July 15, 2019
South Carolina’s Story
South Carolina is a very rural state with significant health care deserts; for example, some counties have no pediatricians. This creates barriers to care and results in poor health care outcomes and significant health disparities. In 2013, telehealth emerged as a viable way to improve access to services across the state. Building off existing partnerships, telehealth programs organically spread, with clinicians serving as local champions in some communities. As momentum grew, telehealth got a push forward when a pediatrician, Dr. Jimmy McElligott (now Executive Medical Director of Telehealth at Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC)) became personally involved. Dr. McElligott went to the South Carolina legislature to highlight the importance of telehealth—and telehealth partnerships. That advocacy resulted in the legislature providing funding and support for telehealth across South Carolina and the creation of the South Carolina Telehealth Alliance (SCTA). Read the Building a School-Based Telehealth Program in South Carolina case study.