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Moving Company Charleston, SC

If you have ever moved to a new house, apartment, or office by yourself, you know how much of a pain it can be. The moving process can be filled with many different emotions. On the one hand, you're probably excited about the new adventure that lies ahead of you. On the other hand, you're probably dreading the heavy lifting, pulling, packing, organizing, and logistical aspects of moving.

At Strong Men Moving, our goal is to remove that dread so you can focus on the fun and productive times ahead. With a team of hardworking, experienced moving professionals on your side, moving to a new home or office is easy, like Sunday morning.

The best part? As local, trusted movers in Charleston, you won't have to take a loan out from the bank to pay for our moving services. We believe in hard work, friendly attitudes, efficiency, and fair pricing.

Service Areas

 Local Movers Charleston, SC
 Professional Movers Charleston, SC

Convenience is King

Strong Men Moving is a full-service moving company in Charleston. We run our trucks at 110%, meaning we go above and beyond what other movers in Charleston are willing to do.

Are you moving from out of state? Is your new house hard to find? Don't have the time or patience to pack and wrap all of your belongings? Don't sweat it – we've got your back. There's no job that's too large or too small for our strong men to handle, and there's no place in the Lowcountry that we won't go for you.

When we say convenience is king, we mean it.  We're talking nights, weekends, and availability 24-hours a day from Monday through Saturday. Our goal is to make your move as stress-free and simple as possible. That way, you have time to focus on enjoying your new home or office, while we worry about hauling your double vanity into the back of our truck.

When you bring in the Strong Men, you can rest assured that you're getting a full-service, friendly experience from the minute we pull into your driveway to the minute we shake your hand goodbye. Unlike some moving companies in Charleston, punctuality is not our poison. We strive to arrive on time to each job that we are hired to perform.

Here are some of the most popular moving services our customers use:

 Packers And Movers Charleston, SC

Residential Moving

Along with divorce and the loss of a job, moving is listed as one of the most stressful experiences a person can go through in their lifetime. When you consider the packing, the lifting, the scheduling, and the general disruption that moving can have on your life, it's easy to understand why.

As the premier moving company in Charleston, our goal is to carry your moving burden, so you can stay focused on your daily life. You can rest easy knowing our movers in Charleston will always show up to your home with a positive attitude, friendly smile, and motivation to work. We treat your property like it was our own and take great care in handling all the items we move for you.

In addition, we prep our team of movers for many situations and provide thorough training on the fundamentals of moving, packing, risk management, and more.

If you own specialty items such as art, antiques, or other valuables, we will take every precaution necessary to ensure your possessions arrive to your new home safe and sound.

Whether you're moving to a new home down the street or are coming from another state, we have the experience, tools, and professional movers to do the job correctly. We even offer additional residential moving services that include packing, unpacking, overnight storage, and much more.

Call or text us today to discover the full range of our residential moving specialties.

 Moving Services Charleston, SC

Labor-Only Moving

Do you already have reliable transportation but still need a team of professional movers to handle your heavy lifting? Strong Men Moving now offers labor-only moving services in Charleston for both residential and commercial moving projects.

A few benefits of labor-only moving include:

  • Reduce damage - our professional movers in Charleston will make sure your belongings are properly loaded into your truck, reducing the probability of damaged or broken items.
  • Maximize Space - With years of experience in the moving industry, we have a sixth sense for space-efficient packing and loading. Our strong men will make the most out of your truck's usable space, which can help reduce trip time and save money on gas.
  • Quicker Moves - A team of Strong Men Moving will almost always be able to load and unload your belongings faster than a group of your friends. It's nothing personal! With our team of professionals, you can spend less time filling up your truck and more time on getting to your new home or office.
  • Save Money - Using your friends to help you move almost certainly means you will have to compensate them one way or another. Why spend your money on cases of beer and pizza when you can use it for a safer, quicker move?
 Movers Charleston, SC

Commercial Moving

Charleston and the surrounding metropolitan area is a hot spot for business. Dozens of companies scout Charleston each year as a new place to call home, where they can broaden their horizons and find new clients. What some businesses do not take into account is the logistics and headaches involved with moving to a new location.

Strong Men Moving has built a reputation as a leader in commercial moving services in Charleston. We have the tools, team, and experience necessary to facilitate a smooth move for your business at a reasonable price.

