Outreach Programs

Lowcountry Diabetes Initiative Receives Grant For Health Ministries And Exercise Programs

The Lowcountry Diabetes Initiative (LDI) Was Formed October 2000 By A REACH 2010 Planning Grant. The Coalition Has Over 26 Partners And Includes Beaufort, Jasper, Hampton, And Allendale Counties. Meetings Are Quarterly With Beaufort Jasper Diabetes Coalition. In 2002, LDI Received Funding From SC DCP Mini-Grant, Beaufort Jasper EOC, Johnston Heart And Caring Fund Totaling $12,000; 2003 And 2004 Received $7,000 SCDCP Mini-Grant. The Programs Provided Healthy Cooking Demonstrations With Blood Pressure Checks Every Six Months In Selected Churches. Three Of Four Churches Improved Their Mean Blood Pressure In Six Months For Grant Year 2003 And 2004.

The New Grant For $13,800 From The South Carolina Diabetes Control Program Will Focus On Building Health Ministries And Implementing Exercise Programs For 5 Churches Of 14 Churches Where Blood Pressures Were Checked In The Past Three Years.

Goal: To Decrease Disparity From Diabetes And Hypertension In The Lowcountry.


  • Provide Training For Representatives From Each Congregation On How To Implement A Health Ministry And Local Churches Already Involved Will Be Available To Assist In The Training
  • Purchase Exercise Videos From AHEC To Facilitate A 6-Month Exercise Programs Encouraging 3 Times A Week And Provide An Exercise Bike For Each Church
  • Monitor Blood Pressure Every Six Months
  • Provide MD Speaker On Diabetes And Hypertension To Each Church

Susan G. Komen

The Goal Of The Program Is To Provide Community Outreach Education And Direct Subsidy Of Mammograms For Women Aged 35-64 Who Live At Or Below 200% Poverty And Have No Insurance. This Grant Provided 258 Clinical Breast Exams And 185 Screening Mammograms For Patients Who Met The Above Criteria. Patients Were Recruited In The 8 Clinics, Through 18 Outreach Activities, And Through A Health Fair Hosted By BJHCHS. Zonta And Alpa Kappa Alpha Assisted And Advertised For The Health Fair. The Migrant Camps Were Visited By The Outreach Worker And Patients Were Brought To The Clinic For Clinical Breast Exams And Screening Mammograms.

Our Staff

Valerie Muehleman, MS, RD, CDE

Certifications and License: 

Grant Writing Certification by Research Associates, 2004

Certified Diabetes Care & Education Specialist – October 1998

Commission of Dietetic Registration, October 1996

South Carolina Licensed Dietitian No. 464, March 2003



Applied Practice Program, Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, New Orleans, LA- July 1995

M.S. Home Economics, Murray State University, Murray, KY- December 1994

B.S. Mathematics and Natural Sciences, Freed-Hardeman University, Henderson, TN – May 1992


American Diabetes Care & Education Association, 2020 to present

Health Care Consortium Member, 2009 – 2013

ESMMLC – Chair, June 2012

Hilton Head Island – Student Improvement Council Member 2012

Eat Smart Move More Hampton – Member, 2011 to 2018

Coordinated Health Education Advisory Committee, BCSD, Member 2010 to 2018

Eat Smart Move More Lowcountry, Member at Large, 2010

Lowcountry Diabetes Initiative, Member 2000 to 2010

American Dietetic Association, Member, 1996 to present

Jasper County Coordinated School Health Advisory Committee, Member,1996 to present

Beaufort County Coordinated School Health Advisory Council Member, 2008 – 2015

Eat Smart Move More Lowcountry Committee Member 1997 – 2015

Eat Smart Move More Lowcountry (ESMMLC) – Past Chair 2013 Hampton County


Carolyn Davis Renaissance Award, presented by BJHCHS Medical Director, September 2017, for Contributions to Continuous Promotion of Healthy Lifestyles.

Certified Diabetes Educator of the Year, South Carolina presented by the SC Diabetes Prevention & Control Program, March 2005.

Margaret J. Weston Award presented by the South Carolina Primary Health Association, 2002, for Outstanding Community Service.

Letter of Commendation for Service at the Naval Hospital, April 16, 1997

Valerie joined BJHCHS as a Registered Dietitian and Certified Diabetes Care & Education Specialist  November 1999.  She has worked as the Director of Nutrition and as a grant writer since joining BJH.  She is originally from Mayfield, Ky. And attended Murray State University where she got her master’s degree in Home Economics.  In 1995 she attended Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, New Orleans, LA- July 1995 for her dietetic internship.  After completing her education,  She moved to Hilton Head Island with her husband.  They now have two daughters and a dog.  In her free time she likes to play tennis and go to the beach.


Terrie Williams, Community Liaison

  • Assists Churches In Finding Resources And Planning Health Events
  • PECS System Data Clerk.
  • Employed August 19, 2002

Susan Mills Tucker

As a dietitian and diabetes educator, I try to bring the best of science, compassion, and practicality to nutrition &/or diabetes sessions that hope to encourage people to claim their best life.  I have been a dietitian since 1985 and supported Diabetes Self-Management Education programs since 1999.  With two degrees in nutrition and a thirst to learn more about people, nutrition and diabetes, I feel confident my services are credible and timely.


Ohio State University, BS in Nutrition

Clemson University, Masters in Nutritional Science

Registered Dietitian – April, 1985

Certified Diabetes Care and Education Specialist – December, 2013

Susan Mills Tucker


Ines D. Figueroa

My name is Ines D. Figueroa and has been working for 19 years with the company.
In 1997, I started to work at BJHCHS as a Certified Spanish Interpreter for all Physicians at Chelsea Medical Center, including Social Worker, and Medicaid, under Mr. C. Icard supervision. By January 2000, I relocated to Puerto Rico.
I Came back on January 22, 2002, to work HIS Port Royal, under Roberta Martin supervision. Later I changed position to work at WIC Department under Wydell Goethie WIC Director, were I served for 18 years until September 24, 2018 when I started to work with the Nutrition Department under Valerie Muehleman Supervision.
I am a Certified Interpreter for Medical Nutrition Therapy (MNT), Diabetes Self-Management Education (DSME), and sometimes for Pharmacy. Also I am a Centers for Disease Control National Diabetes Prevention Program (CDC NDPP) Lifestyle Coach. I do interpreting for Valerie Muehleman and for Susan Mills-Tucker. In addition, I schedule and reschedule nutrition referrers, call patients the day before the appointments, and conduct a Spanish NDPP Class.

Ines D. Figueroa
Nutrition Outreach Coordinator
Chelsea Medical Center
Phone # 843-987-7463
Cell # 843-812-4374