Healthy Tri-County Symposium Inspires Collaboration, Action and Impact

Nearly 200 people turned out Thursday morning for inaugural Tri-County Health Symposium, presented by Healthy Tri-County at Trident Technical College. The symposium is the largest Healthy Tri-County event since the multi-sector regional initiative was born out of the 2016 Community Needs Assessment.

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“Health care delivery in our Tri-County area, not to mention our state and nation, is going through a major transformation,” Patrick J. Cawley, MUSC Health CEO and University Vice President for Health Affairs said. “So how do we manage it and become even better in the process? One of the answers is collaboration through events such as this symposium. It’s no small thing for these partners to come together and work toward a common goal and MUSC Health is honored to be part of that effort.”

The Healthy Tri-County initiative was formed by MUSC Health, Roper St. Francis and Trident United Way with the purpose of improving health outcomes in Berkeley, Charleston and Dorchester counties. The initiative has grown from the three core partners to 50 formal organizational members and representatives of more than 100 agencies and businesses active in the work groups.

“We are excited to be a part of this collaborative group that is creating change in response to our community’s greatest needs,” Roper St. Francis President and Chief Executive Officer Lorraine Lutton said. “Through Healthy Tri-County we hope to create lasting and substantial change through collective impact.”

Featured speakers for the symposium included Forrest Alton and Bethany Johnson-Javois. Alton is the president of 1,000 Feathers, a Columbia-based nonprofit that works with organizations to help them achieve greater impact in the communities they serve. Johnson-Javois serves as the chief executive officer of the St. Louis Integrated Health Network.

Eight breakout sessions offered participants a chance to learn more about a variety of health topics including access to health care, clinical preventive services, mental health, obesity, nutrition, physical activity and more. Roper St. Francis’ Toni Flowers led attendees through a group activity to illustrate the cumulative effect of environmental stress and poverty. The day ended with reflections from the audience and a renewed spirit of collaboration in the local health sector.

To learn more about Healthy-Tri County, visit

View the photo album here.

Photo: (From L to R): Trident United Way Director of Health Kellye McKenzie, 1,000 Feathers President Forrest Alton, St. Louis Integrated Health Network CEO Bethany Johnson-Javois