HEREIRMO

South Carolina’s Department of Health and Environmental Control Splits into Two New Agencies for Improved Public Health and Environment Management

Healthcare Collaboration Symbolized

Major Restructuring for S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control

In a significant reshuffle, the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) will fragment into two distinct new agencies. The Department of Public Health (DPH) will oversee public health and health care quality initiatives, replacing these functions of the DHEC. On the other hand, the Department of Environmental Services will undertake the responsibilities of air quality, coastal management, and land and waste management.

On to a New Chapter for South Carolina Public Health

Dr. Edward Simmer, the interim director of the newly formed Department of Public Health, stated, “Our name may change, but our commitment to serving and improving the lives of everyone in South Carolina is stronger than ever.”

He underscored DPH’s dedication to building on the legacy of the DHEC with a consistent focus on innovating for developing best practices for improving the state’s health rankings. The ultimate goal for the DPH is to make South Carolina the healthiest nation in the country.

New Agency, New Operations

The Department of Public Health will take charge with more than 2,900 devoted employees who will be spread across approximately 90 locations around the South Carolina state. As per the structure of the agency, it will be split into two core divisions, Health Promotion and Services and Healthcare Quality – both will be supported by an administrative unit.

The Health Promotion and Services division is devised to promote community health by strategically preventing disease, ailments, and injury while also ensuring access to quality care. This division includes all public health departments and programs in the state, capturing key areas like community engagement and health collaboration.

On the flip side, the function of the Healthcare Quality division is to ameliorate patient safety by enhancing the quality of care. The division will propel efforts towards making health care more accessible, safe, equitable, and higher in quality.

Action Plan and Assurances

“Our employees have gone above and beyond to ready us for this transition and ensure that absolutely no one – not those we serve or our employees – falls through the cracks before, during and after this agency transition,” expressed Simmer. As the Department of Public Health commences operations from July 1, it is reassuring to know that citizens will not experience any disruption in health services that they rely on.

The DPH constitutes a renewed approach to compartmentalize and tackle health and environmental challenges within South Carolina. As the two entities begin their journey, it is the hope and expectation of stakeholders that they will live up to, if not surpass, the legacy of their predecessor.

In Conclusion

The break-up of the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control and its subsequent reformation into two new departments, the Department of Public Health and the Department of Environmental Services, marks a significant shift in the state’s approach to public health and environmental management. It opens up new opportunities for innovation and progress in these crucial sectors. As stakeholders and residents await the full swing rollout of these departments, they look forward to achieving their common goal – making South Carolina the healthiest state in the nation.

South Carolina's Department of Health and Environmental Control Splits into Two New Agencies for Improved Public Health and Environment Management

HERE Irmo
Author: HERE Irmo

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