DHEC Employees Kandi Fredere and Kimberly Seals Named Inaugural Members of Prestigious National Health Diversity Program
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Aug. 8, 2022
COLUMBIA, S.C. — The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) is pleased to announce that two of its employees are being recognized nationally for their hard work and dedication to public health.
The Association for State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO), a nonprofit that includes members from all 50 states and several U.S. territories, recently created its Diverse Executives Leading in Public Health (DELPH) program, one that increases members’ visibility and highlights their efforts in the health arena. DHEC’s Dr. Kandi Fredere, Upstate regional health director, and Kimberly Seals, Maternal and Child Health Bureau director, have been named members of the inaugural group.
Dr. Fredere has served Upstate South Carolinians for over 19 years during her DHEC career. After two years with the South Carolina Department of Education, she joined DHEC in 2003 and has served as a health educator, operations director, and as an administrator before becoming the regional health director for the Upstate in 2018.
“Kandi has dedicated her career to improving the health of the Upstate and is focused on developing partnerships and innovative methods of enhancing public health,” said Dr. Brannon Traxler, DHEC Director of Public Health, “She is regarded as an esteemed leader by staff, colleagues, and external partners.”
Prior to DHEC, Seals worked at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and March of Dimes in the Alabama office. At CDC, she worked as a Public Health Advisor supporting mass gathering and influenza control in the Division for Global Migration and Quarantine. At March of Dimes, Seals served the Maternal and Child Health Director and led the state’s programmatic mission of giving every baby a fighting chance at life. Now at DHEC, her bureau works to improve health outcomes for mothers and their children and tracks related data to ultimately create positive changes.
“Kim is a passionate advocate for the health of all mothers and children across South Carolina and works tirelessly to eliminate disparities in maternal and child health outcomes,” Traxler said. “She works well with a wide range of stakeholders to lead multiple programs statewide.”
As members of the DEPLH program, Dr. Fredere and Seals will work with other governmental public health professionals from across the nation to close health gaps that impact millions of Americans. Members will meet monthly to strategize ways to better address health needs for all demographics.
Dr. Fredere’s and Seals’ role in this national program aligns with their current public health work and DHEC’s focus to eliminate health disparities in South Carolina. In April, DHEC announced it would expand its own work as well as partnerships with community members and organizations to eliminate health disparities in our state to give all South Carolinians an opportunity to attain optimal health outcomes.