S.C. Department Of Health And Environmental Control Announces Interim Director Of Public Health

COLUMBIA, S.C. — The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) says Dr. Brannon Traxler will step in as the new interim Public Health Director.

Traxler is stepping in to fill the role of the previous director Dr. Joan Duwve, and has been serving as the Chief Medical Officer for the state’s COVID response, according to a news release.

The DHEC says Duwve is stepping down from her position, but will stay with the agency until October 1st in an advisory role to help the transition.

“Understandably, Joan has made a career decision that she feels is in the best interest of her family and we respect this decision,” said acting DHEC Director Marshall Taylor. “Joan is a brilliant physician who is passionate about public health and we greatly appreciate the time she spent with DHEC as our director of Public Health. We wish her the best of luck in her future endeavors.”

Traxler is trained and board certified in General Surgery, and practiced as a surgeon in South Carolina before focusing on public health and serving as a physician for the DHEC in the areas of infectious disease surveillance, according to a news release.

“I have the utmost confidence in Brannon’s ability to lead the state’s public health efforts during these challenging times,” said Taylor. “Brannon’s breadth of experience and knowledge in medical practice as a surgeon as well as the Chief Medical Officer for the state’s COVID-19 response, uniquely positions her for this critical role and I look forward to our continued work together.”

The DHEC says Traxler has a medical degree from the University of South Carolina School of Medicine, a Master of Public Health degree from George Washington University, and an undergraduate degree in microbiology from Clemson University.