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SC health department names new public health director

Updated: Apr. 15, 2021 at 2:06 PM EDT
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COLUMBIA, S.C. (WCSC) - The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control says a Greenville native will officially become the agency’s director of public health Monday.

Dr. Brannon Traxler, who has served as interim director of public health for DHEC, will begin serving as the director on Monday, according to a release from the agency.

“DHEC was fortunate to attract great candidates for this critical position and I sincerely appreciate their interest in serving the people of South Carolina,” DHEC Director Dr. Edward Simmer said. “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.”

Traxler assumed the role of interim public health director 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,” Traxler said.

Traxler has overseen DHEC’s response to the ongoing, historic pandemic, statewide testing highs for the number of people being tested for COVID-19, and the rollout of South Carolina’s COVID-19 vaccination plan.

As DHEC’s chief medical officer, she also oversaw the state’s Hepatitis A response as Chief Medical Officer, and the agency’s completion of the process which helped led DHEC to becoming a nationally accredited public health agency.

Traxler is trained and board certified in General Surgery. She previously practiced as a surgeon in South Carolina before changing her specialty focus to public health, serving as physician for DHEC in the areas of infectious disease surveillance and control and emergency preparedness and response.

Traxler 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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