Agape Hospice and its sister company, LTC Health Solutions, provide comprehensive end of life care to individuals and their families in a compassionate, faith-based and dignified environment.
Agape’s program not only gives patients with serious illnesses a means of managing their pain but also teaches them how to cope with their illness. It treats the whole person and addresses the patient’s physical, spiritual and emotional needs.
The definition of palliative care is to relieve the symptoms of disease, and, to do so, Agape focuses on providing comfort and compassion. Palliative care also allows patients to remain in their homes, with visits from nurse practitioners that bridge doctor’s visits.
Agape’s palliative care program serves patients from Trident Medical Center and Summerville Medical Center.
Leading the palliative care team is Dr. Gregory Compton, the 2015 Tamra West Leadership Award winner, and two women who were recently featured in the Pulse on Nurses section of HealthLinks: Annemarie Spikes Donato and Morgan McCall.
Dr. Compton has the unique ability to pull together all available resources and engage partners, physicians and specialists to provide outpatient palliative care for patients in a holistic manner.
Donato is a nurse practitioner whose favorite part of being a nurse is getting to know her patients personally. She recently decided to follow her passion and return to hospice after spending the past 20 years teaching at the Medical University of South Carolina. Having the opportunity to see patients in their homes inspires her to provide the best possible care and give them the best quality of life possible. Donato is able to offer all of the patient’s regular care in their home, so they have the option to continue seeing their regular doctor or to see Donato once a month. She is even able to prescribe medicine.
McCall is the clinical coordinator for the palliative care program of LTC Health Solutions. While earning her nursing degree from Charleston Southern University, she watched a family member battling a terminal illness and came to believe that hospice was her calling. She transitioned to palliative care three years later and now works at the front lines with patients earlier in the disease process. She said: “I am grateful to have been blessed with the opportunity to work with each and every patient.”
Rounding out the Agape Hospice team are nurses, social workers and chaplains who care for and counsel patients and their family members.
Agape means unconditional love. The company stresses the nine attributes from the Bible of a person living in accord with the Holy Spirit. These attributes are: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness and self-control.
November is actually the month that Agape celebrates “Life Blooms Eternally.” This month-long event is intended to raise awareness and celebrate the lives of hospice patients. It features hundreds of beautifully-painted floral umbrellas that are strategically placed in various locations throughout the state. Each unique umbrella represents a hospice patient.
Agape Hospice, working in conjunction with LTC, is able to treat patients earlier in the disease process and improve the quality of the patient’s life. The Agape team’s holistic approach provides patients with much more than pain management – it provides patients with resources and ways to cope with their illness.