Newberry Rotary welcomed Dr. Oscar Lovelace to speak about a passion of his: the health of Newberry County.
Lovelace praised Rotary for their mission to eradicate the polio disease and recalled when he was on a mission trip to Nicaragua. He says that while he was in a very remote place, the only sign he saw was a Rotary sign calling for vaccinations for children.
Since he is a doctor, vaccinations are important to him and he was happy to know that Rotary was helping to immunize the people in the country.
Moving on to the local aspect of what Lovelace does, he said that he and his staff are trying to improve the health in Newberry.
For one, he has the Living Water Foundation which sprung from a Living Water fund he had going on.
He said that Bob Ballentine of Little Mountain, helped to turn the Living Water fund into a foundation which essentially improves the health of all people in the county.
That is their mission, Lovelace recalls.
He has also taken on tobacco prevention and stated some statistics in which he says a pack of cigarettes a day can cause many diseases.
Lovelace happily announced how he and his staff were able to change the tobacco policy in schools in the 1990s. This ensured that the kids would not see the teachers smoking and would have a better chance of not wanting to smoke themselves.
There are some tobacco prevention programs he hopes to get out more.
Aside from tobacco, Lovelace states how obesity is a huge problem as well.
It’s the fastest growing epidemic, he recalls.
Lovelace is also working with the Eat Smart, Move More organization and would like many people to jump on board and get more active in helping people get healthier in the county.
One way in which motivation was served up to the county was by having Miss South Carolina, Bree Boyce, come to the Firehouse Conference Center, he said.
Lovelace was also quick to praise Renee Martin who helps out immensely with the Living Water Foundation.
Lovelace recalled how she started as a transcriber in the office and stepped up to help with tobacco prevention. She also secured a S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control grant for the county and displays the Rotary motto, service above self.
Lovelace encourages people to keep moving forward and helping out grow Newberry County healthier.
He posed the question, “What will you do as a leader to make community healthy?”
In addition to explaining briefly about Eat Smart, Move More, the Living Water Foundation and other groups, Lovelace said that there is also a senior Santa project in which elderly and shut-ins receive aid from senior citizens in need.