South Carolina Healthy Business Challenge launches in the Midlands region

June 6, 2023

On May 17, 2023, at the Palmetto Club in Columbia, SC, the South Carolina Healthy Business Challenge (SCHBC) officially launched the Midlands Region, rounding out the statewide expansion of a program developed to assist businesses and organizations in establishing work environments that promote a culture of wellbeing and support a healthy, thriving workforce. Over 100 participants representing businesses of all sectors and sizes located in or near the Midlands region enjoyed a healthy lunch, while learning about this free new program and hearing from SCHBC leaders, partners, and sponsors.

Attendees were welcomed by Mike Harris, BCBSSC VP of Major Group Sales, Columbia Mayor Daniel Rickenmann, South Carolina Chamber CEO Bob Morgan, and SC Biz News Executive Editor Jason Thomas. Dr. Susan Johnson, Founder and Director of SCHBC provided a history and overview of the program, inviting Rozalynn Goodwin, VP of Engagement from the South Carolina Hospital Association (SCHA) to the stage to expand on SCHA’s 12-year strategic partnership and shared vision to build a healthy workforce in South Carolina. Featured speaker, Lt. Governor Pamela Evette, discussed worksite well-being as an economic driver for the state of South Carolina and congratulated SCHBC and attendees for their commitment to prioritizing health at work. Member Spotlight Wes Carter, President, Atlantic Packaging shared how his organization prioritizes health through corporate wellness, healthy partnerships, advocacy and community and sustainability initiatives. Michelle McCollum, President & CEO, South Carolina National Heritage Corridor rounded out the slate of speakers by inviting the business community to engage their employees in the 2023 South Carolina 7 Expedition this July.

Established in 2015 as the Charleston Healthy Business Challenge, this free, collaborative program was developed by Dr. Susan Johnson, Director of Health Promotion at the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) and Paul Wieters, Wellness Coordinator with the City of Charleston. MUSC had been named a Center of Excellence for the South Carolina Hospital Association’s (SCHA) Working Well program and Johnson saw a need for worksite wellbeing resources in the local community and an opportunity to facilitate those connections. According to Jen Wright, Director of Workforce Experience at the SCHA, collaboration is imperative for collective impact. “A business committed to creating a culture, through operations, environmental supports, and resources that allow employees to thrive in health and professional fulfillment will attract and retain talented, productive, driven, and loyal employees.”

Since its inception, the leadership team envisioned expanding the program to create greater impact. In early 2022, with continued support from presenting sponsor BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina and program sponsors Gallagher and Trident United Way Healthy People, Healthy Carolinas, the program was rebranded to the South Carolina Business Challenge with three regions, Charleston becoming the Lowcountry Healthy Business Challenge, launching the Upstate Region in Greenville in June of 2022, and finalizing the expansion with the launch the Midlands Healthy Business Challenge in Columbia.

According to Mike Harris, helping customers achieve improved health status is a long-term commitment. He said, “our support to expand the program statewide signals the seriousness of our intent to play a role in improving the health of customers and our communities.”

“I’m so grateful for the support we’ve received from our members, stakeholders and leaders who see the importance of a healthy workforce to promote a healthy economy and healthy state.” said Dr. Johnson. “I believe the collective passion across all represented organizations is having a significant impact on the quality of life in South Carolina.”

For more information, visit or contact Dr. Susan Johnson, [email protected].


About the South Carolina Healthy Business Challenge

The South Carolina Healthy Business Challenge is a collaborative, statewide program created to support businesses and organizations in establishing work environments that promote a culture of wellbeing and support a healthy, thriving workforce. Leadership team members include Dr. Susan Johnson and Kaitlin DaPore, MUSC, Mike Harris, BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina, Abi Thomas and Steve Love, Gallagher, Caitlin Townsend, Assured Partners, Paul Wieters, City of Charleston and Joey Current, Trident United Way Healthy People Healthy Carolinas. Strategic partners include SC Biz News, South Carolina Hospital Association, Wholespire, LiveWell Greenville and Greenville Chamber of Commerce.