Darlington County First Steps hires Community Health Worker

Darlington County First Steps (DCFS) has added Whitney Davis, a certified Community Health Worker, to their team.
Davis was brought on as part of The Duke Endowment Grant to reduce teen pregnancies in Darlington County.

Historically, Darlington County has had a high rate of teen pregnancy. According to the SC Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy, Darlington County has the 14th highest teen pregnancy rate in the state of South Carolina, is ranked 6th in the state for Chlamydia infections and 24th in the state for Gonorrhea infections amongst 15-19 year olds.

Davis will provide leadership and will act as a community liaison with teens, parents and other youth-serving organizations to ensure the needs of all are met. She has been instrumental in the development of a Community Work Group made up of individuals from various youth-serving organizations including CareSouth Carolina, United Way and Hartsville High School to name a few. She also has developed a Youth Leadership Team made of teens, ages 14-19. The Youth Leadership Team will provide teens with a voice as well as train them to serve as advocates. Davis will be taking students to the Youth Leadership Summit sponsored by the SC Campaign later this summer. This summit will educate teens on reproductive health, public speaking and leadership skills.

Since coming aboard, Davis has also taken leadership of Access Condoms in Darlington County (AC/DC). The AC/DC program provides teens as well as adults in the community with a safe establishment to receive free condoms and information on medical resources and reproductive health. We currently have over 20 sites in Darlington County including barbershops, hair salons, car washes and laundromats as a part of the AC/DC program.

“The goal is to get the community involved, mainly by having community events, and parent-child communication activities that open discussions about sex, contraceptives and STDs” Davis said. “We hope to get as many teens possible aware of available resources and decrease teen pregnancy and STD rates.” People do not always know where to go for reproductive health support or are afraid to receive services, but Davis is positioned to bridge those gaps.

The mission of DCFS is to provide programs, services, and information to strengthen the families and communities of Darlington County. The vision: Strong Families in Health Communities.

The support of The Duke Endowment and Davis’ active role in the community will aid in accomplishing the mission and vision of DCFS.

For more information on these services provided by DCFS, please contact Whitney Davis at wdavis@scfirststeps.org.

Author: mrollins

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