In our experience as a commercial moving company in Charleston, we have discovered that it can be complicated to move to a new business location. During this transition, we know that you need:

  • Your office furniture, equipment, and supplies packed and secured safely
  • Storage space
  • A detailed, efficient plan of action to ensure an organized move
  • Minimal disruptions to your day-to-day operations

To make sure we meet the requirements above, we will speak with you at length about your upcoming commercial business relocation. That way, we get a better understanding of the logistics involved. We will also provide you with a free quote, so you can plan your budget ahead of time.

At Strong Men Moving, some common commercial moving services include:

  • Pickup and delivery of your office equipment and supplies
  • Loading and unloading office items
  • Packing and unpacking your office supplies
  • Assembly of your office furniture
  • Provide all necessary moving equipment and packing materials

Whether you have to move a few office chairs down the street or need help transitioning to a new location, we are here to serve.

 Long Distance Moving Company Charleston, SC

Refuse Removal and Disposal

Did you find a bunch of unwanted junk after moving to a new office? Do you have an old, stinky couch taking up room in your basement? Don't sweat it - we will remove the old junk from your home or office quicker than you can say, "trash it!"

With Strong Men Moving's refuse removal services, we can haul away all the heavy, unusable items that your trash service won't pick up.

A few common junk removal items that we can remove for you are:

  • Couches
  • Chairs
  • Bed frames
  • Futons
  • Dressers
  • Mattresses
 Long Distance Moving Services Charleston, SC

Professional Packing

If you're like most average folks living in the U.S., you probably have hundreds of items lying around your house that need to be packed before you can move to a new home. Packing can be a massive source of frustration, especially for busy families and professionals who don't have the time or patience to pack.

Why risk a sprained back or a throbbing headache when Strong Men Moving can handle all the packing for you? With our professional packing services in Charleston, you can sit back and sip some sweet tea while we pack your keepsakes, furniture, electronics, clothes, and more. If you have valuable items like family heirlooms or fragile china, we will take extra care to make sure those items stay safe and unbroken during your upcoming move.

Why hire a moving company in Charleston like Strong Men Moving to help you pack? Here's why most of our clients want us to pack for them:

  • Packing is a tedious, time-consuming chore
  • Professional packing minimizes the risk of injury
  • Professional packing reduces the risk of damaged items
  • Professional packing lets you focus on the more important aspects of moving, like setting up HVAC or internet service

Don't have many items to pack this time around? Ask us about our high-quality packing supplies like boxes, tape, furniture pads, and covers. We're here to help in any way that we can!

Moving Company Charleston, SC

Cleanout Services

If you have a large-scale cleanout project, we can help with that, too. Our home and commercial cleanout services are great if you need to dispose of a large number of items in a short period of time.

All you have to do is give us a call, and we'll come to your location to remove your unwanted items, taking care not to damage your home or office. Once we have removed your refuse, we'll dispose of it in an environmentally-friendly fashion to help protect the Lowcountry we love so much.

A few common cleanout services in Charleston include:

  • Estate cleanouts
  • House cleanouts
  • Basement cleanouts
  • Garage cleanouts
  • Foreclosure cleanouts
  • Apartment cleanouts
  • Office cleanouts
  • Commercial space cleanouts
  • Storage space cleanouts

General Labor Services

Are you working on a project that requires a team of strong laborers? Sometimes, hiring your friends just doesn't cut it. When you need a team that arrives on time, works hard, and does so with a smile, Strong Men Moving has got the help you need! As trusted movers in Charleston, we employ seasoned labor professionals that can assist you with your next indoor or outdoor project. Ready to get started? Call or text us today so that we can get a good understanding of your upcoming project, and how our team can save you time, effort, and money.

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About Strong Men Moving

Established in 2019, Strong Men Moving has quickly become a leading moving company in Charleston, SC. We have built our reputation on reliability, performance, price, and a positive attitude. We truly feel privileged to serve the residents of South Carolina. Our goal is to provide quality customer service with speed and diligence to all clients. We treat all of our customers the same, whether they hire us for a multi-facility commercial move or just need help loading and unloading a moving truck.

 Local Movers Charleston, SC

Strong Men Moving offers service in the following communities and beyond:

  • Bluffton
  • Charleston
  • Columbia
  • Daniel Island
  • Folly Beach
  • Greenville
  • Hanahan
  • Hilton Head Island
  • Isle of Palms
  • James Island
  • Johns Island
  • Kiawah Island
  • Ladson
  • Mount Pleasant
  • Myrtle Beach
  • Nexton
  • North Charleston
  • Seabrook Island
  • Sullivan's Island
  • Summerville
  • West Ashley

Do you have questions?

