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:
- Improve pregnancy outcomes in women who have diabetes
- Reduce lifelong risk of diabetes in children
- 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 will implement the first statewide effort to establish coordinated care for pregnant diabetic women.
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% of the state’s population has pre-diabetes
- Since 2011, diabetes prevalence among adults has increased 12.1% to 13.3% 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 2x 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
What programs have been funded through the DFSC so far?
In mid-2020, the BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina Foundation awarded initial grants in the amount of $11.6 million to support programs under within the three strategic directions of DFSC:
- PRISMA Health and the Carolina Diabetes & Kidney Center received funding to provide coordinated multidisciplinary prenatal care to pregnant women with diabetes; both provide integrated and high quality care for women in underserved, rural communities
- MUSC Boeing Children’s Wellness Center and the Alliance for a Healthier Generation received funding to invest in programs designed to ensure school children in all areas of the state receive adequate exercise, healthy diet and education to reduce their risk of diabetes and other chronic diseases in adulthood
- FoodShareSC received funding to support its efforts to increase access to fresh fruit and vegetables to all citizens of the state; this is especially beneficial to those living in areas with low access to healthy foods, including individuals and families participating in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).
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.