Root Cause, a health and public services initiative led by the University of South Carolina School of Medicine Greenville, Prisma Health-Upstate, and more than 50 community partners, is the recipient of a three-year grant by Healthy Greenville.
Officials said the $247,029 grant will help Root Cause continue its mission of serving residents in the community of Dunean who might otherwise have limited access to health care and expand to two nearby communities in Greenville County.
It will also allow the medical-student-run community health fair to extend its outreach efforts as it bridges important health care and wellness resources to residents.
The grant was awarded as part of the 2022 grant cycle for “Healthy Greenville: A Bold Health Initiative for Greenville County,” the Greenville Health Authority’s annual grant program.
This year, “Healthy Greenville” awarded a total of $5.8 million in grants to 11 nonprofit organizations that impact health-related care, health research, and health education projects and programs to improve the health of Greenville County residents.
Since 2019, Root Cause has been engaging and helping residents stay healthy, by promoting healthy lifestyles and working to reduce health disparities across Greenville County.
USC School of Medicine Greenville established the community health fair in the community of Dunean, where a significant portion of residents report low access to health care.
A 2018 multidisciplinary task force found that the community — adjacent to the UofSC School of Medicine Greenville and Prisma Health Greenville Memorial Hospital — was an at-risk community with a high rate of poverty, diabetes, obesity and low rates of access to health care.
Thanks to the three-year Healthy Greenville grant, Root Cause will be able to expand its reach and positive impact beyond the Dunean community, officials said.
Plans call for an expansion to the nearby communities of Nicholtown and Berea.
Every month, Root Cause holds a health fair in Dunean. At the monthly health fair, a free meal is provided while various partners and healthcare experts provide resources and/or teach on relevant public health topics.
School of Medicine Greenville (SOMG) medical students and health-care practitioners teach healthier habits through wellness workshops, cooking demonstrations, blood pressure screenings, and more.
Root Cause is entirely run and organized by SOMG faculty, medical student volunteers and community-partner volunteers.