Robin Mack Recognized for Excellence in Customer Service

By Cassandra Harris

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(Photo Courtesy: Office of the Governor)

As Asbestos Section Manager for the Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC), Robin Mack works with a wide spectrum of clients across the state to help ensure that all safety regulations concerning the removal of asbestos are carefully adhered to. Ever-changing, Mack’s daily tasks and responsibilities range from speaking with clients over the phone, conducting site visits, working with local municipalities, and helping individuals and businesses better understand state and federal regulations.

Working hands-on with South Carolinians across the state to find meaningful and innovative solutions to each new challenge, Mack recently joined a small group of her peers for a recognition lunch and round table discussion with Governor Nikki Haley. Representing “the best of the best,” this select team of public servants epitomizes the exemplary customer service that is expected of the State of South Carolina.

“Dynamic in nature, everyIMG_4007 day there is a different challenge to solve and a variety of different customers to work with,” said Mack. “Being able to work with customers to help resolve their challenges, which are our challenges, is the most rewarding part of my job.”

Mack’s creative problem solving skills were put to the test this past year following a fire that damaged several Front Street properties in Georgetown, SC. Recognizing that property owners were faced with limited funds, she remained on site for two weeks, engaging multiple stakeholders, and offering alternative approaches to help minimize their costs. During this time, Mack facilitated the work that a consultant would normally do, saving the property owners money and ensuring that the work was done efficiently and effectively.

Thanks to Mack and all of the members of our Asbestos team for your continued efforts to help protect the health and safety of South Carolinians.

Putting the Rad back in Radiological Health

By Jamie Shuster

Rad Health

Responsible for protecting the public health and safety of all South Carolinians, our Bureau of Radiological Health (BRH) works to safeguard against excessive exposure to radiation. As part of this effort, the Bureau provides oversight and regulatory guidance to mitigate potential hazards in environments, like X-ray, tanning facilities and facilities that utilize radioactive materials that use ionizing and non-ionizing radiation.

The effects of radiation exposure and contamination can be severe, including acute radiation syndrome, skin burns, cancer, and emotional and psychological distress. Through working hands on with the regulated community, BRH Director Aaron Gantt and his team help to keep South Carolinians safe by ensuring all facilities that use radioactive materials, X-ray and tanning facilities, are registered, licensed, certified, and inspected.  Noted for their professionalism and customer services, the team often receives complements for the job they do upon inspections, responding to complaints/ incidents, phone calls, and emails.

Recently, the entire BRH team was applauded for their efforts by a Director of Radiology at one of the facilities that we help regulate. In an excerpt from a letter to the department, the director wrote:

“Your administrative staff on the switchboard, who is the first contact most callers get when they contact DHEC, is always friendly and helpful.  I have never had the opportunity to call SC DHEC when I have not received helpful advice. They are not obtrusive, are mindful of the work going on around them at the facility, and work with the staff to get their job done without holding up patient care.  I have never had hesitancy in telling my peers to call SC DHEC if they have questions. You guys are the “Good Guys”, out to help us maintain ALARA at our facilities in the best interest of our customers, our patients.” ​

Thanks to all of the members of our BRH team for your continued efforts to help protect the health and safety of South Carolinians.

South Carolina continues to improve in the prevention of healthcare-associated infections

By Cassandra Harris

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Among the leading cause of preventable deaths in the United States, healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) are infections that patients develop while receiving healthcare treatment for other conditions. To help reduce the rate of HAIs, DHEC is working with a public-private partnership of health care professionals, state agencies, and health care associations to promote better infection control.

Recent data indicates that South Carolina is making substantial progress in reducing the rate of these infections. One of the most significant improvements from 2012 to 2013 is another 7% reduction in central line-associated bloodstream infections. South Carolina’s rate of infection is now 43% below the national benchmark. In 2013, these infections in adult and pediatric intensive care units were more than 45% below the national baseline data. In addition, South Carolina has become one of the first states to mandate reporting of ventilator-associated events (VAEs)—helping to promote accurate reporting of data.

While South Carolina continues to make strides in the prevention of HAIs, there is still much work to be done towards reaching the ultimate goal of eliminating preventable HAIs. Research shows that when health care facilities are aware of their infection issues and implement concrete strategies to prevent them, rates of certain hospital infections can be decreased by more than 70 percent. Working together, we can make a difference. ​