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Eau Claire Blog


Caring for the Community

Eau Claire Cooperative Health Center is Excited to Announce our New Name




Eau Claire Cooperative Health Center is excited to announce that we are welcoming 2019 with a new look, a simplified polished logo, and streamlined name.  Our health center will be doing business as Cooperative Health.  Careful attention was given to ensure the preservation and integrity of our existing logo and organizational name.  


Cooperative Health will maintain our strong footprint in the communities we serve. In 1981, our organization was founded with the purpose of addressing the health care needs in the Eau Claire community of Columbia, SC with one pediatric provider. The organization has grown into a multi-site primary care and multi-specialty practice with over 500 employees serving over 55,000 patients annually in Lexington, Richland, Fairfield, and Newberry counties.


Cooperative Health is a nonprofit health care organization recognized as a Federally Qualified Health Center providing comprehensive, high quality, community-based, primary and specialty services.


Cooperative Health remains true to our mission of service in the spirit of the Good Samaritan and looks forward to continuing this legacy in this new chapter of the organization.  

If you have any questions, please contact the Communications Department at

Hepatitis C Testing and Treatment Available

Background & Testing

Hepatitis is inflammation of the liver. Hepatitis C is a virus that can cause short term and long term inflammation of the liver. The Hepatitis C virus is spread when blood and certain body fluids from a Hepatitis C infected person enters the body of an uninfected person. Only a few droplets are required. Droplets may live outside of the body on a room temperature surface for up to three weeks. Hepatitis C screening is strongly recommended because an estimated 75% of the 2.7 million people in the United States living with Hepatitis C infection are unaware of their status.

Common methods of spreading Hepatitis C include receiving a blood transfusion prior to the 1980’s, contaminated tattoo instruments, sharing of contaminated needles with IV drug use, sexual activity with multiple sexual partners, and any activity or practice where blood to blood contact can occur such as sharing toothbrushes and razor blades.

Testing for Hepatitis C is very simple and inexpensive. All it requires is a small blood sample. After collection, results are available in a few days. Most insurance plans including Medicare, Medicaid, and private insurance cover Hepatitis C testing at no additional cost to the patient.  Testing is available at all of Eau Claire Cooperative Health Center's Family and Internal Medicine locations. 

For early morning screenings, Eau Claire Walk-in located at 4605 Monticello Road, Columbia, SC opens at 8:00 a.m. Services are also available for early evening screenings up until 6:30 p.m.

Weekend screenings are available at our Saturday Walk-in located at 1228 Harden Street, Columbia SC from 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

All men and women born between 1945 and 1965 (currently between age 52 and 72 years old) are recommended to receive a one-time Hepatitis C screening because 75% of all infections involve this group. Men and women who engage in IV drug use should be screened every 6 months. 

Hepatitis C can cause minor short term illness in some, but may cause long term infection in others. About 75-85% of people with an initial infection will develop a long term infection.  If left untreated long term Hepatitis C infection may cause severe liver disease, liver cancer, disability, and death.

New therapies to treat Hepatitis C infection can stop the disease progression and provide a CURE to most people. 


Hepatitis C treatment at the Eau Claire Cooperative Health Center is provided by Hepatitis C and HIV specialists, Dr. Adebajo and Dr. Stewart at the Cooperative’s Waverly Family Practice office located at 1228 Harden Street, Suite C, Columbia, SC 29204.  (803) 748-1181 / (803) 995-8824

Successful treatment requires the expertise of a provider, pharmacy team, and involved support staff. Drs. Adebajo and Stewart and their Cooperative teams have been engaged in the successful treatment of Hepatitis C and other infectious diseases for years. Their understanding of the treatment regimens has produced an extraordinary cure rate.

ECCHC Healthcare for the Homeless Team Honored by Transitions

healthcare for the homeless

Last week, our Healthcare for the Homeless Program team was honored at the Transitions 3rd Annual Volunteer Leader Awards Luncheon with the Partner in Excellence Award.


ECCHC Transitions Award

The Partner is Excellence Award goes to one service organization in recognition of a significant contribution and lasting impact on Transitions' fight against homelessness. This partner is in the fight against homelessness for the long haul. They consistently support Transitions year after year, and demonstrate the true meaning of partnership.

In 2012, ECCHC embarked on the Healthcare for the Homeless Program and deliver health care and case-management services to homeless persons throughout the Midlands.  With a permanent clinic on the Transitions campus, men and women utilize the ECCHC clinic site for their healthcare needs as opposed to the Emergency Room. In 2016, ECCHC provided services to 3,055 Transitions' clients resulting in a savings of approximately $7 million dollars to our community.


