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Arnold School of Public Health


Alumnus David Pankau elected Chairman of the 2016 Midland Heart Walk

August 21, 2015 | Erin Bluvas, bluvase@sc.edu 

Arnold School alumnus David Pankau has been named the Midlands Heart Walk Chairman by the American Heart Association for the 2016 event. The CEO of Blue Cross Blue Shield of South Carolina and Master of Public Health graduate will oversee the recruitment of 5,000 walkers and more than $600,000 in fundraising.

“It is my honor to serve as chairman of the 2016 Midlands Heart Walk,” Pankau said in a statement reported by MidlandsBiz. “Everyone has a friend, relative or coworker who has been affected by cardiovascular diseases in some way. Through this campaign, we will raise awareness, promote healthy lifestyles, and support those who have already been affected by heart disease. I look forward to doing my part in raising funds for the fight against heart disease and stroke.”

The 22-year Blue Cross Blue Shield veteran got his professional start through a practicum that was a component of his Arnold School program. Working at the South Carolina Health and Human Services Finance Commission provided practice-based experience for Pankau, and it turned into his first full-time job. “Medicaid services for children were expanding,” said Pankau. “The experience was invaluable.”

Pankau, whose wife also has a master’s degree from the Arnold School (Department of Health Promotion, Education, and Behavior), graduated from the Department of Health Administration, now known as the Department of Health Services Policy and Management. The son of a nurse who earned a PhD in health education, the Pankau family has its roots in healthcare. “Healthcare was a family business,” he said. And it still is.