Clover Health Flu Shot Monitor Finds Only 57% of Charleston Seniors Have Been Immunized This Season

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With flu shot rates increasing only 15% over the past month, too many older Lowcountry residents remain unvaccinated going into the height of flu season

CHARLESTON, S.C. (Dec. 4, 2018)?– Today, newly conducted survey results released from the December?Clover Health Flu Shot Monitor?reveal that only 57% of Charleston area seniors have gotten a flu shot so far this?season. This is a slight improvement from the findings of November’s Flu Shot Monitor, which showed that 42% of Charleston adults 60 and older had gotten a flu shot.

The latest results demonstrate that there has been insufficient progress on senior vaccination rates this season, prompting the Medicare Advantage insurer to urge all Lowcountry residents to get vaccinated immediately.

Nationally, 60% of seniors surveyed as part of the December Clover Health Flu Shot Monitor have received the vaccine this flu season, compared to 41% in November.

The Clover Health Flu Shot Monitor also found that:

  • Only 53% of African-Americans 60 and older in Charleston have been vaccinated, compared with 60% of white seniors surveyed
  • While 64% of male seniors in the Charleston area surveyed have gotten a flu shot, only 53% of female seniors have been vaccinated this season
  • 69% of those seniors with a household income of $75,000 or more have received a flu shot, versus 54% of those in households earning $35,000-$74,999, and just 52% of those earning less than $35,000
  • Just 52% of local seniors surveyed without an undergraduate degree have gotten a flu shot, compared with 68% of those who graduated from college
  • While 64% of married seniors in Charleston have been vaccinated, only 45% of unmarried seniors have done so

According to the CDC, far?fewer people report getting vaccinated?against the flu past late November – a dangerous trend, especially for senior citizens.

“Even in December, it’s not too late for Charleston area seniors to get a flu shot,” said Kumar Dharmarajan, MD, Chief Scientific Officer, Clover Health. “As it gets colder and people spend more time indoors, it is crucial that Lowcountry residents get vaccinated to prevent the spread of infection in their communities.”

In Charleston, seniors can access free or inexpensive influenza vaccines in a number of locations, including?SCDHEC seasonal flu clinics. A complete list of Charleston flu shot locations and pricing details?is also available via the national HealthMap Vaccine Finder at?

Demystifying the Mystery of Pilates: A Lowcountry Perspective

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What is it? One local instructor and studio owner says “it’s like taking WD40 to the joints.”

Story and Photos by Tonya McGue

Stars like Reese Witherspoon, Tiger Woods, LeBron James and Madonna do it. Doctors, retired people and professional athletes do it. People with pain or injuries use it to help them recover.

If you do a Google search on Pilates in the Lowcountry, about 50 places pop up offering some form of Pilates. They include dedicated Pilates studios, big gyms, physical therapy centers, spas and boutique fitness centers. Almost 9 million people in the U.S. participate in Pilates, but if you ask non-participants what they think Pilates is, most don’t know.

Peeking in a Pilates studio, it’s hard to tell what it is. Is it physical therapy? The equipment kind of looks like it. Is it yoga? Many of the participants have lean, muscular bodies and are holding athletic poses. Is it personal training? There’s one or two people working with one trainer.

So, what are they doing? What is Pilates?

In short, Pilates is a low-impact, resistance-based fitness system invented by German Joseph Pilates. He was a bodybuilder who firmly believed in the importance of mind-body connection.? His method is based on a combination of western bodybuilding, gymnastics, eastern yoga, tai chi and meditation. He called it Controlology.

During World War I, Pilates was interned as an enemy alien. He began experimenting with rehabilitation techniques. His system consisted of 500 different exercises, still used today, some performed on a mat and others using special equipment.

He helped bed-ridden patients recover from their arm and leg injuries which resulted in the creation of The Cadillac, Pilates equipment that looks similar to a WWI hospital bed with straps and springs. Other Pilates equipment includes The Reformer (looks somewhat like a rowing machine), the Wunda Chair, the Ladder Barrel and the Wall Tower, all using a spring-based system.

“We really pride ourselves on the equipment we use,” said Dana Romanosky, a certified Pilates instructor at Coastal Body Studio in The Shoppes at Brickyard in Mount Pleasant. “Pilates is all about spinal decompression and balancing the large and small muscles that support our joints. Using the springs on the equipment really differentiates Pilates from other types of exercise.”

Pilates focuses on core strength, posture, balance and flexibility. It emphasizes the connection between body and mind and is for people of all athletic abilities, beginner to advanced.

Lindsay Jackson Ward, owner of Coastal Body, a classical Pilates studio that offers private and semi-private sessions, said, “The number one priority is seeing results safely and quickly. The three main Pilates principles are Stretch, Strength and Control.”

To ensure results, certified Pilates instructors are required to complete intensive instruction which includes personal workouts, lectures, observation and a teaching apprenticeship program. “It took me almost two years while working full-time as a waitress,” Lindsay said. “It was like getting a degree.” Lindsay and Dana completed over 700 hours of training, including advanced teacher instruction.

