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Inaugural Integrated Behavioral Health Symposium

Alumni Spotlight

Marc Himes, ’01 MSWMarc Himes edited

Marc Himes is the program manager for the South Carolina Center for Fathers and Families. The Columbia-based organization is a ministry of the Sisters of Charity Health System and supports statewide fatherhood programs serving fathers and families. He is also a current MSW field instructor.

The South Carolina Center for Fathers and Families produced, “Facing Early Fatherhood,” a documentary into the lives of three young men who became fathers resulting from an unintended pregnancy. A public screening of the documentary was held on Jan. 11 at the Richland Library Sandhills.

How did the South Carolina Center for Fathers and Families develop the idea for producing the documentary?

The purpose of the documentary is to bring more awareness and showcase the issue of young fathers, including their needs and challenges. We identified three young men in our program, two from our Horry County program, A Father’s Place, and another participating in our Midlands Fatherhood Coalition. We tracked the good, bad and ugly of their lives over a period of about 10 months.

What other programs by the center have been offered to bring awareness to young fathers?

We hosted statewide public forums, “What Young Fathers Need,” which were panels with our young men and the challenges they face. In addition, we have done poverty simulations, created a resource webpage for young fathers, www.youngfatherhood.com, and currently developing a curriculum called, “Realty Check,” to help young men make wise decisions regarding having children.

How did the College of Social Work help prepare you for your career?

Social work gave me a broader perspective to do more from a community and organizational standpoint. It was very beneficial to learn how organizations work and provide services, since my goal was to oversee programs.

How satisfying is it for you to work with MSW students as a field instructor?

I like to be a resource and help students overcome some of the same challenges I experienced. I have worked with students for most of my career, from low-income first-generation students to more traditional roles, such as career development at the Darla Moore School of Business. Helping students is my passion, and it’s great to give them practical exposure to the workforce, including issues they may experience in a full-time position.  

What advice would you give someone studying or considering a career in social work?

Keep your options open. Students may come in with preconceived notions about what they will be doing or want to do. For example, a student may have a field placement in one area, and find it is not what they enjoy, or they might be exposed to an area they did not previously consider. It is hard to see the big picture, especially for someone coming straight from undergrad without as many life experiences, but keeping an open mind and learning from every experience will help carve out a career. 


marsh 2818743 1920According to the 2010 U.S. Census, more than 59 million people live in rural areas. This accounted for 19.3 percent of the total population. The National Institute of Minority Health and Health Disparities of the National Institutes of Health identified rural versus urban residence as a health disparity in 2016, with health disparity defined as a difference in health that is considered unnecessary. As an example, cancer deaths are higher in rural than urban areas of the United States (180/100,000 vs. 158,000/100,000).[1]

The Improved Care and Provision of Rural Access to Eliminate Health Disparities (ICARED) project was developed by the School of Medicine in 2015. The South Carolina Department of Health and Human Services then allocated $2 million annually to provide clinical services, practice support, innovative technologies and collaborations targeting rural health issues.

ICARED has developed new rural health field placement internships to train MSW students in rural practice during the first year of the College of Social Work participation. This is made possible by a grant from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA).

“We’re able to give 26 social work students a $10,000 scholarship to complete their field education experience in a setting that serves rural and medically underserved populations,” said Dr. Melissa Reitmeier, Director of Field Education. “It’s an additional and enhanced curriculum for our field placement students to work in more than one discipline. I developed modules specific to rural practice that gives our students added knowledge they wouldn’t normally receive in the curriculum. This includes better preparing them to participate in a rural workforce and ethics in rural practice.”      

Medically Underserved Areas of SCIn part because identified rural healthcare needs remain unmet in South Carolina, the College of Social Work, in cooperation with the School of Medicine, Arnold School of Public Health, and Colleges of Nursing and Pharmacy are working together to help combat the problem of a shrinking rural health workforce. The School of Medicine’s Rural Health Initiatives Overview concluded that 23 percent of South Carolina’s population lives in a rural county, and only 10 percent of the state’s doctors have primary practices in those areas.

In addition to field placement internships, Dr. Teri Browne and ICARED Program Coordinator Rebecca Christopher will present, “Rural Matters: Recruiting and Retaining Our Rural Health Workforce.” The free, seven training sessions from November 2017 to May 2018 will be held to reach 17 of South Carolina’s high need rural areas, known as “Disease Hotspots.” The trainings will focus on improving and enhancing retention of health professionals, while providing education, resources and best practices related to interprofessional health services to enhance service deliveries.

