On April 8, 2021, the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) Director Dr. Edward Simmer, with approval from the agency’s Board, created the Task Force to Strengthen the Health and Promote the Environment of South Carolina (SHaPE SC).

The task force was tasked with two primary goals:

  1. Evaluate the state of South Carolina’s current organizational framework and responsibilities related to the provision of health and environmental protection services.
  2. Make recommendations to the Board, South Carolina Mental Health Commission, General Assembly, and Governor about how to best maximize state resources to improve the quality of life for all South Carolinians by protecting and promoting the health of the public and the environment.

SHaPE SC was comprised of experts from colleges, health organizations, and other career paths, as well as leaders from advocacy groups, nonprofits and several other entities. The task force was led by Chair Larry Martin and facilitated by Bernie Hawkins, Jr.

SHaPE SC presented its final report and recommendations to the Board on Nov. 10, 2021.