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Health in brief: Free flowers may provide mood boost and more

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Springing back to life

Manny Gonzales, owner of Tiger Lily Florist on Spring Street, loads flowers into his van for a delivery to Kiawah Island. The shop will give away free bouquets on Oct. 11. File/Staff

Well-being of SC children measured

Children's Trust of South Carolina published new numbers that show Charleston County ranked 10th best out of 46 counties in the state in terms of overall child well-being. York County earned the top spot. Dorchester County was named No. 3 and Berkeley County was named No. 7. 

Marlboro, Dillon and Marion counties ranked at the bottom. 

According to the report, the rankings provide "a glimpse into the status of the state of South Carolina. When children thrive, they meet educational milestones, live in economically stable homes and in supportive communities, and they are more likely to grow into productive, contributing citizens of our state."

The rankings were calculated by weighing 16 "indicators," including third-grade reading proficiency, infant mortality and the number of children living in concentrated areas of poverty. 

Hospital settles false claims allegations

AnMed Health in Anderson recently agreed to pay the federal government $7 million to settle allegations that the hospital violated the False Claims Act by submitting fraudulent Medicare claims. 

According to a press release about the settlement, the U.S. government alleged that "AnMed Health billed for radiation oncology services for Medicare patients when a qualified practitioner was not immediately available to provide assistance ... (and) systematically billed a minor care clinic as if it was an Emergency Department, and billed Emergency Department services as if they were provided by a physician when, in fact, the services were rendered by mid-level providers."

The case originated when a whistleblower tipped off the government about the alleged illegal activity. Linda Jainniney will receive $1.2 million from the settlement and another $850,000 from AnMed to resolve a wrongful termination claim. 

USC gets grant for breast cancer program

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The University of South Carolina School of Medicine and the Arnold School of Public Health received a $405,000 grant from the Susan G. Komen Foundation. The money will be used to establish an "Interdisciplinary Graduate Training Program in Cancer Disparities" and to further ongoing work about racial and ethnic breast cancer disparities. 

State hospitals recognized for safety

The South Carolina Hospital Associated recently announced it awarded 40 hospitals in the state with "Zero Harm Awards." That's the highest number of awards that the association has granted in a single year. 

According to a press release about the awards, they represent "62,344 infection-free days with central line patients and 9,741 surgical procedures with no harm."

The Zero Harm Awards were established in 2014. Experts believe medical errors may be the third leading cause of death in the United States. 

In the Lowcountry, both the Ralph H. Johnson VA Medical Center and Roper St. Francis Mount Pleasant Hospital received Zero Harm Awards this year. 

Florist to give away bouquets for boost

Tiger Lily Florist will give away 400 free bouquets Oct. 11 during its "Petal It Forward" program. Customers who stop by the flower shop, 131 Spring Street, will receive two arrangements. 

"Customers can keep one for their own enjoyment and give away the second bouquet to a friend, family member, co-worker or even a stranger on the street," a press release about the event explained. "Individuals who 'Petal It Forward' will be sharing the benefits of flowers with others."

Research shows that flowers can have a positive impact on emotions, happiness and mood. 

Lauren Sausser

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