Spartanburg’s participation in Wellville benefits from a spirit of collaboration among community leaders that has strengthened over the last 12 years. They recognize that the same factors impacting the health of residents will determine how Spartanburg thrives in the 21st century.
In the past, Spartanburg’s economic fortune was tied the textile industry, which provided steady employment even to those who lacked a post-secondary education. In recent years, many manufacturing companies, including BMW, have moved to the region, and these companies require workers with higher levels of education and more technical expertise. Spartanburg is seeing to it that all its children have the educational foundations necessary for classroom success and life-long learning.
Spartanburg also sees the need to promote more physical activity. The Mary Black Foundation recently provided a $1 million loan to the city to enhance ﬁve city parks, and also provided funding for a rail trail, which attracted more the 65,000 diverse residents in 2015.
Spartanburg has an engaged health system, Spartanburg Regional, which has been at the table working on Wellville from the beginning. The Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine, Carolinas Campus, located in the city, is planning a clinic to be located in the city, and its medical students offer education and assistance to Spartanburg residents. Spartanburg’s local university, the University of South Carolina Upstate, is highly involved and will play a large role in housing and analyzing health data for Wellville. And, Spartanburg’s own accelerator program of digital health products, The Iron Yard, will assist in ﬁnding tools to help health professionals navigate their patients to improved health outcomes.