Need a quote on your upcoming residential or commercial move? We are here to help however
possible. You can reach us via phone at 843-830-6305 or by email at [email protected].

We hope to hear from you soon!

Latest News in Charleston, SC

Why moving from Europe to Charleston SC to work in medtech was a win-win for me and my family

Originally based in Slovenia and then Germany, Andreja Tajnic has worked for Belimed Infection Control, a global provider of medical sterilisation and disinfection technology, for more than a decade. In 2021, the Slovenian national left her position as one of two managing directors of Belimed’s German office with a focus on finance and IT to pursue an exciting overseas opportunity: chief financial officer (CFO) at Belimed USA. ...

Originally based in Slovenia and then Germany, Andreja Tajnic has worked for Belimed Infection Control, a global provider of medical sterilisation and disinfection technology, for more than a decade. In 2021, the Slovenian national left her position as one of two managing directors of Belimed’s German office with a focus on finance and IT to pursue an exciting overseas opportunity: chief financial officer (CFO) at Belimed USA.

by Charleston USA

Her move to the company’s US offices located in Charleston, South Carolina, was not just a new step in her career at Belimed. It was a chance to realise a long-term ambition.

Tajnic kicks off our 30-minute Zoom call by explaining that she has always been driven by life’s challenges, both big and small. “I am a person who likes challenges,” she says. “I always have target goals, and one of them was to prove that I could make it here in the US.

“I always had the wish that I would come here. It is a very corporate-oriented country and I wanted to be in a US corporation. I wanted to feel that beat and experience how they do business, and that is why I was accepting of this challenge.”

Settling in

As she arrived and got settled into the new role, it didn’t take long for some culture shock to set in. She recalls feeling taken aback by how friendly and polite the locals were – from strangers asking how you are to business colleagues including smiley faces in emails. Tajnic believes this was heightened by the fact she had moved to a state in the south of the country, where kindness and warmth are important societal customs.

It took Tajnic some time to get used to the convivial charm of the southern state. Occasionally she felt she should adapt her own “straight to the point” style of communication to a gentler one, although colleagues encouraged her not to change. She now believes she has “loosened up” in many senses – and even uses the occasional smiley face herself.

In Belimed’s Charleston office, Tajnic has appreciated the executive team’s focus on developing and constantly strengthening company culture. As CFO, she quickly jumped on board. “It is not like you just have your own department and mind your own business. Here we are saying ‘this is a Belimed thing’, not a department thing. We are going for the common goal, and it means more and more interactions between departments.”

A global leader in infection control, Belimed’s products are used by the sterile processing departments of hospitals around the world to protect the lives of patients and staff. The company has its headquarters in Switzerland as well as offices in eight other countries around the globe. In 2008, it relocated its North American base from Miami to Charleston to take advantage of the region’s business climate, talent and quality of life.[1] In its Charleston location, Belimed has a corporate office for sales and service admin, marketing activities, product management and G&A functions. There is also a warehouse for spare parts and equipment.

Sunny Charleston

Tajnic has now been in Charleston long enough to feel well at home, although she also expresses a feeling that she is always on vacation. The image she paints of the area is certainly idyllic for those that enjoy a relaxed way of life accompanied with picturesque surroundings and regular sunshine. South Carolina is well known for its subtropical climate comprising hot summers and mild winters.

Thinking back to the previous New Year in Charleston, Tajnic remembers celebrating outside with family, and everybody wearing shorts. In spring and autumn, the weather is above 20°C almost every day. Even in the mornings and evenings there is little need for a winter coat – especially for a hardy Slovenian.

The correlation between sunshine and general well-being is a well-studied one. Asked whether she feels its affects, Tajnic says: “There is lots of sun. It brings you joy, definitely.”

Exploring the area

The Charleston area is well known for its beautiful large beaches, which draw US holidaymakers in search of some peace, relaxation and stunning sunsets all year round. Add to that the city’s reputation for superb food and top-rate restaurants, plus its deep and fascinating history, and it is easy to see why the area is a popular one among tourists.

