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DHEC Presents Community Hero Award to Benedict College for 100 Percent COVID-19 Vaccination Rate Among All Athletic Teams

Featured photo: Pictured from left to right: Willie Washington, Benedict College Athletic Trainer; Dr. Linda Bell, State Epidemiologist; Dr. Roslyn Clark Artis, Benedict College President and CEO; and Thomas Bowen, Finance & Facilities Director for DHEC’s Midlands Public Health Region, are pictured during DHEC’s Community Hero Award presentation to the Benedict College Tigers.

COLUMBIA, S.C. ― The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) has named the Benedict College Tigers the latest recipients of the agency’s COVID-19 Community Hero award. DHEC presents this award to groups or individuals who have taken the initiative to be community leaders during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. 

Each player, coach and trainer of Benedict’s athletic teams is fully vaccinated against COVID-19. During the Tigers’ homecoming football game on Saturday, Oct. 23, Dr. Linda Bell, South Carolina State Epidemiologist, and Thomas Bowen, Finance & Facilities Manager for DHEC’s Midlands Public Health Region, presented the Community Hero Award to Dr. Roslyn Clark Artis, President of Benedict College, and Willie Washington, Athletic Director.

“On behalf of DHEC, it was our distinct honor to present to Benedict College this Community Hero Award for ensuring that all of its athletics teams, including coaches and trainers, have been fully vaccinated,” said Dr. Bell. “That is a tremendous feat, and we applaud the outstanding effort that Benedict, President Artis and the college’s leadership have made to not only keep athletes and students safe, but to also help promote disease prevention, testing and vaccination throughout their community.”

“We are deeply honored to be recognized by DHEC for our pandemic safety efforts. Benedict College is not just in the community, we are of the community; and we are committed to doing our part to minimize the spread of the coronavirus. The vaccinations taken by our athletic teams, band, cheerleaders and coaching staff affirms our commitment,” said Dr. Roslyn Clark Artis, President and CEO of Benedict College.

While DHEC is the state’s lead public health agency, it can’t defeat COVID-19 alone. South Carolina needs the help, support, and ideas from partners across the state to enhance access to COVID-19 education, testing, and vaccines within our communities. Some heroes, like Benedict College, have sprung into action and their examples serve as a guide for others to follow.

To nominate a Community Hero or to read about previous recipients of the award, visit scdhec.gov/communityhero. For the latest COVID-19 information in South Carolina, visit scdhec.gov/COVID19.

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