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Dr. Richard Ulmer, medical director of the Barrier Islands Free Medical Clinic on Johns Island, listens to patient Debra Eklund during a visit on Tuesday, August 29, 2017. Wade Spees/Staff

The Barrier Islands Free Medical Clinic is partnering with the national MAVEN Project to expand their network of volunteer specialists.

The project is a national program that seeks to connect volunteer physicians with underserved community clinics. 

Barrier Islands was chosen as one of four clinics across the country for the opportunity by the National Volunteers in Medicine and the MAVEN Project Foundation. 

“This partnership will further enhance what the clinic is currently able to deliver to patients as we connect our own talented volunteer physicians with additional experts across the country," Dr. Richard Ulmer, the medical director for the Barrier Islands clinic, said in a press release. 

Staff of the Barrier Islands Free Medical Clinic will now have the opportunity to connect with physician volunteers in more than 40 clinical specialties via telehealth. Clinic providers can send questions and referrals to the volunteer physicians. 

They can also get advice for their care plans and connect patients with specialists via phone or video. 

The clinic offers services to uninsured adults that live or work on James, Johns and Wadmalaw islands and Folly Beach.

Ulmer said the effort already has a way to refer patients to some specialists. 

They are hoping the new telehealth partnership will expand the availability of experts and increase the ability to offer one-stop service. 

Teen pregnancy program re-brands

Following 25 years of service, the South Carolina Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy is now Fact Forward. 

In press release, the organization explained that the name change coincides with their need to reflect all that they do. The organization has the overall goal of bettering reproductive health outcomes in South Carolina. 

Since the early 1990s, the organization reports that the state has seen a 70 percent drop in the teen birth rate. They want to do more work addressing rising rates of sexually transmitted infections and unwanted young adult pregnancies. 

The name Fact Forward was chosen because the group felt it establishes the organization as a fact-based resource. They emphasized that they want to be a resource to people who want to move the conversation of reproductive health forward. 

"Our name may have changed, but our priority will always be young people," said Beth De Santis, CEO of Fact Forward, in the press release. "We know that this broader lens of reproductive health will allow us to have bigger reach among adolescents.”

MUSC offers free food for kids

The Medical University of South Carolina will kick off the fourth summer of "Kids Eat Free" this week. The project is a local part of the national USDA Summer Food Service Program.

The MUSC program is done in partnership with Sodexo, a food services company. To date, the program has served over 18,000 meals to community children. 

From now until Aug. 20, MUSC will serve a free breakfast and lunch to children at three campus locations: MUSC Rutledge Tower, the University Hospital cafeteria and Ashley River Tower. 

Children can come to any of the three areas during weekdays to get food. Only the University Hospital Cafeteria and the Ashley River Tower locations are serving meals on the weekend. 

From 7 a.m. to 10 a.m. children can get breakfast and from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. lunch is served. Food is given on a first-come, first-served basis and all children are served regardless of race or income.  

In a press release, MUSC explained that on arrival children just need to follow the purple octopus to get to a MUSC employee that will guide them. 

Reach Jerrel Floyd at 843-937-5558. Follow him on Twitter @jfloyd134.

Jerrel Floyd is an Alabama raised reporter who covers health & wellness for The Post and Courier.

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