Lindsay, a former professional dancer, first heard about Pilates from a friend who was a certified instructor. “After hanging up my shoes, I tried Pilates and got hooked right away. It includes movement, strength, balance and flexibility. I felt like I was in the same world.” Within a few months of becoming certified, she bought Coastal Body Studio.

Lindsay said one of the biggest misconceptions about Pilates is that it’s for women. “Actually, almost half my clients are men. Most of them are golfers who want to maintain strength and flexibility so they can keep playing well.”

J.B. Belicka (pictured), one of Lindsay’s clients, said he started doing Pilates about 20 years ago because of pain from a bulging disk in his back. “It helped me almost immediately,” he said. “If I don’t do it consistently, at least two times a week, my back starts acting up again. I can get laid up for weeks if I miss many sessions.”

Dana also discovered Pilates because of pain in her back. “I had a car accident and for 10 years I couldn’t get rid of the pain in my back and hips. Nothing worked,” she said. “I tried Pilates and it helped right away. It fixed my alignment. I don’t know why my doctors and physical therapists didn’t suggest it. The experience was so transformative, I changed careers from an equity marketing manager to a Pilates instructor. Other people need to know about its benefits and I want to share how amazing it is.”

Dana is a big proponent of Pilates being the next step after physical therapy. “It’s the natural next step after PT. Pilates corrects alignment. It’s about raising awareness of movement and breathing. Our goal is for people to take what they learn out the door so that they can live their lives more fully, playing that golf game or being able to pick up their child without pain. It’s music to our ears when we hear a client say she noticed she was slouching and corrected her posture immediately.”

Lindsay said, “It’s awesome to see people feel good, improve their posture and flexibility, get stronger and have more energy. Pilates is like taking WD40 to the joints.”


Infographic Guide to Wellness and Happiness

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Is life bringing you down?
Is work hindering your ability to pursue your dreams and goals?
Do you feel overwhelmed?
Are stress and anxiety a regular part of your life?

It may be time to slow down and find balance.? Here are some great ideas, tips and plans to bring wellness, balance and happiness back into your life

Infographic Guide to Wellness and Happiness












Palmetto Community Care Rolls Out PrEP Program to Further Combat Area’s Rising HIV Rates

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CHARLESTON, S.C. –? Palmetto Community Care is launching a PrEP program to help combat rising rates of HIV in the greater Charleston community. PrEP is a once daily pill (brand name Truvada) that is up to 99 percent effective in reducing HIV rates for those who take the medication as prescribed. Palmetto Community Care’s goal is to make this program and medication free or low cost for participants.

This PrEP program will focus upon those most at risk for contracting HIV within the community. Ideal candidates include individuals who are sexually active, have multiple sexual partners, have sexual partners of unknown HIV status and individuals who are 18 years of age or older. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, two-thirds of people who could potentially benefit from PrEP are African American or Latino.
“We want everyone at risk for HIV to talk to us about PrEP and look into whether it is the right choice for them,” said Adam Weaver, prevention program manager at Palmetto Community Care. “We want everyone in our community to know that PrEP is available and often a great option for HIV prevention. We need to stop the rising HIV rates in our community, especially for our young men of color, and PrEP can be a part of the solution.”
Those interested in learning more about Palmetto Community Care’s PrEP program are advised to come into the North Charleston office for a free, confidential HIV test and to discuss PrEP with one of our prevention staff members. Or call 843-747-2273, ext. 218 to participate in a quick phone screening.?
Health insurance is a definite benefit and help for participation, but the program will include services and inclusion for uninsured who qualify. While Palmetto Community Care cannot guarantee that all uninsured PrEP program clients will be eligible, the goal is to find a way for as many people as possible to participate in this life-saving program.?
Participants will be required to complete quarterly lab blood work (free or reduced cost for participants), meet with a doctor quarterly and participate in continued adherence counseling with Palmetto Community Care prevention staff.
“While PrEP is up to 99 percent effective at reducing HIV when taken as prescribed, we know that adherence will be key,” Weaver said. “PrEP is most effective when paired with other prevention tools, like condoms. Additionally, PrEP will not protect you from other STIs like syphilis or gonorrhea.”
Palmetto Community Care has steadily been expanding its education and prevention programs to combat the rising HIV rates in the Charleston. This year, the organization rolled out its mobile HIV testing van for use at community events, businesses, health fairs and more.?
“We are excited to launch our PrEP program for the greater Charleston community and add this important tool to our ever-expanding options in our continued fight against HIV/AIDS,” said Bradley Childs, executive director. “This is another important new chapter for our organization, and we want the entire community to know this program will help further reduce HIV rates.”
Participants should be 18 or older, living in Charleston, Berkeley or Dorchester counties and be at high risk for potentially contracting HIV. The program will launch with both an on-site medical provider and, through a partnership with the Medical University of South Carolina, offer a new telemedicine meeting option that allows for medical appointments through a video chat app or computer video meeting.?This will greatly reduce time and effort for quarterly medical appointments.
Medications are mailed to individuals at their homes in nondescript packaging or, for increased privacy, medication can be shipped to the Palmetto Community Care office and picked up during normal business hours.
“We want our PrEP program participants to know that we are committed to providing this program for free or at very low cost and that we will be partners in success with navigation services that cover prescriptions, insurance and help individuals to participate with easy and affordable access. We are working toward a program that will be completely free and self-sustaining for all participants,” Childs said.
Palmetto Community Care offices are open for HIV testing and PrEP consultations Monday through Thursday from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. with extended hours Wednesdays until 6 p.m.
About Palmetto Community Care | Complete compassionate HIV care + prevention education awareness
Palmetto Community Care has been helping those living with HIV for more than 25 years. It all started with a belief that no one living with HIV or AIDS should go without medical care, everyday resources or emotional support. We believe our continued commitment to our work here in the Lowcountry will help bring an end to the HIV epidemic through increased HIV testing, prevention and education. Free, confidential HIV/STI testing: 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays and until 6 p.m. on Wednesdays. No appointment needed. For more information, visit
Palmetto Community Care on social media
Twitter / Instagram: @PalmettoCare

