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VA Recognizes DHEC For Service To Veterans During Pandemic

Group photo

From left, Louis Eubank, Director of the COVID-19 Coordination Office; Dr. Brannon Traxler, Public Health Director; Keith Frost, Outgoing COVID-19 Incident Commander; Dr. Edward Simmer, DHEC Director; and Anthony Wyatt, Columbia VA Public Affairs

Oct. 7, 2021

COLUMBIA, S.C. -- On Friday, Sept. 24, the Columbia VA Health Care System presented members of the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) COVID-19 response team and agency leadership with its prestigious Outstanding Community Support Award.

The award was presented in a special ceremony at DHEC’s COVID-19 operations center in downtown Columbia by Wyatt Anthony, Columbia VA Public Affairs Specialist.

The award was given in recognition of the agency’s service to Columbia’s veterans during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“DHEC was a logical choice for this partnership award, as they stepped up multiple times to provide us support throughout the pandemic,” said David Omura, director/CEO at the Columbia VA. “Without DHEC’s constant focus on being available to the Columbia VA Health Care System, we would have experienced challenges that would negatively impacted Veterans.  

“Thanks to this exceptional team, testing needs were coordinated, supplies were shared, and critical information was readily made available.”

Accepting the award on behalf of DHEC was COVID-19 Incident Commander Keith Frost. Also in attendance at the ceremony, which was held at DHEC's COVID command headquarters, were agency director Dr. Edward Simmer; Public Health Director Dr. Brannon Traxler; and Louis Eubank, incoming Director of the COVID-19 Coordination Office.

“Receiving this award from our partners at the Veterans Administration was incredibly special for our team,” Simmer said. “I believe it was the first outside recognition of the work our COVID-19 response team has received since the pandemic began, and it was especially meaningful that it came from another public health organization facing the same challenges.

“We are very grateful for the recognition and are proud to serve our veterans and the citizens of South Carolina.”




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