About Us

Winning the Fight Against Diabetes

We connect with community-serving organizations, aligning efforts to confront healthcare disparities and reduce the incidence of diabetes.

Together, we're aligning actions against diabetes, and engaging South Carolinians to lead healthier lives.

Vision

Winning the fight against diabetes.

Mission

To align actions against diabetes, engaging South Carolinians to lead healthier lives.

Overview

Diabetes imposes a devastating toll on the health of South Carolinians and its human and financial costs are enormous.

An estimated 13.4% of all adults in South Carolina have the disease (20191): they are at risk for complications such as heart and kidney disease that can severely reduce the quality and length of life. An additional 34.9% of South Carolina adults have prediabetes2, which increases risk for heart disease and carries a very high risk progressing to actual diabetes.

In financial terms, diabetes imposes a staggering burden of $11,000 every minute on our state3. And while its overall impact is staggering, Black South Carolinians suffer disproportionately: research shows 16.4% of Black adults have diabetes compared with 11.3% of white adults4. Even worse, Black individuals have more than double the risk of dying from diabetes that white individuals (46.5 vs. 18.9 deaths per 100,000 respectively, 2017-20195).

Diabetes Free SC (DFSC) is a long-term, statewide initiative that aims to transform the health of South Carolinians. Launched in 2020, a key aim of this effort is to support and align existing efforts against diabetes, in order to gain efficiencies of scale and foster collaboration.

In addition, DFSC aims for statewide, population-level change through innovative strategies that take maximum advantage of new technologies. Since diabetes does silent damage to the human body over years or decades, we focus on early interventions to prolong healthy life. Funding for DFSC projects is from the BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina Foundation; accordingly, there is a major focus on health disparities and on improved health for under-resourced communities.

Strategic Directions

  • Improving pregnancy outcomes in women with diabetes 
  • Reducing lifelong risk of diabetes in children 
  • Preventing diabetes and its complications in adults

Guiding Principles

  • Implement an innovative, multi-pronged statewide program 
  • Align, develop and bring to scale existing programs that have proven local efficacy 
  • Focus on early intervention to prevent or mitigate diabetes and its complications 
  • Improve quality of data (a) to define size of problem and (b) to assess efficacy of DFSC programs 
  • Ensure relevance to major challenges facing the nation: COVID-19 and health/racial disparities 

Advisory Council

DFSC was developed with a planning group that included representation from:

More About the Advisory Council

Citations

  1. Diabetes Prevalence, 2019. Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System. CDC.  
  2. The Burden of Diabetes in South Carolina (2020). American Diabetes Association. http://main.diabetes.org/dorg/docs/state-fact-sheets/ADV_2020_State_Fact_sheets_SC.pdf  
  3. Diabetes in SC (2020) SC DHEC. https://scdhec.gov/sites/default/files/Library/CR-012453.pdf  
  4. Diabetes Prevalence, 2011-2019. Behavior Risk Factor Surveillance System. SC DHEC. 
  5. Diabetes Mortality, 2017-2019. Vital Statistics. SC DHEC.
Featured Grant Recipient

FoodShare SC

Good, healthy food for all—that’s the mission of FoodShare SC. With support from Diabetes Free SC, this organization is expanding its efforts to ensure access to fresh produce.

News & Updates

Learn more about what the Diabetes Free SC team and their partners have been up to.