DHEC reorganization means 45 positions cut, but 68 added - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina |

DHEC reorganization means 45 positions cut, but 68 added

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Dr. Catherine Templeton (Source: scdhec.gov) Dr. Catherine Templeton (Source: scdhec.gov)
COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) -

The Director of the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control has reorganized the agency, she says, to make it more efficient.

Dr. Catherine Templeton announced the restructuring to employees Friday. She said the changes were necessary after the state legislature declined her request of a $50 million budget increase in 2012.

"I knew that any improvement in services...would have to come from finding money within the agency by reducing waste," said Templeton. "The most obvious waste across the agency was lack of coordination, even sharing between programs, divisions and geographies."

Templeton said it was the employees themselves who said they were frustrated by layers of management. She called the program One DHEC.

She told employees some of the changes were as simple as combining regional offices within the same building to cut down on rent payments.

Among the restructuring plan:

  • Merging Environmental Health into Environmental Services effective March 1st
  • Restructure from 8 regions statewide to 4, including Pee Dee, Midlands, Lowcountry and Upstate
  • Centralize administrative functions

Templeton said the reorganization would cut some management positions, but employees affected may be able to find other jobs within the agency.

She said because of attrition, DHEC is hiring for more positions than it is cutting. 45 positions are being cut through the restructuring, but Templeton said DHEC plans to hire 68 employees.

"Ultimately my goal is to make it easer for you to do your job and improve the services we provide to our customers," said Templeton.

"We will no longer tell the citizens that they have to go down the street to the 'other' DHEC," she said.  "And we will stop doing business because 'that is the way we've always done it.'"

Templeton took over as Director of DHEC in March of 2012.

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