Thursday, June 17, 2010

Notes from the NAC meeting in Charleston, SC

The SCRHRC was privileged to be able to attend (in the person of Jan Probst, Center Director) the meeting of the National Advisory Committee on Rural Health and Human Services, held in Charleston at the beginning of this week. This was Governor David Beasley’s last session as Chair after eight years of service, which made a meeting in his home state somewhat special.

Jan presented Center data on obesity among rural children, one of three topics being addressed by the Committee meeting. After Jan’s national data, Dr. Mike Byrd of the SC Department of Health and Environmental Control presented on the epidemic-like spread of obesity. Dr. Francis Rushton, representing the SC American Academy of Pediatrics, described the clinical picture of childhood obesity – which can literally result in death, even during childhood.

On Tuesday, the Committee group charged with addressing childhood obesity visited Walterboro, SC to learn about a newly implemented community initiative. (See coverage in the local paper:]. The State Director for East Smart Move More South Carolina, Amy Splittgerber, presented an overview while local project Director Marilyn Peters and marketing consultant Rhonda Rawl provided the details about “Let’s Go Walterboro.”

Tuesday evening, Committee members were able to go to Folly Beach for an oyster roast and low country boil in honor of outgoing Chair, Governor Beasley. Actually, folks from outside SC likely thought “low country boil” referred to the weather. As can be seen from Gov. Beasley’s two-toned shirt, it was hot. But folks seemed to enjoy our great SC beach and everyone was delighted to present Gov. Beasley with a remembrance book featuring his history of service to rural people and places.

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