Congratulations to Petra Edwards, NP, Jesse Myers, Toni Flegler, Kat Man and Kaneesha Jones.

National Health Center Week Activities
National Health Center Week Activities

ECCHC National Health Center Week Activities


Friday, August 11th

Pediatrics of Newberry

1:00 PM - 4:00 PM

Patient Appreciation Event

Monday, August 14th

 Eau Claire Developmental Clinic

All Day

Back to School Supplies (Patients Only)

Tuesday, August 15th

Eau Claire Internal Medicine

9:00 AM - 3:00 PM

Patient Appreciation Event

Sterling Sharpe Pediatrics

9:00 AM - 3:00 PM

Patient Appreciation Event

Eau Claire Walk In

All Day

Patient Appreciation Event

Wednesday, August 16th

Five Points Pediatrics/Waverly Family Practice

9:00 AM - 2:00 Pm

Patient Appreciation Event

Brookland Community Pediatrics

All Day

Patient Appreciation Carnival - Pizza Party

Healthcare for the Homeless Program - Transitions

11:30 AM - 1:00 PM

Patient Appreciation Pizza Party

Brookland Cayce Medical Practice

All Day

Women's Health Education

Waverly Women's Health & Internal Medicine

12:00 PM - 2:00 PM

Patient Appreciation Event

Waverly Women's Health Center

All Day

Wellness Wednesday

Winnsboro Family Practice

All Day

Patient Appreciation Event

Thursday, August 17th

Brookland Community Pediatrics

All Day

Patient Appreciation Carnival - Ice Cream Party

Migrant Health Program - Pelion Family Practice

5:00 PM - 8:00 PM

Agricultural Worker Appreciation Day

Healthcare for the Homeless Program - Transitions

9:00 AM - 11:00 AM

Flip Flop & Clothing Drive

Brookland Cayce Medical Practice

All Day

Diabetes Education Event

Friday, August 18th

Brookland Community Pediatrics

All Day

Patient Appreciation Carnival - Fun Friday!

Pediatrics of Batesburg- Leesville

2:30 PM - 4:30 PM

Patient Appreciation Event

Eastover Family Practice

All Day

Patient Appreciation Luau

Pelion Family Practice

10:00 AM - 3:00 PM

Friends & Family Day

Administrative Offices

9:00 AM - 1:00 PM

Employee Health Expo

Ridgeway Family Dentistry Reopening

Eau Claire Cooperative Health Center (ECCHC) is pleased to announce the reopening of Ridgeway Family Dentistry located at 755 US Highway 21 South, Ridgeway, SC 29130. With a full-time dentist, the office provides routine exams, teeth cleanings, fillings, extractions, crown and bridgework, periodontal, therapy and sealant services. Hours of operation are Monday-Friday 8:00 am – 4:30 pm. 

New patients are currently being accepted. Ridgeway Family Dentistry provides care to all patients, regardless of insurance status or ability to pay. We accept all forms of insurance including Medicaid.   Ridgeway Family Dental is conveniently located with Ridgeway Family Practice, which offers family medicine, counseling/behavioral health, women’s health, DOT physicals, sports physicals. 

“Providing oral health care services and reopening Ridgeway Family Dentistry in Fairfield County has been a priority,” said Delgado Cantave, ECCHC President and CEO.  “There is an existing need for many residents to have access to affordable oral health care services. We are filling a gap for patients to find the care they need and build on our mission to provide quality healthcare in the spirit of the Good Samaritan.”

Free Sports Physicals with Well Child Visits


Our office is excited to be offering FREE sports physicals with your child’s well-child visit starting May 1st through August 31st, 2017! 

Sports physicals are available to all patients regardless of the date of your last well child visit and regardless of insurance status.

It is important to get a sports physical at the beginning of the sports season.  Keep your child playing their best by making sure their sports physical  is completed!

Schedule an appointment today!  Click here for a listing of our pediatric offices.  We look forward to seeing your All Star soon! 

Click here to download the form you will need to bring with you to your appointment: Pre-participation sports Physical Form.pdf.  

ECCHC PSR, Oneyda Alcerro, Recognized by South Carolina Primary Health Care Association’s Migrant Health Advisory Council


Oneyda Alcerro is pictured in the center with Lathran Woodard, CEO of the South Carolina Primary Health Care Association and the other awardees.

Please join us in congratulating Oneyda Alcerro, PSR at Women’s Health & Internal Medicine of Batesburg-Leesville!

Oneyda was awarded the “Excellence Contribution Award” at the South Carolina Primary Health Care Association’s Migrant Health Advisory Council Meeting on March 14, 2017.

