As the largest health care system in South Carolina’s midlands, Palmetto Health is focused on improving the physical, emotional and spiritual health of all individuals and communities it serves. That’s according to John Singerling, Palmetto Health president and Capital Rotary’s guest speaker on Oct. 4. Singerling (shown with Rotarians Chris Ray at left and Blake DuBose at right) said the locally owned, not-for-profit system is committed to (1) improving access to health care, (2) making care more affordable, (3) ensuring safety and quality of care, (4) enhancing each patient’s experience, and (5) seeing that no one in need is left behind. Health care challenges include changing demographics, expanding technology, politics, price structures and escalating drug costs. Singerling said many recognize that today’s health care system is dysfunctional and not sustainable. Improvement needs to be built on accessibility – some kind of insurance coverage for all people – and on setting – delivering care in the appropriate local setting at the appropriate time. Singerling has been with Palmetto Health since 1996 and became its president in 2010. He earned a bachelor’s degree at Michigan State University and a master’s degree in health administration from the University of South Carolina.
Capital Rotary president Blake DuBose recognizes at-large director and service chair Neda Beal for continuing Rotary Foundation donations that support world understanding and peace programs. Beal is now a Paul Harris Fellow plus-three giver (signifying an initial $1,000 donation with three additional gifts at the same amount). The club previously honored Beal as 2016 Rotarian of the Year for guiding local community service, literacy and volunteer projects.
As long as politics continues to overshadow sound policy, it will be difficult to pass meaningful health care reform in the United States. That’s what Capital Rotarians heard from their Aug. 23 guest speaker – Thornton Kirby. Kirby (right), shown with club member and human resources professional Trey Boone, is a health care attorney and former hospital executive. Noting that health care is one-sixth of the nation’s economy, Kirby said reform is also complicated by the public’s “three wishes” – (1) to have the world’s best health care, (2) to have someone else pay for it and (3) to not be responsible for changing their personal behavior to ensure better health. Kirby said a more “intelligent design” for reform would focus on affordability for employers, employees and government; on the clinical effectiveness of drugs instead of their marketability; and on promoting wellness behaviors in place of “sick care” emphasis. Kirby is president and CEO of the South Carolina Hospital Association, a private, not-for-profit organization created in 1921 to be a collective voice for the state’s hospital community.
In March of 2016, Capital Rotary Club members assisted volunteers helping to rebuild a Columbia-area residence damaged during heavy rains and flooding in October 2015. That effort was coordinated by the St. Bernard Project, a national leader in family recovery following natural disasters.
Now, about a year later, this same partnership has completed repairs to another flood-afflicted home – one occupied by Inez Pempleton and her family. Capital Rotary “adopted” the family as a Christmas project, contributing to their 2016 holiday celebration and helping them get their house back in order in February and March of this year.
Repairs included removing damaged items from the home, demolition, mold remediation, putting up insulation and drywall in the basement, plus painting and digging a drainage ditch. A skilled volunteer group recruited by the St. Bernard Project was able to be on-site consistently for about two weeks to complete the work.
In a letter, Ms. Pempleton thanked the St. Bernard group and Capital Rotary, saying that “I am so grateful to all of you for what you’ve done for us … We are so blessed to have you all in our lives. I pray God will be with you all throughout the coming year and all his love and blessing be with you.”
Felicia Maloney, executive director of the Columbia Empowerment Zone, Inc., joins Capital Rotary Club following induction ceremonies by president Tommy Gibbons. Maloney, a Baltimore, MD native, is a Limestone College and S.C. Economic Development School graduate. She formerly worked with the City of Columbia’s Office of Business Opportunities and with Columbia Housing Authority. Maloney was named the Greater Community Relations Council “Outstanding Volunteer of the Year” and has been a volunteer with Habitat for Humanity, United Way, Cooperative Ministries, Junior Achievement, City Year, Palmetto Health Foundation and Together We Can Read Initiative. Gloria Saeed was her Rotary member sponsor.
