Alive Adds Founders, Former Officers to Board of Directors

Returning members bring decades of healthcare and nonprofit leadership experience

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (Sept. 21, 2023) – Alive Hospice has announced that David Barton, M.D., Lynn Barton, Denise Alper, and Susan Simons have been appointed to the Board of Directors. The Bartons co-founded Alive in 1975 and, like Alper and Simons, have previously served on the Board. The new Board members bring decades of experience leading nonprofits and boards in the Nashville and surrounding areas.

“We are pleased to welcome Dr. and Mrs. Barton, Denise and Susan back to the Alive Board,” said Vicki Estrin, Chair of Alive’s Board of Directors. “They are tireless advocates for Alive and its legacy over the years and have provided critical input on Alive’s future, especially in the past few months. Their combined experience and knowledge will be beneficial to Alive leadership as we continue to ensure that hospice and end of life services are available for all in our community, regardless of ability to pay.”

Dr. Barton is a founder of Alive Hospice and a pioneering hospice and end-of-life care physician. He has served Alive in various capacities since its founding, including as the first Board President from 1975-1977. Dr. Barton developed one of the first courses in the country for medical students on caring for persons with life-threatening illnesses and was a frequent lecturer on dying, death and bereavement throughout his career at Vanderbilt University and in the wider community. He also taught at Meharry Medical College. In 2019, he was inducted into the Tennessee Health Care Hall of Fame for his contributions to the health care community.

Lynn Barton is a co-founder of Alive and a practicing social work therapist. She has served Alive both as a former member of the Board of Directors as well as Board President. In addition to her service to Alive, Lynn Barton has co-founded the Nashville Area Association of Family Mediators and the Mediation Association of Tennessee, Inc. She has served in various capacities for other community organizations such as Nashville Conflict Resolution Center and Jewish Family Service of Nashville, Tenn.

Alper formerly served on the Alive Board from 2012-2017 where she assisted with development and overall board leadership for the organization. She is a former special projects consultant for The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee and has served as both Interim CEO and President and board member of Gilda’s Club of Middle Tennessee. She currently serves on the board of The Tennessee Justice Center. Alper also has experience leading healthcare provider organizations in both Tennessee and Georgia.

Simons previously served on Alive’s board, including three years as Chair. She is the former Tennessee Commissioner of the General Services Department and former Chairman of the Alcoholic Beverages Commission under Gov. Lamar Alexander. Simons has served on the boards of numerous Nashville nonprofits including The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee where she also served as Chair. In 2021, Simons, and her husband, Luke, were recognized with the Joe Kraft Humanitarian Award for their contributions to the Nashville community.

The Alive Board of Directors has also elected Claire Cowart Haltom as Vice Chair of the Board effective Jan. 1. Haltom is a shareholder with the law firm of Baker Donelson where she represents healthcare providers. She has extensive experience working with nonprofit healthcare boards and has served on a number of local nonprofit boards including the boards of Faith Family Medical Center, Centerstone Military Services, the Nashville Health Care Council and Leadership Health Care. Haltom joined the Alive Board of Directors in January 2023.

About Alive

Alive is the only nonprofit provider of hospice care and end-of-life services in Middle Tennessee. Its mission is to provide loving care for people with life-threatening illnesses, support to their families, and service to the community in a spirit of enriching lives. This includes in-home and in-patient hospice care, grief support, advance care planning, outreach, support to underserved communities, education about the end of life, financial assistance, a robust volunteer program, and clinician training through the Alive Institute. A pioneer in the “good death” movement, Alive established the third hospice in the nation in 1975. Today, it remains true to its roots as an innovator and leader, helping individuals live fully while approaching death. To learn more or volunteer, visit or call 615-327-1085.