Charleston-based Afaxys announces new partnership to expand access to birth control for women

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Medicines360, Afaxys Partner to Expand Public Health Access to LILETTA? (levonorgestrel-releasing intrauterine system) 52 mg

Strategic alliance will increase engagement with U.S. public health clinics and their patients about hormonal IUDs (long-acting reversible contraceptives, or LARCs)

SAN FRANCISCO and CHARLESTON, S.C., Sept. 6, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — Medicines360 and Afaxys Pharma, LLC, two mission-driven, socially conscious women’s health pharmaceutical companies, today announced their collaboration to promote Medicines360’s intrauterine system (IUS), LILETTA? (levonorgestrel-releasing intrauterine system) 52 mg, which is available to U.S. public health clinics enrolled in the 340B Drug Pricing Program at a stable, low price. Through this alliance, Medicines360, a nonprofit, and Afaxys, the number one provider of oral and emergency contraceptives purchased by U.S. public health clinics, will co-promote LILETTA to the 340B-participating public health sector, helping to expand access to the full range of FDA-approved contraception for women.

“Unintended pregnancy rates are highest among low-income women,” said Jessica Grossman, MD, CEO of Medicines360. “Unfortunately, affordable access to LARCs is an issue for many clinics where low-income women seek care for their contraceptive needs. We believe that this alliance will expand contraceptive access for appropriate women.”

LILETTA, a long-acting reversible contraceptive for up to 4 years, is commercially available in the U.S. public and private sectors. Medicines360’s collaboration with Afaxys will double the size of the team dedicated to supporting the 340B-participating public health sector. The alliance’s goal is to facilitate affordable access to LILETTA for women who seek care in these clinics. Long-acting reversible contraceptives (LARCs), including IUSs/IUDs, are among the most effective forms of family planning, according to the CDC and the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG).

“This collaboration underscores our shared commitment to women’s health and we look forward to serving more public health providers and their patients, together with Medicines360. We are always seeking opportunities to broaden contraceptive offerings, and, through this partnership, we can make one of the most effective forms of contraception more widely available to underserved women –regardless of their income or insurance coverage,” said Afaxys CEO, Ronda Dean.

LILETTA is the subject of an ongoing U.S.-based Phase 3 hormonal IUD trial, ACCESS IUS (A Comprehensive Contraceptive Efficacy & Safety Study of an IUS [intrauterine system]), with 1,751 U.S. women receiving LILETTA. In this study, LILETTA was shown to be greater than 99 percent effective in preventing pregnancy in a broad range of women, regardless of age, race, body mass index (BMI) or parity (whether or not the woman had given birth to at least one child) for up to four years.




LILETTA is a sterile, levonorgestrel-releasing intrauterine system indicated for prevention of pregnancy for up to 4 years. The system should be replaced after 4 years if continued use is desired.

Important Safety Information

(scroll to see additional Important Safety Information and full Prescribing Information link)

Who is not appropriate for LILETTA

Use of LILETTA is contraindicated in women with: known or suspected pregnancy and cannot be used for post-coital contraception; congenital or acquired uterine anomaly, including fibroids, if they distort the uterine cavity and would be incompatible with correct IUS placement; known or suspected breast cancer or other hormone-sensitive cancer, now or in the past; known or suspected uterine or cervical neoplasia; acute liver disease or liver tumors; untreated acute cervicitis or vaginitis, including lower genital tract infections (eg, bacterial vaginosis) until infection is controlled; infected abortion in the past 3 months; unexplained uterine bleeding; current IUS; acute pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) or endometritis or history of PID (except with later intrauterine pregnancy); conditions increasing susceptibility to pelvic infection; or hypersensitivity to any component of LILETTA.

