Tag Archives: Award

DHEC Unveils New Award at Environmental Assistance Conference

By Adrianna Bradley

On November 8, 2017, DHEC’s Office of Environmental Affairs held its annual Environmental Assistance ConferenceDHEC and Industry: Going Beyond the Fenceline Together. There were over 200 attendees and 17 vendors present. DHEC’s Environmental Affairs bureaus also set up their own tables.

Myra Reece, Director of Environmental Affairs, announced DHEC’s newest awards recognition program and presented the first Community Star Award.  Congratulations to the Lower Saluda River Coalition for winning DHEC’s FIRST Community Star Award. One of the coalition’s key objectives is to make water quality information more frequently and readily available to river users so they can make informed decisions on when to recreate in the river.

This brand-new award recognizes a business, community organization, collaborative partnership, or individual in our state that is going above and beyond environmental requirements to build better community relationships, promote environmental sustainability and resiliency, and/or improve quality of life for communities.

While this is the first award, it is not the last. The Community Star Award will be awarded annually at the Environmental Assistance Conference. Those interested can nominate themselves or others.

You can learn more about this award at www.scdhec.gov/communitystar. Also, to learn more about the Environmental Assistance Conference, you can visit www.scdhec.gov/environment/eac.

Visit this blog post for more about the work of the Lower Saluda River Coalition.

DHEC in the News: Hospital award, recreational shellfish season, opioids

Here’s a look at health and environmental news from around South Carolina.

GHS wins award for infection prevention

GREENVILLE, S.C. — Three hospitals in the Greenville Health System have been awarded a South Carolina Certified Zero Harm Award by the South Carolina Hospital Association.

The SCHA says the award is given “in recognition of each facility’s excellent work in preventing hospital-acquired infections.”

Recreational shellfish season opening delayed until October 15

The 2017-2018 season for recreational harvest of shellfish (clams, oysters, mussels and other bivalves) in coastal waters of South Carolina will open one-half hour before official sunrise on Sunday, Oct. 15. The recreational shellfish season will remain open through May 15, 2018, unless conditions warrant extending or shortening the season.

The recreational season opening has been delayed for two weeks due to water quality impacts from Hurricane Irma.

General Interest

Mount Pleasant group gathers police, lieutenant governor to discuss how opioid crisis is ‘decimating’ area

MOUNT PLEASANT — The opioid drug epidemic is “decimating” the Lowcountry, a Drug Enforcement Administration officer told a group of about 300 people who met Monday morning to hear leaders address a drug crisis that President Donald Trump recently called a “national emergency.”

Winners of DHEC’s top employee award recognized

Fifteen S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control employees were honored March 23 for embodying the agency’s core values. The Director’s Award, established in 2015, is DHEC’s most prestigious employee award and is presented annually.

This year’s award winners are:

  • Louis Eubank, Certificate of Need program director
  • Jessica Boynton and Matt Slagel, Ocean & Coastal Resource Management
  • Hurricane Matthew GIS Team: Wesley Askew, John Boulware, Seth Church, Elzbieta Covington, Jeannie Eidson, and Emily Watson
  • Agency Rebrand Team from Communications: Mary-Kathryn Craft, Anthony Doyle, Cristi Horne, Joshua Laney, and Sheree Muse
  • Carol Hodges, Marion County nurse site supervisor

Meet the award winners in this video:

The winners were selected from a pool of 45 nominations submitted by colleagues from throughout the agency. The Director’s Award Selection Committee had the difficult task of closely reviewing all of the nominations and choosing the final award winners from the competitive group of nominees.

Read more about the winners and their work here.

Please join the agency in congratulating the winners on their outstanding achievement!

George W. McDaniel Receives 2014 South Carolina Environmental Awareness Award

The state of South Carolina awarded George W. McDaniel, Ph.D. as the winner of the prestigious 2014 South Carolina Environmental Awareness Award.  McDaniel received the award during a ceremony on October 22, 2015.

George W. McDaniel, Ph.D. (center) receives the 2014 South Carolina Environmental Awareness Award at a ceremony on October 22, 2015.

George W. McDaniel, Ph.D. (center) receives the 2014 South Carolina Environmental Awareness Award at a ceremony on October 22, 2015.

A Legacy of Preservation and Conservation

McDaniel is the former executive director of Drayton Hall, a position he held for 26 years.  An 18th century plantation on the Ashley River, Drayton Hall is owned by the National Trust for Historic Preservation and managed by the Drayton Hall Preservation Trust.

Drayton Hall with Ashley River in the background along with the uplands and march conserved by Drayton Hall.

Drayton Hall with Ashley River in the background along with the uplands and march conserved by Drayton Hall.

During his tenure as executive director, McDaniel created collaborative partnerships and led initiatives that positively influenced the integrity of the Ashley River region and ecosystem. He is now recognized as a local, state and national leader for his efforts in pioneering what is now referred to as “whole place preservation,” the combination of environmental conservation and historic preservation.

Of his many achievements, McDaniel led efforts to have the Ashley River designated as a State Scenic River and is a founding member of the Ashley Scenic River Advisory Council. He has helped to conserve the tranquil natural environment and habitat surrounding not just Drayton Hall, but also around other historic sites along the river. He has raised awareness among thousands of people about the importance and interconnection of historic and environmental conservation through his speaking engagements, education initiatives, innovative tours of Drayton Hall,  and published works.

