Ms. Maya Pack and Dr. Megan Weis Named Co-directors of IMPH

As the South Carolina Institute of Medicine & Public Health continues to evolve and fulfill its mission to inform policy to improve health and health care, we are pleased to announce that Ms. Maya Pack and Dr. Megan Weis have been named co-directors of the Institute. Under the executive leadership of Mr. Kester Freeman, Ms. Pack and Dr. Weis will continue to advance the Institute’s mission of utilizing the latest in evidence-based research by serving as a nonpartisan convener to inform health policy. Together, Ms. Pack and Dr. Weis have 19 years of experience with the Institute and will work collaboratively to ensure a productive and impactful future.

Ms. Pack has a diverse background that includes working in strategic planning in the hospital setting, consulting for various non-profit and health care organizations and developing programs and policies to improve the quality and control the cost of health care in South Carolina. At the Institute, she has directed the Institute’s research, developed issue-based education on various health policy matters, managed multi-stakeholder workgroups and committees focused on a variety of health challenges and interventions and worked to identify and implement new initiatives and collaborations that support the mission of IMPH. She supported the creation of the Health Policy Fellows Program and oversaw the Institute’s work in behavioral health, including the development of the Behavioral Health Taskforce and publications including “Hope for Tomorrow: The Collective Approach for Transforming South Carolina’s Behavioral Health Systems.”

Ms. Pack earned her bachelor’s degree from Furman University, a master of science in applied social science research from Clemson University and a master’s degree in public administration through a joint program of Clemson University and the University of South Carolina.

Dr. Weis is a Master Certified Health Education Specialist who brings communications expertise and significant experience in planning, implementation and evaluation of public health initiatives and surveillance programs to the Institute. Dr. Weis’s varied experience ranges from serving as a Peace Corps Volunteer; implementing and managing surveillance systems; and report writing, grant writing, strategic planning, organization and coalition development, management of multi-stakeholder workgroups and evaluation and communications for IMPH. Dr. Weis has been a significant contributor to internal operations and the establishment and development of the Institute. She also has led the Institute’s work to facilitate implementation of the state’s Obesity Action Plan and work with the County Health Rankings & Roadmaps.

Dr. Weis earned her bachelor’s degree from Furman University and her graduate degrees from the Arnold School of Public Health at the University of South Carolina. Her doctoral studies in Health Promotion, Education and Behavior focused on structural approaches to public health interventions, particularly in relation to evaluation of social and organizational influences on health, capacity development initiatives and the effectiveness of collaborations and partnerships.

Moving forward, the collaborative leadership structure will allow the Institute to benefit from the strengths and experience of both Ms. Pack and Dr. Weis. We are all invigorated by future possibilities and are looking forward to continuing and expanding the work of the Institute. In the coming months we look forward to continuing to advance conversations about health and health care in South Carolina.

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