Clinical considerations for use and removal of LILETTA

Use LILETTA with caution after careful assessment in patients with coagulopathy or taking anticoagulants; migraine, focal migraine with asymmetrical visual loss or other symptoms indicating transient cerebral ischemia; exceptionally severe or frequent headache; marked increase of blood pressure; or severe arterial disease such as stroke or myocardial infarction. Consider removing LILETTA if the following arise during use: uterine or cervical malignancy or jaundice. Because irregular bleeding/spotting is common during the first months of LILETTA use, exclude endometrial pathology (polyps or cancer) prior to the insertion of LILETTA in women with persistent or uncharacteristic bleeding. If the threads are not visible or are significantly shortened, they may have broken or retracted into the cervical canal or uterus. If LILETTA is displaced (eg, expelled or perforated the uterus), remove it.

Pregnancy related risks with LILETTA

If pregnancy should occur with LILETTA in place, remove the intrauterine system because leaving it in place may increase the risk of spontaneous abortion and preterm labor. Removal or manipulation may result in pregnancy loss. Evaluate women for ectopic pregnancy because the likelihood of a pregnancy being ectopic is increased with LILETTA. Tell women about the signs of ectopic pregnancy and associated risks, including loss of fertility. Women with a history of ectopic pregnancy, tubal surgery, or pelvic infection carry a higher risk of ectopic pregnancy.

Educate her about PID

Insertion of LILETTA is contraindicated in the presence of known or suspected PID or endometritis or a history of PID unless there has been a subsequent intrauterine pregnancy. IUSs have been associated with an increased risk of PID, most likely due to organisms being introduced into the uterus during insertion. One woman diagnosed with PID developed the infection within a week of LILETTA insertion, while the remainder were diagnosed more than six months after insertion. Counsel women who receive LILETTA to notify a healthcare provider if they have complaints of lower abdominal or pelvic pain, odorous discharge, unexplained bleeding, fever, or genital lesions or sores. PID and endometritis are often associated with sexually transmitted infections (STIs); LILETTA does not protect against STIs, including HIV. PID or endometritis may be asymptomatic but still result in tubal damage and its sequelae. Inform women about the possibility of PID or endometritis and that these infections can cause tubal damage leading to ectopic pregnancy or infertility, or infrequently can necessitate hysterectomy, or cause death.

Expect changes in bleeding patterns with LILETTA

Spotting and irregular or heavy bleeding may occur during the first 3 to 6 months. Periods may become shorter and/or lighter thereafter. Cycles may remain irregular, become infrequent, or even cease. Consider pregnancy if menstruation does not occur within 6 weeks of the onset of previous menstruation. If a significant change in bleeding develops during prolonged use, take appropriate diagnostic measures to rule out endometrial pathology.

Be aware of other serious complications and most common adverse reactions

Some serious complications with IUSs like LILETTA are sepsis, perforation, and expulsion. Severe infection or sepsis, including Group A streptococcal sepsis (GAS), have been reported following insertion of other LNG-releasing IUSs. Aseptic technique during insertion of LILETTA is essential to minimize serious infections such as GAS.

Perforation (total or partial, including penetration/embedment of LILETTA in the uterine wall or cervix) may occur, most often during insertion, although the perforation may not be detected until sometime later. Perforation may reduce contraceptive efficacy. If perforation is suspected, locate and remove LILETTA as soon as possible. Surgery may be required. Delayed detection or removal of LILETTA in case of perforation may result in migration outside the uterine cavity, adhesions, peritonitis, intestinal perforations, intestinal obstruction, abscesses, and erosion of adjacent viscera. The risk of perforation is higher if inserted in lactating women and may be higher if inserted in women who are postpartum or when the uterus is fixed retroverted.

Partial or complete expulsion of LILETTA may occur, resulting in the loss of contraceptive protection.

Delay LILETTA insertion a minimum of 6 weeks or until uterine involution is complete following a delivery or a second trimester abortion. Remove a partially expelled LILETTA. If expulsion has occurred, a new LILETTA may be inserted within 7 days after the onset of a menstrual period after pregnancy has been ruled out.

Ovarian cysts may occur and are generally asymptomatic but may be accompanied by pelvic pain or dyspareunia. Evaluate persistent ovarian cysts.

In the LILETTA clinical trial, the most common adverse reactions (≥5% users) were vaginal bacterial infections (17.9%), vulvovaginal mycotic infections (17.9%), acne (14.5%), nausea or vomiting (9.4%), dyspareunia (8.8%), headache (8.7%), breast tenderness or pain (8.0%), pelvic discomfort or pain (7.9%), anxiety (7.6%), abdominal pain or discomfort (7.4%), depression (6.4%), increased weight (5.6%), dysmenorrhea (5.6%), mood changes (5.5%), vaginal discharge (5.3%), and back pain (5.2%).

Teach patients to recognize and immediately report signs or symptoms of the aforementioned conditions. Evaluate patients 4 to 6 weeks after insertion of LILETTA and then yearly or more often if clinically indicated.

Please see full Prescribing Information.


