Author: Vince Ford, Chief Community Health Services Officer

Hearing someone say “you may have saved my life,” is humbling and rewarding. I’ve been blessed to hear that recently, after a Palmetto Health radio commercial aired about getting screened for prostate cancer.

Earlier this year, Palmetto Health was announced as the 2014 Foster G. McGaw prize winner, a tribute to our health care team’s community service to the area through programs that demonstrate a drive for making communities healthy through active involvement. The American Hospital Association, through the funding of the Baxter Foundation and the Health Research and Educational Trust, gives the award.

Knowing we’ve helped thousands or people in our community and hearing testimonies of people with a new outlook on life helps us understand that what we do every day is important. A man recently told me how having a prostate cancer screening may have saved his life, and he is now receiving appropriate care and sharing his story with others. That’s what it’s all about.

My role as Chief Community Health Services Officer provides me with many opportunities for myself and the organization to reach out to the community, allowing us take a more proactive stance in bettering the lives of the residents of South Carolina. Being a part of the health care community is a blessing. At Palmetto Health, we strive to live out our mission everyday, to be committed to improving the physical, emotional and spiritual health of all individuals and communities we serve.

For the past 17 years, Palmetto Health has held strong to a commitment to give 10 percent of the company’s bottom line to cancer, diabetes, teen, maternal and child health services and education, case management, specialty health care, and community partnerships. That has equaled more than 45 million dollars of the health system’s bottom line returned to the community to improve lives.

On behalf of Palmetto Health, myself, and all who have help us reach this milestone, thank you for your continued support and allowing a chance for those who would otherwise not have it. I invite you to watch a short video of how these programs are at work everyday. This video below was shown at the American Hospital Association’s national award ceremony in which Palmetto Health received the Foster G. McGaw award.

To learn more about Palmetto Health and the American Hospital Association’s award, visit http://www.aha.org/about/awards/foster/index.shtml . For more information about Palmetto Health and the Office of Community Health, visit PalmettoHealth.org/CommunityHealth.