An excerpt from his nomination:
“He realized that, in the Lowcountry and elsewhere in the nation, humans and the environment have interacted over the centuries, and have changed and been changed by one another, so that what we see today is the result of that interrelationship. If we lose either the historical or the natural environment, then we have lost a critical link to our past and a connection to our future.”

An Award of Excellence

The S.C. Environmental Awareness Award was established by the S.C. General Assembly during the 1992 legislative session to recognize outstanding contributions made toward the protection, conservation, and improvement of South Carolina’s natural resources.

Each year the public is invited to submit nominations that are then reviewed by an awards committee. In judging nominees, the committee considers excellence in innovation, leadership and accomplishments that influence positive changes affecting the natural environment.

Members of the awards committee represent the S.C. Forestry Commission, S.C. Department of Natural Resources, S.C. Sea Grant Consortium and S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control.

Previous winners of the Environmental Awareness Award include:

2013 – Joseph R. Hamilton, Founder of the Quality Deer Management Association
2012 – Thomas Kester, Chairman and Treasurer for the Conestee Foundation
2011 – Dr. Patricia J. DeCoursey, Professor of Biological Sciences at USC
2010 – Frank S. Holleman, III, President, Naturaland Trust
2009 – Dr. Fred Holland, Coastal Ecologist, Charleston
2008 – Benjamin Ziegler, Chairman, Pee Dee Land Trust
2007 – Dr. Richard Porcher, Jr., Professor Emeritus, The Citadel
2006 – Rick Huffman, Founder, South Carolina Native Plant Society
2004 – John L. Knott, Jr., President, Noisette Company, North Charleston
2003 – Burris Family, Owners, Cypress Bay Plantation Tree Farm, Beaufort
2002 – Dr. Jack Turner, Director, Watershed Ecology Center, Univ. of South Carolina
2001 – James D. Elliott, Jr., Founder, South Carolina Center for Birds of Prey
2000 – Dr. Dave Hargett, Conservationist, Greenville
1999 – Kenneth Strickland, Environmentalist, Florence
1998 – Yancey A. McLeod, Jr., Environmental Educator, Eastover
1997 – Brad Wyche, President, Friends of the Reedy River, Greenville
1996 – Beaufort County Clean Water Task Force
1995 – Dr. Whitfield Gibbons, Senior Research Ecologist, Savannah River Ecology Laboratory
1994 – Marion Burnside, Chairman, SC Department of Natural Resources
1993 – Dana Beach, Executive Director, SC Coastal Conservation League
1992 – Rudy Mancke, Naturalist, SC Educational Television

Pee Dee Region’s Breastfeeding Peer Counselors Reach the Gold

By Mary-Kathryn Craft

S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control’s Women Infants and Children (WIC) Breastfeeding Peer Counselors in the Pee Dee Region recently received national recognition for their exceptional work. The team, led by WIC Program Manager Sadhana Tolani and Breastfeeding Coordinator Jenna Deaver, was awarded the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Loving Support of Excellence Gold Award.

The honor recognizes local WIC agencies that provide exemplary breastfeeding promotion and support activities. The Pee Dee program was one of six selected in the Southeast.

WIC Program Manager Sadhana Tolani and Breastfeeding Coordinator Jenna Deaver

WIC Breastfeeding Coordinator Jenna Deaver and Program Manager Sadhana Tolani

“Our ultimate goal is to empower women by giving them the support they need to overcome the physical, emotional and social stigma barriers to breastfeeding their infants,” Deaver said. “This award reinforces the importance of our daily efforts and inspires our team to continue delivering excellent service to new mothers at a time when they most need that one-on-one support.”

Breastfeeding is important because it improves health by protecting moms and babies from a variety of diseases. It is also an effective way to fight childhood obesity. That’s why promoting and encouraging breastfeeding is a key focus in WIC.

The Pee Dee Region’s WIC program was specifically recognized for its partnerships with area hospitals. The program has agreements with more than 10 hospitals throughout the region enabling peer counselors to visit postpartum moms at bedsides to offer breastfeeding information and assistance. The counselors then provide follow-up support in home visits and at clinics.

WIC breastfeeding peer counselors are mothers who have successfully breastfed at least one baby and serve as mentors to new mothers who want to nurse. Tolani said the award was a great morale boost to staff and is the result of the hard work the WIC team has put in since the Loving Support breastfeeding peer counselor program began a decade ago.

Pee Dee Region Breastfeeding Peer Counselors (Left to Right): Shalandra Douglas, Connie Palmer, Jeanetta Dean, Corey Johnson, Tremelia Gore, Priscilla Moyd-McFadden and Renee’ Walker-Andrews

Pee Dee Region Breastfeeding Peer Counselors (Left to Right): Shalandra Douglas, Connie Palmer, Jeanetta Dean, Corey Johnson, Tremelia Gore, Priscilla Moyd-McFadden and Renee’ Walker-Andrews

Congratulations to this dedicated group of DHEC employees in the Pee Dee!