LifeCircle South Dakota: Partners Improving End of Life Care (LifeCircleSD), an organization based at The University of South Dakota, has received two grants from the Wellmark Foundation in Des Moines, IA.�
In February 2006, LifeCircleSD received a $45,025 grant which was used help develop the organization and expand LifeCircleSD to create a statewide coalition of South Dakotans who are concerned with end of life issues. LifeCircleSD received an additional grant on May 1 from the Wellmark Foundation in the amount of $26,855. This grant will be utilized to gather in-depth interviews from South Dakotans who completed an earlier survey expressing interest in visiting with a professional about their experiences with the death of a loved one.
LifeCircleSD was created in 1999 after the Sanford School of Medicine at The University of South Dakota invited a group of professionals and community members to engage in dialogue about end of life care in South Dakota. LifeCircleSD was created with a mission designed to assure that "the people of South Dakota receive the care needed to complete their lives and die peacefully, that their loved ones receive support, and that health care providers are skilled in palliative care."�
LifeCircleSD is interdisciplinary (medicine, nursing, social work, pharmacy, and chaplaincy) and inter-institutional (featuring members from Augustana College, North American Baptist Seminary, South Dakota State University, Avera Clinical Pastoral Education, the University of Sioux Falls, and USD with a wide array of clinical sites committed to LifeCircleSD-sponsored education (Avera McKennan Hospice, Sioux Valley Hospice, assisted living centers, and long-term care facilities).