March 26, 2024

congressman clyburn and secretary becerraColumbia College is proud to have hosted Congressman James Clyburn (SC-06) and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Xavier Becerra for a roundtable discussion as part of their visit to Columbia, South Carolina. Secretary Becerra and Congressman Clyburn gathered along with panelists Director of the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control Dr. Edward Simmer, Chairman of South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control Seema Shrivastava-Patel, Prisma Health OB/GYN Dr. Nita Thapa, Director of Midlands Healthy Start Kimberly Alston, South Carolina mother and Healthy Start Participant Natifha Cooper, and CEO/Director of Pee Dee Healthy Start Madie Robinson to discuss reproductive rights, family healthcare accessibility, and improving maternal and child health outcomes in rural America.

Eau Claire community members gathered with local representatives and Columbia College students, faculty, and staff to learn from the panel of gathered experts about existing accessibility gaps, affecting the overall health and vitality of the state, specifically regarding pre and postnatal care for mothers and children.

President of Columbia College, Dr. John H. Dozier, welcomed those gathered by sharing, “Today, as we welcome these esteemed guests and all of our panelists and visitors, we also reflect on the challenges facing our community, especially in the 29203 zip code. This area, which many of us call home, faces significant health disparities ranging from higher rates of chronic illness to barriers in accessing quality healthcare. The presence of Congressman Clyburn and Secretary Becerra and our panelists on our campus today underscores our collective commitment to addressing these issues and working together towards a healthier, more equitable future for us all.”

Columbia College is proud to have hosted and is committed to amplifying the pivotal work these panelists are doing within their own communities, throughout the state of South Carolina, and for the United States at large. Columbia College aims to continue providing opportunities for students to engage with their communities and key leadership, so that they can be empowered to enact change as they graduate and start their careers.

« Back to News