“We’ve compiled evidence-based best practices to help practitioners in rural areas throughout the state attract and retain staff,” said Dr. Browne. “This has been a chronic issue in health, mental health, behavioral health and integrated health settings.”

Christopher, who received her MSW from USC, cited specific examples of rural health disparities. Rural healthcare in South Carolina is an issue close to Christopher, who is from Pelion, a small town in Lexington County.

“Only 10 percent of the physician workforce in South Carolina has their practice in rural counties,” said Christopher. “It becomes an issue with health outcomes as 1.2 million South Carolinians live in primary care shortage areas, so that’s the reason behind the project.”

The project team has also developed course modules for social work classes, focusing on rural health practice issues and skills. While the materials are being used for seminar classes this academic year and refined for future use, the course modules will also be submitted to the National Center for Interprofessional Practice and Education, and the Council of Social Work Education to distribute nationally.      

The ICARED project has also allowed the College of Social Work to build networks, and associate, with statewide organizations. One such partnership is with the South Carolina Area Health Education Consortium (AHEC). The organization supports the state’s healthcare workforce by focusing on recruiting, retaining and educating professionals.

“AHEC are experts on training and development and perform research on the best time to present trainings,” said Christopher. “They’re also responsible for most of the continuing education.”

Rural practitioners do not have the same access to professional resources and training as rural areas. Nonetheless, the ICARED project aims to help remove the negative stigma of rural healthcare.

“We need to change the narrative of rural settings to help bring in more professionals and support the providers in these areas,” said Christopher. “This leads to limited supervision opportunities, which only adds to the already limited opportunities. One goal of the project is to build a network.”

The first training will be held on November 20 in Charleston. For more information and to register for a training, visit www.scahec.net/schools.

 To view ICARED's training schedule, click here.

[1] Morbidity and Mortality Weekly, CDC, June 17, 2017

New non-credit courses in Psychodiagnostics and Psychopathology

Field Instructor Discount
Get $100 off the regular price of $250 ($150 for each course)! Contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for specific details on how to register. Please note this applies to field instructors only.

Non-credit courses in Psychodiagnostics and Psychopathology will be offered online by the College of Social Work beginning Feb. 15. The non-credit courses will meet the requirements for Independent Level Licensure in Clinical Practice (LISW-CP). Registration period is from Jan. 4-Feb. 13, 2018, and learners will have until April to complete all modules. You may register for one or both courses. Each non-credit course is $250. After registration closes, usernames and passwords will be emailed to participants prior to the start of the course on Feb. 15. Contact Nancy Brown (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) for more information.

$250 – Psychopathology for Social Work – Click here to purchase

This asynchronous online course offered by the University of South Carolina's College of Social Work provides basic education for understanding, addressing and treating abnormal behavior using DSM-5 criteria. The course also includes content from different clinical perspectives, impacting social work practice and human service delivery programming. Deeper content on assessing and diagnosing mental disorders is discussed in Psychodiagnostics. 

Preparing for licensure is an important process. Licensure opens doors to a variety of opportunities for professional growth and ongoing development as social workers. Licensed social workers work with a variety of populations and settings, mental disorders, topics pertinent to client care, diagnosis, treatment and intervention, medication management, symptomatology, research, and other pertinent information. 

Course content includes weekly lectures, quizzes and relevant videos from a variety of sources to help contextualize your learning and improve your understanding of relevant issues in Psychopathology. Blackboard will track your activity in each area. 

$250 - Psychodiagnostics for Social Work – Click here to purchase

This asynchronous online course provides an understanding of mental health diagnostic assessment and testing, differential diagnosing of specific DSM-5 disorders, and a review of treatment modalities for mental disorders. The DSM-5 criteria will be utilized throughout the course, although some discussion of the ICD-10 will be referenced. The content is presented from a social work perspective but applicable to other disciplines. Course content is especially relevant for learners who have already taken a psychopathology course or plan to pursue advanced clinical licensure, such as South Carolina's LISW-CP license. 

Course content includes weekly lectures, quizzes, and relevant videos from a variety of sources to help contextualize your learning and improve your understanding of relevant issues in Psychopathology. Blackboard will track your activity in each area. 


Join us for good conversation!


SEPTEMBER 22, 2017
4:30-6:30 PM

Home of Dean Sarah Gehlert
117 Silver Wing Drive
West Columbia, SC 29169

Please RSVP by Friday, September 15, 2017

Click Here to RSVP!

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