Medicines360, located in San Francisco, California, is a nonprofit global women’s health pharmaceutical company with a mission to expand access to quality medicines for all women regardless of their socioeconomic status, insurance coverage, or geographic location. Medicines360 is committed to working with healthcare providers, advocacy groups and patients to deliver innovative and meaningful treatments that help women around the world have greater access to the medicines they need. For more information, visit


Afaxys, a name which comes from “affordable access,” is a first-of-its-kind, mission-driven, socially conscious business enterprise dedicated to serving the women’s healthcare needs of public health providers and their patients. The number one provider of oral and emergency contraceptives in U.S. clinics, Afaxys manages the supply needs of public health providers, ensuring customers receive affordable, reliable access to the products and services they need to care for patients. Since 2005, Afaxys has operated a Group Purchasing Organization, which negotiates favorable pricing across a broad base of healthcare products and services so its customers have access to best-in-class suppliers and service providers. In 2013, Afaxys launched its pharmaceutical division, Afaxys Pharma, LLC, bringing a portfolio of FDA-approved oral and emergency contraceptives to the public health sector. These branded and generic products are available to the public health sector including public health clinics, college and university health centers, community health centers, non-retail prescribers, as well as city, county, state and federal facilities, at prices intended to be consistently lower than those currently on the market. Most recently, Afaxys launched its newest business, eMarketplace, which offers a cloud-based procurement system, saving public health clinics time and money. To learn more, visit

SOURCE Medicines360

Bring the Palmetto Community Care Mobile HIV Testing Van to Your Event and Win A Chance to See Beyonce

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Mobile HIV Testing Van on the Move

This summer, Palmetto Community Care?is hitting the road with its new mobile testing van, making it easier than ever for Charleston area residents to get a free, confidential HIV test. Read more about this initiative.

Regularly scheduled stops for the Palmetto Community Care mobile testing van are:

  • Last Thursday of the month from 9 p.m. to midnight at Dudley’s on Ann, 42 Ann St., Charleston
  • First and third Tuesday of the month from 1-5 p.m. at One80 Place, 35 Walnut St., Charleston

For information on how to schedule a stop with the mobile testing van, contact Prevention Manager Adam Weaver. There is no charge to have the van at a business, health fair or community center.

Win a Chance to see Jay-Z and Beyoncé

Get a free, confidential HIV test with Palmetto Community Care for a chance to win two tickets plus a parking pass for the Jay-Z and Beyoncé On the Run II Tour in Columbia. The concert is at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 21 at Williams-Brice Stadium.
Anyone who gets tested between June 4 and June 28 will be entered into the drawing for the concert tickets. The winner will be randomly drawn and notified on June 29.

Top Ten Misconceptions Folks Have About Charleston, SC

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Around the country and the world, visitors have been flocking to Charleston, SC. by plane, car and boat to witness the spectacular beauty, historic significance, cultural renaissance and true southern hospitality our city has to offer.? With all the media, comes awareness.? Though our name and face are more pronounced than ever before, not everyone truly knows the Charleston and the South we all know.? As a result, some folks may have a few misconceptions about who we are.

We want to shed a little light on the situation and help you all out by knocking down some of those false ideas.

  • We are not in North Carolina.? For some reason, many of you in the North think we are Charlotte.? Even when we correct you, you still think we are in North Carolina.? The country does actually extend further south and we are in the heart of South Carolina.? Proud and true of our South Carolina coastal home.
  • There are a few rumors that we are “slow” or “dumb”.? A few little facts that may change your mind.? The Citadel is the #1 Public School in the South for the 4th straight year.? The College of Charleston MBA program ranks 3rd in the nation for percentage of graduates finding careers within six months of graduation.? Charleston Southern University is ranked #93 in the US News and Worlds Report Best Southern Schools in their 2015 report.
  • Always with a smile
    Always with a smile

    We genuinely like to say hello and smile.? Many of you that have recently visited for the first time may notice us locals making eye contact, smiling and saying hello to you.? It isn’t part of a master marketing plan or a shot at other areas of the country where the cultural norm is to avoid one another.? We really enjoy meeting you all and making your acquaintance.

