DHEC Board Commends Templeton for TB Response

11:09 AM, Aug 14, 2013   |    comments
Catherine Templeton
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Columbia, SC (WLTX) - The Department of Health and Environmental Control's Board passed a resolution Wednesday commending Director Catherine Templeton for her response to the recent tuberculosis outbreak in the Upstate.

The resolution said the board "unanimously supports and commends" Templeton for her "transparent and professional" handing of the TB outbreak in the town of Ninety-Six.

"Catherine has done an excellent job for the department overall in her year and a half with us in really helping to make DHEC, one DHEC and everybody function together. And I'd really like to commend her again for outstanding performance in this past year," said DHEC Board Member Clarence Batts before the resolution vote.

The seven board members were appointed by Gov. Nikki Haley.  The group appointed Templeton to run the agency in March 2012.

The agency has come under scrutiny over their response to the situation that occurred at public schools in Greenwood County.

Last week, state senators questioned Templeton about why it took so long to notify parents and test children after the outbreak was reported.  DHEC first became aware of the situation in March, but Templeton says she wasn't made aware of problems until May.

"I'm just not sure what planet they're living on. I know back here in South Carolina, particularly in Greenwood, you've got families that are still very angry about the ongoing communications and medical treatment they're receiving from DHEC," said Richland County Senator Joel Lourie, a Democrat.

In the wake of the incident, Templeton fired several employees, saying they violated policies.

"How do you applaud the fact that you've got families, who even today, are getting confusing messages from DHEC about their treatment, about their care about their testing. How can you applaud that? I just find that completely unreasonable and unconscionable," said Lourie.

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