February 15, 2017

LC17: Health & Human Services Day

The Leadership Columbia Class of 2017 is a group of 58 emerging and existing leaders in the region, who are dedicated to bettering themselves and their community. The 10-month skills-building program provides an educational experience with a strong emphasis on social and community awareness, while challenging the candidates to step unspecifiedout of their comfort zones and become involved in Columbia.

The Leadership Columbia Advisory Board, an alumni-based committee, organizes nine full-day class days, an orientation and a two-day retreat for the class. These class days focus on timely topics in our region ranging from economic development to criminal justice.

On Tuesday, January 10, current LC17 candidate Mee Jean Sasine wrote a post detailing her experience during the class’ Health and Human Services Day:


It’s what beats to keep us alive. It’s what Shane Falco had that The Replacements needed to play football. It’s the central or innermost part of something. It’s the theme of Valentine’s Day. And this Valentine’s Day was a perfect day for our class to have our Health & Human Services Day in Palmetto Health Baptist’s auditorium.

In the morning, we continued our leadership development training with University of South Carolina (USC) professor Kirk Randazzo, who spoke about keeping people in a group motivated. A timely topic considering we’re about halfway through our Leadership Columbia program and in the middle of our class project. Also “timely” in that he said time is precious and for a group to be successful, we cannot waste time. There was never a truer statement for a working professional, wife and mom of three young children. My kids are my motivation and heart for why I’m in this program. I want to learn everything that’s great about Columbia and help promote it to make it the best city that we all know it is.

Next, we heard from Judy Baskins, Chief Clinical Integration and Ambulatory Services Officer at Palmetto Health. “Healthcare is a rapidly changing dynamic.” Isn’t that the truth? It’s the heart of my career. I’ve been in the health insurance industry for over 15 years and can say there’s always something new to learn!  I was eager to hear what she and the rest of our speakers had to say from the provider’s perspective as I’ve experienced it through various other sides of healthcare.

There have been different shifts through the history of healthcare and Judy spoke on the continuing trend of Population Health.  According to Palmetto Health, Population Health is the set of processes, activities, interventions, and attitudes delivered by a highly aligned and integrated group of providers to improve overall health outcomes for a defined population of individuals choosing to utilize our health care system under a sustainable economic model.  In other words, physicians and facilities working towards value based and managed care rather than fee for service care. Providers rethinking the “care team” of the quality of care that patients and caregivers are getting. She also went through a history of Palmetto Health SeniorCare PACE (Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly), a “virtual nursing home without walls.” Population Health and PACE are just two of the different ways healthcare is evolving.  Did you know that Palmetto Health has an app where a nurse practitioner will respond to you after you check off your symptoms on the app? New updates and advances in technology are also transforming the way things are done in this field. We were able to see this first hand with our next speaker and activity.

We took a look “Behind the Curtain” of Palmetto Health’s Simulation Lab with Scott Newell, Simulation Specialist. Scott paralleled the resuscitation simulation training of medics to pilot and aviation training due to his experience in both fields. We tend to fully put our trust in people who provide us medical care as we do in pilots flying an airplane. In 2009, 251,454 deaths were identified as iatrogenic (relating to illness caused by medical examination or treatment) and that was the 3rd leading cause of death!  Thankfully, there have been advancements in simulation trainings and true simulation where goals in behavior change must be met in the cognitive, psycho-motor and affective areas. Seven classmates participated in a training simulation with “Stan,” the interactive simulation mannequin who was experiencing cardiac arrest by providing CPR, medication and using a defibrillator.  Their goal was to successfully participate in the simulated scenario in 90 seconds. Even in a simulation environment, talk about hearts beating fast and I’m not talking about just Stan’s!  I can happily say my classmates accomplished their goal and the class celebrated in a class picture with Stan.

Holly Hayes, President of Iron Sharpens Iron Consulting Group, LLC spoke to us about discovering our own personal health story. Did you know that your zip code is the most important number for determining your health status? It’s not your age, genetic code or BMI? We participated in an activity to determine what kinds of experiences and values call us to dive deeper in understanding health and how it affects our community. From that activity, we could develop our own personal health story, one that comes from the heart. She encouraged us to listen to a lot of different health stories

In the heart of the afternoon, our last speaking session was a panel discussion regarding challenges, opportunities and the future of healthcare with Freddie Strange, Jr., Executive Director of the Free Medical Clinic, Rozalynn Goodwin, Vice President of Engagement at the SC Hospital Association and Tripp Jennings, Chief Informatics Officer at Palmetto Health. The panel discussed problems facing this industry, their thoughts on what the role the government should play regarding regulation, the opportunities and technology in healthcare and the future of health care. All agreed that this industry is a moving target and that tough decisions will have to be made. Tripp Jennings encouraged our class to continue to be leaders. He said we don’t have to forfeit our right to have an opinion, but we must be responsible and listen to all sides to come up with a solution.

To complete our class day, we participated in several hands-on activities at Transitions where we planted flowerbeds, organized the kitchen pantry and cleaned windows for the residents. We were able to use our class time to give our heart back to our community. It was a humbling way to end our health and human services day. Side note: they are constantly in need of interview-appropriate attire for their residents so please consider this as you do your spring cleaning.


It’s what Columbia has and one of the many reasons I love living here. There’s so much to love about the city and the community always seems to come together, even in the toughest times. Case in point: the catastrophic “1000 year flood” of 2015. As said by one of my classmates, “While our community was in the most literal sense of the words, water marked, we were not broken. In the weeks and months following, our community showed the defining characteristics of what makes the Midlands unique – our strength, unity and passion. And together, we rose above the waters.”


It’s what all my classmates I’ve gotten to know in this wonderful program have. It’s what drives the theme of our class project. Our class, The Leadership Columbia Class of 2017, will showcase the spirit of coming together after the 2015 flood. With administrative support from local non-profit partners, One Columbia and Engenuity SC, we will revitalize the entrance of the Lincoln Street tunnel – making it pedestrian friendly, beautifying it with new landscaping, historical signage and local artwork, and positioning it as the Vista Greenway connector. Our heart is called Watermarked. Please check out and follow our journey.

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