Alive Named Sole Provider of Palliative Care for Tennessee Oncology

Service Roll Out to Eighteen Tennessee Oncology Clinics in 2019

NASHVILLE, TENN (3/19/19)  –  Alive, the only nonprofit provider of hospice care and end-of-life services for Middle Tennessee, today announced it will be the sole palliative care provider for Tennessee Oncology, one of the largest community oncology practices in the country and earliest to introduce palliative care to their patients. Palliative care is a relatively new and rapidly growing medical specialty focused on relief of symptoms for patients with serious illnesses and can be delivered alongside curative treatments.

Alive took over the provision of palliative care for Tennessee Oncology effective January 1, 2019. Services are already available in its two clinics in Centennial Medical Center and in its Saint Thomas West, Chattanooga, and Murfreesboro locations. Alive will roll out these services in Tennessee Oncology’s additional clinics by the end of the year and expects to serve 1,600 patients annually through the agreement.

“We are proud to call Tennessee Oncology a partner and look forward to deepening our relationship with one of the finest healthcare providers in our region,” said Alive’s President/CEO, Anna-Gene O’Neal. “Palliative care and hospice care share the same multidisciplinary team approach with the goal of alleviating symptoms and supporting families as well as patients. We look forward to bringing our expertise in this field to support the oncology population while curative options are still available.”

“At Tennessee Oncology, patient quality-of-life is an overriding factor at every individualized stage of treatment and care. Our patients are surrounded with concerned families and loved ones,” states Tennessee Oncology’s Chief Medical Officer, Natalie Dickson, M.D. “Our palliative care partnership with Alive Hospice, complements our ongoing quality-of-life goals. As a team, we can best assess stressful or negative symptoms that can threaten cancer patients’ management of their illness and develop a plan to resolve or mitigate them. We have high expectations for our partnership.”

Alive and Tennessee Oncology share a close relationship. Alive regularly provides training on end-of-life care to Tennessee Oncology staff through its GIFT initiative, advance care planning, and its SHARE program, which helps medical professionals master difficult health conversations with patients and families.

Alive Hires Medical Director to Manage Expansion

Dr. Martha Presley joined Alive as Medical Director, Palliative Care Services, to manage the expansion and oversee services. Dr. Presley joins Alive from Aspire Health where she was Senior Consultant to the CMO, and Lead Physician for Oncology. Prior to that she was an Assistant Clinical Professor of Medicine in the Department of Internal Medicine at Vanderbilt University and Policy Associate to Former Senate Majority Leader William H. Frist, MD.  Dr. Presley is double board certified in Internal Medicine and Hospice and Palliative Medicine and completed both her residency and fellowship at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. She holds a MD from Vanderbilt University School of Medicine and a JD from Vanderbilt University Law School.

About Palliative Care

Palliative care is a relatively new and rapidly growing medical specialty. It focuses on relief of symptoms for patients with serious illnesses and can be delivered alongside curative treatments. Like hospice care, it is provided by a multidisciplinary team of specialists who collaborate to improve quality of life for patients and their families. Palliative care in U.S. hospitals continues to increase — 178% from 2000 to 2016 — according to the 2018 Palliative Care Growth Snapshot issued by the Center to Advance Palliative Care (CAPC).

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, financial assistance, a comprehensive volunteer program, and professional 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 Adapt to Life Limiting Illnesses Very Effectively (ALIVE). To learn more or volunteer, visit or call 615-327-1085.

About Tennessee Oncology a partner of OneOncology

Tennessee Oncology, PLLC is one of the nation’s leading teams of cancer care specialists, nationally recognized for improving patient outcomes and innovative treatments. Its comprehensive range of cancer care services include specialized oncology nursing care, laboratory services, outpatient chemotherapy, PET/CT services and patient education and support services. Founded in 1976, Tennessee Oncology is one of the largest physician-owned practices in the country, with over 90 physicians in 30 locations throughout Middle Tennessee, Chattanooga, and Northwest Georgia. Visit for more information.

Media Contact: 
Liz Haas, communications manager, Alive Hospice  |  c: 615-613-1720