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Hospice and Heart

Feb. 19, 2017, 12:50 PM

Frequently busy with meetings, planning sessions and administrative responsibilities, Alive Hospice President and CEO Anna-Gene O’Neal welcomes the chance to slip out of her office and spend time with residents and staff in Alive’s residence near downtown Nashville. On this particular rainy morning, she sits by resident Knox Ownby’s bed and listens as he tells her about his family.

O’Neal, who has BSN, MSN and MBA degrees from Vanderbilt University, oversees care for Alive Hospice’s daily census of 430-plus patients in a 12-county area of Middle Tennessee. She manages an annual budget of more than $29 million, running the nonprofit organization from an office next door to the agency’s Nashville residential unit, where every room has a scenic view with greenery and natural light, and the central courtyard includes a koi pond with foot-long fish.

“We are not about being here for dying patients,” she said. “We are about being here for living persons.”

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Originally published in Vanderbilt Nurse