CHC Partners Community Health News

DHEC Announces Fetter Health Care Network and New Hope Missionary Baptist Church as the First to Receive New ‘Community Heroes’ Award

Fetter Health Care Network and New Hope Missionary Baptist Church as the First to Receive New ‘Community Heroes’ Award

Source: WBTW News 13
Published: June 6, 2021
CIMS Partner Center: CareSouth Carolina

COLUMBIA, S.C. —  The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) today announced that Fetter Health Care Network and New Hope Missionary Baptist Church are the first two organizations to be recognized as DHEC’s “Community Heroes in South Carolina.”

The new Community Heroes initiative spotlights local groups and individuals who have helped expand access to COVID-19 education, testing and vaccines throughout South Carolina’s COVID-19 response.

“While DHEC is the state’s lead public health agency, it can’t defeat COVID-19 alone,” said Dr. Edward Simmer, DHEC Director. “DHEC needs help, support, and ideas from community partners to enhance access to education, testing and vaccines in communities across the state. We have many outstanding partners who have sprung into action, and we want to recognize those partners for all of their efforts and to also encourage others to become leaders in their communities.”

Fetter Health
In January, Fetter Health Care Network, a Federally Qualified Health Center in Charleston, vaccinated 580 South Carolina residents at a Baptist church in an underserved area. Fetter worked in close partnership with Royal Missionary Baptist Church in North Charleston to organize and promote the clinic. Fetter has collaborative agreements with multiple churches, schools and organizations in areas where vulnerable populations live, and, in total, Fetter Health has helped administer 16,552 vaccines at 26 sites.

“Success in the fight against COVID-19 will be realized as a group effort,” said Taylor Lee, DHEC’s Lowcountry Regional Health Director. “Fetter Health is a fantastic community resource, and we look forward to continuing to work with them to serve the residents of our great sate. Fetter Health is a true community hero.”

“It’s definitely an honor for our regional DHEC office to recognize our community outreach efforts,” said Aretha Powers, Chief Executive Officer for Fetter Health Care Network. “Our success has a lot to do with the collaborative relationship and open communications between the two agencies.”

New Hope Missionary Baptist Church, Upstate
DHEC has partnered with New Hope Missionary Baptist Church in McCormick to host COVID-19 testing and vaccination events. New Hope is a small, rural church pastored by Rev. Michael A. Butler. In the spring of 2020, DHEC and Self Regional Healthcare held COVID-19 testing clinics at the church and in recent weeks, with COVID-19 vaccine available, the partnership was rekindled. As of today, 17 vaccine clinics have been held at New Hope with 2,051 total vaccines administered.

“Since before COVID-19 vaccines were available, we knew how important it would be to build upon existing relationships in able to successfully bring vaccine clinics to our various communities,” said Dr. Kandi Fredere, DHEC Upstate Regional Health Director. “New Hope Missionary Baptist is helping us bring vaccine to the people, making it easy, safe and convenient for community members to get their shots. Reverend Butler and the entire New Hope family continue to be incredible partners and we are thankful for all they continue to do.

“We are thankful that DHEC afforded us the opportunity to help the community,” said Rev. Michael A. Butler. “It’s been a pleasure to work with DHEC and in such a cooperative spirit. It’s been a blessing, and we had other churches and individuals in the community who donated to help defray the costs.”

Nominating a Community Hero To nominate a Community Hero for their efforts to be a local leader and support public health actions throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, submit a nomination form and a brief description of the nominee’s community involvement. DHEC will regularly announce new Community Heroes and will archive all award recipients online here.

For the latest COVID-19 information in South Carolina, visit