July 23rd, 2020
Public health is a team sport. This is the first in a series of blogs highlighting some of the many partnerships AccessHealth Spartanburg has formed in its efforts to improve health outcomes throughout the Spartanburg community.
By Wilma Moore
I was raised in Highland — this is my home. That’s why my job as Highland Community Outreach Advocate for the United Way of the Piedmont is so fulfilling. I have the opportunity to help the neighborhood where I grew up and the people who live here in a direct and meaningful way.
From my office in the Bethlehem Center on Highland Avenue, I have easy access to engage and relate to my neighborhood. It’s important for me to be right here, where Highland residents can walk in and request assistance with a need they have, give their input on the future of their neighborhood, or just to talk to someone who understands and can relate.
A lot of people who live in Highland have no insurance whatsoever. Compared to the rest of the city and the county, there are a lot of health disparities in our neighborhood. There are a lot of people who haven’t even seen a doctor in years.
With the help of AccessHealth, I can help people address their health problems. A lot of people who haven’t seen a doctor in years now have a primary care physician, and AccessHealth is able to get people specialized care if they need that, as well. They provide individual attention that is making a big difference in the community.
In Highland and in many communities that have struggled and faced major challenges for a long time, trust can be very hard to earn and very easy to lose and never get back. We have seen so many people come into our neighborhood over the years and make promises and talk about their plans. Most of those plans from big people were just that — they were THEIR plans. And most of the time they were just for the camera opportunities. We’ve experienced that quite a bit, so we’ve kind of learned to be wary about people wanting to come into our neighborhood and do things. Our people have been burned so many times. We vet them more now.
AccessHealth Spartanburg is trusted in this community, and they have earned that trust. They have been committed to what people need and how to help them. They have been devoted to everyone I have sent to them. Now when I say AccessHealth Spartanburg to someone, most of the time they’ve already heard about it and they trust it because someone they know has been treated with dignity and respect and helped. They follow through on what they say they are going to do.
You can spot a fake a mile away. You have to be consistent and honest and transparent and really care. AccessHealth has been all those things. They’ve been great in the community and they’re a big reason why Highland for the first time in a long time has such a bright future ahead.
Wilma Moore is the Highland Community Advocate for United Way of the Piedmont.