SHaPE SC Task Force to Meet August 10, 2021 to Share Initial Subcommittee Findings

Dr. Simmer: “An evaluation of this scale and its resulting recommendations can have decades-long implications to individuals, families, and communities in SC.”

Aug. 9, 2021

COLUMBIA, S.C.—The second meeting of the full Task Force to Strengthen the Health and Promote the Environment of South Carolina (SHaPe SC) will be held on Tuesday, August 10, 2021 at the Pastides Alumni Center at UofSC, 900 Senate Street in Columbia, from 1:00-4:00 p.m.

“Chairman Martin and the task force members have wholeheartedly embraced the charge of conducting an in-depth review of our state’s health and environmental protection services with the greater good in mind,” said Dr. Edward Simmer, DHEC Director. “An evaluation of this scale and its resulting recommendations can have decades-long implications to individuals, families, communities, and the Palmetto State. I am greatly anticipating the subcommittees’ recommendations based on their review so far and input from residents and those who provide, advocate for, and use critical health and environmental services in our state.”

Through a consensus-driven process, SHaPe SC is conducting an evaluation of the most effective way to provide  the state’s health and environmental responsibilities in order to make recommendations to improve the lives of all Palmetto State residents. During the August 10 meeting, the Environmental Protection, Health, and Behavioral Health subcommittees will share their initial findings with the entire task force. These findings are based on subcommittee discussions at previous meetings and stakeholder feedback.

“This is community-minded work that matters because it impacts every South Carolinian and the environment in which we all live and thrive,” said SHaPE SC Chairman and Former State Senator Larry Martin. “We are grateful to the members of SHaPE SC for their willingness to volunteer their time to take part in this critical review of our state’s health and environmental services. While more work lies ahead for the task force, I am confident that the work being done by its members will result in positive changes at the local and state levels.”

Some seating will be available to members of the public who wish to attend, or the public can listen to the meeting by calling 1-864-558-7311 and using the meeting ID 438 826 258#.

The agenda for the full task force meeting is available here. A recording of the meeting and minutes will be available here.

“We thank our SHaPE SC members for the level of time and commitment they have dedicated to this process,” said SHaPE SC Facilitator Bernie Hawkins, “Discussions and recommendations for improvements to services are not limited to task force members. We continue to encourage those who are interested to share your constructive feedback with us and have made available several platforms to support public input.”

Those interested in providing feedback to the task force can submit written comments as an identified group or individual to, or click here to participate in an anonymous, online survey. The deadline to provide feedback is August 30, 2021, and all comments will be made available to committee members and published on

The first SHaPE SC meeting was held in Columbia on June 3, 2021. The meeting agenda, minutes, and recording are available here.

About SHaPE SC
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). Based on its evaluation, SHaPE SC will provide recommendations to the Board, General Assembly, and Governor of operational, structural, and/or functional changes that may be necessary to optimize health and environmental protection services in South Carolina.

SHaPE SC is 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 is led by Chair Larry Martin and facilitated by Bernie Hawkins, Jr. Learn more at