This weekend, Google and the MUSC C.A.R.E.S Clinic kick off a series of events to celebrate the one-year anniversary of their partnership. Since the clinic’s launch last fall, hundreds of St. Stephens residents have been reached with free health services, and Google and MUSC want to celebrate by giving back.
On Saturday, October 26, local Google staff and MUSC students will volunteer to help provide health screenings and nutritional counseling at St. Stephen Middle School, the home-base for the clinic. The Lowcountry Food Bank will also be there, offering fresh produce and food tastings. The goal is to educate attendees on healthy food options by making recipes and ingredients accessible.
“We have been so fortunate to be able to provide care to those in rural St. Stephen throughout the past year,” said Dr. Anita Ramsey, Medical Director of the C.A.R.E.S clinic. “We want to continue to give back, and we hope the screenings and dietary education we provided this weekend will make a difference in a family’s life. Generational change begins with adequate education, and a main goal of ours is to educate children and their parents about nutrition and what they are putting in their body.”
The C.A.R.E.S Clinic, which stands for Community, Aid, Relief, Education and Support, provides free health screenings in the rural St. Stephen community once a quarter. Beyond health screenings, MUSC partners with Berkeley County School District and Lowcountry Food Bank to reach the community with free checks on glucose, blood pressure, weight, and nutrition counseling. To promote healthy eating, the Lowcountry Food Bank also provides free produce, milk and eggs during the clinics.
“On behalf of Google, we are thrilled that the clinic has had such an impact in the community,” said Google Head of Southeast Public Affairs Lilyn Hester. “Googlers pride themselves on giving back and strengthening our communities and this partnership is one way we are helping strengthen Berkeley County. We can’t wait to see what this next year brings for this community and this partnership.”
Google initiated the partnership with MUSC C.A.R.E.S. Clinic last year after noticing a lack of access to health care resources in the rural St. Stephen area of Berkeley County. Through grants to both MUSC and the Berkeley County School District, St. Stephens Middle School is open on Saturdays once a quarter for the C.A.R.E.S. Clinic team to see patients. The goal of the partnership is to expand access to health care in rural South Carolina.
Following this weekend’s kickoff, more celebratory events will take place in the coming week. On Tuesday, October 29 from 9:00 am – 12:00 pm, the nutrition and culinary education program for students at St. Stephen Elementary will begin, and on Friday, November 1, MUSC will be at the Timberland High School football game for health screenings and giveaways from 6:00 -10:00 pm.