Category Archives: Employee Recognition

DHEC Highlights Danny Poole for Athletic Trainer’s Month

Earlier this month, we spotlighted Sheila Gordon for Athletic Trainer’s Month. DHEC administers South Carolina’s athletic trainer certification program and develops standards, with the advice of the Athletic Trainers’ Advisory Committee, for the improvement of athletic training services for the over 1,000 certified athletic trainers in the state. 

As we wrap up March, we wanted to highlight Danny Poole, who serves on the aforementioned DHEC Athletic Trainers Advisory Committee and who recently retired after a 40-year career.

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DHEC Works to Continue to Control and Eliminate Tuberculosis (TB)

When Dr. Robert Koch announced in 1882 his discovery of Mycobacterium tuberculosis, the bacteria that causes tuberculosis (TB), it marked a critical turning point in the fight against the disease. It’s a fight that DHEC’s TB Control Division and its partners continue in South Carolina today.  

In recent years, the push to control TB across the globe had been making positive strides until 2020 when there was what many hope will turn out to be simply a brief setback.  

“For the first time in over a decade, TB deaths increased in 2020. The theme of World TB Day 2022 – ‘Invest to End TB. Save Lives.’ – conveys the urgent need to invest resources to ramp up the fight against TB and achieve the commitment to end TB made by global leaders.” 

– Pan American Health Organization; World Health Organization, 2022 

March 24 is World TB Day, and DHEC’s TB Control Division will celebrate it on Friday March 25, 2022. We will join local, state, national, and global public health officials, and partners in recognizing Dr. Koch’s efforts as well as that of people across the world who have worked to control and eliminate TB. 

Click here to learn more about our work with partners to fight this illness. 

About TB 

Tuberculosis is a disease of the lungs that can be spread by coughing, sneezing, or speaking. It is treatable and preventable. We all can play an important role in eliminating tuberculosis in our community by understanding the signs and symptoms and helping to educate others.   

The signs and symptoms of TB disease in other parts of the body depend on the area affected, but the general signs and symptoms of TB disease include:  

  • feelings of sickness or weakness,  
  • weight loss,  
  • fever,  
  • night sweats, 
  • chest pain, 
  • coughing, and 
  • coughing up blood.  

Click here for a short video on one person’s story related to TB. 

DHEC’s Terri McCollister Works To Draw Attention To Rabies Prevention

Each spring, DHEC works to promote rabies clinics across South Carolina and raise awareness about rabies prevention. Terri McCollister, Rabies Prevention Program Team Lead, has been doing her part to promote rabies safety and vaccination at events across the state.

CarolinasUNITE Animal Welfare Professionals Conference

Terri was invited to speak on behalf of DHEC at the CarolinasUNITE Animal Welfare Professionals Conference, held February 28- March 4 in Myrtle Beach. CarolinasUNITE is a collaboration between the North Carolina Animal Federation and the South Carolina Animal Care and Control Association, aiming to bring together animal welfare professionals from both states for education and networking. This is her second time speaking at this conference.

Terri focused on bats and educating conference attendees on the potential rabies exposure risks involved during a bat encounter. She encouraged attendees to not release a bat after an encounter and to contact DHEC and directed them to the DHEC Bat webpage.

Partnering with the Humane Society

When Terri learned the Humane Society of the United States and Pets for Life program had partnered with Chewy, an online pet product retailer, to provide food and supplies to owner-support programs across the United States, she worked to get DHEC and South Carolina involved.

Terri worked with DHEC’s Communications Team and the SC Humane Society to promote low-cost rabies vaccination events on the agency’s social media outlets as part of DHEC’s promotion of spring and year-round low-cost clinics.

Low-cost rabies vaccine events are held in rural and underserved areas, and when people have their pets vaccinated at an event through the Chewy incentive program, they receive free goods. The Chewy program is a new approach, and Terri is very excited about the positive impacts this program can have in South Carolina.

Additionally, Terri participated in a low-cost rabies vaccination clinic event with the Columbia Humane Society on Saturday, March 12.

She assisted with directing traffic, handing out DHEC rabies fact sheets and pet questionnaires provided by the event host, and answering questions related to rabies prevention. The staff with the Columbia Humane Society provided helpful feedback to her noting that they received hundreds of calls about the event almost immediately after DHEC posted the event flyer.

The veterinary team assisting the Columbia Humane Society reported that over 180 pets were administered a rabies vaccination during the event.

Congratulations to Terri and the Rabies Prevention Program for the work they continue to do for our state!

DHEC Celebrates Long Term Care Administrators Week

National Long Term Care Administrators Week, March 14-18, is dedicated to the administrators of these facilities who provide services to patients and impact many lives. 

“Long term care is a very important and impactful job,” said Geoffrey Calloway, DHEC Director of the Nursing Home Division in the Bureau of Community Care. “Long term care administrators fill various roles. Administrators must be equipped to address health care challenges and also provide daily living assistance with an emphasis on compassion, dignity, and safety.” 

He served as a long-term care administrator prior to his role at DHEC. 

DHEC oversees and regulates health and safety standards in long term care facilities. Specifically, the Bureau of Community Care is responsible for the oversight and regulation of long term care facilities, including nursing homes, community residential care facilities, and intermediate care facilities for individuals with intellectual disabilities.  

Long term care administrators have the important task of supervising the care of patients and assuring their loved ones that they are receiving the best care. 

“Administrators are the individuals who receive the residents/patients when they enter a nursing home,” Geoffrey said. “They are the ones who give the first impression and have to make sure that it is a very good one for the comfort of the resident and their families.” 

DHEC thanks the administrators for their service and their drive to ensure excellent care is provided to patients and the communities they serve. 

“On behalf of Healthcare Quality, we thank you for serving with a willing heart and a joyful spirit. Your commitment, dedication, and passion to the residents and their families is greatly appreciated,” said JoMonica Taylor, DHEC Director of the Residential Facilities Division in the Bureau of Community Care. 

“I would like to thank all of our fellow long term care administrators for their dedication and selflessness. You are greatly appreciated by your residents’ families and also all of us here at DHEC,” Geoffrey said

Spotlight: White Knoll High School’s Sheila Gordon Emphasizes the Importance of Athletic Trainers

March is National Athletic Training Month and Women’s History Month. In honor of these observances, DHEC would like to take the time to spotlight one of our state’s skilled athletic trainers, Sheila Gordon.

Athletic trainers, also called ATs, are not only a crucial part of coaching staff, but they are also medical professionals who have a skill set that is unmatched in prevention, management, and rehabilitation of athletic injuries.

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