The Look in Brief

Supporters of nonprofit Alive Hospice file complaint with Tennessee Attorney General

By: - May 9, 2023 6:35 pm
Alive Hospice in Nashville, Tenn. (Photo: John Partipilo)

Alive Hospice in Nashville, Tenn. (Photo: John Partipilo)

Community members supporting Nashville’s Alive Hospice remaining a nonprofit have filed a complaint with the Tennessee attorney general, saying any sale of Alive’s assets would thwart the purpose of the Tennessee Nonprofit Corporation law.

A group of about 20 people, including former members of the hospice board and a founder, held a news conference Tuesday urging board members to keep the hospice nonprofit. They cited a Rand Corporation study indicating that patient care at for-profit hospices was less than the care at nonprofits. Press conference organizers said Alive is Middle Tennessee’s only nonprofit hospice.

“To care for the dying and their families requires an unusual amount of time, empathy and skill. Nothing can be rushed. From bed-baths, to questions about eternity to soothing family estrangement. It takes a team of highly trained doctors, nurse practitioners, nurses, chaplains and social workers to wrap their hearts and minds around each patient and their family.” wrote Heather Wills, a registered nurse, in letter to Attorney General Jonathan Skrmetti, copies of which she distributed at the press event.

“Research supports the assertion that the not for profit model best provides the ethos to create and maintain the culture necessary to sustain the magic we do every day,” Wills added, citing the Rand study.

Mary Falls, a past chair of the Alive board, said four independent sources whom she did not name said talks about selling the nonprofit were real. In response to a question, Falls  said she has heard Amedisys, a publicly traded company, is the a potential buyer.

Nashville physicians, Dr. David Barton and Dr. John Flexner, created Alive in 1975, making it the first hospice care facility in the Southeast and one of the first in the U.S.

Alive’s primary asset is its real estate, notably its midtown Nashville residential property.

A security guard at Alive hospice’s administrative offices on Patterson street asked a Lookout reporter to leave the property when she approached to obtain the organization’s comment as well as asking a photographer to leave the premises.

Alive Hospice Complaint filed with AG

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Kathy Carlson
Kathy Carlson

Kathy Carlson is a veteran newspaper reporter and copy editor, with stints at the Nashville Banner and Tennessean. At the Tennessean, she worked on the police and business beats. She later wrote about employment law for M. Lee Smith Publishers. 1 For the past several years, she has been a freelance journalist. As a contributor to the Nashville Ledger, she has written about COVID-19, public health, education, voting during the pandemic, and a variety of governmental, legal and policy issues. Several ofher Ledger articles have received first-prize recognition 2 in Tennessee Press Association annual competitions. She will be working as a volunteer poll watcher with Organize Tennessee on Thursday.