhoun, Bamberg and Barnwell counties.

The Pioneer Award is given each year to a provider or provider who, during a lengthy career, has contributed significantly to the delivery of primary health care in a rural environment. This year’s Pioneer Award is given to Dr. Oscar Lovelace, a family medicine physician in Prosperity, for serving his community for more than three decades.

For spotlight videos of each honoree, visit our YouTube channel.

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About the South Carolina Office of Rural Health

The South Carolina Office of Rural Health (SCORH) is a non-profit organization with a mission to close the gap in health status and life expectancy between rural and urban communities in the Palmetto State. SCORH has been promoting investment, opportunity and health within rural communities since 1991.

With 27 percent of our state’s residents living in rural areas, SCORH believes in preserving the unique character of rural communities without compromising their opportunities and access to critical services.