DHEC Programs & Divisions

A - Z

Accidental Release Prevention Program

Implements the Clean Air Act Section 112(r), conducts site inspections and audits to determine compliance with the risk management program requirements.

Acute Disease Epidemiology

We detect and control communicable diseases and other public health crises by:

  • Maintaining and optimizing surveillance systems
  • Monitoring and investigating reportable conditions
  • Supplying data and providing guidance about communicable disease control and prevention
  • Supporting and collaborating with DHEC's Public Health regional staff and healthcare providers
  • Enhancing capacity to respond to issues of public health importance
  • Conveying information effectively to our partners

Air Permitting

Issues construction and operating permits to industrial sources that use or store a material with a potential to emit air pollutants into the air we breathe.

Ambient Air Monitoring Network

Developed a Web application to assist the public in understanding air quality monitoring issues. This tool shows the location of air quality monitoring stations in South Carolina, the parameters measured and historical graphs of the concentrations of major pollutants.

Arthritis Prevention and Control

We promote education, screenings and physical activity to prevent, diagnose and manage arthritis. We also produce and share data and reports about arthritis in South Carolina.

Asbestos Program

Issues asbestos permits for regulated renovation and demolition activities. It also licenses all involved in either the inspection, design, air monitoring, in-place management, removal, cleanup or other handling of regulated asbestos-containing materials.

Beach Monitoring Program

In accordance with federal U.S. EPA standards – routinely collects water samples at over 120 locations on South Carolina’s beaches. Advisories are issued if high bacteria levels are found.

Best Chance Network

We provide free breast and cervical cancer screenings to women who are 47-64 years old, have no insurance, and meet certain income guidelines .
Services include:

  • Mammograms
  • Clinical breast exams
  • Pap tests
  • Pelvic exams
  • Diagnostic procedures
  • Case management
  • Community education on breast/cervical cancer and early detection

Birth Control/Family Planning

Do you want to prevent pregnancy or plan future pregnancies? We provide reproductive health services which includes birth control, information and counseling to help you plan and time pregnancies, health exams and needed lab tests. All services are confidential, meaning we promise to protect your identity.

Birth Defects Program

We provide statewide surveillance of nine categories of major structural birth defects - central nervous system, cardiovascular, musculoskeletal, orofacial, genitourinary, eye, ear, gastrointestinal and chromosomal anomalies. The CDC and the National Birth Defects Prevention Network recommend these categories for monitoring.
We monitor birth defects identified prenatally through age two to:

  • Determine birth defect rates and trends
  • Promote effective referral of infants and families for services and care
  • Develop public health strategies to help prevent birth defects
  • Conduct research on birth defect causes, distribution and prevention

Brownfields/Voluntary Cleanup Program

Allows a responsible or non-responsible party (RP or NRP) to cleanup or acquire a contaminated property with certain liability protections from State Superfund for existing contamination by agreeing to perform environmental assessment and/or remediation. This program facilitates redevelopment of properties by NRPs and encourages RPs to voluntarily remediate their sites.

Care Line

We are a referral service for healthcare or other important services. Call us toll-free at 1-855-472-3432. We can help point you in the right direction!

Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention

We receive blood lead testing results from hospitals, laboratories, and health care providers. We track blood lead levels that are considered elevated and offer services to children whose blood lead levels meet our criteria. Children under the age of sixteen may receive case management services and children under the age of six may also be eligible for an environmental lead assessment of their home. We may assist with making follow-up testing appointments with the child’s health care provider.  
For information about Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention in SC call toll free 1(866) 466-5323 [1-866-4NO-LEAD].

Children/Teens with Special Health Care Needs

Does your child have a chronic illness, disabling condition or developmental delay? If so, we can see if your child qualifies to get the special healthcare services he or she needs. We may be able to help you pay for certain services. Your child must be under 18 years of age to apply.

Chronic Disease Epidemiology and Evaluation

We collect, analyze, interpret and present health data related to chronic conditions such as arthritis, asthma, cancer, diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and their risk factors.

Diabetes and Heart Disease Management and Prevention

The Division supports state investments in implementing and evaluating evidence-based strategies to prevent and manage cardiovascular disease and diabetes in high-burden populations. Strategies focus on diabetes, hypertension and hyperlipidemia diagnosis and management, and type 2 diabetes prevention in rural communities and among disparate population groups. The division is designing, testing and evaluating novel approaches to address evidence-based strategies aimed at reducing risk, complications, and barriers to prevention and control of diabetes and cardiovascular disease in high burden populations.

Drinking Water Program

Ensures safe public drinking water through strategies including source water protection, operator certification for water treatment plants, permitting, routine sanitary surveys, monitoring, treatment design and plan review.

Drug Control

DHEC's Bureau of Drug Control works to decrease the diversion of controlled substances from legal sources by maintaining a closed system of distribution and continually monitoring distribution of prescription drugs. We enforce the South Carolina Controlled Substances Act .

Dry Cleaning Restoration Program

Responsible for administering South Carolina’s Drycleaning Facility Restoration Trust Fund by using funds to assess, prioritize and clean up registered dry-cleaning sites that are polluted within the state.

Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Program

DHEC's EMS program is responsible for developing and enforcing all of the standards and regulations necessary for the improvement of emergency medical services in South Carolina.

First Sound

We receive infant hearing screening results from S.C. screening hospitals - hospitals that birth 100+ babies per year. We help families make follow up appointments with audiologists (hearing specialists) if their infant doesn't pass the hospital screening. If an infant is diagnosed with a confirmed hearing loss, we make referrals to BabyNet - South Carolina's system of services for infants and toddlers birth to three years of age who have developmental delays or have conditions associated with developmental delays.

Hazardous Waste Program

Permits active hazardous waste treatment, storage and disposal facilities, guides clean-up actions for thousands of waste management units, maintains registration of hazardous waste generators in South Carolina and issues transporter permits for hazardous waste transported within the state.

Health Licensing

The Division of Health Licensing has the ultimate goal of ensuring that individuals receiving care and services from healthcare activities licensed by DHEC are provided appropriate care and services in a manner and, in an environment that promotes their health, safety, and well-being. We inspect and investigate healthcare activities, provide consultations as needed, and recommend enforcement actions as deemed appropriate.


Wondering which shots your child will need to attend day care or school? We'll tell you which ones are needed and make sure your child gets the required shots. We also provide immunizations for adults, including shots for:

  • Flu
  • Pneumonia
  • Tetanus/whooping cough (pertussis); Also called Td and Tdap vaccine

Infectious Waste Program

Regulates infectious waste treatment facilities as well as generators and transporters of infectious waste in the state. Any person or company that generates or transports infectious waste in South Carolina must be registered.

Injury And Violence Prevention

  • Child Passenger Safety - provides education and instruction to parents and caregivers on the proper use and installation of child passenger seats and assists at car safety seat check-up events.
  • SC Violent Death Reporting System - supports self-harm and violent death prevention efforts of state and national partners by collecting and analyzing violent death information to determine circumstances that contribute to suicide, homicide, and accidental firearm deaths within the state.
  • SC State Child Fatality - works with and provides support to the SC State Child Fatality Advisory Committee to produce the Annual SC Child Fatalities report while creating and maintaining partnerships with local and national partners.

Newborn Screening

Newborn screening is a series of tests that check for more than 50 hidden health disorders in newborn babies. All babies are tested soon after birth. Most tests are done on a small sample of baby's blood. This blood is taken by pricking baby's heel. The blood is sent to DHEC Public Health Laboratory for testing. If a problem is discovered, early treatment can give baby the best chance for a healthy life.

Non-Point Source (NPS) Pollution

Coordinates regulatory and voluntary programs to reduce pollution from nonpoint sources. The program also issues grants to local organizations to conduct watershed planning and NPS pollution reduction measures.

Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity

We are charged to lead South Carolina's healthy eating and active living policy, systems, and environmental approaches to reduce obesity and obesity-related chronic conditions. Environmental and systems approaches have broad, population-based reach, provide sustained health impact, and are best and promising practices for public health. We work with partners at the state and local level providing content expertise and technical assistance on environmental and systems approaches to support healthy eating, active living, and obesity prevention.

Oral Health

We strive to ensure that all men and women, children and youth, including those with special health care needs, enjoy optimal oral health as part of total well-being.
We work with others to ensure:

  • Prevention and education are priorities.
  • Treatment is available, accessible, affordable, timely and culturally competent.
  • Responsibility is shared among patients, parents, providers, employers and insurers.
  • Collaboration by government, higher education and the private sector ensures resources, quality and patient protection.

Ozone Forecasting Program

Forecasts ozone concentrations to warn the public and encourage people to avoid exposure to unhealthy air.

Postpartum Newborn Home Visits

Postpartum Newborn Home Visits are a free service for new moms and their babies. Health Department nurses provide 1 to 2 visits to eligible families to assure both mom and baby are doing well. The nurse will usually spend 1-2 hours with you and your baby to weigh your baby, do a physical exam on your baby and a partial exam on you if needed, check your blood pressure, help you with getting health care provider appointments for you and your baby and refer you to other community resources as needed (WIC, BabyNet, local parenting groups, and others).

Health Department nurses also provide a free Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) Pre-Discharge Home Visit, when ordered by the baby's doctor or nurse, to families whose infants are ready to go home from the hospital NICU.

You may contact your local Health Department for more information about scheduling a home visit at Public Health Clinics.

Pregnancy Testing

Think you might be pregnant? We can do a pregnancy test. If it turns out that you are pregnant, we will help you find out if you face any special pregnancy health risks. We can also refer you to a prenatal doctor and other medical services.

Schedule an appointment today at your local Family Planning Clinic. To find a clinic near you, use our Family Planning Clinic Locator or call (855) 472-3432.

Public Health Nutrition

We promote healthy lifestyles through nutrition education, training and consulting and by developing resources. We set nutrition standards and evaluate their impact.

Public Health Social Work

We address health from a broad perspective that includes physical, social, emotional and spiritual wellbeing throughout the life cycle. We navigate multiple dimensions that influence health and employ a person-in-environment approach to meet individuals where they are at to deliver effective care that addresses an individual’s unique needs and empowers them to live a healthier life. We work to build a healthier community one person at a time.

