The Palmetto Project

Health Programs

For the past 20 years, the Palmetto Project has been a leading advocate for a more effective system of health care for South Carolinians regardless of their financial circumstances, race, or residency. During this time the organization became a national leader in patient navigation, community-based care delivery, and reducing cardiovascular disease among at-risk African Americans. Other initiatives have boosted South Carolina to becoming a national leader in childhood immunization, health insurance enrollment, and Medicaid coverage for children.

One of our most successful start-up ventures has been Welvista, a statewide partnership that provides free pharmaceuticals to the hundreds of thousands of South Carolinians without health coverage. Today Welvista is its own non-profit organization and providing medications valued at more than $50 million a year to South Carolinians in need.

Current programs:

signUp SC.  After years of struggling to create healthcare opportunities for South Carolinians without health insurance, the Palmetto Project became the statewide Navigator organization for the Insurance Marketplace, created by the Affordable Care Act. This has given us a remarkable opportunity to help South Carolinians transition into a new era of affordable care, including signing up for health insurance.

Children’s Health SC .  Half of all South Carolina children live at or below 200% of the Federal poverty level, and consequently face many health care challenges.  Medicaid provides good coverage, but thousands of eligible children go off the rolls each year and face long periods without a medical home or insurance coverage. The Palmetto Project has formed partnerships with the State’s Medicaid agency to more aggressively identify children who have fallen through the cracks and get them enrolled and re-enrolled in Medicaid and into a medical home.

Heart & Soul.  Created in 1997, the Palmetto Project’s cardiovascular health initiative among African Americans accelerated a reduction in statewide mortality rates due to heart disease and stroke during its first four years.  During that time, the disparity between blacks and whites declined by 50%. The program was created by Palmetto Project staff and volunteers and has received national attention.

Carolina Hearing Aid Bank.   Most public and private health care plans do not cover the cost of hearing aids, jeopardizing the ability of South Carolinians who are hard of hearing to work, live on their own, or even communicate with their own families. This is particularly hard on people living below the poverty level. Through a special partnership with a hearing aid manufacturer, the Palmetto Project is able to provide low-income South Carolinians with free hearing aids, which we acquire at a fraction of their retail value.

Dysautonomia Advocacy Foundation.  Dysautonomia is a complex group of disorders that contributes to the breakdown or failure of the autonomic nervous system. In partnership with the Palmetto Project, the Dysautonomia Advocacy Foundation advocates for more established diagnostic criteria and treatment opportunities, peer and individual support, and community understanding of Dysautonomia.