Particularly on the weekends, the feeling of the downtown is magical, says Tajnic. “Just speaking about it brings a smile to my face. For me, the most joyful time is when I am with my husband in the city centre on a Saturday morning. We live very near to the main streets of Charleston; it takes us approximately 20–25 minutes to walk to the city centre. This is always the best time. There are lots of people outside having fun, walking and taking the history tours with a horse and carriage.”

According to Tajnic, Charleston offers work-life balance like nowhere else. “What Charleston offers is great,” she remarks. “Anyone moving here for work is definitely coming to the right place for an amazing lifestyle, not just work. I am very much known as a workaholic, but despite that, when it is the weekend, there are so many great places to go.”

She believes this combination of innovation, connectivity and quality of life is why so many companies are choosing to relocate or expand to the region. These include large tech companies, automotive manufacturers, and many smaller companies in the healthcare and life science industries too, of which Belimed is one.

In Charleston, life sciences teams are also finding the perfect environment in which to develop game-changing technologies that transform patient care. The region’s innovation ecosystem is expanding rapidly as more and more talented individuals and entrepreneurs are drawn to the region. As such, Charleston has repositioned itself not only as an important port and tourist city, but also as a diverse hub for innovation.

“More and more international companies are coming to Charleston,” Tajnic adds. “It is a very open city to global communities and diversity.”

For companies hoping to transfer a large proportion of professional talent to a new city, quality of life factors can make or break the relocation. Choosing a site that satisfies business requirements while also offering an attractive and appealing place for staff and their families is vital. Charleston succeeds by being a thriving life sciences hub that is also a wonderful place to live.

Discover why global life sciences businesses are choosing this thriving region. Download the white paper ‘Charleston, USA: A life sciences hub’ here.

Discover Charleston. A fast-growing population, a technically-skilled workforce, efficient access to the global marketplace, and a diverse portfolio of real estate options. Charleston is a globally competitive community for life sciences.

by Charleston USA

Enter your details here to receive your free Charleston Life Sciences Brochure.

By clicking the Download Free Charleston Life Sciences Brochure button, you accept the terms and conditions and acknowledge that your data will be used as described in the Charleston USA privacy policy

By downloading this Charleston Life Sciences Brochure, you acknowledge that we may share your information with our white paper partners/sponsors who may contact you directly with information on their products and services.

Visit our privacy policy for more information about our services, how we may use, process and share your personal data, including information on your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications. Our services are intended for corporate subscribers and you warrant that the email address submitted is your corporate email address.

What changes to SC’s voting law will mean for June primary, future elections

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - In just over two weeks, South Carolina voters will be able to head to the polls early to cast their ballots for the June 14 primary elections.A new change in state law means voters will have an early, in-person voting option for every future election as well, an offering that did not previously exist on a permanent basis in South Carolina.But at one point in the last few weeks, the bill that provi...

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - In just over two weeks, South Carolina voters will be able to head to the polls early to cast their ballots for the June 14 primary elections.

A new change in state law means voters will have an early, in-person voting option for every future election as well, an offering that did not previously exist on a permanent basis in South Carolina.

But at one point in the last few weeks, the bill that provided for this early-voting expansion appeared to be in jeopardy. Despite agreeing on most of the legislation’s language, a major disagreement between the state Senate and House of Representatives concerning oversight of the State Election Commission threatened to kill the entire bill.

But on the second-to-last day of the legislative session last week, lawmakers announced a compromise, which passed both chambers and which Gov. Henry McMaster signed into law Friday, in time to be implemented for the June primary.

(EMBEDDED TWEET: https://twitter.com/MaryGreenNews/status/1525201461675794432)

“I kind of thought if the House and the Senate can both pass a bill of this magnitude unanimously, there was no way we were going to let this die,” Rep. Brandon Newton, R – Lancaster, said. Newton played a key role in guiding the bill through passage in the House this year.

Starting with the upcoming June primary, this new law guarantees two weeks of early voting before elections, or three days for run-off elections.

For the June 14 primary, early, in-person voting begins May 31 in every county and runs through June 10, not including Saturday, June 4, and Sunday, June 5. Polling places will be open from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Early voting for any run-off elections will take place June 22-24 at the same hours and locations as the primaries.

All registered voters will have this early, in-person option, and they do not need to provide an excuse or reason for why they are voting early, as they previously had.