Past president David Boucher (left) and sponsor Darren Foy (right) join in ceremonies inducting Walker Williams into the Capital Rotary Club. Williams, a portfolio designer for Anchor Investment Management, is a Columbia native who earned a finance degree from the University of Georgia and a Master’s in Business Administration from the University of South Carolina. He was a banker, securities trader and small business owner for 11 years. Williams is married to the former Laura Pinnell of Augusta; the couple has three children. Williams also has been active in the Boy Scouts, the Hammond School board of directors, the vestry at Trinity Episcopal Cathedral and the Executives Association of Greater Columbia.
Our speaker on Wednesday, November 16, 2016 was Pamela Lackey, President of AT&T SC. She is responsible for the company’s regulatory, economic development, legislative and community affairs activities in the state. She works closely with state and community leaders to help bring new technology and jobs to the state and improve the quality of life for all South Carolinians.
Pamela brings a diverse background to her position, having joined AT&T’s predecessor company, BellSouth, in 1997. She initially served in the business marketing group, where she was the company’s primary interface with education and government customers. In that role, Pamela was instrumental in establishing the state’s first broadband network to provide high-speed Internet service to all schools and libraries. She was subsequently promoted to the position of Director-Government Relations, where she worked directly with members of the S.C. General Assembly on public policy matters. She was named to her current position in October 2007.
Prior to her telecommunications career, Pamela was a professional educator. She most recently served as the Senior Executive Assistant to the State Superintendent of Education, where she directed a division with responsibility for technology, curriculum standards, testing and professional development for teachers and administrators. Before being named supervisor of library media programs for the SC. Department of Education, she began her career as a school library media specialist.
Her numerous honors and awards include being named the 2011 Business Leader of the Year by the South Carolina Chamber of Commerce, the highest award bestowed by the state’s largest statewide broad-based business and industry trade association, which represents more than 18,000 businesses and more than one million employees.
Pamela is extensively engaged in community and civic affairs through leadership roles with numerous local and state organizations. She is currently a co-chair of the Transform SC education initiative, a Past Chair of the SC State Chamber Of Commerce, a Vice Chair of the S.C. Ports Authority Board, having been appointed by Governor Haley and originally confirmed by the State Senate in 2011. The boards on which she serves include the Business Partnership Foundation at USC’s Moore School of Business, the Palmetto AgriBusiness Council, the Palmetto Business Forum, Hollings Cancer Center Advisory Board, the United Way of the Midlands Board and the International African American Museum Board. Previously, she served four years on the Research Centers of Excellence Review Board, including as Chair.
A native of Meridian, MS, she attended the University of Alabama, where she was awarded a Bachelor’s in Education and a Master of Library Science and an Ed.S in school media supervision. She moved to South Carolina in 1980
In her faith community, Pamela is a member of Trinity Episcopal Cathedral, where she serves on the Altar Guild.
Picture credit: Millennium Magazine
Capital Rotary Club members, spouses and friends celebrated Rotary Night with the Columbia Fireflies minor league baseball team at Spirit Communications Park. They were among more than 360 Rotarians from 17 different clubs in the district who signed up for an evening of food, fellowship and good sportsmanship, part of a fundraiser totaling over $1,000. Nearly 40 Capital members bought tickets for the event and sat along the first base line.
Columbia’s Capital Rotary has honored five members as new Paul Harris Fellows, signifying $1,000 donations to the Rotary Foundation in their names. They are (front row, from left) Denise Holland, Joe Reynolds, Abby Naas, Daniel Winders and Shane Lacaillade. Club members who assisted in these donations are (back row, from left) David Boucher, Bryan Goodyear, Chris Ray, Ione Cockrell, Craig Lemrow and Mike Montgomery. Rotary Foundation contributions help fund international programs promoting peace and world understanding.
Dr. Tommy Gibbons (left), 2016-17 Capital Rotary president, presents a plaque to David Boucher to recognize his leadership of the Columbia-area club in 2015-16. As past president, Boucher now will be in charge of club donations to the Rotary Foundation that funds international programs promoting education, peace and world understanding.