The Heart Truth About Women in South Carolina

By Cassandra Harris

Midlands Regional Staff

Midlands Regional staff celebrate National Wear Red Day.

Members of our DHEC Midlands team went red this month in a stand against heart disease in women.  Responsible for over 23,000 hospitalizations for women in South Carolina in 2013, with total costs reaching more than $1.2 billion, heart disease is an issue we can’t afford to lose.

Killing 4,351 women in the Palmetto State during 2013, heart disea​se is the second leading cause of death for all women in our state and the leading killer for African-American women. In 2013 alone, 1,216 African-American women died from the disease in South Carolina.

Many people who are at high risk for heart disease don’t know it. By understanding and working to control certain risk factors you can help prevent this disease. Heart yourself, learn the ABC’S to a healthy heart:

  • Appropriate Aspirin therapy
  • Blood pressure control
  • Cholesterol control
  • And Smoking cessation.

In addition to learning your ABC’S, taking steps toward living a healthier lifestyle, like eating healthy and exercising regularly, can help protect your heart health and keep your mind and body active. Make a commitment to change today and prevent heart disease tomorrow. ​

For more information about women and heart disease in South Carolina, go to

S.C. Youth Help Raise Awareness About Radon

By Cassandra Harris

You can’t see or smell radon, but there might be a silent killer in your home. Linked to more than 20,000 lung cancer deaths in the U.S. each year, radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the nation and the number one cause of lung cancer among non-smokers. Helping to raise awareness of the health effects of radon, South Carolina students, ages nine to 14, recently submitted artwork as part of the 2015 S.C. Radon Poster Contest.

Selected from schools across the state, the students’ posters urge adults to test for radon and fix their homes when necessary. A total of 13 posters were selected to be included in the 2015 S.C. Radon Awareness Calendar. Announced at an award ceremony on January 21, 2015, at the S.C. State Museum in Columbia, this year’s contest winners include:

  • Gracie Driggers, Spaulding Elementary (1st Place)
  • Elizabeth Parrish, Forestbrook Middle School (2nd Place)
  • Andrea Martinez, Horse Creek Academy (3rd Place)
  • Colin Sauceda, Forestbrook Middle School (Honorable Mention)
  • Elizabeth Truluck, Myrtle Beach High School (Honorable Mention)
  • Sebastian O’Banion, Kennedy Middle School
  • Daylund Aistrop, Belton Middle School
  • Trinity Lincoln, Belton Middle School
  • Mellie Driggers, Spaulding Elementary
  • Destiny Garrido, CE Murray High School
  • Arden Kirk, Forestbrook Middle School
  • Anna Walker, Forestbrook Middle School
  • Serena Wallace, Ocean Bay Middle School

The top three entries were entered into the 2015 National Radon Poster Contest as part of National Radon Action Month.

Congratulations to all of our contest winners! Your artwork is currently displayed in local DHEC offices around the state and is helping to make a difference in the way South Carolinians think about radon.

To get more information on radon, to view the calendar and posters, or to request a free home test kit, visit