Spartanburg is taking on the challenge of improving health and well-being by working with local and national partners to create and support innovative and meaningful initiatives and programs. One of those partnerships is through the Way to Wellville. Spartanburg’s Way to Wellville launched in 2014 with five focus areas: Obesity Prevention, Health for the Insured, Access to Care for the Uninsured, Kindergarten Readiness, and Community Pride. Our local Core Team is comprised of individuals from the City of Spartanburg, Mary Black Foundation, Spartanburg Regional Healthcare System, and USC Upstate. We have continued to partner with many other local organizations, including the Chamber of Commerce and United Way of the Piedmont.
One of the resounding tenants of the national Wellville initiative is that we have to be willing to try new approaches and be flexible enough to respond to community assets and needs. That flexibility has allowed us to try new things and make pivots along our journey. We are living our model to Be Bold, Be Brave, Be Well! We are grateful for the continued support of the national Wellville organization, which recently announced it was extending its work with the five communities to ten years.
With a ten year timeline, we are almost half way through and at a good reflection point. So, just over a month ago, the local Wellville Core Team spent a significant amount of time taking stock of what we have learned so far on our journey and looking ahead to where we go from here. We acknowledged that two of the five areas, Obesity Prevention and Care for the Uninsured, were well underway before Wellville through the Road to Better Health. We also discussed the evolution of the work Wellville has done in the other three areas: Access to Care for the Insured has been focused on the development of the Wellville Exchange in partnership with the Chamber of Commerce; Kindergarten Readiness is working diligently to launch Hello Family in partnership with the City; and Community Pride has led to a successful Neighborhood Engagement project. The Core Team’s shared insight was that Wellville looks very different today than it did when we first envisioned it and that is the result of the fluid nature of our efforts.
Moving forward, for the foreseeable future, the Core Team agreed to focus our energy on the Wellville Exchange, Hello Family, and developing a more robust Neighborhood Engagement strategy. By focusing on these areas, we are in no way foreclosing future opportunities for partnership or areas of focus. Indeed, we remain flexible and willing to respond to community needs and interests. We are incredibly grateful for every person and organization that joined us on this journey to date and we look forward to opportunities to engage with others. Stay tuned over the next few months for an updated Wellville website (www.spartanburgwellville.com) that will accurately reflect the trajectory of our work and other updates on our progress.