Academic Year 2003-2004 - This year, the primary focus has been on fostering educational programs in our service area for a nominal fee or for free. We initiated conversations with the Caring Communities Program at Duke University to provide free educational programs to both North and South Carolina communities utilizing the SCETV network. USC Sumter served as a host site for 2 broadcast programs. The first was held on October 28, 2003, and addressed providing health ministries within local church congregations. The second program, entitled The Church and Mental Health, was part of a teleconference series and was held on February 19th.
In the Fall of 2003, a Sumter Coalition group began meeting to share information and begin planning a series of programs focusing on Dementia, Alzheimer’s, and mental health to be held in the spring of 2004. These topics also fit nicely with the second teleconference offered by Duke Universities’ Caring Communities. One educational program was provided for the Alzheimer’s Support Group meeting at Tuomey Hospital using educational material from the Caring for You, Caring for Me series developed by the Rosalyn Carter Institute, Georgia Southwestern State University in Americus, Georgia.
Beginning January 21, 2004, USC Sumter hosted a series of 5 1-1/2 hour classes called Dementia Dialogues. This series of programs was offered in conjunction with Tri-County Hospice and was recommended for Certified Nursing Assistants, Personal Care Assistants, Nurses, Activity Directors, families, and anyone who interacted with individuals with Dementia. Participants of this 7-1/2 hour training program received a “Dementia Specialist” certificate from the USC Arnold School of Public Health, Office for the Study of Aging.
The Forgetting: A Portrait of Alzheimer’s was a 2 hour documentary that aired on WRJA on January 21st. This program was based on David Shenk’s best-selling book, The Forgetting. We helped promote this program by encouraging viewers to obtain additional information from an accompanying web site developed for this program.
USC Sumter hosted Living with Grief: Alzheimer’s Disease, the 11th Annual Bereavement Teleconference, which was sponsored by the Hospice Foundation of America and moderated by Cokie Roberts of ABC News. This was held on April 28th and carried recertification credits for many professions. An expert panel discussed what is known medically regarding the diagnosis, progression, and treatment of the disease. Innovative programs and associated grief were covered in this 3 hour program as well. Each participant received a free bound copy of an accompanying text made possible by Central Carolina Technical College.
On other fronts, Dawn Eason, MLIS, with USC Sumter, compiled a pamphlet last summer for the Sumter community highlighting materials available in local libraries to help folks coping with grief. This was distributed within our Sumter Coalition, which is comprised mostly of employees from both Tri-County and Tuomey Hospice and Home Health. These pamphlets also have been distributed at community educational programs this year.
Although our Center did not support a graduate student from our Columbia campus, Betty Harvey served as a “Field Advisor” for an action research project submitted as a partial requirement for a Masters of Arts, Human Behavior and Conflict Management Program from Columbia College. This thesis is titled Ethics of Decision in Health Care: Living and Dying Well. Authored by Betty S. McWhorter, this study was dedicated in memory of Dr. Nora Bell, first director of the Center for Bioethics, University of South Carolina and author of Conflicts in Health Care: Who Decides? and in memory of her mother, Dora Sue Spires.
The USC Sumter Center for End of Life Care continues to provide leadership and foster educational awareness in our service area. Anyone desiring additional information may contact Betty Harvey at (803) 938-3778 or e-mail