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Union donors bolster rural health care initaitives

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MolinaCares Accord and Molina Healthcare recently donated $27,000 to the S.C. Office of Rural Health. (Photo/Provided)In our April 5 issue, we featured a study of the most generous counties in the state based on the percentage of total county income donated to charitable causes and itemized deductions on tax returns.

According to the Smart Asset study, Union County ranked in as the most miserly in the state, but since publication, a few Union County Samaritans have stepped in to help meet their community's health care needs.

Molinda Cares expands vaccine efforts in Union with grant

The MolinaCares Accord, in partnership with Molina Healthcare of South Carolina, is gifting a $27,000 grant to the S.C. Office of Rural Health to expand COVID-19 vaccination and antibody treatment access to rural Union County.

“Ensuring that everyone is able to receive their COVID-19 vaccines is a critical part of fighting this disease and we are pleased that this partnership will reduce access disparities for our neighbors in the Upstate,” Dora Wilson, plan president of Molina Healthcare of South Carolina, said in a news release.

Through this collaboration, MolinaCares and the S.C. Office of Rural Health will fund a mobile health unit for Primary Care of Union that will be used to reach rural areas without access to COVID-19 vaccine and antibody treatment, according to the release. The health unit will also offer additional immunizations throughout the year including the annual flu vaccine.

Union philanthropist Barbara Rippy invests in Lions Vision Services

RippyUnion civic leader and philanthropist Barbara Rippy recently donated $100,000 to Lions Vision Services’ Catalyst Campaign, prompting the nonprofit to establish the Barbara Harter Rippy Society to honor lifetime gifts of $100,000 or more to the organization.

The Catalyst Campaign is a two-year capacity building initiative that aims to decrease preventable blindness, boost resources for the blind and visually impaired and advance Lions Vision Services’ advocacy initiatives for vision health in the state.

“This gift to Lions Vision Services is about helping the blind and visually impaired and strengthening our communities to improve vision health for all South Carolinians,” Rippy said in a news release. “We face huge challenges with the growing number of people who are blind, and we can do something about it.”

There are an estimated 147,752 South Carolinians with blindness or vision difficulty, according to the American Foundation for the Blind, a number that is expected to double by 2030 without effective intervention, according to the release.

Part of Rippy’s gift will serve as matching funds for Lions Vision Services on their upcoming May Giving Day on May 4.

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