Spartanburg, South Carolina In Spartanburg, well-paying, blue-collar jobs in the textile industry have given way to jobs in the regional health system, county government, and school district. Other regional employers, including a BMW manufacturing facility in nearby Greer, require higher levels of education and more technical expertise. This education/skills gap is one of the key issues to population health and wellbeing.

Spartanburg’s population consists of both affluent and poor residents and an almost even split between non-Hispanic whites and people of color. The Core Team members meets weekly to plan and undertake its Wellville-related work.

Wellville Areas of Focus

Collaboration Group Name:  Spartanburg’s Way to Wellville
Wellville Coordinator: Jennifer MacPhail

Hello Family is a suite of interventions aimed at improving outcomes for young children and their families at no cost. It provides a continuum of services from prenatal care through age five in order to improve birth outcomes, reduce child abuse and neglect, and improve kindergarten readiness.  The Core Team sought assistance from the Institute for Child Success in the development of the suite of interventions, and from the Nonprofit Finance Fund and the Social Innovation Fund to test the feasibility of financing Hello Family though a Pay for Success (PFS) model. The Core Team is currently working to address investors’ and payers’ perceived risk of PFS programs.

Wellville Exchange is a small business wellbeing co-op, spearheaded by the Core Team and the Spartanburg Area Chamber of Commerce and developed in partnership with a group of small business owners, the Georgia Health Policy Center, and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. The program will provide small employers and their employees access to some of the same well-being services large employers are able to offer their associates through their insurance plans. A pilot is scheduled to launch in mid-2019.

Neighborhood engagement Spartanburg has experimented with various forms of listening campaigns to give voice and foster agency among residents in marginalized, underserved communities in the city. In 2018 all seven of the neighborhoods originally selected to participate in the project  applied and were awarded micro grants from the Mary Black Foundation to fund projects that address neighborhood concerns. More recently, Spartanburg launched a Community Health Worker (CHW) Collaborative to build capacity, trust, and dialogue within the CHW community in order to address more effectively issues of concern to residents.  

Wellville Talk The Core Team calls this well-attended community documentary/speaker series a “radical, edgy, bold way to talk about difficult things” around community health. The series has sparked community conversations around immigration, business and law, and health equity.