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South Carolina

South Carolina Health And Human Services Head Stepping Down

The head of South Carolina’s Health and Human Services department is stepping down.

Gov. Henry McMaster announced that Joshua Baker is resigning effective Jan 11.

Joshua Baker
Joshua Baker

Baker has held the job for three years, and while no reason was given, in a released statement McMaster praised Baker for his time in the office.

“Over the past three years, he has simultaneously prioritized the health of South Carolinians and the financial health of our state as a whole,” McMaster said. “His leadership and expertise have served our people well and will be missed.”

McMaster credits Baker for improving systems in the state’s Medicaid program, upgrading agency software and obtaining federal waivers for three state programs.

Baker previously served as former Gov. Nikki Haley’s deputy chief of staff for budget and policy.

Baker is the third health official in South Carolina to leave office since the pandemic started.

The head of South Carolina’s Department of Health and Environmental Control, Rick Toomey, resigned in June. He said during his announcement that he was leaving for health and family reasons. Toomey had been in the job for fewer than 15 months.

In September, the state’s health director left for a job in Ohio that she eventually didn’t take. Dr. Joan Duwve announced she was taking a job as Ohio’s public health director, but hours later Ohio’s governor tweeted that she withdrew from the position.

South Carolina reported on Tuesday 2,303 new cases and 4 deaths for a total of 239,119 cases and 4,404 deaths, with a test positivity rate of 19.9%.

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