Affinity Health Center (AHC) has adopted a 2-Year Equity Action Plan!!!
The action plan adopted comprises of 50 strategies within 4 Goal Areas including Leadership & Governance, Workforce Equity, Health Equity, and Community Engagement & Outreach.
AHC’s Equity Action Plan is intended to reduce racial and ethnic disparities in our operations, foster a more inclusive and equitable culture, and improve outcomes for all people that have a relationship with Affinity. This plan reestablishes our Board of Director’s commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) as the Board, for multiple years, has adopted Health Equity and DEI as a Strategic Goal in the organization’s Operational Plan. The process of creating the Equity Action Plan was led by the agency’s Chief Equity and Communications Officer (CECO) and its Chief Executive Offer (CEO). Furthermore, the strategies created in the plan are based on feedback provided from AHC staff, patients, community partners, and the consulting work of a local non-profit organization called Civic Canvas.
Civic Canvas is a social & organizational impact bilingual boutique consulting firm whose framework incorporates a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion lens in its strategic planning process. In 2021, Affinity Health Center was awarded a grant from the Southern HIV Impact Fund, a project funded by Gilead Sciences, ViiV Healthcare, and The Levi Strauss Foundation and managed by AIDS United. AIDS United’s sole mission is to end the HIV epidemic in the United States. It does this through capacity building, policy advocacy, and strategic grant-making. AIDS United centers those communities hardest hit by the HIV epidemic, including gay and bisexual men, communities of color, women, people living in the Deep South, and people living with HIV. Funds received through this grant were used to support the consulting services of Civic Canvas.
The services provided by Civic Canvas enabled Affinity Health Center to have additional information from its stakeholders to be used in consideration when drafting strategies aimed to their benefit. The strategies outlined in the Equity Action Plan will be implemented during the 2023 & 2024 calendar years.
How do you pass the baton during a pandemic? Outgoing Affinity Board Chair, Dwight Burns (right) uses appropriate safety measures to welcome incoming Board Chair Ronne Duncan (left). Ronnie Duncan has served on the Affinity board for several years and we look forward to his leadership as Board Chair. We thank Dwight Burns for his service as Board Chair and are glad to have him continue as a member of the Board.
Affinity Health Center and Habitat for Humanity of York County (SC) participated in design sprints facilitated by NACHC and AAPCHO to foster alignment between sectors to address health equity. Listen to learn more about their experience establishing a strong cross-sector partnership, finding shared purpose, and responding to COVID-19.
Physicians share views on COVID-19 Testing and the Vaccine. Featuring one of of South Carolina’s community health centers, Dr. Faith Polkey, MD, MPH at Beaufort Jasper Hampton Comprehensive Health Services, Inc.
Congratulations to Dr. Charles for being chosen as the SC Provider of the Year for South Carolina health centers! This award is presented by the South Carolina Primary Care Association each year to honor outstanding medical providers across the state. As Affinity’s Medical Director and an Infectious Disease Specialist, Dr. Charles has been instrumental in Affinity’s COVID-19 response efforts including bring COVID-19 testing and vaccinations to vulnerable communities. This year marks Dr. Charles 20th year of serving patients living with HIV, Hepatitis C and Opioid Use Disorder at Affinity Health Center.
The South Carolina Primary Care Association has released the following statement in support of our Asian American Communities.
We are four months into 2021, and yet we continue to face a regression in social justice for all mankind. Racial biases have become an increasing epidemic in our nation. While the Black Lives Matter Movement still remains at the forefront of our struggle, we must now fight for our Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) communities against racial intolerance.
The South Carolina Primary Health Care Association Board and staff wish to express our sadness and sympathy for the families and friends of those who have been attacked and/or lost their lives because of ignorance, racism and hatred. The recent string of shootings in the Atlanta area, which left at least six Asian women dead and the continued string of violent incidents throughout the United States, is disappointing and appalling. While the details of these killings are still forthcoming, we do know that throughout the course of the pandemic, there has been a marked increase in racism and violence toward the Asian community. These aggressions and events have impacted our families and friends across the nation, leaving many with increased fear in their everyday lives. Today, we denounce the violence, harassment, and discrimination against Asian Americans that has been on the rise in our country. As we expressed in our statement on the killing of George Floyd, racism and discrimination of any kind is an injustice that can spread like wildfire if not immediately eradicated.
