The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) announced a transition in leadership of its deputy area of public health on Sept. 11.
Dr. Joan Duwve has made the decision to move on from her role as the agency’s public health director. 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.
“Understandably, Joan has made a career decision that she feels is in the best interest of her family and we respect this decision,” said acting DHEC Director Marshall Taylor. “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.”
Dr. Traxler will assume her role as interim director of public health effective immediately. To support a smooth transition in agency-wide public health operations, Dr. Duwve will stay on with the agency in an advisory role until Oct. 1, 2020.
“I have the utmost confidence in Brannon’s ability to lead the state’s public health efforts during these challenging times,” said Taylor. “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.”
A native of Greenville, S.C., Dr. Traxler most recently served as the Chief Medical Officer for the state’s COVID-19 response. She is trained and board certified in General Surgery. 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.
Dr. 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.