COG Receives Award for "Breaking Down Silos" Project

PRESS RELEASE: January 19, 2021
MEDIA CONTACT: Chris McKinney (803-774-1384)

COG Receives Award for “Breaking Down Silos” Project
Santee-Lynches Regional COG received a 2020 Aliceann Wohlbruck Innovation Award from the National Association of Development Organizations (NADO) for a regional project named “Breaking Down Silos”.

SUMTER, SC – The National Association of Development Organizations (NADO) awarded Santee-Lynches Council of Governments a national award for their “Breaking Down Silos” Project at the 2020 Annual Training Conference. The project began as a collaboration between the South Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), SC Thrive (state non-profit) and the state-wide network of Area Agencies on Aging (AAA) in South Carolina, to enhance the quality of lives for seniors and their caregivers. These entities have never worked together before on providing these services.

The pilot was designed to help seniors and their families better navigate the application process to either obtain Medicaid “In-home” Services or be evaluated for admission into a long-term care (LTC) facility. The process has been cumbersome, and often very difficult to determine if a complete application was successfully submitted. Additionally, it was extremely difficult to get feedback on if there were items missing from the application, because incomplete applications did not get processed. This left many feeling confused and hopeless.

During the period of October 1, 2019 – June 30, 2020, the Breaking Down Silos Pilot Project contacted 484 people on the waiting list, performed 126 outreach events to educate seniors on this option and successfully submitted 122 LTC Medicaid Applications to DHHS despite the pandemic and proved proof-of-concept. Additionally, several seniors have already started receiving in-home care services.

The Breaking Down Silos Project supports our vision for economic development and improved quality of life by providing viable options for our senior population to age with dignity and receive the care they need. Obtaining the services from Medicaid LTC relieves a heavy burden that is often shouldered by family members and provides an enhanced quality of life for everyone including the caregivers. Additionally, once our seniors are approved for the LTC Medicaid services, they can add to our regional economy. They do this by employing independent contractors in their homes or by the funds being provided to the LTC facility. Additionally, with the relief of the financial burden they can also continue to make other purchases to fuel our economy.

About National Association of Development Organizations (NADO)
NADO is a national network of 540 multi-jurisdictional regional planning and development organizations. The 2020 class of awardwinning projects were recognized during NADO’s virtual 2020 Annual Training Conference, held online October 20-22. The 2020 class of award recipients consists of 79 projects from 48 organizations spanning 19 states.

The Aliceann Wohlbruck Impact Awards program is an opportunity each year for NADO to publicly recognize the great work regional development organizations deliver to their local communities.

About Santee-Lynches Regional Council of Governments
Santee-Lynches Regional Council of Governments is a premier organization committed to optimizing our region’s unique strengths for a better tomorrow. Our mission is to deliberately enhance the quality of life and provide opportunities for the advancement of our region. Santee-Lynches serves the counties and cities of Clarendon, Kershaw, Lee and Sumter. To learn more, visit

Santee-Lynches COG is a member of the South Carolina Councils of Government (SC COGs). The SC COGs are a network of the 10 regional councils of governments working to positively affect quality of life and economic development in South Carolina. SC COGs
serve as an extension of local and county governments to provide technical assistance, secure state and federal dollars to address critical issues, and advocate at a state and national level for economic and quality of life improvements for South Carolina. To learn
more, visit or visit