DHEC Director Dr. Edward Simmer Announces New Task Force to Strengthen the Health and Promote the Environment of South Carolina
Dr. Simmer: “Our shared goal is to help SHaPE a better future of health and environmental services for all South Carolinians.”
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
June 3, 2021
COLUMBIA – The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) today announced the creation of the Task Force to Strengthen the Health and Promote the Environment of South Carolina (SHaPE SC). The task force will be charged with working to improve the lives of all Palmetto State residents by evaluating and making recommendations on the organizational framework and responsibilities related to the provision of health and environmental protection services in South Carolina.
“Creating this task force is critical to receiving the diverse feedback needed to improve the future of health and environmental services in our state, and is a very important step in helping us achieve this shared goal which will ultimately impact the entire state,” said Dr. Edward Simmer, DHEC Director. “SHaPE SC has some of the most intelligent, innovative, and thoughtful minds South Carolina has to offer. Combining all of these resources to improve our state’s health and environment is a huge win for every South Carolinian.”
SHaPE SC is comprised of a diverse group of stakeholders from various organizations, such as colleges, hospitals, advocacy groups and other entities in South Carolina. It also includes leaders from each of the state’s health and environmental agencies. These individuals will collaborate on recommendations to ensure that health and environmental protection services are delivered and accessible to all South Carolinians in the most effective, efficient, and meaningful way.
The first SHaPE SC meeting will be held at the Pastides Alumni Center at UofSC, 900 Senate Street in Columbia, from 1:00-4:00 p.m. on Thursday, June 3, 2021. Some seating will be available to members of the public who wish to attend, and those interested in providing feedback to the task force can submit their comments to firstname.lastname@example.org. All comments will be made available to committee members and published online.
Chaired by Former State Senator Larry Martin, the task force will examine the current organizational structure of health and environmental services in South Carolina and look for ways to maximize effectiveness and efficiency. SHaPE SC will also make recommendations to the Board of Health and Environmental Control (Board), as well as to the South Carolina General Assembly and Governor.
“I applaud the collaborative efforts of DHEC and members of this task force which is critical to the future of health and environmental services in our state,” said SHaPE SC Chair Martin. “This type of objective approach to quality improvement is exactly what is needed at this time. I look forward to working with all of the community leaders represented on SHaPE SC.”
SHaPE SC includes three subcommittees: (1) Environmental Protection, (2) Health, and (3) Mental Health and Substance Abuse.
Subcommittees will draft recommendations that will only be approved if agreed upon by the full task force. From there, recommendations will be reviewed by the Board before being sent to the General Assembly and Governor. All recommendations will be submitted to the Board for review no later than Nov. 10, 2021.
SHaPE SC will exist until Dec. 31, 2021, unless it is extended.