The Duke Endowment awards $1 million grant to Campbell affiliate hospital Conway Medical Center

image of conway medical center

Grant will support the hospital’s planned Center for Medical Excellence in Disaster Recovery.

Conway Medical Center announced this week receipt of a $1 million grant from The Duke Endowment to support beginning the Center for Medical Excellence in Disaster Recovery as part of the hospital’s medical education program with Campbell University’s Jerry M. Wallace School of Osteopathic Medicine.

“We are very excited to have The Duke Endowment support our affiliate hospital in Conway, SC,” said Dr. John M. Kauffman Jr., dean of the medical school. “Conway Medical Center will welcome its first cohort of 11 third-year medical students in July, and this grant will enable us to move forward with beginning a residency program and the Center for Medical Excellence in Disaster Recovery.”

CMC and Campbell agreed to begin training third- and fourth-year medical students at the South Carolina hospital last year. During the discussions about curriculum and resources, Dr. Robin King-Thiele, associate dean for postgraduate affairs at Campbell, shared with Conway leadership the osteopathic medical school’s development of a crisis management rotation for resident physicians.

“This grant is unique — it will help us further our mission in the Conway community and in any community where our residents later practice medicine,” said King-Thiele. “It will provide resources necessary to help the hospital be prepared for natural disasters as part of the teaching curriculum for medical residents in the hospital and the community.”

The crisis management rotation allows resident physicians to learn crisis management skills to advance the care, safety and treatment of current and future patients. This rotation was initially designed to be used in times of mass casualty and natural disaster as well as states of emergency to provide residents a valuable role and continue their training.

However, CMC’s vision has two distinct goals: 1) to train all residents in disaster preparedness, so they are experienced and ready to be experts in a crisis no matter where they are located, and 2) if a crisis occurs, use CMC’s residents as a resource to be boots on the ground at hospitals, clinics and shelters while staying on track with their academic cycle.

“Our goal is to welcome our first family medicine residents in 2020,” said Dr. Paul M. Richardson Jr., chief medical officer at Conway Medical Center. “We were looking for a differentiator, and the Campbell Crisis Management curriculum gave that to us. During Hurricane Florence, CMC was one of two hospitals open in Horry County. We housed 200-300 staff and 30 attending physicians for four days — and it’s going to happen again.

“It just makes sense to have crisis management and recovery embedded in the residency curriculum. So, we reached out to The Duke Endowment to see if they could help make our vision a reality.”

Richardson said the medical center officials were excited to have this training as part of their residency curriculum. 

 “When a real disaster occurs and residents are required to assist in managing patient care scenarios that are unusual and complicated due to limited resources, they will be ready,” he said. “It is a win-win situation.”

In addition to implementing the curriculum, Conway Medical Center has plans to invest $5 million to re-purpose underutilized space for additional office and on-call capacity needed for residents and to construct a residency clinic adjacent to the hospital. The new clinic will be “disaster ready” — equipped with power and communications equipment to serve as an emergency command center when needed.

“We have a great relationship with Campbell University,” said Richardson.  “I can’t say enough about how supportive the administration has been through residency development and preparing to welcome our first medical students this summer.”

About The Duke Endowment

Based in Charlotte and established in 1924 by industrialist and philanthropist James B. Duke, The Duke Endowment is a private foundation that strengthens communities in North Carolina and South Carolina by nurturing children, promoting health, educating minds and enriching spirits. Since its founding, it has distributed more than $3.7 billion in grants. The Endowment shares a name with Duke University and Duke Energy, but all are separate organizations.