GREENVILLE, S.C.—Greenville Health System held its 10th annual Martin Luther King Jr. Leadership Diversity Awards Luncheon and recognized employees and departments for demonstrating a commitment to diversity.
Nontombi Naomi Tutu, a race and gender activist from South Africa and daughter of Archbishop Desmond Tutu, served as the keynote speaker.
Betty Johnson, an environmental services technician at Oconee Memorial Hospital, received the MLK Diversity Leadership Individual Award. The GHS Mobile Health Clinic received the health system’s departmental award.
“Betty Johnson embodies the values of GHS and Martin Luther King Jr.,” said Hunter Kome, Oconee Memorial Hospital’s president. “Her deep faith is at the foundation of everything she does. You cannot come into contact with her without feeling uplifted. Even though Betty works hard all day in Environmental Services, she seems to have endless positive energy to share with others. She is a unique and remarkable person. I feel fortunate to know her.”
Johnson is well-known for organizing a popular Easter egg hunt in Westminster. The 25-year-old event started in her yard and it’s grown to a massive community event that included more than 11,000 Easter eggs and more than 60 bicycles being given away last spring. She was named Westminster’s 2016 Citizen of the Year by the Westminster Rotary for her dedication to the Easter egg hunt.
Johnson was so inspired by Martin Luther King that she and two of her best friends helped integrate a Westminster restaurant in 1963. They simply took a chance and were served in a respectful and peaceful manner.
The GHS Mobile Health Clinic is part of GHS’ Accountable Communities. The clinic cares for people in the communities where they live and makes care more assessable and convenient across Greenville County. Clinic regularly visits the Belmont, Berea, Gantt and Parker communities, as well as neighborhoods in the City of Greenville. Those communities have been identified as having the highest emergency room and utilization rates.
“Our goal is to bring many of the services offered in traditional brick and mortar healthcare facilities directly into the neighborhoods where patients live and work,” said Jennifer Snow, director of GHS Accountable Communities. “We are committed to improving the health of the communities we serve, and the Mobile Health Clinic is an important resource for increasing access to care for patients who lack transportation and for better serving patients who could benefit from being seen closer to home.”
Transportation is a major barrier to care for many patients. Without a reliable way to get to the doctor’s office or the pharmacy, patients may miss appointments, run out of medications and fail to get the healthcare services they need to manage their health. This can lead to more severe health problems, especially for those patients with chronic illnesses. The Mobile Health Clinic, a 40-foot customized RV, is equipped with three exam rooms. It is staffed by a nurse practitioner, paramedic, program manager and business office representative. Medical oversight is provided by GHS emergency medicine and family medicine physicians. All patients are welcome, including those using employer insurance, Medicare, Medicaid and the uninsured. The clinic provides basic acute and primary care services, including patient education, diagnosis and treatment of acute and chronic illnesses.
The clinic’s staff is active in the community and volunteer at many events, work nights and weekends while establishing partnerships and building awareness.
Members of the Mobile Health Clinic’s team include:
Chuck Arnold, NP
Eric Shirley, mobile health technician
Angela Lake, program coordinator
Lane Chapman, program manager