News Releases

News Releases

DHEC Board Announces Selection of Dr. Edward Simmer as Agency Director

December 22, 2020


COLUMBIA, S.C.—The S.C. Board of Health and Environmental Control announced today the selection of Dr. Edward Simmer, MD, for appointment as director of the Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC).

“2020 has emphasized the importance of the work being done by DHEC employees each day. The selection of Dr. Edward Simmer to serve as the director of DHEC reaffirms the Board’s commitment to promoting and protecting the health and safety of all South Carolinians, and the communities where they live, work and play," said Board Charmain Mark Elam. “Dr. Simmer’s experience in management through his over 30 year naval career, long time residency in Beaufort and proven leadership skills will serve the agency, its many talented and dedicated staff and the people of South Carolina well.” 

Dr. Simmer currently serves as Chief Medical Officer, TRICARE Health Plan, and will be retiring from the Navy on Dec. 31, 2020. Previously, he served as Commanding Officer and CEO at the Naval Hospital in WA, Oak Harbor. Dr. Simmer holds over 25 years of extensive clinical leadership and team-building experience including transforming a large health care system.  

He received his Doctor of Medicine from Saint Louis University and holds a Master of Public Health, with a focus on epidemiology, from the Eastern Virginia Medical School/Old Dominion University Consortium. In addition, Dr. Simmer is Board Certified in General and Forensic Psychiatry from the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology and has an Administrative Psychiatry Certification from the American Psychiatric Association.

“With his strong track record in providing strategic direction for and managing large, complex organizations, we are confident in Dr. Simmer’s ability to work with agency experts and community partners to successfully lead us through the current public health and environmental challenges before us and those ahead,” said Elam

The DHEC director is selected by the board to serve a four-year term. The selection is subject for approval by the Governor, and advice and consent by the Senate. 

As part of the selection process, a nationwide search was conducted. Eighty-three applications were received as of Dec. 21. Applications were reviewed and interviews were conducted. 

Dr. Simmer’s resume is available here. Click here for an official headshot.  



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