  • We don’t believe the South won the Civil War.? Yes, the first shots of the Civil War were fired in Charleston.? Yes, the most number of slaves that came into the United States came through the Charleston port.? Yes, there is a rich historic heritage of plantations and slave ownership in this region.? Yet, we are fully aware of history and we embrace all perspectives and views.? Our tour guides, historians and history buffs believe in family, tradition and preservation and that includes not just our region, but the country as a whole.
  • We have a thriving business community.? With the additional of Boeing to compliment PeopleMatter, Benefitfocus, Blue Acorn and the incoming Volvo facility in Berkeley County, Charleston is becoming a thriving business community.? We are no longer built around health care, hospitality and small business.? Look at the many awards we have received in investment funding and development.? Some still think we survive only on hospitality (hotels, restaurants) and the hospital system, but are are so much more than that.
  • The Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge / Cooper River Bridge is the longest cable stay bridge in the Western Hemisphere at 2.5 miles in length.? Some of you have heard that and said “this isn’t the longest bridge in the United States let alone the Western Hemisphere.”? You are correct, it is the longest cable stay bridge in the Western Hemisphere only behind Sutong Bridge in Chine.? A cable stay bridge is one that uses cables attached to towers to support a roadway.? In a very specific category, we are the largest.
  • We don’t just eat fried food and grits.? Charleston is a very health conscious city that thrives on its health and wellness businesses and lifestyle.? From Five Loaves to Verde to Gathering Cafe, Charleston offers a thriving list of dining options for the health minded individual.? With a strong community of yoga, bikers, runners and adventure seekers, Charleston is a haven for a lifestyle of health conscious resident.
  • We don’t just listen to country music.? We aren’t Nashville, TN, Austin, TX or New York City, but have a diverse and well rounded music scene.? With venues that include the Charleston Pour House, Music Farm and Charleston Music Hall, Charleston welcomes musical talents from all around the area to express openly their vision through music and lyrical poetry.? In fact, Awendaw, SC hosts a weekly Barn Jam? every Wednesday, 52 weeks a year, showcasing original singer/songwriters in an open outdoor setting.? This venue that includes outdoor live original music, a food truck, bonfires, play area for kids, dancing spot for fans and even a goat is our local scaled down version of Woodstock.? At $5.00 with BYO anything, it is a community party every week.
  • We don’t just own flip flops for foot attire.? Is it true that some people have flip flops in every color of the rainbow? Yes.? Is it true that some have a pair for every month of the year? Yes? Is it true that flip flops define a lifestyle? Yes.? Some would even say “barefoot” defines a lifestyle.? We do get classy and? dressed up on many occasions donning Aldo, pumps, heels and cowboy boots.? You may even witness some gals wearing high heels to church on Sunday.
  • We are not all raging sports fans that drive pick up trucks.? Many of us are and we are pretty darn proud of our teams.? It is true, you do not mess with SEC football in Charleston.? Ever.? We won’t turn on you, throw you in the back of the pick up and dump you in the pond or anything, but….? On game day Saturday, bars have crowds, we put on our jersey’s and start our day early with a couple of beers in the shower, but many of us find other ways of entertainment.? Charleston has a robust festival circuit, shopping and attractions scene to meet all locals and tourist needs.? You won’t find all of us drunk at noon glued to a TV set.

There you go, ten misconceptions about Charleston.? We hope we cleared the air and gave you a better understanding of our quaint little city of Charleston.


Charleston, South Carolina named 6th Healthiest City in the United States

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Trulia shared its list of the top ten healthiest cities on Thursday and taking the number 6 spot in the top ten is Charleston, South Carolina.

Trulia described Charleston, saying, “It’s easy to be inspired by Charleston’s sports teams, who remind residents that a little friendly competition never hurt anyone. From RiverDogs baseball to Stingrays hockey to Battery soccer, the city is ranked second for its number of leagues, teams, and sports clubs, providing ample motivation to move. With easy access for water sports, world-class golf courses, equestrian centers, and plenty of road space for cyclists and pedestrians, especially during summer in the Hampton Park Terrace neighborhood, where streets are closed to traffic, allowing residents to use the space for recreational purposes, the outdoor opportunities are rich in Charleston. If the weather isn’t perfect, or if you prefer to focus more on your reps than your miles, note that the city is ranked third in number of gyms per household.”

To come up with the list, Trulia analyzed health and exercise data for the 100 largest metro areas in the United States from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Census Bureau and the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Some of the factors indicating a healthy lifestyle included the number of sports leagues in the area, the amount of park space and the percentage of adults who walk or bike to work.

Along with Charleston, here is the complete list of the Top 10 cities

Top 10 Healthiest Cities

  1. Salt Lake City, UT
  2. West Palm Beach, FL
  3. Orange County, CA
  4. Seattle, WA
  5. Fort Lauderdale, FL
  6. Charleston, SC
  7. Cambridge, MA
  8. Boston, MA
  9. San Diego, CA
  10. San Francisco, CA


Charleston/North Charleston Ranked #37 Fattest Cities in the United States

According to the 2017 findings from, Charleston/North Charleston, SC was ranked as the 37th fattest city in the United States.? Below is the methodology and the ranking of the top 100 worst states in obesity.


In order to determine the fattest places in America, WalletHub’s analysts compared 100 of the most populated U.S. metro areas across three key dimensions:

  • Obesity & Overweight
  • Weight-Related Health Problems
  • Healthy Environment.

They evaluated those dimensions using 17 relevant metrics, which are listed below with their corresponding weights. Each metric was graded on a 100-point scale, with a score of 100 representing the “fattest.” Data for metrics marked with an asterisk (*) were available only at the state level.

The team then calculated the overall score for each city based on its weighted average across all metrics and used the resulting scores to construct its final ranking.

