Photo from left – Joey Current, Caitlin Townsend, Rick Gantt, Lt. Governor Pamela Evette, Michelle McCollum, Susan Johnson, Mike Harris and Jen Wright
Local Charleston, SC program expands Statewide, launches Upstate region
On June 29, 2022, at the Commerce Club in Greenville, SC the South Carolina Healthy Business Challenge (SCHBC) officially launched the Upstate Region of a statewide 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 upstate enjoyed a healthy lunch, while learning about this free new program and hearing from SCHBC leaders, partners, and sponsors. Featured speaker, Lt. Governor Pamela Evette, discussed organization wellbeing as an economic driver for the state of South Carolina and congratulated SCHBC and attendees for their commitment to prioritizing health at work.
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 Working Well 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. With continued support from presenting sponsor BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina and new support from partner sponsor Gallagher, the program was rebranded to the South Carolina Business Challenge, renaming the Charleston Healthy Business Challenge the Lowcountry Healthy Business Challenge, launching Upstate Healthy Business Challenge, with plans to launch the Midlands Healthy Business Challenge in 2023. Gallagher’s Caitlin Townsend is leading the Upstate region and plans to tap into existing resources offered by their Better Works portfolio which takes a holistic approach to organizational wellbeing. She will apply her background and experiences to help organizations understand the health of their workforce and make date driven decisions. “Gallagher is thrilled to be a part of this program and do our part to support the business community through shared resources,” said Townsend.
According to Mike Harris, vice president of major group sales at BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina, 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.”
“We are changing the norm of the workplace environment to one that embraces a culture of well-being as the new standard operating procedure,” said Dr. Johnson, “By making health a priority at work, we see changes in employees, in their families and in our communities.”
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, Paul Wieters, City of Charleston, Mike Harris, BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina, Joey Current, Trident United Way Healthy People Healthy Carolinas, Caitlin Townsend and Rick Gantt, Gallagher.