SC DHEC Achieves Gold Star Award for Tobacco-Free Best Practices

The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (SC DHEC) was recognized by the South Carolina Hospital Association’s (SCHA) Working Well initiative and Prevention Partners for achieving the highest standard of tobacco-free excellence by creating a tobacco-free workplace and providing high-quality tobacco cessation programs for employees. Organizations are awarded with Prevention Partners’ Gold Star for this achievement. In order to receive this recognition, SC DHEC has a tobacco-free worksite policy, refers its employees to effective quit programs and counseling, provides comprehensive cessation benefits (nicotine replacement therapy and prescription medications), and offers incentives to encourage employees to quit tobacco. These are among several evidence-based components recommended by Working Well and Prevention Partners for comprehensive quit-tobacco systems at worksites. 

“SC DHEC sets a high bar in terms of their cessation program for employees. Employees are provided every opportunity to be successful in quitting the use of tobacco, and all employees are protected from exposure to secondhand smoke at the workplace,” said Taylor Pritchard, Strategic Coaching Senior Coordinator at Prevention Partners. “I applaud their great effort.”

“We are honored to be recognized for our tobacco-free environment efforts by Working Well and Prevention Partners,” said DHEC Director Catherine Heigel. “As the state's public health and environmental protection agency, we are focused on leading by example through our own worksite wellness program and policies as part of the ‘A Healthier State: Make Every Workday Great’ initiative. We remain committed to providing our employees a safe, happy and healthy environment to work, and this is further acknowledgment of our successful efforts to do so."

Prevention Partners works with SCHA’s Working Well initiative to engage corporate leaders and staff throughout SC to enhance and sustain employee wellness efforts. These efforts are generously funded through the Duke Endowment and SC DHEC. 

About SC DHEC:

The SC Department of Health and Environmental Control is the state’s public health and environmental protection agency. With more than 3,400 employees working in 80 locations, the agency’s vision is healthy people living in healthy communities. DHEC and SCHA have partnered to conduct baseline worksite assessments and offer wellness consultation services to various state agencies. This initiative, which has been branded "A Healthier State: Make Every Workday Great," impacts nearly 35,000 state employees. The purpose of A Healthier State is to assess, implement, and maintain effective worksite wellness environments and policies to help reduce health care costs, increase employee productivity, and reduce absenteeism.

About Working Well:

Working Well is a statewide strategy to improve workplace wellness policies, systems and environments around tobacco cessation, healthy nutrition and increased physical activity so the healthy choice is the easy choice for employees across South Carolina.

About Prevention Partners: 

The nonprofit Prevention Partners builds healthier communities through a suite of products that guide schools, workplaces, hospitals and clinics to address the leading causes of preventable disease: tobacco use, poor nutrition, physical inactivity and obesity.



Lisa Watts | 336.501.8579 |


Emily O’Sullivan | 803.454.6969 |  


Mary-Kathryn Craft | 803.898.7769 |

01-27-2017 03:16 (EST)