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September 13, 2023

SCHA and the SC Hospital Community Lost a Dear Friend, Partner, and Champion

SCHA was deeply saddened to learn that our long-time friend and colleague, Dr. Rick Foster, died earlier this week following his battle with pancreatic cancer. Through his many years in the South Carolina hospital community, Dr. Foster was known as a tireless advocate for quality, safety, reliability, and equity of care in our state.Dr. Foster was born in Prosperity, South Carolina, and earned his undergraduate degree from Clemson University and his medical degree from the Medical University of South Carolina. He completed his residency in family medicine at Self Regional Healthcare in Greenwood and then went on to serve in the private practice of family medicine in Surfside Beach and Charleston.In 2007, Dr. Foster joined SCHA as Senior Vice President for Quality and Patient Safety. In that role, he was one of the leaders in developing and implementing SCHA‘s quality improvement initiatives, including the Zero Harm program. He also served as a mentor to other hospital leaders on the topic of quality improvement. He would go on to serve as the Executive Director of the Alliance for a Healthier South Carolina and work as a senior advisor in the area of population health improvement for SCHA. He would also serve as a founding member of both the SC Birth Outcomes Initiative and the SC Coalition for Care of the Seriously Ill.In 2019, Dr. Foster joined SC DHEC as a Senior Physician Advisor. In this role, he provided guidance on various public health issues, including the COVID-19 pandemic. He was also a member of the SC Pandemic Ethics Advisory Council and the SC COVID Clinical Treatment Advisory Team.Dr. Foster was a highly respected physician and a dedicated public servant. He was known for his intelligence, his compassion, and his commitment to improving the quality of healthcare. He will be deeply missed by his family, colleagues, and the entire hospital community.