Center for End of Life Care


Mission Statement:


The USC Sumter Center for End of Life Care has been formed to provide leadership and professional and community education toward improving end of life care in Sumter, Lee, Clarendon, Kershaw, & Williamsburg counties.

Contact USC Sumter Center for End of Life Care, telephone 803/938-3843 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it Director of Distance Education, at 803/938-3708



Objectives & Goals




Planned Actions & Strategies


Educational Programming (updated 2005)


Time Line





Objectives and Goals:

The Center will foster collaboration among various segments of the community and will facilitate educational programs, public awareness campaigns, and other initiatives which will result in improved end of life care for citizens of those communities. Collaborating entities will include, but not be limited to, the health care providers, including hospitals, nursing homes and hospice programs, health care and legal professionals, aging and human services programs, members of the faith community, public officials, and private citizens.



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In 1998 the South Carolina Collaborative on End of Life Care was formed. Funded by the Duke Endowment, it was spearheaded by the South Carolina Health Alliance and Hospice for the Carolinas. One of the primary goals of the first year was to gain a better understanding of the status of end of life care in South Carolina. The work of the next 3-5 years will include the following goals:

  1. To support improved pain management in all settings.

  2. To promote excellence in end of life care in the nursing home setting.

  3. To improve the quality of palliative care through consumer and professional education.

  4. To engage the public, policy makers, regulators, health care providers, and the legal community in efforts to remove barriers to the provision of quality end of life care in South Carolina.

From the four goals above, nine “Call to Action” efforts are underway in our state. These nine are as follows:

  1. Developing and distributing a consumer's guide to pain management.

  2. Developing pain as a “Fifth Vital Sign” pilot project in hospitals, nursing homes and community health centers.

  3. Supporting the educational and research efforts of the South Carolina Pain Initiative.

  4. Increasing utilization of hospice care for residents of long term care facilities.

  5. Improving advance care planning for residents of long term care facilities.

  6. Convening regularly scheduled forums for dialogue among the state's regulatory and professional licensing boards.

  7. Implementing a multi-dimensional public awareness campaign to increase advance care planning among residents of South Carolina.

  8. Providing ongoing educational opportunities to health care professionals.

  9. Engaging public policy makers in efforts to improve End of Life Care in South Carolina.

In the Fall of 2000, USC Sumter answered this “Call to Action” by establishing a Center for End of Life Care. The work of the USC Sumter Center for EOLC will be tailored toward local needs in the five counties served by our campus. The USC Sumter Center for EOLC will encourage linkages with existing resources and programs, bringing many of these into our geographical area. In addition to USC Sumter’s efforts, other local efforts are underway in Aiken, Spartanburg, York, and Anderson counties.



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Planned Actions and Strategies:


  • Seek formal approval of this new Center by submission of required paperwork to USC Columbia.

  • Form Advisory committee representative of five county area served by our campus. Work toward formation of steering committees in each county.

  • Hold information sharing interest meeting(s) at USC Sumter and in local counties among collaborating entities identified in the Mission Statement.

  • Review and refine planned actions and strategies, prioritize issues and goals identified by assessment, formal and informal. Make adjustments as needed.

  • Explore support for the Center, both cash and in-kind, i.e., “Macro Placement” from USC College of Social Work, August-May, 2 days a week. However, $3,000 more would allow for graduate assistantship for 3 days a week.

  • Establish small working groups to interface with statewide initiatives.

  • Host Summit on End of Life Care.

  • Implement multi-dimensional public awareness campaign to increase Advanced Care Planning in five county area. Hold “facilitator” training programs based on best practice standard in the field, such as Gundersen Lutheran Medical Center in LaCrosse, Wisconsin.

  • Facilitate on-going educational opportunities, some with Continuing Education units for relicensure, and some for non-credit Continuing Education.

  • Physicians:

    • Only two or three physicians in state are certified

    • Hospice and Palliative Care Board Certified – Only four or five physicians in state are certified

    • Don Saunders, M.D., Center for Bioethicsand Medical Humanities, Institute for Public Affairs at University of South Carolina

  • Board of Nursing:

    • Nurses

    • Nursing homes

    • Discharge planners of hospitals and rehab facilities

    • Schools

    • Social Services

    • Hospices

    • Aging

    • Retirement Centers

  • Board of Social Work Examiners:

    • Social workers

    • Duncan White, CEU Director, College of Social Work, 777-4666

  • Board of Pharmacy:

    • Pharmacists working in health care settings and drug stores

  • Attorneys and para-professionals:

    • Robin F.Wilson, J.D., USC School of Law, Assistant Professor

    • South Carolina Bar Health Care Law Division:

      • Elder Care Law

  • Board of Accountancy:

    • Accountants

    • Tax implications

    • Estate planning

  • Members of the Faith communities

    • Ministerial Associations in counties

    • Support “Dying Well” project.

    • Grief education.

      • Death anniversaries

      • Sending cards

      • Psycho-social issues

    • Inter-generational care

  • Board of Funeral Services:

    • Funeral home businesses and directors

    • Relicensure education

  • Business and Industry, Human Resources:

    • Support groups for employees

  • Public officials:

    • Regulatory issues

    • Ethical issues

    • Federal/State/Local agencies

  • County Councils of Aging.

  • Retirement Homes.

  • Board of Long Term Health Care Administrators:

    • Nursing Homes

  • Home Health Agencies.

  • Private citizens education:

    • Educational professionals.

      • South Carolina ETV – WRJA, Wil Anderson, local contact

      • Clemson Extension

      • Students

      • Private citizen living alone (inter-generational care and in-home help)



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Educational Programming Topics:


  • Advance Care Planning “facilitator” training, and general education workshops.

  • Prepared for death – more involved in living.

  • Ouch! At the end of life, color still divides by Richard Payne, Chief, Pain and Palliative Care Services at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York.

  • Final Wishes: An End-of-Life Issues Seminar appropriate for caregivers: i.e. nurses, social workers, nursing home administrators, and/or lawyers.

  • Home Alone: brochure listing available support services and set-up of local area networks, perhaps with faith communities.

  • Academic Year 2002-2003 - Living with Grief: Coping with Public Tragedy

  • Academic Year 2003-2004 - The Forgetting

  • Academic Year 2003-2004 - Living with Grief



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Time Line:


  • Begin immediately and make adjustments as needed.

  • Tied to budget

Physical Location:


  • Work out of office utilized by Department of Distance and Continuing Education.

  • Later move “Center” as additional space becomes available.




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