September 2, 2022
Contact: Tracy LaPointe
(803) 898-8582

SC Mental Health Commission Names SCDMH Interim Director

Columbia, SC – Thursday, September 1, the South Carolina Mental Health Commission selected Robert Bank, MD, to serve as interim state director for the South Carolina Department of Mental Health (SCDMH). Dr. Bank has also agreed to assume operational control of SCDMH on September 15. On August 19, State Director Kenneth Rogers, MD, announced his intention to leave the Agency. Dr. Rogers will spend his remaining time with SCDMH assisting Dr. Bank as he transitions into his new role.

Dr. Bank, who presently serves as SCDMH medical director, joined SCDMH in 1982. He was appointed executive director of the Columbia Area Mental Health Center in 2006 and assumed the simultaneous role of medical director of the Agency in 2008. He continued to serve in both positions until 2017 when he began serving solely in his current position. Dr. Bank began his employment with the Department as a Psychiatric Service Chief at the William S. Hall Psychiatric Institute where he also served as director of Psychiatric Residency Training.

“The Mental Health Commission is pleased Dr. Bank has agreed to accept the role of interim state director,” said Commission Chair Greg Pearce. “His vast knowledge of and experience with SCDMH makes him an excellent choice to ensure a smooth transition in leadership.”

The SCDMH’s mission is to support the recovery of people with mental illnesses. The Department provides clinical services to approximately 100,000 patients each year, about 30,000 of whom are children. As South Carolina’s public mental health system, SCDMH provides outpatient mental health care through a network of 16 community mental health centers and associated clinics serving all 46 counties and inpatient psychiatric treatment in three state hospitals. In addition to mental health services, SCDMH provides nursing care to eligible veterans through a network of state veterans nursing homes.