Obesity & Overweight – Total Points: 50

  • Share of Overweight Adults: Full Weight (~11.11 Points)
  • Share of Obese Adults: Full Weight (~11.11 Points)
  • Share of Overweight Teenagers: Half*Weight (~5.56 Points) (Note: “Teenagers” includes persons aged 14 to 18.)
  • Share of Obese Teenagers: Half* Weight (~5.56 Points) (Note: “Teenagers” includes persons aged 14 to 18.)
  • Share of Overweight Children: Half* Weight (~5.56 Points) (Note: “Children” includes persons aged 10 to 17.)
  • Share of Obese Children: Half* Weight (~5.56 Points) (Note: “Children” includes persons aged 10 to 17. )
  • Projected Obesity Rates by 2030: Half* Weight (~5.56 Points)

Weight-Related Health Problems – Total Points: 30

  • Share of Physically Inactive Adults: Full Weight (~4.62 Points)
  • Share of Adults Eating Fewer than One Serving of Fruits/Vegetables per Day: Full Weight (~4.62 Points)
  • Share of Adults with High Cholesterol: Full Weight (~4.62 Points)
  • Share of Diabetic Adults: Full Weight (~4.62 Points)
  • Share of Adults with High Blood Pressure: Full Weight (~4.62 Points)
  • Heart-Disease Rate: Full Weight (~4.62 Points)
  • Obesity-Related Death Rate: Half* Weight (~2.31 Points)

Healthy Environment – Total Points: 20

  • Active Lifestyle: Quadruple Weight (~13.33 Points) (Note: This metric is based on data from WalletHub’s Best & Worst Cities for an Active Lifestyle ranking.)
  • Access to Parks & Recreational Facilities: Full Weight (~3.33 Points)
  • Access to Healthy Food: Full Weight (~3.33 Points) (Note: This metric measures the percentage of urban-area residents who earn a low income and live more than 1 mile from a grocery store or supermarket.)

Sources: Data used to create this ranking were collected from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, County Health Rankings, United States Department of Agriculture Economic Research Service, Child and Adolescent Health Measurement Initiative, Trust for America’s Health and WalletHub research.