She was recognized for her exceptional commitment and contribution to the agricultural communities in the Midlands Region of South Carolina.

Oneyda goes above and beyond her scoop of service to ensure that agricultural worker have health care access under the SC Migrant Health Program at the Batesburg-Leesville sites.  She also promotes health access in the agricultural worker community at other ECCHC locations such as Eau Claire Walk In,  Waverly Women’s Health Center, Five Points Pediatrics, Pelion Family Health Center, Brookland Community Pediatrics and Brookland Cayce Medical.

Recognizing ECCHC Ryan White Part C Early Intervention Services Program on World AIDS Day 2016

Leadership. Commitment. Impact.

In honor of World AIDS Day 2016, we would like to highlight the Ryan White Part C Early Intervention Services (EIS) program at ECCHC. This year’s federal World AIDS Day theme is “Leadership. Commitment. Impact.” These three words clearly define our Ryan White team.

 The CDC estimates that roughly 1.2 million people in the US are living with HIV- and nearly one in eight are not aware they are infected.  Prevention efforts have led to encouraging declines in the new diagnoses among some populations- including African American women, people who inject drugs and heterosexuals- and stabilization in new diagnoses among gay and bisexual men, including black men. However, as many as 50,000 people still become newly infected each year. In addition to recognized risk behaviors, a range of social and economic factors places some Americans at increased risk for HIV infection.  (From CDC Fact Sheet, “Today’s HIV/AIDS Epidemic,” October 2016)

Since the Cooperative’s award of the Ryan White Part C grant in April 2012, the Ryan White EIS team has worked towards the achievement of two key goals: the improvement of client retention in medical care and support services; and improvement of client viral load suppression. In pursuit of these goals, the Cooperative has leveraged its expansive network of community-based health centers, and its culturally sensitive primary care teams to improve health outcomes for all clients and significantly reduce HIV-related health disparities in Richland, Fairfield, Sumter, and Newberry counties. According to the CDC, although there has been a gradual improvement in the number of South Carolinians who received HIV care, there are still an estimated 3,200 people in the state living with undiagnosed HIV infection.  (From CDC, “Revelence of Diagnosed and Undiagnosed HIV infection- United States, 2008-2012.)

ECCHC’s Ryan White Part C EIS Program focuses on HIV/AIDS early intervention services for men and women. In 2015, the program served 439 patients. Patients receive comprehensive, compassionate, and confidential health care services to help treat and manage HIV/AIDS.
Patients work with their health care team to learn how to set and achieve health care goals. They receive comprehensive HIV/AIDS health care, including:
  • HIV treatment
  • Medication assistance
  • Education about HIV management
  • Case management
  • HIV testing for you or your partner
  • Primary health care services
  • Dental care services
  • Podiatry services
  • Behavioral health care services
  • Education about nutrition and wellness
  • Referrals to specialty care

Patients are also confidentially connected to various social and community organizations that can help, such as support groups and substance abuse treatment. Anyone who is HIV positive or thinks they may be and would like to be tested is eligible for the program. Services are provided on a sliding fee scale. We accept patients who are both uninsured and insured. We offer free and confidential testing. Patients can call (803) 799-8407 ext. 1932 for an appointment within 24 hours. Open-access appointments are available for established patients.


Ryan White Part C EIS Team

The success of the program would not be possible without dedicated and caring staff. 







 “Being a Ryan White Case Manager is a rewarding position because I get to help someone that is in ‘need of services.’  Sometimes patients come into the office just to vent about their personal problems, some come in for their medications, some come in for bus passes, some come in for money, some come in for food, some come in for housing referrals, some come in for their medical appointments, and some just come to say hello.   Being a part of the Ryan White team, we are considered a family including the doctors and the nursing staffs.  Patient always state that they enjoy coming here because they feel like they are a part of our family and we treat them with respect.”–Nadya Brown, Medical Case Manager







“Working in the field of HIV is for me is more than a job; it’s a passion/ministry. Having close friends and a family member succumb to this disease hits close to home.  Working in this field there is never a dull moment. I believe there is a day when HIV will no longer exist and I want to be a part of the efforts to making this happen. “ –Kabra’ Benford, Medical Case Manager









“The patients we serve keep me going.  They move me.  I love my job, I love the patients we serve because being able to do one thing for them is fulfilling.  Assistance with medication, referrals, transportation, etc. Whatever I can do, I’m willing. To see a patient smile and say ‘thank you’ is enough.”  - Olympia Witherspoon, Assistant Program Coordinator

The ECCHC Ryan White program also has two incredibly passionate providers.






