Lexington Businesswoman Would Head DHEC Board if Confirmed by Senate
A Lexington businesswoman is Gov. Henry McMaster’s choice to head the state Department of Health and Environmental Control board, a politically appointed panel that hears permit appeals and helps set agency policy.
Seema Shrivastava-Patel, a current board member, would replace the departed Robert Bolchoz, a Columbia-area lawyer who recently resigned for business reasons after less than a year in the position.
Patel is a University of South Carolina graduate who would become the first woman of color to head the DHEC board. She lives in Lexington and is of Indian heritage.
“Shrivastava-Patel is a highly respected member of the South Carolina Board of Health and Environmental Control and with six years of experience she is an expert on the workings of DHEC,” the Republican governor said in the news release. “With this extensive knowledge of the agency and her experience as vice chair, she is the best choice to lead a smooth transition that will propel the agency forward and advance South Carolina’s public health and environmental missions.”
Shrivastava-Patel’s business background includes a 20-year career in the convenience and food service industry and as president of the Carolina Convenience Corp., the governor’s office said. She has served on the DHEC board since 2018.
Shrivastava-Patel would become chair if confirmed by the state Senate. The Senate usually approves the governor’s recommendation for DHEC board members.
She would take charge of the DHEC board at a time when legislators are discussing whether to break the agency into individual health and environmental departments. A Senate committee discussed the breakup plan Wednesday.
DHEC is one of the few agencies in the nation that combine both health and environmental oversight