The new Institute of Wellness and Community Health (WACH) is set to be established as a joint collaboration of South Carolina’s historically Black colleges and universities, housed at Clinton College. The WACH Institute’s mission is to eliminate racial health disparities and ensure equitable community health outcomes through participatory evaluation, applied research, assessment, planning, and data services. A unique and intensive community-based institute, the WACH Institute, will be the first of its kind within the Rock Hill area that addresses the impact of race, inequality, and health care access in the lives of individuals and communities disproportionally impacted by adverse health outcomes.
The WACH Institute will be funded by the State of South Carolina, through the SC Institutes of Innovation Initiative, in alliance with the Clinton Health ConNEXTion. The partnership will focus on Rock Hill's most vulnerable neighborhoods, enhance community participation, and lay the foundation for creating and developing health and wellness programs. The collaboration will address factors that impact COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy and build institutional public health infrastructure to prepare the next generation of community health leaders in Rock Hill, South Carolina, and the nation.
"I am excited to be a part of a multi-disciplinary collective effort to address the health and wellness among faculty, students, community members, and community leaders here in Rock Hill. Rural populations face significant obstacles to achieving optimal health due to a lack of access to care and quality care," said Dr. Lafarah Frazier, WACH Institute Director. "Addressing the multiple factors that attribute to health care disparities and health care inequity is vital to individual and population health. These social determinants set the foundation for lifelong health, learning, and well-being because these factors speak directly to the conditions in which people are born, live, work and play and can have a considerable influence on health outcomes."
Goals of the Institute:
• Education (Community and Academic): Accredited certificates and Degrees in Community-Based Health
• Community-based Programming linked to educators and service providers
• Pipeline to Health Professions
• Securing and leveraging major funding to support the goals and initiatives from federal and state grants, health corporations, foundations, and private donations
"As a public health advocate and health educator, I am enthusiastic about improving the health and well-being of rural populations, devoted to advancing healthy communities through education, action, and research, and committed to removing the public health deficiencies within the surrounding underserved population," said Frazier.
For more information regarding the WACH Institute email firstname.lastname@example.org.