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MUSC Nursing

Endowed Chairs

Endowed Chairs and professorships are one of the highest academic awards that universities can bestow on a faculty member. Endowed chairs and/or professorships are esteemed faculty positons at a University and/or College who are recognized for their expertise in a key area of teaching, research, or service. Endowed chairs positions are generally supported through an established endowment or gift, in which an annual payout supports the endowed chair activities. Selected faculty for these prestigious positions, have an established track record of scholarship, expertise, demonstrated international or national presence. The Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) College of Nursing is honored to have received support for 4 Endowed Chair Positions in the College, each is described below:

Ann Darlington Edwards
Endowed Chair in Nursing

Currently Recruiting for this position

The Ann Darlington Edwards Endowed Chair in Nursing was established in March 1997 as the College's first endowed professorship, named for the First Lady of the Medical University of South Carolina; a nurse, a stateswomen, and goodwill ambassador, was established through donations of stock from Mrs. Nettie Dickerson of Bank Air Corp. Monies allocated to the fund were to serve two purposes:  1. Seed funds to meet the fundraising needs in association with conducting the Ann Darlington Edwards Chair campaign. Funds to support College of Nursing special events, travel, campaigns, meetings, public relation, and marketing of colleges mission and priorities. 2. Funds to attract potential candidates and/or to fund the salary of stellar national nursing leaders to serve as the Ann Darlington Edwards Endowed Chair.

The focus of the campaign for the 1st MUSC Endowed Chair position, outside of Medicine, was on nurses - in putting the care back in healthcare and nursing, as the cornerstone of healthcare.

The outcomes and benefits were originally visualized in 1997 to be:

  • Bring visibility and recognition to the College and to the Medical University.
  • Elevate the College's position in national ranking - as well as elevate the status of the College, faculty, and students: among their peers, and other institutions.
  • Promote scholarly productivity among the faculty and students; motivates and mentors' faculty.
  • Serve as a magnet to attract additional funding to the College; a chair often brings funded research with them to the institution.
  • Serve as a symbol that widely recognized by the academic community as a means of facilitating research, ensuring quality, and promoting the socialization of upcoming scientists.

Today, the Ann Darlington Edwards Endowed Chair position looks for a visionary and strategic nurse scientist leader who will advance knowledge, through education, research and scholarship, to complement the vision, mission and priority areas of the College and which commit support to diversity and inclusivity in all its forms. The Endowed Chair is expected to lead as well as expand development and advancement in reducing health inequities/disparities in communities and diverse populations of those with chronic health conditions (e.g., cancer, advanced lung or kidney disease, dementia and Alzheimer's, etc.,) or among caregivers and survivorship.

The qualified candidate must have a distinguished record of scholarship and extramural funding; a commitment to education and mentorship; and, demonstrated leadership and collaborations in working with communities and diverse populations that result in positive impacts on improving health disparities and reducing health inequities. The qualified candidate is expected to lead the college in activities that support a holistic approach to inclusive excellence among faculty, staff, and students.


David and Margaret Clare
Endowed Chair

Teresa J. Kelechi, PhD, RN, GCNS, CWCN, FAAN

Established in 2016, the David and Margaret Clare Endowed Chair was established to support the advancement of nursing education, which is consistent with their foundation purpose to support activities that support education, youth and social services, and schools – originally highlighting scholarships to support advancing education.

In 2022, the David and Margaret Clare Foundation The purpose of the gift agreement was revisited and agreed to support the chair holder in supporting and advancing research activities that align with the MUSC College of Nursing research goals, as supported and approved by the Dean. Current priorities are focused on advancing research and science of symptom self-management.

Dr. Kelechi is Professor, Associate Dean for Research and PhD Studies and Director of College of Nursing’s Symptom Self-Management Center. During her 40+ nursing career, including more than 20 years in research, she has pioneered work on self-management strategies to improve the physical and social health of older adults living with chronic conditions of the lower legs and leg ulcers. She is best known for her innovative MUSTCOOL nursing intervention to reduce new and reoccurrence of lower leg skin ulcers and how to self-manage the debilitating and distressing symptoms of having a skin ulcer. Her recent work investigates the relationships among loneliness, inflammation, and wound healing in hopes of leading to a better understanding of how one’s social environment affects healing. In addition to the Clare endowment funding her work, as a national and international expert on wound science, she has received awards from the National Institute of Health/National Institute of Nursing Research, as well as numerous private foundations and industry sponsors.


Mary Swatcher Swain
Endowed Chair in Palliative Care Health

Kathleen Oare Lindell, PhD, RN, ATSF, FAAN

Established in 2020, the Mary Swatcher Swain Endowed Chair in Palliative Care Health centers on growing the MUSC College of Nursing’s focus on palliative care across educational programs, in practice and in collaboration with practice partners, and in scholarship and research, with the goal of promoting quality of life care and decreasing burden for individuals, families/caregivers across the palliative care continuum. Our interest in palliative care is critically important in South Carolina, where 62% (3.1 million) of the population lives with at least one chronic illness and 20% (1.3 million) have at least two chronic illnesses – many of these illnesses are serious and life-limiting conditions where palliative care can make a difference in the quality of life for individuals and their caregivers.