Each county will need to open at least one early voting site, but they can offer up to seven of them. Isaac Cramer, executive director of the Charleston County Board of Elections and legislative chair for the South Carolina Association of Registration and Election Officials (SCARE), said because of the tight window between now and the primary, most counties will likely offer one early location for the primary, their voter registration office, but would probably expand to more places for the November general election.

The governor signing this bill into law at the end of last week leaves county elections offices with just over two weeks left to implement changes.

But Cramer said officials had been preparing for this since the start of the year.

“I can tell you that every single county director in this state welcomes early voting because it’s such a much better process for our voters and for election officials in processing them,” Cramer said.

Among other changes, this law also tightens up the qualifications determining which voters can receive a mail-in ballot, but that change will not go into effect until after the June primary, as will a requirement for the name, address, and signature from a witness who is at least 18 years old be included with mail-in absentee ballots.

“We can’t change those in the middle of an election on people, so all those changes to the paper absentee process will start July 1,” Newton said.

Under the new law, voters qualified to receive mail-in ballots include:

For the primary, mail-in ballot applications are now due two Fridays before the election, June 3, at 5 p.m. Before they had been due the Friday before.

The law gives workers more time to open mail-in ballots. While they previously could not do so until 9 a.m. on Election Day, they can now open outer envelopes on Sunday and inner envelopes Tuesday at 7 a.m.

It also makes voter fraud a felony in South Carolina, increasing penalties for convictions, and permanently bans third-party spending by elections offices.

A ban in the law on fusion voting, in which candidates run for the same office for more than one party, will go into effect next year, as some candidates for lower offices had already filed to run in this manner in this year’s elections, when it was still legal in South Carolina.

Newton called the changes long overdue.

“We were one of less than 10 states that didn’t have early voting,” he said. “We were one of the very few states that didn’t let them process the absentee ballots. We were just so far behind the curve on every aspect of our election law. This was drastically needed.”

Cramer believes the new early voting option will be popular in future elections, given how many voters took advantage of no-excuse, absentee voting in 2020, when it was available on a temporary basis because of the pandemic.

“In Charleston County, we had 75% of our voters vote early. I think we’re going to see that trend continue in South Carolina with early voting now, that any voter can show up, and they will because they already have,” he said.

As on Election Day, voters will need to bring their photo ID or voter registration card with them to vote early in person.

Cramer also recommends they visit the South Carolina Election Commission website to find out which early voting locations will be open in their county.

Copyright 2022 WCSC. All rights reserved.

Pharmacy's youngest grad is ready to make a difference

While most of Kira Adkins’ new classmates in the MUSC College of Pharmacy in the fall of 2018 were learning each other’s names and backgrounds, they all seemed to know something about her already. After all, she had been featured in local media as the girl who was accepted to pharmacy school at the age of 16.But even ...

While most of Kira Adkins’ new classmates in the MUSC College of Pharmacy in the fall of 2018 were learning each other’s names and backgrounds, they all seemed to know something about her already. After all, she had been featured in local media as the girl who was accepted to pharmacy school at the age of 16.

But even if they knew her story, they didn’t know her. Adkins remembers socializing with other new students around a table during orientation week when one brought up “that girl who got in, and she’s only 16.” Curious to hear the gossip, Adkins quietly listened. Luckily, the other students’ reactions were overwhelmingly positive – mostly amazement at her accomplishment. She then revealed herself as “that girl.”

“They were like, ‘What?! No way! We expected you – I don’t know – to look different,’” Adkins said. “And I was like, ‘Look different how? Who did you expect?’ And they were like, ‘I don’t know. Somebody nerdy.’”

“So I guess they were surprised,” Adkins said, laughing at the memory.

From the youngest accepted applicant at the College of Pharmacy, Adkins now becomes the youngest graduate at the age of 21. It’s an age when most college students – including her former classmates from Academic Magnet High School – are either getting ready to begin their careers or to apply to graduate schools to study medicine, law, business, or – of course – pharmacy.

Adkins bypassed the undergraduate years by earning college credits through Advanced Placement classes in high school and courses at Trident Technical College and Greenville Technical College. She had decided early on that she wanted to be a pharmacist, and so she began by choosing courses with an eye toward fulfilling her prerequisites.

“Then I started to get on a roll, and I thought, ‘This is manageable.’ So I just started adding more classes, started trying to do the sciences,” she said.

Her parents, Randy and Sherlonda Adkins, are immensely proud of her. But those years of doubling up on high school and college coursework weren’t easy, and they tried to make space for her to ease off the pressure.

