Interim S.C. public health chief moves into permanent role

What's next now that Johnson & Johnson vaccine is on hold? Plus rising numbers of COVID variant in the CSRA.
Published: Apr. 15, 2021 at 7:52 AM EDT
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COLUMBIA, S.C. (WRDW/WAGT) - The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control today announced the selection of Dr. Brannon Traxler to serve as the agency’s director of public health.

She will assume the role Monday.

“DHEC was fortunate to attract great candidates for this critical position and I sincerely appreciate their interest in serving the people of South Carolina,” said Dr. Edward Simmer, DHEC director. “I am pleased to offer the position of Public Health Director to Dr. Brannon Traxler. She has done a terrific job in the interim role and I am confident that she will continue to do great things for her fellow South Carolinians.”

A native of Greenville, Traxler most recently served as interim director of public health for the agency, a position she assumed after serving as chief medical officer for the state’s COVID-19 response.

“As a lifelong South Carolinian, I am dedicated to DHEC’s mission to promote and protect the health of the people and environment of our great state, and it is an honor to be selected to work alongside our amazing DHEC team as we work together to improve the lives of all those who live, work and play in our state,” she said.

During her time with the agency, she has overseen:

  • The agency’s response to the pandemic.
  • Statewide testing highs for the number of people being tested for COVID-19.
  • The rollout of South Carolina’s COVID-19 vaccination plan.
  • The state’s Hepatitis A response.
  • The agency’s completion of the process that helped lead DHEC to becoming a nationally accredited public health agency.

She previously practiced as a surgeon in South Carolina before changing her specialty focus to public health.

She earned her medical degree from the University of South Carolina School of Medicine and her Master of Public Health degree from George Washington University. She received her undergraduate degree in microbiology at the Clemson University Honors College.

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