March is Women’s History Month, and March 8 is International Women’s Day. We’d like to take this opportunity to highlight some amazing women in Team DHEC who help us achieve our vision of healthy people in healthy communities.
“When I chose to major in biology, I was often asked what I was planning to do with that degree. I am happy to say I did a lot with it. I am glad to see young women today are encouraged and supported to enter into STEM programs.”
Leigh Plummer, Area Director for the Pee Dee Florence and Sumter offices, will have 21 years of service with DHEC in May.
Leigh has been recognized many times for her work in EA, including the Michael D. Jarrett Outstanding Customer Service Award (2009, 2010) and as the Water Environment Association of South Carolina (WEASC) Pee Dee District Laboratory Technician of the Year (2004).
She earned her Associate Public Manager Certificate in 2007 and is a member of WEASC-Pee Dee District. She frequently volunteers with the Darlington County Humane Society.
Terri McCollister, Rabies Prevention Program Team Lead, has been with DHEC for five years.
When alerted by regional rabies team members of situations that require additional guidance, she works with Rabies Program Assistant Laura McClure to evaluate the public health risks to people, pets, and livestock regarding potential exposures to rabies as required in the Rabies Control Act.
She is proud of recent updates to the DHEC bat webpage and the development of the Prevent Bat Intrusion & Disruption resource. She also supports the DHEC Vector Surveillance Program as a vector specialist by collecting mosquitoes from March-November and is a member of South Carolina’s Interagency Drone Users Consortium (SCiDUC), part of DHEC’s Unmanned Ariel Vehicle (UAV) program.
“I’m following in the footsteps of another strong woman, my mom, Jan, who spent 28 years at DHEC as a public health nurse. One of the things that I love about my job is that no two days are alike.”
– Jill Stewart
Jill Stewart, Director of the Dam Safety & Stormwater Permitting Division, has been with DHEC for 18 years.
Her division works to implement both the state Dams & Reservoir Safety Program and the NPDES Stormwater Program with projects ranging from gold mines to subdivisions to coordination with local governments implementing programs to improve water quality.
She recently started graduate school.
“I am a believer that you always need to push yourself outside of your comfort zone,” Jill said.
“It was something I never expected to do, but so glad I did. It has helped me with better medical knowledge and progress in my professional career within the division.”
– Karen Moore
Karen Moore, Trauma Section Manager for Healthcare Quality’s Division of EMS and Trauma in the Bureau of Healthcare Systems and Services, began working with DHEC after graduating with her bachelor’s degree from the University of South Carolina.
She works with the state’s 16 trauma hospitals and EMS agencies to make sure they operate in accordance with regulatory requirements. She also collaborates with doctors, nurses, and EMS personnel to develop protocols and guidelines for better trauma outcomes for injured patients.
She became a Nationally Registered EMT while working full-time and being a wife and mother to two young daughters.
Like Leigh Plummer, Agent Angela Wallace, RPh, LEO, will celebrate 20 years with DHEC in May. She is a drug control agent for the Midlands District of the Bureau of Drug Control in Healthcare Quality.
Agents conduct onsite inspections and audits of pharmacies, hospitals, and practitioners to make sure they are properly recording, storing, and handling controlled substances. They are trained to identify and investigate potential mishandling or diversion of controlled substances.
Her Bureau team is also primarily made up of women.
“I cannot say it enough how much I appreciate the guidance and support I have received from [my supervisors] Latonya Williams and Phyllis Beaty. These two exemplify leadership and inspire the members of their team through their never-ending dedication and commitment to pushing our Department towards meeting the goals of the agency.”
– Endia Hill
Endia Hill, MPA, Program Coordinator II in the Office of Training and Compliance in Healthcare Quality, works with her team to assist the deputy areas within Healthcare Quality with training staff.
During her six years of service with DHEC, Endia has been promoted and also completed her Green Belt in the agency’s Continuous Improvement Academy. She is currently leading the effort to create a comprehensive guide for each position and job process within Healthcare Quality.
Endia is proud to have had the opportunity to work with many amazing women in her career, two of which are her current supervisors here at DHEC.
Billie White, Lead APRN for the Upstate Region of DHEC, was the recipient of the Betty Cervenka Award in 2018.
She provides Family Planning (FP) and Sexually Transmitted Disease (STD) services to at-risk clients with complex needs, and develops contraceptive plans.
She works closely with the Upstate Training Center to monitor competencies for all Upstate providers and serves as a preceptor, mentor, and role model for RNs, APRNs, and nursing students.
In addition to providing consultation and orders for FP, STD, and COVID services, she has recently begun working closely with Disease Intervention Specialists on an initiative to provide STD services in local detention centers.
She is a team player and works effortlessly to provide excellent customer service.
“I love helping my community be the healthiest they can be, and WIC is a perfect program to help reach my community.”
– Kearston Bryan
Kearston Bryan is the Site Supervisor for Bluffton Health Department and the WIC Clinical Team Lead for Beaufort County.
In addition to her regular duties, she has supported COVID response efforts by organizing a partnership with Walmart pharmacy and her church to offer vaccines in the Burton and Beaufort area. She advocates for healthy people in healthy communities by providing up-to-date DHEC COVID-19 protocols to her church and her child’s school, Holy Trinity Classical Christian School.
Outside the clinic, Kearston has worked to organize drives for community assistance including collection and distribution of toiletries, Christmas gifts, and school supplies. During Thanksgiving, she worked to prepare and serve free meals for more than 200 residents.
Breanne Yoder, Upstate Team Lead for Baby and Me Tobacco Free, has more than 14 years public health experience working in both WIC and tobacco control. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Dietetics from Western Michigan University and has completed the Duke-UNC-Comprehensive Tobacco Treatment Specialist Training.
While with WIC, she provided certifications, immunization screening, nutrition, and health counseling, and promoted breastfeeding. In her current role, she conducts one-on-one cessation counseling sessions with pregnant tobacco users, both during their pregnancies and postpartum.
Breanne’s work addresses health disparities for pregnant women.