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About Us

Our Approach to Providing Healthcare

Upstreamist Approach

The Community Medical Clinic of Kershaw County is leading the charge to improve “population health,” or rather, the health of a whole community. We focus on bringing healthcare access to the individual with the goal of improving the health of all across Kershaw County.

To accomplish this lofty goal, we take the “Upstreamist Approach.”

What is the Upstreamist Approach? Consider the following parable:

Three friends were walking together in the woods when they approached a rapidly flowing river with a waterfall in sight. Upon further examination, the friends saw people being washed away and plummeting over the waterfall’s edge to certain doom.

Deciding they couldn’t sit back and watch, the friends took action.

One friend jumped right in and swam along the edge down to the cusp of the waterfall, grabbing as many people as he could and carrying them to safety.

The second friend built a raft and paddled it out to the middle of the river, saving as many people as she could, pulling a few up and over the side here and there while some still slipped past.

The third friend took a different approach and could be seen running up the grassy bank. The other friends cried, “Where are you going?! We need your help!”

The third friend replied: “I am going upstream to see who or what is throwing these people in the water in the first place!”  

In this metaphor for community health, the first friend, who jumped right in to grab as many people as possible, is a medical specialist, someone in the trenches working to save patients’ lives. We need these incredible rescuers to step in when all other methods fail.

The second friend, who built a raft and paddled it out to the middle of the river to save people, is general primary care physician, who catches people at the forefront of their illness and, through the administration of proper care, delivers them to good health.

The third friend, who could be seen running upstream to see who or what was throwing the people in the water, is the public health professional, also known as the “Healthcare Upstreamist.”

In the spirit of the third friend’s “upstreamist approach,” Community Medical Clinic focuses on getting to the source of community health problems. Our work encompasses investigation, prevention, and education, working to give people every chance to not end up in the river in the first place.

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