“There were definitely difficult times, of course, because it was a lot – being in college and high school,” Randy Adkins said. “Anytime she had those times, we always made it clear she could step away if she wanted to. Just because you have a plan doesn’t mean you have to put everything into it and move forward.”

But Adkins was always able to regroup, refresh and keep going, her father said.

“We actually had a conversation about that a few weeks ago, about remembering those moments, because those moments will help you in your future. Life doesn’t always pan out perfectly. This ended up panning out very well, but it was difficult along the way,” he added.

Kira Adkins’ interest in a health care career began when, at the age of 13, her parents invited her to accompany them on a mission trip to Honduras. In addition to working as a software consultant, her father is also an ordained minister, and her mother is a physician assistant. Back home in South Carolina, Adkins joined the SCRUBS program at Roper St. Francis Health Care for middle and high school students interested in health care careers.

It quickly became obvious, she said, that she didn’t want anything to do with a career that involved blood and gore. And as she began to learn about pharmacy, she also began to notice how accessible pharmacists are. Around practically every corner there’s a CVS, a Walgreens, a Walmart or a grocery store – and they all have pharmacists.

She noted that pharmacists are considered among the most trustworthy professions, and she began to see how other health care providers relied on them. Even so, she said, it wasn’t until she got to pharmacy school and began rotations that she truly began to understand the breadth of the field.

Rotations are meant to give students experience in a variety of settings, and Adkins has gotten that. She’s worked in a long-term care facility, ambulatory clinics, community pharmacies and hospital pharmacies. In each setting, she’s learned something about herself and about pharmacy.

Working at a pharmacy embedded within a Fetter Health clinic, which primarily serves minority and underserved communities, drove home the significance of being a Black woman in the profession. Study after study has shown the importance of health care providers looking like the communities they serve, yet, nationally, only about 5% of pharmacists are Black.

Adkins recalls one instance when her preceptor, or trainer, pointed out that the whole time the patient had been answering his questions, she had been looking at Adkins.

“She was looking at you because she trusted you,” her preceptor told her.

“That’s really when I started to realize how I, as a young Black female provider, can play into health care,” Adkins said. “I needed that rotation to really see that.”

Although she enjoyed forming relationships with patients in the ambulatory and community settings, her rotations showed her that she prefers to work in an acute care setting.

“In the acute care setting, you have no idea what you’re going to come across. Every single day I walked in, and I was like, ‘OK, what did we get overnight?’” she said.

She also liked that pharmacists were fully embedded members of the care team, not just an afterthought. A pharmacist was part of rounds each day, and for almost every patient, the doctors would consult the pharmacist about the best medication, the proper dosage and any possible interactions.

“They need a pharmacist on rounds, and I didn’t really realize that until I was there,” Adkins said.

She had a similar experience at the Ralph H. Johnson VA Medical Center, where the pharmacists would be on rounds and had to carefully interpret labs to make recommendations, since many of the patients were intubated or sedated and couldn’t speak for themselves.

At the VA, she said, her preceptor was especially challenging – in a good way. He told her he was going to treat her the same as a resident – someone who’s already graduated from pharmacy school – and assigned her projects as well as patients.

“During the time, I was like, ‘This guy is crazy. He’s expecting me to do all this stuff, and I don’t know if I can do it.’ But at the end of it, I was like ‘OK, I needed that.’ Because I was able to do it all,” she said. “So that showed me I can juggle having patients but also doing longitudinal projects, also educating the team. It showed me that I can educate other health care providers and communicate with them.”

All of Adkins’ fourth-year rotations were in the Charleston area, which is somewhat unusual. Originally she planned to do some “away” rotations – after all, this is the student who organized three classmates to find rotations in Hawaii after their first year so they could live in Hawaii for a month – but COVID had already canceled her second-year rotation in New York City, forcing her to scramble for a replacement, and she didn’t want to go through that again.

Happily, by the time she got to her fourth-year rotations, all save one were in person.

Adkins, who describes herself as a social butterfly, is already getting to know the people she’ll be spending the next year with. She’ll be a resident at Prisma Health, where she’ll do acute care rotations and narrow down her interests. Right now, she’s interested in pediatrics, critical care and psychiatry, and she hopes the residency will show her which is the career path for her – or even show her a career path that she hasn’t yet considered.

