Ernest E. Kennedy Center

Serving Communities. Changing Lives.

The mission of the Ernest E. Kennedy Center is to provide comprehensive behavioral health services that promote health and improve quality of life. Our vision is to work in conjunction with our collaborative partners to establish a healthy and drug free Berkeley County.

For more than four decades, The Ernest E. Kennedy Center has been providing quality, caring services to the citizens of Berkeley County. The Kennedy Center is a private, non-profit organization that is designated as a county substance abuse authority by the SCDAODAS, South Carolina Department of Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse Services. Our programs are nationally accredited by CARF, Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities.

We offer a wide range of prevention, intervention and treatment programs in two central locations. Through a team of caring and dedicated professionals, The Kennedy Center gives hope to those affected by substance abuse and addiction. Our progressive, proven programs and services stress that the adverse effects from alcohol, tobacco and other drugs are both preventable and treatable.

Wheme Hutto, Director of Prevention & Community Services, stated that our department is the first step within our continuum of care. We see prevention as a proactive process, which provides skills to individuals and communities to meet the challenges of life events. It creates and reinforces conditions that promote healthy behaviors and lifestyles through six areas: information dissemination, education, alternative activities, problem identification and referral, community based process and environmental strategies. What excites me most about our work is the opportunity to prevent alcohol and drug misuse. Our services seek to enhance the ability of the Berkeley County community to prevent substance misuse through a collaborative process.

Upcoming the prevention department will conduct its annual board training and retreat for the members of the Berkeley County Prevention Board (BCPB). The BCPB will celebrate its 30th anniversary in October, at which time it will hold its annual Family Fest, Picnic in the Park. This event serves as the kick-off to Red Ribbon Week (alcohol and drug awareness) throughout Berkeley County.

The goals of Healthy Tri-County and the Kennedy Center are in alignment. Both organizations strive to improve the quality of life of our citizens and to promote health. I saw involvement in Health Tri-County as a way to collaborate with a likeminded community partner. One of my favorite quotes is “Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much”- Helen Keller.