Haley: DHEC director did the right thing during TB investigation
Gov. Nikki Haley says she is satisfied with the testimony that Department of Health and Environmental Control Director Catherine Templeton offered to the S.C. Senate Medical Affairs Committee about the Greenwood tuberculosis investigation on Thursday.
“After watching the testimony yesterday, I am more confident that DHEC went in and did exactly what they needed to do,” said Haley, who briefly attended the Medical University of South Carolina Board of Trustees meeting on Friday in Charleston.
Templeton was called to testify before the senate committee about a tuberculosis outbreak in the Upstate this spring.
More than 100 people have tested positive for it since March. Many parents and community members have criticized the health department’s slow response to the outbreak.
“We never want to see families go through this situation, but I do think Director Templeton testified very well, as well as her team, and gave them the answers they needed so there are no other questions after this,” Haley said.
Templeton fired four health department employees who she said acted too slowly to prevent the disease from spreading.
“I’ve identified the mistakes. I’ve apologized for them. I’ve held people accountable for those mistakes,” Templeton told legislators during the meeting. “I assure you that will not happen again.”
While lawmakers questioned how informed Templeton was about the outbreak during the first phase of the investigation, Haley said she is convinced her testimony sufficiently answered their doubts.
“I don’t think any further actions need to be taken,” Haley said. “I think that was evident by the Medical Affairs Committee after they heard the testimony that they knew that while we all need to continue to improve, they didn’t see any wrongdoing.”
Editor’s Note: A previous version of this story misidentified Catherine Templeton’s role in Haley’s administration. Templeton is not a cabinet member because DHEC is a non-cabinet state agency. The story has been updated to reflect the correction.
The Associated Press contributed to this report. Reach Lauren Sausser at 937-5598.