Clemson faculty work to elevate role of religion and spirituality in serious illness conversations and advance care planning for underserved communities

July 9, 2024

Conversations about serious illness and advance care planning (ACP) can be challenging for health care providers, patients and caregivers – but nursing professor Tracy Fasolino believes these conversations are vital in aligning care with patients’ wishes.

Fasolino is currently working on a project to help health care teams recognize the essential role of spiritual leaders in serious illness conversations in rural African American and Black communities. Her project is part of an initiative through the Rita and Alex Hillman Foundation (RAHF) which has awarded seven grants to support bold, early-stage interventions that seek to radically improve the provision of care for the seriously ill and those at the end of life.

These Hillman Foundation-funded Serious Illness and End of Life (HSEI) grants help to catalyze nursing-driven efforts to elevate care for communities that face discrimination and indifference.

Fasolino’s project, called Project SUNDAYs, explores how religion and spirituality shape conversations about serious illnesses and end of life from the perspective of rural African American and Black faith leaders in local church assemblies. She said the project will explore a new model for developing care conversations with seriously ill African American and Black adults in South Carolina by first understanding the role of spirituality and religion in advance care planning and end-of-life wishes.


Read the full article on the Clemson website here.