Adelero Adebajo, MD  is a board certified Internal Medicine Physician, a fellow of the American College of Physicians and a certified HIV specialist with the American Academy of HIV Medicine. She is a member of the Ryan White Medical Provider Coalition and the International Association of Providers of AIDS Care. She has been employed at Eau Claire Cooperative Health Center since 2012, where she provides primary care, hepatitis C care as well as HIV care to patients through the Ryan White Program.  Dr. Adebajo recently represented ECCHC at the International Association of Providers of AIDS Care (IAPAC) conference “Controlling the HIV Epidemic with Antiretrovirals” in Geneva, Switzerland.








Ada D. Stewart, MD, FAAFP, has been a practicing family physician with the Eau Claire Cooperative Health Centers since 2012, and currently serves as lead provider and HIV Specialist. Dr. Stewart is also a member of the board of directors of the American Academy of Family Physicians.

Stewart is also a member of the American Academy of HIV Medicine, the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Care Medicine, the National Medical Association and the American Women’s Medical Association.

Born and reared in an underserved urban area of Cleveland, Ohio, Stewart has committed her career to ensuring uninsured and low-income families have access to high quality health care. She began her career as a National Health Services Corps scholar, caring for underserved patients in rural South Carolina. She continues to work with underserved communities in both rural and urban settings. From 2003 to 2012, Stewart served as chief medical officer and HIV specialist at the Richland Community Health Care Association, Eastover and Columbia, S.C.

She is board certified by the American Board of Family Medicine and has the AAFP Degree of Fellow, an earned degree awarded to family physicians for distinguished service and continuing medical education. Stewart has also earned additional certification in HIV care from the American Academy of HIV Medicine and is certified as a Hospice Medical Director by the Hospice Medical Director Certification Board.

ECCHC is proud to have a partnership with USC School of Medicine’s AIDS Education and Training Center (AETC) that strengthens the capacity of health care professionals to care for people living with HIV/AIDS through training and technical assistance. ECCHC will explore options to expand the Ryan White program to serve children and adolescence.

ECCHC Celebrates National Health Center Week

Eau Claire Cooperative Health Center Celebrates National Health Center Week 2016

As National Health Center Week 2016 begins, Eau Claire Cooperative Health Center’s (ECCHC) senior executive leadership would like to pause to thank our patients and community for allowing us the opportunity to be the health care provider to almost 60,000 patients in the Midlands of South Carolina. For 35 years, Eau Claire Cooperative Health Center has served as an innovator in treating chronic conditions that are typically ignored until they become a costly illness. We are trusted providers on the front lines of public health responding to emerging challenges. 

Health centers save the health system more than $24 billion dollars a year nationally and reduce unnecessary hospitalizations. We treat patients for a fraction of the cost of one emergency room visit.  Health centers not only focus on illness prevention, we address the factors that actually cause poor health.

Today, ECCHC has compiled a record of success that includes:

·           Producing $73.6 million annually in health system savings

·           Generating over $53.2 million in economic activity

·           Reducing unnecessary hospitalizations and unnecessary visits to the emergency room

·           Treating patients for a fraction of the average cost of one emergency room visit

·           Reducing infant mortality rates

Health centers not only prevent illness and foster wellness in the most challenging populations; we produce innovative solutions to the most pressing healthcare issues in our communities. We reach beyond the walls of conventional medicine to address the factors that may cause sickness, such as lack of nutrition, mental illness, homelessness and addiction. Because of our long record of success in innovation, managing healthcare costs, and reducing chronic disease, leaders in Congress have declared health centers a model of care that offers a “bipartisan solution to the primary care access problems” facing our nation.

Investment in health centers and primary care is a prescription for good health.  It is also good politics in the public interest.


About Health Center Week


National Health Center Week has been celebrated for more than 30 years to recognize the services and contributions of Community, Migrant, Homeless and Public Housing Health Centers. While there are countless reasons to celebrate America’s Health Centers, among the most important and unique is their long success in providing access to affordable, high quality, cost effective health care to medically vulnerable and underserved people throughout the United States.




ECCHC Health Center Week Events

Pediatrics of Batesburg-LeesvilleWeek of August 7-13Patient Appreciation

Five Points PediatricsWednesday, August 10th10:00 AM- 2:00 PM

Patient Appreciation Event / Safety (Firehouse)

Pediatrics of Newberry

Friday, August 12th

1:00 PM – 4:00 PM

Back to School / Patient Appreciation Event

Pelion Family PracticeFriday, August 12th

2:00 PM – 4:00 PM

Back to School / Patient Appreciation / Farmworker Appreciation Event

Ridgeway Family PracticeFriday, July 29th12:00 PM – 4:00 PMBack to School Bash