Strategic Directions

Defining Our Impact

Driven by a commitment to addressing the statewide burden of diabetes and related inequities, our team has identified three strategic directions to guide our approach and four cross-cutting program categories to define our efforts.

To achieve our bold vision of winning the fight against diabetes in South Carolina, Diabetes Free SC is committed to advancing efforts in three strategic directions:

  • To improve pregnancy outcomes and the health of women with or at risk for diabetes
    Diabetes in pregnancy can increase risk for poor birth outcomes and have negative long-term impacts on the health of the mother and child1.
  • To reduce lifelong risk of diabetes in children
    There are rapidly growing inequities in the incidence of Type 2 diabetes among young people2. An estimated half of South Carolina children are at a higher lifelong risk for diabetes due to poor cardiorespiratory fitness, with estimates that the COVID-19 pandemic has worsened these outcomes,3,4.
  • To prevent diabetes and its complications in adults
    Comprehensive actions from diabetes prevention efforts to increasing diabetes screening to improving access to quality care are necessary to begin to change the course of diabetes in South Carolina.  

Guided by these strategic directions and with a foundational commitment to advancing health and racial equity, Diabetes Free SC is committed to action in four categories that support our strategic directions:

  • Address nutrition insecurity
    Over 12.5% of South Carolinians are food insecure5. Food insecurity increases risk of diabetes and increases the likelihood of complications among people with diabetes6.
  • Champion environments that promote good health
    The places that we live impact our opportunity for good health. Environments that increase access to opportunities for healthy eating and safe physical activity promote good health and address risk factors related to diabetes7.
  • Strengthen systems that provide care and support
    High-quality, coordinated care is critical to someone living with diabetes. So is receiving meaningful social support and being able to navigate resources to meet basic needs8.
  • Build understanding of diabetes, related risk factors, and standards of care
    Creating strong, relevant messaging about the impact of diabetes in South Carolina is critical to inspire collective action across all of South Carolina.

Planning strategically and partnering with innovative partners to address these areas will continue to create opportunities for Diabetes Free SC to build momentum with specific, targeted successes that collectively impact our universal goal to win the fight against diabetes.

In pursuing its three Strategic Directions, DFSC has the following Guiding Principles: 

  • Implement an innovative, multi-pronged statewide program
  • Align, develop, and bring to scale existing programs that have proven local efficacy
  • Reduce health disparities relate to preventing diabetes and its complications
  • Focus on diabetes prevention
  • Focus on early life intervention to prevent or mitigate diabetes and its complications
  • Ensure rigorous data collection
  • Plan for the sustainability of initiative efforts


  1. Diabetes During Pregnancy. (2018). Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Division of Reproductive Health.
  2. Divers, J., Mayer-Davis, E., Lawrence, J., … Wagenknecht, L. (2020). Trends in Incidence of Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes Among Youths – Selected Counties and Indian Reservations, United States, 2002-2015. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, 69(6):161-165.
  3. SC FITNESSGRAM Data Report: Statewide Results School Year 2019-2020. (2020). SC DHEC. FitnessGram Data Report_SY2019-2020.pdf
  4. Lange, S., Kompaniets, L., Freedman, D., Kraus, E., Porter, R., Blanck, H., & Goodman, A. (2021). Longitudinal Trends in Body Mass Index Before and During the COVID-19 Pandemic Among Persons Aged 2-19 Years, United States, 2018-2020. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, 70(37):1278-1283.
  5. The Impact of the Coronavirus on Local Food Insecurity in 2020 and 2021. (2021). Feeding America.
  6. Gucciardi, E., Vahabi, M., Norris, N., Del Monte, JP., & Farnum, C. (2014). The Intersection Between Food Insecurity and Diabetes: A Review. Current Nutrition Reports, 3(4):324-332.
  7. Christine, P., Auchincloss, A., Bertoni, A., … Diez Roux, A. (2015). Longitudinal Associations Between Neighborhood Physical and Social Environments and Incident Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus: The Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA). JAMA Internal Medicine, 175(8):1311-1320.
  8. Standards of Medical Care in Diabetes – 2021. (2021). Diabetes Care, American Diabetes Association: 44(1).