Alive Hospice Helps With Life’s Journey
SARAH FRYAR, Special to the Courier
“I think it’s great. We attend functions they support and go to some of the companies they are kicking off campaigns with to help educate the potential donors in what some of the agencies do to give them a better idea of where their money is going,” said Pam Barnes, clinical director of Alive Hospice’s Murfreesboro Team.
United Way helps Alive Hospice provide hospice care and support services for residents of Rutherford and Cannon counties. In addition, United Way and its supporters help make it possible for Alive Hospice to provide care for underinsured and uninsured residents of the community.
The nonprofit, founded in Middle Tennessee in the mid-’70s, supports families by providing support services like individual counseling for adults and children year-round, grief support groups for adults and a summer day camp for bereaved children.
That day camp, Camp Forget-Me-Not, aids grieving children and teens in developing healthy coping skills through group activities and interaction with other grieving children. Trained grief counselors and volunteers lead the camp for kids.
“I remember in the very beginning, I was driving back from where I felt I had really made a difference and called the [office] and said ‘thank you for hiring me’,” Barnes said. “It felt really good to make that much of a difference or change in someone’s life at that point in time.”
She oversees a team of nurses, certified nurse technicians or hospice aides, social workers, chaplains, and grief counselors. This group provides care to patients wherever they might be, including homes and hospitals.
“We’re looking to expand the number of patients and families we can help in the existing counties and help educate the public on hospice and the number of services we can provide. I want to express how much Alive Hospice appreciates United Way and all of the folks who [donate] and help support what we do,” Barnes said.
Alive Hospice was founded by Dr. John Flexner and Dr. David Barton in 1974 and opened in Middle Tennessee just one year later making it the oldest community-based hospice program in the area.