The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control’s 2022-2024 Bridge Strategic Plan maps the agency’s strategic path forward for fulfilling its mission of promoting and protecting the health of the public and the environment in the post-COVID-19 pandemic era.
The plan is a living document that helps guide the agency, in partnerships with others, to achieve its vision of healthy people living in healthy communities.
Strategic Planning at DHEC
DHEC is currently working to revamp our agency’s strategic planning process to ensure that it is constant. This includes promoting a culture of continuous improvement that builds in consistent mechanisms for listening, planning, doing, monitoring, evaluating, and adjusting to make sure that our strategic planning efforts do not become a one-time door stop.
That’s why, in September 2022, DHEC launched our 2022-2024 Bridge Strategic Plan. This new plan was developed by our staff, builds on the foundation of the agency’s 49-year history, and charts our strategic path forward. It is a living, breathing document and serves to:
- Unify our team around a common direction for the future of the agency
- Identify core values that define our character
- Outline strategies for how we will collectively meet the challenges ahead
Why a Bridge Plan?
You’ll notice that our bridge strategic plan is shorter than (two years) a typical strategic plan. This is to allow us time to critically evaluate and strengthen our workforce, infrastructure, processes, and partnerships as we bridge from our pandemic response toward the future.
Our plan also takes into consideration the critical need for our agency and its staff to keep pace with changes to federal and state requirements, growth in our scientific knowledge, and the evolving needs of all South Carolinians. It is operationalized by staff and defines our strategic path forward through:
- Emphasizing our vision and mission statement
- Refining our core values
- Identifying our strategic pathways which are our strategic focus areas
- Developing long-term goals that reflect our role as the state’s environmental, health care, and public health agency and defining our priority outcomes we want to achieve
Core Plan Elements
Healthy people living in healthy communities
To improve the quality of life for all South Carolinians by protecting and promoting the health of the public and the environment
The non-negotiables of our agency’s character. They define how we interact with others, shape our decision processes, and guide our organizational beliefs about how we achieve our mission.
We keep these core values in SITE2 (Service, Innovation, Teamwork, Excellence, Equity) through the work we do each day.
These pathways represent the strategic focus areas that unite our teams, align our work, and guide our agency in a unified direction to advance our shared vision and mission.
Invest in the development of our current and future workforce and infrastructure to ensure our teams have the resources they need to continue to provide mission-critical services for all South Carolinians.
Education and Engagement
Educate and engage our teams, partners, and communities by encouraging greater cohesion, collaboration, and coordination to help increase open lines of communication, enhance transparency and support better-informed, evidence-based decisions.
Improve our processes to better support our internal and external customers by serving as a model for best practices in environmental and health excellence and promoting a culture of continuous improvement.
Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
Promote diversity, equity, and inclusion in all that we do.
Science in Action
Act based on sound, science-based data and evidence so that we continue to make and support informed decisions that promote and improve environmental and health outcomes in South Carolina.
These long-term goals reflect our role as the state’s environmental, health care, and public health agency and define our priorities we want to achieve. They are measured at the deputy and service area levels.
- Partner with Stakeholders and Communities: Promote partnerships to enhance the abilities of our communities across the state to promote and protect healthy people and environments.
- Promote Healthy Outcomes: Improve health outcomes and access to safe, quality health care services for all.
- Protect the Environment: Protect, enhance and restore the environment, while promoting a balance of equitable resource management.
- Provide Quality Services: Advance DHEC’s organizational capacity to provide quality internal and external services by focusing on workforce recruitment, retention and engagement; agency funding and investments; and internal process improvements.
On May 19, 2023, Senate Bill 399 (S.399) was signed into law, dissolving DHEC and the agency’s Board and dividing DHEC into two newly created agencies – the SC Department of Public Health and the SC Department of Environmental Services – effective July 1, 2024.
As the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control celebrates its history and successes of the last 50 years, the agency is committed to “finishing strong” by continuing to fulfill its mission of promoting and protecting the health of the public and the environment together. We will remain dedicated to meeting the goals and objectives outlined in this Bridge Strategic Plan. Our goal is to transition DHEC’s bridge plan into strategic plans for the two new agencies based on the feedback and lessons we gain throughout this process and the current and future needs of the communities we serve.
In the meantime, every Palmetto State resident is encouraged to read and learn more about our plan, the planning process, and the actions the agency is taking to meet our goals.