Dr. Lindell is an Associate Professor in the College of Nursing and Medicine at MUSC. Her path of funded research is directed toward improving the quality of life for patients with advanced lung disease, specifically Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis (IPF) and their family caregivers. As a result of her clinical experience in caring for patients with advanced lung disease, she developed a nurse-led palliative care intervention entitled “A Program of SUPPORT™” for patients with advanced lung disease. This evidence-based intervention has demonstrated acceptability and improved knowledge and preparedness for patients and their caregivers. The SUPPORT intervention is now being adapted for telehealth delivery and the framework expanded for study in patients with dementia and their caregivers.

Dr. Lindell is a national and international expert in advancing palliative care in advanced lung disease and frequently sought to speak about her work and participate in projects. Recently she co-chaired development of the Palliative Care Statement for the Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation (PFF) and served as a member of the taskforce to update the American Thoracic Society (ATS) Palliative Care Statement. In 2021, she co-authored a textbook entitled Palliative Care in Lung Disease for the ATS Book Series. Her work has resulted in greater than 60 peer-reviewed publications. Dr. Lindell is actively involved in the ATS and the PFF, having served on both of their Board of Directors. At present, she is an invited member of the PFF Medical Advisory Board, Medical and Scientific Advisory Committee, and Research Review Committee, and an invited member to the University of Hull (United Kingdom) Wolfson Palliative Care Research Centre - Scientific Advisory Committee.


South Carolina, SmartState
Endowed Chair for Technology Center to Enhance Healthful Lifestyles

Ken Ruggiero, PhD

The South Carolina, SmartState Endowed Chair for Technology Center to Enhance Healthful Lifestyles was established in 2009 as a SC SmartState Center of Economic Excellence. To date, the SmartState® Review Board has approved 51 research centers in areas such as biomedicine, pharmaceutical research, automotive engineering and transportation, energy, nanotechnology, information science, and advanced materials (SC SmartState Annual Report, 2021). The goal of SC SmartState Centers is to deliver significant returns on the state’s investment, such as sponsored research, corporate partnerships, company relocations and startups, increased jobs in our state, and opportunities for young people at our universities, in industry, and as entrepreneurs.

The MUSC Technology Center to Enhance Healthful Lifestyles SmartState was awarded in 2009 ($3M; External Funding Above Match = $18.5M) to MUSC and the University of South Carolina. Dr. Ken Ruggiero, Professor, serves as the MUSC Endowed Chair (2018 – current) with a focus on leveraging digital solutions to enhance access and quality of care among populations affected by trauma and stressful life events (e.g., disaster survivors, traumatic injury patients, children receiving mental health services, firefighters).

Research Focus: Develop and test technology enhanced population health interventions to improve mental health outcomes, health, and wellness among adults and children who have experienced trauma or major life stressors.

The SC, SmartState Endowed Chair position for the Technology Applications Center for Healthful Lifestyles (TACHL) has made possible several major initiatives that have improved access, quality, and equity of care for children and adults who have experienced traumatic life events. For example, the Trauma Resilience and Recovery Program, a mental health service for traumatic injury patients that was established after a number of rapid pilot studies and phases of technology development were made possible by SmartState Chair funding. These studies yielded a model of care that is still in place at MUSC, serving 1,000 traumatic injury patients per year, and also one that has been adopted by a dozen trauma centers in the Carolinas. This work also laid the foundation for 5 major grants over the past four years, including two Duke Endowment grants, an NIH career development award (K), and two NIH R01s. Bounce Back Now is another initiative that has benefited tremendously from SmartState Chair funding. This is an app that was developed to improve access to mental health services and reduce risk for developing post traumatic stress, depression, and sleep problems after disasters. After testing, SmartState Chair funding has supported its launch and maintenance to ensure that it is freely and widely available through the Apple and Google Play stores in English and Spanish, and have protected some of Dr. Ruggiero's time as he has pursued partnerships with American Red Cross and HHS-based entities to increase reach. Adaption is under development for disaster-affected adolescents, and it is likely that Bounce Back Now will soon be adapted for a broader range of trauma-affected populations.

The suite of apps and web-based tools created by the Center for Firefighter Behavioral Health in the College of Nursing at MUSC is a third initiative that has been accelerated by SmartState Chair funding. Firefighters and their families face a number of stressors and experience high levels of stigma around receipt of behavioral health services. These apps have helped to break down some of these barriers to care and have led to strong partnerships with networks of firefighters in the Carolinas and with national organizations such as the National Fallen Firefighter Foundation.

Finally, SmartState Chair funding has been instrumental in the protection of time for trainee and faculty mentorship in the College of Nursing and across campus. Three faculty members in the College of Nursing at MUSC who have major roles in many of the initiatives described above were once postdoctoral fellows under the primary mentorship of Dr. Ruggiero. The time that he was able to dedicate to mentoring is not protected by other sources, and SmartState funding was therefore critical to the development of these relationships.

SmartState Chair funding has been instrumental in the protection of time for trainee and faculty mentorship in the College of Nursing and across campus. Three faculty members in the College of Nursing at MUSC who have major roles in many of the initiatives described above were once postdoctoral fellows under the primary mentorship of Dr. Ruggiero. The time that he was able to dedicate to mentoring is not protected by other sources, and SmartState funding was therefore critical to the development of these relationships.