While some of our leaders have voiced their outrage with the attacks on the Asian communities, we are calling on all leaders in South Carolina to publicly condemn the injustices that are being committed in America.
“The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in the moments of comfort and convenience but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.” – Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
South Carolina – Where do you stand? Will you stand against the social injustices we are experiencing as a Country?
Community health centers in South Carolina will continue the heritage and commitment of the CHC Movement to fight for social justice and health equity for all people. We are taking ownership collectively and individually to make change.
“If you want change, you have to make it. If we want progress, we have to drive it.” – Susan Rice
From the South Carolina Primary Health Care Association Board of Directors and Staff
Affinity Health Center gave out 204 COVID vaccines over two days during our first drive thru COVID vaccine clinic last week. We were able to use 100% of the vaccines we received and look forward to continuing to provide this service to the community when we receive more vaccine. Thank you to everyone who pulled together to plan and schedule patients for this event on very short notice. Our staff and volunteers worked through the cold and rain and were even able to coordinate vaccine distribution during one of our busy twice monthly mobile mammogram days.
COVID vaccine distribution in South Carolina is currently in phase 1a. Anyone in this group is eligible for vaccination now (those 70 years old or older, healthcare workers, first responders, see vaccine flow chart for more information).
Support Affinity Health Center today through 12/31/2020 and your donation will be doubled with a matching gift from Avita Pharmacy. Your generosity helps us do twice the good to provide high quality comprehensive health care, dental care and supportive services to those most in need. Did you know 81% of our patients have low income and many are un or under insured? During this time of increased need in our community, your donation makes a direct impact, helping those most in need. Make a donation today.
Dr. J. Craig Charles and Shaylo Reyes, PA-C presented Affinity’s PrEP Program for Health Centers across the nation. The online presentation described how Affinity normalizes screening for HIV by using both opt-out testing for patients and our walk-in testing program. This creates opportunities to talk about HIV prevention including PrEP with the majority of our patients.
PrEP, or Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis, is currently one pill taken once a day to prevent HIV. Our patients taking advantage of PrEP receive follow up every 3 months and have access to our PrEP Navigator and Medication Access Coordinator for extra support. We’re proud to have the expertise of Dr. Charles and Shaylo Reyes, PA-C representing Affinity for this National Presentation.
If you’d like to know more about PrEP, talk to one of our Community Health Educators or Call 803-909-6363 to make an appointment to get on PrEP or become a new patient.
Affinity is proud to have three Board Certified Physician Assistants on staff. It’s National PA Week October 6-12 and a great time to meet them. (Pictured from left to right: Jaimie Cosby, PA-C, Kwanita Hunt-Scott, PA-C, Shaylo Reyes, PA-C.) Jaimie Cosby, PA-C, has recently joined Affinity and is our newest Physician Assistant. Jaimie is from Richmond, VA where she graduated from the University of Virginia before heading to Wake Forest University to attend PA School. She is looking forward to serving the Rock Hill community. Kwanita Hunt-Scott, PA-C, is a lowcountry native and a Medical University of South Carolina alumni. Kwanita enjoys working with women and youth. She has many talents spanning medicine through music and has been caring for patients at Affinity for almost a year. Shaylo Reyes, PA-C, hails from Puerto Rico and Washington Heights. She graduated as a Board Certified Physician Assistant in the first ever Masters graduating class at Lenoir Rhyne University. Shaylo enjoys caring for our Spanish speaking patients and has a passion for prevention and promoting the health of underserved communities.
National PA Day was first celebrated on October 6, 1987 in honor of the 20th anniversary of the first graduating class of PAs. October 6 is also the birthday of the profession’s founder Eugene A. Stead Jr., MD. This celebration has grown to span an entire week each October. There are more than 140,000 PAs in the U.S., practicing in every state, and in every medical setting and
specialty. According to research from the American Academy of PAs, half of PAs have tested, treated, or diagnosed COVID-19 patients. This year’s theme is “PA’s are essential”. PAs have been serving on the front lines of the current pandemic for months and are committed to encouraging our patients and the public to get their flu vaccination as we head into flu season.