Radioactive Waste Program

Regulates the transportation of radioactive waste into and within South Carolina and licenses facilities that process and transport radioactive waste. The program also regulates the Barnwell low-level radioactive waste disposal facility (also known as the Chem-Nuclear Site.)

Recreational Waters Program

Performs routine inspections and provides technical assistance to public swimming facilities located throughout the state. This includes swimming pools and spas, as well as natural swimming areas.

Septic Tanks Program

Inspects and permits septic tanks for new construction and licenses professionals who install, clean or repair septic tanks or haul septage.

Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs)

Are you worried you may have a sexually transmitted infection? We can test for HIV, syphilis, gonorrhea and Chlamydia. If we find that you do have an STD, we can give you medicines to treat it, and we will refer you to additional healthcare services if needed.

We can also give you information to help you protect yourself and your partner from STDs in the future. All services are confidential, meaning we promise to protect your identity. In some cases we may need to notify your partner(s) that they may have been exposed to an STD so that they can get medical care, but we will not use your name.

Sexual Violence Services Program

We administer contracts, provide technical assistance and work collaboratively with the state's rape crisis centers and the S.C. Coalition Against Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault . We monitor state and federal funds earmarked for sexual violence services.

Shellfish Sanitation Program

Ensures that shellfish (oysters, clams and mussels) and the areas from which they are harvested meet the health and environmental quality standards provided by federal guidelines and state regulations.

Solid Waste Permitting Program

Regulates the disposal of solid waste including tires, used motor oil, land-clearing debris, construction and demolition debris, municipal and industrial solid waste. The program also regulates landfills, chipping and composting facilities, solid waste processing facilities, solid waste transfer facilities, solid waste incineration facilities and others.

State Revolving Loan Fund Program

Provides low-interest rate loans for building or repair of wastewater, drinking water and stormwater systems. The fund is run by DHEC and the S.C. Budget and Control Board.

Stormwater Program

Manages stormwater runoff by permitting discharges from construction and industrial sites and municipal storm sewer systems.


Is the federal government’s program to clean up the nation’s uncontrolled hazardous waste sites. The program is committed to ensuring that remaining National Priorities List (NPL) hazardous waste sites are cleaned up to protect the environment and the health of all Americans. South Carolina also has a state version that works on sites that are important to the state, but doesn’t rise to the federal NPL level.

Tobacco Prevention and Control

We help ease the toll tobacco use takes on South Carolinians by addressing four major areas:

  • Quitting Tobacco Use
  • Eliminating Second-hand Smoke Exposure
  • Preventing Youth Use
  • Addressing Health Disparities

TB (Tuberculosis) Treatment

If you have been diagnosed with TB, we will give you medicines to help treat it. We will also help you get any other medical services you may need. Since TB is very easily passed from person to person, we'll also try to find out how you were exposed to it. We'll try to locate anyone else who may have been exposed to it so we can encourage them to get medical care as well. This will help limit the spread of TB.

Teen Services at Teen Clinics

If you're a teen in need of birth control, an STD test, a pregnancy test, or an exam, you may be more comfortable being seen at one of our teen only clinics. Our teen clinics are friendly and provide you with education and counseling to make good reproductive health decisions. All of our clinics (teen and regular clinics) are confidential - which means we don't share information about you or your visit with anyone. Our teen clinics serve both females and males.

Underground Storage Tank Program

Regulates underground storage tanks (USTs) for the entire life of a tank system. This includes the planning, compliance, permitting, enforcement and remediation efforts of petroleum underground storage tanks throughout the state. We provide technical oversight on all releases that occur from USTs as well as a Site Rehabilitation Contractor Certification Program.

Vital Records

We provide and maintain birth, death, marriage and divorce certificates.
A long form birth certificate, including parents' information, can be obtained from the main DHEC office, located at 2600 Bull Street Columbia, S.C. 29201. County offices provide the short form birth certificate.

Wastewater Permitting Program

Issues permits for discharges from point sources including municipal and industrial wastewater treatment systems.

WIC (Women, Infants and Children)

Are you pregnant, postpartum, breastfeeding or the mother of children under 5? If you meet our income guidelines, you may qualify for WIC. WIC provides food products, health screenings, and health information for women, infants and children 5 years of age or younger.

Division of Women's Health

Our mission is to promote and protect the health of women, men and adolescents through the provision of personal and preventive clinical and supportive services. We manage the following programs:

  • Adolescent Health: We provide leadership and advocacy for adolescent health and youth development.
  • Family Planning : We provide clinical and educational services to prevent unintended pregnancies
  • Personal Responsibility Education Program (PREP): We fund evidence-based programs to educate adolescents on both abstinence and contraception to prevent pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections
  • Sexual Violence Services: We administer contracts, provide technical assistance, and work collaboratively with the state's rape crisis centers and the SC Coalition against Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault (SCCADVASA).
  • Women's Health: We work to improve the health status of women in South Carolina across the lifespan.


Career of Service DHEC Programs & Divisions