What is Diabetes Free SC? 

Diabetes Free SC (DFSC) is a bold, long-term commitment designed to reduce health care disparities in South Carolina by drastically reducing the incidence of diabetes and its complications. The initiative has three strategic directions:

  1. To improve pregnancy outcomes and the health of women with or at risk for diabetes
  2. To reduce lifelong risk of diabetes in children
  3. To prevent diabetes and its complications in adults

How is DFSC different from other initiatives? 

The scale and scope of the commitment — particularly in addressing disparities in care to African Americans and communities at a greater risk for diabetes. For example, DFSC has implemented the first statewide effort to establish coordinated care for pregnant women with diabetes - and disparities in women's reproductive health are among the most severe in the nation. 

What organizations participate in the DFSC initiative? 

DFSC is led by BlueCross® BlueShield® of South Carolina and the BlueCross® BlueShield® of South Carolina Foundation. The Alliance for a Healthier South Carolina and the state’s Department of Health and Environmental Control also played a key role in strategic planning for the effort, which builds upon the good work of multiple existing diabetes-related stakeholders. BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina and the BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina Foundation are independent licensees of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association.

How long will the Diabetes Free SC initiative run?

This initiative a long-term commitment. Initially, DFSC will gauge success at three- and five-year intervals, with the understanding that an initiative of this magnitude will take many years to see meaningful change and sustained health improvements.

Why is this initiative important?

According to the American Diabetes Association®

  • More than 500,000 adults in South Carolina have diabetes, yet more than 120,000 are unaware that they have the disease.
  • Nearly 35 percent of the state’s population has pre-diabetes.
  • Diabetes prevalence among adults has increased from 12.1 percent ion 2011 to 13.3 percent in 2018.
  • Approximately one in six African Americans has diabetes, compared to one in eight white adults. What's more, the death rate associated with diabetes for African Americans is 2 times higher than that of non-Hispanic white Americans
  • Diabetes is also a significant factor in other conditions, such as heart disease, stroke and kidney disease

How will the Diabetes Free SC initiative determine its success?

Initial success metrics focus on goal achievement at three- and five-year intervals for each of the three strategic directions mentioned in the first section of this page.


The Diabetes Free SC team is a who’s-who of medical, policy, and public health experts.