Statement by the South Carolina Primary Health Care Association on the death of State Senator Clementa Pinckney

posted on Thursday, June 18, 2015

We are deeply saddened by the loss of Sen. Clementa Pinckney in Wednesday night's shooting in downtown Charleston. On behalf of the SCPHCA and Community Health Centers (CHC) across the state of South Carolina, we express our deepest condolences to all those who lost loved ones during this tragedy, the members of the Emanuel AME church and the entire Charleston community.

Sen. Pinckney was a major force in the CHC movement who dedicated much of his life to helping others.  A native of Beaufort, he was a patient for many years at Beaufort-Jasper Hampton Comprehensive Health Services, a South Carolina CHC.  He stayed in touch with the staff while he continued to be involved in the health center movement. That involvement continued while he served as state Rep. Juanita White's page then as a member of the South Carolina House and Senate. He was always a champion for the poor and the disadvantaged and showed tremendous support for South Carolina's health centers.

As a member of the Senate Finance Health and Human Services Subcommittee, he played an important role in obtaining state funding for CHCs. Sen. Pinckney also supported efforts to expand medical services to the underserved across the state. He  was instrumental in acquiring the land for the  Beaufort-Jasper Ridgeland medical center site which also houses the A.T. Still University School of Medicine, a CHC contextual learning campus. The medical program partners A.T. Still with the Beaufort-Jasper CHC in supplying much-needed primary care providers to that community.  In 2013, the SCPHCA recognized Sen. Pinckney with the President's Award for his exemplary service and outstanding contribution to the organization and for his commitment to South Carolina's health centers.

Sen. Pinckney had a passion for helping those who could not help themselves and represented what was best about South Carolinians. He lived his life improving the lives of others. We join those around the nation in honoring the life of Sen. Pinckney. He will truly be missed.  


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