For the Fall 2002, a graduate student from USC Columbia, Lisa Nelligan began her field placement with our Center in Sumter.
The Fall 2002 semester was spent making contacts and presentations in the Sumter community; one example was a program for the Alzheimer's Support Group at Covenant Place, a progressive care facility in our community. Activities this semester were numerous, but of note would be the "Caregiver's Tea" which was held in October in conjunction with the local Caregivers Support Advocate office operating out of the Santee Lynches Council of Government. This two-hour morning "tea" consisted of an hour of sharing and an hour of caring. The sharing hour gave time for the 35 participants to introduce themselves and share with those experiencing similar caregiving issues. The hours of caring consisted of informational programs on stress management, advanced care-planning, information on hospice services. All of the participants received "respite support" consisting of someone to sit with the person they care for while they attended this "tea". Money for this program came from funds provided by the Caregiver Advocate office serving Sumter, Lee, and Clarendon counties. Informational packets were available for all that attended. This was an innovative program which has been replicated by other "caregiver advocates" working in South Carolina.
One of the primary focuses for the Spring of 2003, was hosting the "Living with Grief: Coping with Public Tragedy" teleconference held in April. Timing was excellent because of 9-11 and continuing education hours for offered for nurses, social workers, counselors, clergy, psychologists, physicians, EMS personnel, EAPs and nursing home administrators. Following the broadcast, Vic Jones, Sumter County Public Safety Director and Marie Hodge, the Victim's Advocate with Sumter-City Law Enforcement facilitated questions and answers. Of course, Hurricane Hugo came to the mind of folks attending as well as 9-11.
Academic Year 2002-2003 was a successful year for our graduate student who graduated in May 2003 with her MSW from USC Columbia. Today, she is working as a social worker with Tri-County Hospice serving Sumter, Lee, Clarendon, and Kershaw counties. To me, this is an excellent example of "workforce training".