Published on April 5, 2019
Alive is now the sole palliative care provider for all of Tennessee Oncology’s 18 clinics in Middle Tennessee. It took over the provision of palliative care for Tennessee Oncology from Aspire in January 2019.
Palliative care is a relatively new and rapidly growing medical specialty. Like hospice care, it focuses on relief of symptoms for patients with serious illnesses and is provided by a multidisciplinary team of specialists who collaborate to improve quality of life for patients and their families. Palliative care, however, can be delivered alongside curative treatments. For example, many cancer patients choose to receive palliative care while undergoing treatment.
Alive’s palliative services are already available in two clinics in Centennial Medical Center and in clinics in Saint Thomas West, Chattanooga, and Murfreesboro. Led by Dr. Martha Presley, Alive will implement 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 health care providers in our region,” said Alive’s President/CEO, Anna-Gene O’Neal. “Palliative care and hospice care share the same approach, and we look forward to bringing our expertise in this field to a broader patient base.”
“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, compliments 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.