Source: WalletHub

Fattest Cities in America

Overall Rank (1 = ‘Fattest’) Metro Area Total Score ‘Obesity & Overweight’ Rank ‘Weight-Related Health Problems’ Rank ‘Healthy Environment’ Rank
1 Jackson, MS 84.93 2 1 22
2 Memphis, TN-MS-AR 82.78 3 8 1
3 Little Rock-North Little Rock-Conway, AR 82.12 4 3 14
4 McAllen-Edinburg-Mission, TX 82.10 6 2 7
5 Shreveport-Bossier City, LA 81.82 1 5 18
6 Chattanooga, TN-GA 79.23 17 7 20
7 Mobile, AL 78.86 14 6 30
8 Lafayette, LA 77.03 5 12 52
9 Winston-Salem, NC 76.74 39 16 2
10 Knoxville, TN 76.73 25 19 23
11 Columbia, SC 76.54 9 29 24
12 Greenville-Anderson-Mauldin, SC 76.34 13 32 12
13 Birmingham-Hoover, AL 76.03 16 10 25
14 San Antonio-New Braunfels, TX 75.80 6 47 3
15 Louisville/Jefferson County, KY-IN 75.57 10 15 27
16 Myrtle Beach-Conway-North Myrtle Beach, SC-NC 75.20 12 39 33
17 Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TX 75.05 15 21 9
18 Oklahoma City, OK 74.83 19 26 10
19 Augusta-Richmond County, GA-SC 74.48 49 9 31
20 Baton Rouge, LA 74.33 8 4 39
21 Indianapolis-Carmel-Anderson, IN 74.14 34 23 6
22 El Paso, TX 74.13 21 22 11
23 Nashville-Davidson–Murfreesboro–Franklin, TN 73.94 20 34 16
24 Tulsa, OK 73.74 24 20 26
25 Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, TX 73.70 26 42 5
26 Toledo, OH 73.44 36 31 4
27 Huntsville, AL 73.43 22 89 35
28 Greensboro-High Point, NC 73.31 29 24 15
29 Detroit-Warren-Dearborn, MI 73.17 31 11 28
30 Columbus, OH 73.00 35 27 8
31 Canton-Massillon, OH 72.89 38 17 46
32 Wichita, KS 72.87 28 28 13
33 Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia, NC-SC 72.31 33 25 21
34 Lexington-Fayette, KY 72.19 23 14 42
35 Fayetteville-Springdale-Rogers, AR-MO 71.71 27 72 29
36 Fort Wayne, IN 71.58 32 18 34
37 Charleston-North Charleston, SC 71.44 18 71 60
38 New Orleans-Metairie, LA 71.22 11 13 45
39 Jacksonville, FL 69.91 61 35 17
40 Grand Rapids-Wyoming, MI 69.54 44 45 56
41 Richmond, VA 69.22 59 33 51
42 Allentown-Bethlehem-Easton, PA-NJ 68.88 53 30 79
43 Youngstown-Warren-Boardman, OH-PA 68.73 57 53 40
44 Asheville, NC 68.30 63 69 36
45 Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, CA 68.23 54 46 32
46 Scranton–Wilkes-Barre–Hazleton, PA 67.86 68 38 66
47 Dayton, OH 67.58 51 62 59
48 New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA 67.48 79 63 19
49 Worcester, MA-CT 66.57 80 36 75
50 Raleigh, NC 66.30 50 75 37
51 Kansas City, MO-KS 66.20 60 60 38
51 Albuquerque, NM 66.20 42 64 43
53 Akron, OH 66.11 62 65 61
54 Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, IL-IN-WI 66.03 45 55 44
55 Providence-Warwick, RI-MA 66.01 76 43 84
56 Springfield, MA 65.97 77 54 74
57 Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale, AZ 65.30 40 56 57
58 Des Moines-West Des Moines, IA 65.05 71 78 47
59 Baltimore-Columbia-Towson, MD 65.05 46 49 54
60 Portland-South Portland, ME 64.41 70 92 64
61 Anchorage, AK 64.32 43 59 63
62 Omaha-Council Bluffs, NE-IA 64.18 47 58 62
63 Manchester-Nashua, NH 64.10 84 68 89
64 Spokane-Spokane Valley, WA 63.80 75 79 65
65 Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington, PA-NJ-DE-MD 63.72 72 44 50
66 New Haven-Milford, CT 63.58 82 73 94
67 Milwaukee-Waukesha-West Allis, WI 63.36 30 57 67
68 Durham-Chapel Hill, NC 63.34 52 80 53
69 Hartford-West Hartford-East Hartford, CT 62.63 90 74 85
70 Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News, VA-NC 62.35 58 37 77
71 Austin-Round Rock, TX 62.29 37 90 49
72 St. Louis, MO-IL 61.82 69 40 76
73 Ogden-Clearfield, UT 61.77 92 76 72
74 Cincinnati, OH-KY-IN 61.24 41 41 82
75 Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, FL 61.24 78 52 70
76 Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, CA 61.22 83 77 55
77 Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach, FL 60.77 73 70 69
78 Las Vegas-Henderson-Paradise, NV 60.63 66 50 80
79 Tucson, AZ 60.24 67 67 78
80 Cleveland-Elyria, OH 60.24 55 66 73
81 Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell, GA 60.06 48 48 86
82 Pittsburgh, PA 59.79 56 61 93
83 Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, CT 59.72 89 95 99
84 Salt Lake City, UT 58.85 97 82 91
85 Provo-Orem, UT 58.47 98 98 41
86 Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV 57.66 65 84 92
87 Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford, FL 57.53 85 51 97
88 San Diego-Carlsbad, CA 57.28 81 81 87
89 Reno, NV 57.18 87 83 83
90 Boise, ID 56.46 74 85 96
91 Sacramento–Roseville–Arden-Arcade, CA 56.44 64 88 98
92 San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA 55.76 96 100 48
93 San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA 55.72 93 97 71
94 Honolulu, HI 55.45 94 91 81
95 Boston-Cambridge-Newton, MA-NH 54.75 95 87 90
96 Colorado Springs, CO 54.00 99 93 68
97 Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, CO 53.53 100 99 58
98 Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, MN-WI 53.46 86 96 88
99 Portland-Vancouver-Hillsboro, OR-WA 52.04 88 86 100
100 Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA 51.93 91 94 95

Letter from President of MUSC to Staff Shows Concern Over Recent Executive Order on Immigration

By Mark A. Leon
A letter released today from MUSC President David J. Cole reinforced the commitment to create a diverse and inclusive community where backgrounds and ideas are shared without judgement or prejudice.? He also expressed concern on the potential ramifications of the Executive Presidential Order and how it may affect the future of the hospital system and medicine.
His words, though short and well summarized, express a similar sentiment felt by many professionals in the Lowcountry.? Change is happening, but standing in solidarity behind ethical and practical behavior is critical today more than it has been in a long time.? It will take prominent leadership to ensure the bonds and successes created in this country with the shared partnership of knowledge experts from around the world continues.
Letter From MUSC President David J. Cole to the MUSC Family
To the MUSC Family,
In light of the recent executive order issued by President Trump, which may affect members of the MUSC community, let me remind you that embracing Diversity and Inclusion is a pillar goal of our institution. Intrinsic to this is supporting each other including our international students, faculty and staff and those who have immigrated to the United States. Through our shared commitment to Diversity and Inclusion, the Medical University of South Carolina is building a richer, more vibrant and more sustainable community for ourselves and in partnership with our larger, extended community.
In the coming days, we will be closely monitoring how this order may affect our community. Any MUSC team member with questions about the potential impact of the executive order should contact Denise Smith, program manager of Immigration in the MUSC Center for Global Health,, (843) 792-7083.
Yours in service,
David J. Cole, M.D., FACS
Medical University of South Carolina