S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control is investing in its future leaders with the launch of its inaugural Leadership Excellence and Achievement Program (LEAP) this summer. Twenty-four participants will take part in the 12-month DHEC employee program designed to develop future DHEC leaders while cultivating new ideas that will create overall improvements for the agency.
Often the best ideas come from within, and LEAP offers the perfect opportunity to grow those concepts to boost the agency.
Congratulations to the first class of participants: Chrissy Chavis, Abby Kesler and Bentley White of Health Regulations; Tripp Clark, Whitney Cofield, Kandi Fredere, Holly Gillam, Chris Hoots, and Kim Paradeses of Operations; Harley Davis, Emma Kennedy, Shenika McCray, Kristin Pillion, Rachel Radcliffe, and Mike Smith of Health Services; Susan Fulmer, Travis Fuss, Robin Mack, Michael Mattocks, Kyle Maurer, and Chris Stout of Environmental Affairs; Bryony Wardell of Communications; Michael Traynham of the Office of General Counsel; and Patrice Witt of Human Resources.
By Jim Beasley
Congratulations to Catherine (Kate) McBride, RN, MSN, on her selection for the prestigious S.C. Palmetto Gold Nurse Recognition award. She was one of 100 nurses recognized last month at the 15th Palmetto Gold Nurse Recognition and Scholarship Program.
“I am honored to be in the same company as the 114 DHEC public health nurses who were recognized before me with the Palmetto Gold award since this award’s inception 15 years ago,” said McBride. “I enjoy public health nursing because we not only impact the individual patient, but we also seek to positively impact the health of the community as well as the overall healthcare system.”
The South Carolina Nurses Foundation sponsors Palmetto Gold to recognize Registered Nurses in all practice settings in South Carolina who exemplify excellence in nursing practice and commitment to the nursing profession.
McBride, who currently serves as program director for the Pee Dee Public Health Region, began her work as a public health nurse in 2007. During her tenure as program director, nurses within the region have gained independence and increased accountability for individual clinical practice. The Nurse Family Partnership and the Children with Special Healthcare Needs programs have been recognized internally and externally for achieving high service standards.
McBride’s leadership has moved the region forward in quality nursing practice and client-centered customer service.
“I also recognize that this award for me is as much a reflection of the front line nurses working in the Pee Dee Public Health Region,” McBride added. “It is the work they do each day in our clinics and out in the community that truly shines.”
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 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
Congratulations to this dedicated group of DHEC employees in the Pee Dee!