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Noted and passed - July 21, 2014
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• It looks like it’s full steam ahead for KershawHealth and its strategic plan. In recent weeks, we have reported on the creation -- after several years of hard work -- of a general surgery division; the recruitment of a new orthopedic surgeon; the signing of an agreement with Orthopedic Advantage to create a top-level orthopedic center in Kershaw County; and an already established agreement with Team Health to transform KershawHealth’s emergency department in order to fast-track non-emergent patients allowing staff to focus on those in true emergency situations. Dr. T. Chris Tran, the new orthopedic surgeon, joined Camden Bone & Joint -- he and his partners will be “an integral part” of the orthopedic center initiative. The goal, as interim CEO Terry Gunn said in April while discussing the strategic plan, is to focus on “performance health” instead of “wellness” -- that it’s not enough to simply be “well,” but that we should all be able to perform whatever tasks we wish to our best potential. We like that idea, and the others mentioned here. We do note, of course, that the strategic plan calls for “strategic partnerships.” Aside from signing agreements with surgeons Paul Christenberry and Ed Gill, Team Health and Orthopedic Advantage, we still don’t know exactly what that may mean for KershawHealth as a whole. Will the healthcare system be sold or merged, or will it continue to enter into agreements with different entities in order to facilitate different parts of its plan? We continue -- along with the rest of Kershaw County -- to watch as this process unfolds.

• We also continue to be excited about what’s happening at the Boys and Girls Club of the Midland’s Jackson Teen Center (JTC) in Camden. We’ve already lauded the center’s partnership with the ALPHA Center on its summer flag football league. Now, we can add our kudos regarding its associated cheerleading camp. What makes the camp (also running until the beginning of the school year) especially special, if you’ll pardon the repetition, is that two Lugoff-Elgin High School (L-EHS) cheerleaders -- Hannah Griggs and Ainsley Puckett -- have taken time out of their summer to teach routines to the JTC girls. Why is that significant? Not to put too fine a point on it, but in a larger city the headline would be that Hannah and Ainsley were helping out a group of “inner-city” girls. Perhaps that distinction needs to be made, but we prefer to think of it like this: while there may be a heck of a sports (and even political) rivalry between Camden and Lugoff, both are part of the larger community called Kershaw County. If two teenage girls from L-EHS can have some good fun with a bunch of girls of various ages from Camden for whatever reason, then perhaps Kershaw County has a much brighter future when it comes to remembering that -- and acting like  -- we are all one county.

• A quick tip of the hat to Habitat for Humanity of Kershaw County for building its 35th home. This is one group that proves, time and again, that giving people a hand up is far more effective than simply giving a hand out. We think it’s pretty neat, too, that the homes it has most recently been working on are all on the same road -- Gordon Street -- hopefully creating camaraderie amongst its residents and adding to the already existing community. We’re also glad to hear that the Habitat Re-Store is adding Tuesday hours, providing the community even more of a chance to help out.