Alive Hospice Founders Going To Nonprofit’s Board Of Directors

Photo: Alive Hospice in Nashville, Tenn. Photo Credit: John Partipilo

By Kathy Carlson [Tennessee Lookout -CC BY-NC-ND 4.0] –

Alive Hospice co-founders David Barton, M.D. and his wife, Lynn Barton, along with Denise Alper and Susan Simons, have been appointed to Alive’s board of directors, the nonprofit hospice announced in a news release. 

The Bartons and the late Dr. John Flexner founded Alive in 1975; it was only the third hospice in the United States. Since then, it has served people at the end of their lives and offered grief support and other services.

Alper and Simons, as well as the Bartons, have previously served on the Alive board. All four were active with Keep Alive Alive, a community group that sprang up last spring to urge that Alive remain a nonprofit amid reports about it possibly becoming part of a for-profit organization.  

“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.” 

The Alive board also elected Claire Cowart Haltom as its vice chair 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 in January.

News that Alive Hospice might become part of a for-profit entity first surfaced in late April. Keep Alive Alive emerged the following month, and in early June, Alive’s board announced it would remain independent and nonprofit.  

Alive is the only nonprofit provider of hospice care and end-of-life services in Middle Tennessee, with residences providing inpatient hospice care in Nashville and in Rutherford County. Alive also provides other services including in-home hospice care, grief support and clinician training through the Alive Institute.

Currently, roughly seven in 10 hospices nationwide are operated by for-profit entities. In Tennessee, 48 out of 66 hospices listed by the Tennessee Hospice and Palliative Care Organization are run by for-profit organizations.

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