SC DHEC board speaks about director

August 13, 2013 

Templeton

The state health department board gave its director a vote of confidence Wednesday for her handling of a tuberculosis investigation in Greenwood County that has drawn criticism from community residents.

The board, meeting in special session, voted unanimously to commend Department of Health and Environmental Control director Catherine Templeton for “her transparent and professional handling” of the TB crisis in Ninety Six.

The board met with Templeton privately last week about the TB outbreak that left more than 50 school children infected with the germ. DHEC knew a school janitor likely had tuberculosis in early March but didn’t test the school children until May 31. Templeton says her actions sped up the slow-moving probe.

“She was extremely rapid in her response when she found out what wasn’t being done that needed to be done,’’ DHEC board member John Hutto told The State newspaper last week.

The DHEC board, appointed by Gov. Nikki Haley, chose Templeton to run the department in 2012. She has made sweeping changes at the agency, long criticized for being too lethargic and bureaucratic. Haley has been supportive of her efforts.

Sammy Fretwell

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