Dr. Brannon Traxler to serve as DHEC interim director of public health

State - Regional

COLUMBIA, SC (WSPA) – South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control officials announced Friday the interim director of public health.

According to a DHEC news release, Dr. Brannon Traxler, who has been serving as the chief medical officer for the state’s COVID-19 response, will assume the role of interim director of public health.

This change of leadership comes after Dr. Joan Duwve decided to move on from her role as DHEC’s public health director.

“Understandably, Joan has made a career decision that she feels is in the best interest of her family and we respect this decision,” DHEC Director Marshall Taylor said. “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 will assume her new role effective immediately and Duwve will reportedly stay on with DHEC in an advisory role until Oct. 1.

“I have the utmost confidence in Brannon’s ability to lead the state’s public health efforts during these challenging times,” Taylor said. “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.”

According to the release, Traxler is a Greenville, S.C. native and is trained and board certified in General Surgery.

Traxler earned her medical degree from the University of South Carolina School of Medicine and her Master of Public Health degree from George Washington University. She received her undergraduate degree in microbiology at the Clemson University Honors College.

“She previously practiced as a surgeon in South Carolina before changing her specialty focus to public health, serving as physician for DHEC in the areas of infectious disease surveillance and control and emergency preparedness and response,” according to the release.

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