DHEC Recognizes National Social Work Month

National Social Work Month, observed throughout March, uplifts social workers and celebrates their constant contributions to our society. This year’s theme, “Social Work Breaks Barriers,” highlights the innovative ways in which social workers help enrich and empower people in our communities to overcome challenges so they can live to their fullest potential. 

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DHEC Celebrates Black History: Honoring Two Who Have Made a Difference in Public Health

As we celebrate Black History Month this February, DHEC would like to take this opportunity to honor the past and present achievements of African Americans who have and are making a difference in public health.    

Dr. Linda Bell


Dr. Linda Bell has worked in public health for almost 30 years, including as an Epidemic Intelligence Service (ESI) Officer with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention with the Viral Special Pathogens Branch and as an EIS field officer. She has served in several positions with DHEC, where she is currently the S.C. State Epidemiologist and director of the Bureau of Communicable Disease Prevention and Control.   

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Dr. Bell was a lead medical advisor in South Carolina, providing science-based guidance to control disease spread. She has been instrumental in highlighting the critical need to address social determinants of health in public health interventions to reduce health disparities.  

Dr. Thaddeus J. Bell

Dr. Thaddeus J. Bell, a family practice physician in Charleston, SC, since 1986, has dedicated much of his life addressing disparities in health care. 

He is founder and CEO of Closing the Gap in Health Care Inc., which seeks to decrease health disparities and increase the health literacy among African Americans and underserved communities throughout the Carolinas. The organization offers health education programs that promote wellness and healthy lifestyles as well as works to increase the number of African American health providers in the state of South Carolina. 

Dr. Bell retired as Associate Dean of Diversity at the Medical University of South Carolina.