“I love the idea of keeping your mind open because you don’t know what you don’t know. Like psychiatry – I never would have known I was interested in that, and I just did that rotation in March. It was not on my radar until I did the rotation,” she said.

As she prepares to graduate, Adkins acknowledges the village that has helped her to get to where she is – starting with her family and growing to include her professors, the pharmacists at the MUSC Shawn Jenkins Children’s Hospital, with whom she’s worked since her first year, and many more.

“I couldn’t have done it by myself. I give a lot of credit to my parents. They’re always here for me, always supporting me. Also my siblings – yes, they are younger, but they’re a big part of my support system as well,” she said.

Randy Adkins said their church family, where Adkins has learned to accept support when she’s needed it and to support others in turn, has been instrumental. And he and his wife are eager to see what their daughter does next.

“We know she’s going to do phenomenal things.”

A motorcycle crash when she was 21 left Julia Rodes with a spinal cord injury – and determination to realize her dream of becoming a doctor.

New suicide prevention lifeline to overwhelm local resources

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - On July 16, the United States is getting a new three-digit number for emergencies.988 is the number people will be able call for help during a mental health crisis. However, implementing the new suicide prevention lifeline in South Carolina is proving to be a challenge.The problem is there is only one call center in the state that will fields calls from the 988 number and it already can’t keep up with the ever growing demand.That call center is called Mental Health America and it’s l...

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - On July 16, the United States is getting a new three-digit number for emergencies.

988 is the number people will be able call for help during a mental health crisis. However, implementing the new suicide prevention lifeline in South Carolina is proving to be a challenge.

The problem is there is only one call center in the state that will fields calls from the 988 number and it already can’t keep up with the ever growing demand.

That call center is called Mental Health America and it’s located in Greenville County. Right now, they’re able to answer about 80 percent of the South Carolina calls and they expect that number to go exponentially down when 988 goes online and more people become aware of the new number.

Bill Lindsey is the executive director of NAMI South Carolina and says they’re trying to get another call center in the Charleston area to help relieve some of the pressure.

“The one that we’re looking at in Charleston is the one that has been used for mobile crisis or SC hopes and they’d like to see that expanded. What we don’t have is a lot of involvement with getting the funding necessary to keep this thing up and running,” Lindsey said. “The legislature was looking at putting about $1.3 million into Charleston facility to bring it up to speed. I don’t know where we are on that. It looks like we’re back to square one.”

Lindsey says the plans for 988 have been in the works for more than a year, but there’s still no investment into mental health facilities to expand call capacity.

“You know, we’re in one of the largest mental health crisis that this country has ever seen coming out of a pandemic and particularly involving youth,” Lindsey said. “Youth suicide rate is just out the roof, particularly here in South Carolina. It’s gone up in that age range of 10 to 18. The number two cause of death in South Carolina for that age group is suicide.”

Executive Director of Mental Health American of Greenville County Jennifer Piver says if the local lines are busy, someone will still pick up but they won’t be from South Carolina and Piver says that’s not ideal.

“Time matters and having folks routed around - they’re going to talk to great folks but that takes time and if there’s a life threatening situation, that time literally can be the matter of life and death,” Piver said.

Right now, the call center has about 21 full time employees. With the projected increase in calls, Piver says they’ll need 105 to answer every call in South Carolina.

There is still time to fund an expansion. The South Carolina Legislature is still discussing the budget. There’s a place holder figure of $1 in for 988 expansion. That means lawmakers could still adjust that figure when they meet again to approve the budget.

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From motorcycle crash survivor to medical school graduate

Julia Rodes had serious doubts about whether she’d make it through medical school. “100%, 110%,” she said. But as she prepares to graduate from the College of Medicine at the Medical University of South Carolina and begin a residency at MUSC’s Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, she has become an inspiring figure on campus and beyond.“Her focus and drive have helped me to view our world through a unique lens and have led to real change that will impact generations to come at MUSC,” sai...

Julia Rodes had serious doubts about whether she’d make it through medical school. “100%, 110%,” she said. But as she prepares to graduate from the College of Medicine at the Medical University of South Carolina and begin a residency at MUSC’s Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, she has become an inspiring figure on campus and beyond.

“Her focus and drive have helped me to view our world through a unique lens and have led to real change that will impact generations to come at MUSC,” said Christopher Bunt, M.D., associate dean for Student Affairs and Professionalism.

