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The true measure of a leader is how he treats those the world believes to be the least.

In 1997, South Carolina’s largest health system – Prisma Health (formerly Palmetto Health) – invited Mr. Ford to establish and lead a new, groundbreaking initiative intended to meet the unmet health needs of the community’s uninsured and medically underserved populations. Starting from ground zero, Mr. Ford engaged hospital leaders and the community to establish the Office of Community Health Services with the goal of improving community health

through preventive, early intervention and educational services.

For over 20 years under Mr. Ford’s guidance, the Office of Community Health offers innovative, national award-winning programs that annually deliver low to no-cost cancer, dental, maternal child health, teen health, and vision services to thousands of people in the Midlands of South Carolina. In fact, Palmetto Health was twice recognized as a finalist (2011, 2013) and finally awarded (2014) the Foster G. McGaw Award by the American Hospital Association – the highest national award for community health.


Prior to joining Palmetto Health, Mr. Ford served as the Executive Director of the Boys and Girls Clubs of the Midlands and the James R. Clark Memorial Sickle Cell Foundation. He has also coordinated and managed alcohol and drug abuse programs for the SC Commission on Alcohol and Drug Abuse.


As a senior healthcare leader and community activist, he continues to teach and lead efforts that address the problem of teen drug and alcohol use, reaching out to parents, teens, teachers, and others. Education will forever remain Mr. Ford’s personal passion, and he gives generously of his time. Starting in 1992, he served on the Richland School District One School Board, holding a variety of positions, including Board Chair. He was named Outstanding School Board Member for the Sixth Congressional District and All-State School Board Member by the South Carolina School Boards Association. After 24 years, his tenure ended in November 2016. Mr. Ford also served on the Benedict College Board, his alma mater, and the University of South Carolina African American Community Advisory Board.


Mr. Ford has received numerous awards and recognition for his distinguished service. Most recently, the Council of Urban Education honored him with its Benjamin E. Mays Lifetime Achievement Award (2017) for his longstanding commitment to the educational needs of urban school children as a school board member. But most notably, Mr. Ford has been added to The Columbia Housing Authority’s Wall of Fame. This honor highlights community role models that once lived in public housing, yet have sustained success in their chosen career field and continue to give back to their community. It reinforces a message to children living in public housing that the success is not only possible, but expected; and mirrors Mr. Ford’s vision for all children.


Mr. Ford is a life member of the NAACP and Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc, serving in multiple leadership roles throughout the years. He is married to the former Patricia Davis and they are the proud parents of two children, Marques and Robyn (his company's namesakes), and equally proud grandparents of grandson Marques and granddaughters, Amani and Jhenive.

Professional background

Seasoned executive responsible for the administration of Palmetto Health’s Certificate of Public Advantage (COPA) – the cooperative agreement that allocates 10% of the health system’s profit to the creation and support of community health initiatives. Since 1998, Mr. Ford has managed the investment of over $56M in high quality screenings, interventions, and education that span the life cycle and foster collaboration among local agencies and various industries to create a healthier community. In addition, he supervises the multi-hospital system’s diversity and inclusion efforts, and government-required Community Health Needs Assessment (CHNA).

Under his leadership, the Office of Community Health has received the following awards and recognitions from the American Hospital Association (AHA):

  • NOVA Award, 2005, 2007, 2017

  • Foster G. McGaw Award, 2014

  • Foster G. McGaw Award Finalist, 2011, 2013


  • Change Leadership

  • Strategy and Vision Planning

  • Community Engagement

  • Team Building and Performance Improvement

  • Public Relations and Media Affairs

  • Budgeting and Cost Analysis


  • Palmetto PALS School Wellness Champion, Inaugural Vince Ford Award / 2017

  • Council for Urban Education Benjamin E. Mays Lifetime Achievement Award / 2017

  • University of SC James E. Clyburn State Award for Health Care Leadership / 2013

  • March of Dimes National Leadership Council / 2012, 2013

  • Business Report Healthcare Heroes Finalist / 2012

  • Columbia Free Times’ 50 People Who Get Things Done / 2012

  • Boy Scouts Whitney M. Young Award / 2009

  • March of Dimes Midlands Volunteer of the Year / 2007

  • SC Montessori Alliance / 2006

  • Vision Magazine’s 25 Influencers / 1998

  • SC School Board Association All State School Board Award / 1997

  • Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Community Service Award / 1996

  • Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Omicron Phi Chapter Citizen of the Year / 1995, 2016

  • Columbia Housing Authority Wall of Fame Inductee / 1995

  • Columbia Urban League Lincoln C. Jenkins Award / 1993

  • South Carolina Youth Workers Association Distinguished Service Award / 1991

  • Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Omicron Phi Chapter Omega Man of the Year / 1991

  • Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Omicron Phi Chapter Citizen of the Year / 1989

  • Outstanding Young Men of America / 1986

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