Who We Are
Coastal Connections, formerly known as HealthLinks, is a resource linking services offered to MUSC Health patients, their families, and affected Charleston community members. The program was created in response to the many Lowcountry residents who frequently utilized the MUSC Health Emergency Department for primary care needs due to lack of insurance coverage or financial stability. Since then, Coastal Connections has expanded throughout the MUSC Health network and frequents many community events to educate and link Lowcountry residents with resources that match and can meet their needs.
Coastal Connections began as, and remains, a fully volunteer-run program. Our volunteers are all local college students who have a passion for making a difference. Coastal Connections volunteers work throughout our Spring, Summer, and Fall semesters assisting patients with meeting their socioeconomic needs. In return, our volunteers are provided with valuable work experience that sets them up for careers in health care, social work, or administration.
Coastal Connections’ Patient Advocates will consult with patients to collect information and identify needs the patient has that are impacting their well-being. Our patient advocates will then match the patient with community resources that are in close proximity to the patient’s residence that can address the identified needs. Coastal Connections patient advocates follow up with the patient one week later, ensuring he/she was able to make contact with the services and was able to receive assistance.
Coastal Connections advocates will regularly educate patients in the Emergency Departments at MUSC Health about available services and conduct consultations. Patients can also be referred by any staff member at MUSC Health, or call or email Coastal Connections directly to receive assistance.
Mission, Vision, Values
Coastal Connections remedies social and economic problems caused by a lack of knowledge and access to adequate resources by navigating patients to community partners for assistance. Doing so directly assists in improving clients’ health and quality of life.
Coastal Connections will be a community care model for nonprofit organizations in the tri-county area (Berkley, Dorchester, and Charleston counties) that assist the underserved with their socioeconomic needs.
Jennifer Jacobs MSW, Program Coordinator
Jennifer has been the Program Coordinator for Coastal Connections since June 2017. She is a alumna of Hanover College in Hanover, Indiana, and has her Masters in Social Work from the University of South Carolina. Jennifer continues to develop Coastal Connections and is working to expand the program throughout the Lowcountry.
Duncan McDuffie, Program Assistant
Duncan McDuffie has been the Program Assistant since January 2016. He is a College of Charleston Alumni with a degree in Public Health. As a formal volunteer with Coastal Connections, Duncan has taken on the role as mentor and day to day coordinator with Coastal Connections volunteers. He continues his work with Jennifer in helping to expand Coastal Connections throughout the Lowcountry.