Rodes will become the second student to graduate from MUSC’s College of Medicine using a wheelchair. The first is someone she knows well. She met John Lin, M.D., at the Shepherd Center in Atlanta after a motorcycle crash that left her paralyzed. Lin is medical director of the center’s Spinal Cord Injury Program and a 1996 MUSC graduate.

“It was so transformative to know Dr. Lin. He’s a physical representation of a person who went through the exact same thing. And he is living a life in medicine. He was able to do it. You know, I needed that physical representation at that moment,” Rodes said.

She’d been afraid that her chance to become a doctor disappeared the day she crashed while taking a class required to get a motorcycle license. Rodes hit a curb and went flying into a wall. She wound up pinned under the motorcycle. Rodes doesn’t remember the accident but does remember what it was like recovering from it.

“A spinal cord injury is not just about not being able to walk anymore. You don’t have control over your bowels; you don’t have control over your nervous system, like whether or not you’re going to sweat, whether or not your body can regulate itself anymore,” she said.

“I saw how exhausting every day could possibly be when I was first rehabbing and learning how to get dressed and learning how to put my pants on and learning how to use a catheter. I was so overwhelmed by how hard it would be to live. I thought I was going to lose my chance to be in medicine, too. Science is where my heart was. I didn’t know what else to do with my life if I couldn’t do science.”

She learned she could – from Lin. “Dr. Lin made a path for me to come into medicine. I learned a lot of strengths from him. It’s not how you overcome something, but how you continue to face it daily. And make the choice to continue to face it daily.”

Lin called it humbling to hear that. He said her achievement shows just how capable people with disabilities can be. “I knew she was a tenacious person who wanted to grab the bull by the horns and solve the problem. She’s definitely self-directed. She has no problem initiating an action plan.”

She had to do that in medical school, working with professors and peers to find ways to do the required class and clinical work. “The most accessible rotation that I had was my surgery rotation because of how aware and how open the attendings were to having dialogue about, ‘Hey, what if I try to scrub in; I’m not going be able to touch my chair to move over here. So let’s talk about how we’re going to do that.’ Accessibility is less about, ‘Is there a ramp?’ And it’s more about how, ‘How can we talk about this?’”

And talking will be a big part of her future. After she finishes her psychiatry residency at MUSC Health, Rodes will work at the VA Medical Center in Charleston. As the wife of an Army officer, she feels right at home with veterans. And she chose psychiatry because she’s seen plenty of mental health suffering and wants to help.

Some of that suffering was among her fellow patients at the Shepherd Center when they were learning how to live with spinal cord injuries that left them paralyzed. “You’re all learning together. So you bond really well with these other people, and you graduate rehab together. And that means that you have learned all the lessons you need to learn in order to live independently. And we keep in touch,” Rodes said. “Unfortunately, I’ve lost some friends to suicide.”

Suicide also affected her husband’s world. “I’ve spent the last 10 years with my husband as an active duty spouse. We were able to travel with the Army, and the Army treated us really well. But the longer he was active duty, the more of his friends and his soldiers took their lives. And so suicide became this common theme that we grew to understand.”

She wants to show people dealing with that level of suffering that there are other choices. Her own experience will be a part of that. “In psychiatry, you’re dealing with a lifelong illness. I am living in a body that I wouldn’t necessarily have chosen. And for a lot of people, they wake up in a reality that they wouldn’t necessarily have chosen either. And I think I can really relate to somebody on that,” she said.

“There’s somebody living in a chair; you might guess that they live with chronic pain. And that’s something that I live with. Seeing a physical representation of somebody living in pain makes you feel like, ‘Maybe I can do it too.’ And so I hope that helps somebody else.”

Rodes said the acceptance she’s found for a life that hasn’t gone the way she planned is something she can share with them, too. “Not every happy ending is about a cure. Not every happy ending is about being free from disease or being free from the ailment. A lot of happy endings have to do with having peace. And I have peace with my injury. I have peace with my body,” Rodes said.

“It’s because I have so much excitement for what I can do and what I am going to be doing. And so when you redefine capability, it just opens the world to you.”

Only days from graduating from MUSC College of Health Professions as nurse anesthetist, Esther Odeghe reflected with awe on journey she's taken.

Keith Tormey’s Irish roots inspired a journey that brought him to dental school at MUSC, where he’s been a class leader amid the complications of the pandemic.

While Kira Adkins’ classmates were learning each other’s names and backgrounds, they seemed to know something about her already.

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