Literature & Medicine Program Comes to Spartanburg

Starting in February 2009, SC Humanities will be partnering with Community Healing Arts Program to bring the national program Literature & Medicine: Humanities at the Heart of Healthcare to two hospital systems in Spartanburg. Literature & Medicine is an award-winning reading and discussion program for health-care professionals that, as one participant wrote, “renews the heart and soul of health care.” Literature & Medicine discussions have helped health care professionals across the country improve their communication and interpersonal skills while increasing cultural awareness, empathy for patients, and job satisfaction.

Spartanburg Regional Healthcare System and Mary Black Memorial Hospital in Spartanburg will host Literature & Medicine programs from February – August 2009. Led by skilled facilitators, a diverse group of 25 participating health-care professionals at each institution will contemplate such literary works as Complications: A Surgeon’s Notes on an Imperfect Science by Atul Gawande, The Epic of Gilgamesh, and Edward Albee's The Sand Box. Dr. Jeffrey H. Barker, Vice President of Academic Affairs and Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Converse College, will facilitate the program at Spartanburg Regional Healthcare System, and Dr. Kevin M. DeLapp, Harold E. Fleming Chair of Philosophy at Converse College, will facilitate the program at Mary Black Memorial Hospital.

SC Humanities has previously coordinated four Literature & Medicine programs in South Carolina, including two at Columbia Area Mental Health Center, one at Providence Hospital in Columbia, and one at the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston. The Council is delighted to be expanding the program to the Upstate.

For more information about Literature & Medicine: Humanities at the Heart of Health Care, please see the national Web site at: To find out more about Literature & Medicine in South Carolina, please contact T.J. Wallace at 803-771-2477 or