Brand new Alive Hospice Facility in Murfreesboro holds ribbon cutting

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Alive Hospice Board Chair and Murfreesboro Resident Dr. Warren McPherson
Songwriter Tim Nichols performing "Live Like You Were Dying"
Ribbon cutting
Alive Hospice President and CEO Anna-Gene O'Neal
The butterfly release

The ribbon-cutting for the new Alive Hospice facility in Murfreesboro took place on Thursday (5/25/17). Reports indicate they will begin admitting patients in June.

The theme throughout the event was to Live Like You Were Dying. In other words, make every moment count. The man who wrote the song "Live Like You Were Dying" that was later sung by Tim McGraw was there and actually performed it during the event.

Songwriter Tim Nichols explained the song, which fit in beautifully with the event.


Full Press Release:


Nonprofit Alive Hospice today marked a significant expansion of its services with the ceremonial Grand Opening of The Residence At Alive Hospice - Murfreesboro. Alive anticipates admitting patients to the new facility in June.

The new Residence represents a need, the fulfillment of that need, five years of planning, and Alive Hospice's continued commitment to Rutherford and nearby counties that will benefit. Additionally, it represents the generosity of more than 400 donors who donated to the capital campaign to build this facility, bringing hospice inpatient care much closer to home in a residence designed specifically for terminally ill patients and their families.

"We are here today to celebrate the expansion of the services Alive Hospice has provided over the last 15+ years to this community," said Alive Hospice Board Chair and Murfreesboro Resident Dr. Warren McPherson. This building will not only house our home hospice team but is offering expanded space and resources for Grief Support services, Community Education as well as the obvious addition of a 10 bed Residential Hospice facility for those who cannot be at home or do not want to be at home at the end of life."

Alive Hospice celebrated the Grand Opening by releasing 100 butterflies in addition to a ribbon-cutting, musical tribute by hit songwriter Tim Nichols (one of the co-writers of Tim McGraw's"Live Like You Were Dying"), a proclamation presented by State Rep. Dawn White, a blessing by an Alive Hospice chaplain, and a charge to Alive Hospice staff and volunteers who will be caring for patients and families at the new facility.

"This facility we celebrate today is a sacred space," Alive Hospice President and CEO Anna-Gene O'Neal said at the celebration. "This is not just a building. It is a labor of love and commitment from Alive Hospice to your community and back again. It is a sacred space for those making their final journeys in life - which are often the most beautiful moments in time to share."

The Residence at Alive Hospice Murfreesboro is located at 1629 Williams Drive in the Medical Gateway, near Murfreesboro Medical Clinic and DCI. It is a 21,000-plus-square-foot facility designed for specialized care for terminally ill patients and their families who need hospice care professionals only footsteps away around the clock. Within its walls, a team of physicians, nurses, hospice aides, social workers, chaplains and volunteers will watch over patients with life expectancies of six months or less - working to maximize quality of life, help them enjoy quality time with the people they love and make a peaceful transition at the end of life.

Alive Hospice anticipates providing care for 200 patients in the facility's first full year of operation. The new Hospice Residence offers 10 private patient rooms and can expand to 16 patient rooms as needed. (Six rooms are being used as common space for the time being. Plumbing and electrical are already in place, making it easy to convert those spaces to fully furnished patient rooms with state approval.)

Many patients will be admitted to The Residence at Alive Hospice Murfreesboro after being discharged from the hospital; others will transfer to the Residence as home care patients. This new Hospice Residence will serve patients of all ages, from pediatric patients to centenarians. A variety of volunteer services will complete the care provided at the Residence including pet therapy, live music at patients' bedsides, art therapy, companionship visits and more.

Amenities and special features include:

  • A covered entryway to keep patients warm and dry as they arrive for admission
  • Clerestories in patient care corridors for abundant natural light
  • Large windows in patient rooms, which also let in natural light
  • Hide-a-beds in patients' rooms to allow loved ones to stay overnight
  • Central courtyard to allow patients to spend time outdoors
  • A bubbling boulder at the center of the courtyard, made from limestone uncovered during construction
  • Dining room
  • Commercial-grade kitchen
  • Living room with comfortable seating, a television, and saltwater aquarium
  • Meditation space
  • Art gallery (with the works of Murfreesboro artist Burton Dye to inaugurate the gallery space; new exhibits will be featured periodically throughout the year)
  • Colorful, serene photography displayed around the building

And one unseen element: Special messages inscribed on the floor near the nurses' station, written by Alive Hospice staff and others who played a role in bring the building to fruition. The inscriptions are covered with carpet and wood paneling but will remain there for generations to come.

Referencing those inscriptions, Alive Hospice President and CEO Anna-Gene O'Neal made a charge of dedication to the staff who will care for patients and families at the new Residence:

"With the community as our witness, as members of our Alive hospice team, you hold the body's and souls of each of our precious patients and their families in your arms. May you forever feel the sacred privilege bestowed upon you to get to serve in this space. Even in the darkest of times for our families, may your eyes shine brightly like a beacon of understanding and peace. May your words always be comforting and may your presence always be healing. Not only may the memories of all of those for whom we have cared be a blessing to those they loved, may you, our Alive Team forever be a blessing to all of those you serve."

Expanded grief support and community education

Thursday's grand opening celebration marked not only the dedication of a new building, but also several changes for Alive Hospice:

  • Expanded grief support center.Alive Hospice now has two Murfreesboro grief counselors on staff with offices at The Residence at Alive Hospice - Murfreesboro. These counselors provide bereavement support for the loved ones of Alive Hospice families as well as anyone in the community who has lost a loved one. For more information, visit or call 615-346-8680.
  • Community education.Alive Hospice will offer a free Lunch and Learn Series on the third Friday of each month at The Residence at Alive Hospice - Murfreesboro. The series will kick off with an Open House and Q&A on Friday, June 16 from 12 to 1 p.m. For more information and to RSVP, visit or call 615-346-8418.
  • New offices.The agency's existing home care team has relocated its offices to the new Murfreesboro Residence, bringing all of Alive's Murfreesboro-based operations under one roof. Alive's home hospice care team has provided care in Rutherford, Bedford, Cannon, Coffee and DeKalb counties for 15 years and will continue to offer this much-needed service, which has seen significant growth over the last five years.

Years in the making, made possible with community support

Alive Hospice began planning The Residence at Alive Hospice - Murfreesboro five years ago after being asked by physicians and community residents to build such a hospice residence in Rutherford County.

Pillars of the community who have worked to make this new facility a reality include:

Alive Hospice Murfreesboro Advisory Committee

  • Co-Chairs:Lynn Lien and Dr. Warren McPherson
    Members: Leslie Akins, Rita Ash, Phil Barnett, Sydney Boerner, Lou Caputo, Gordon Ferguson, Dr. Max Moss, Kitty Murfree, Dr. Jim Nunnery, Joey Peay, Mark Pirtle, Shane Reeves, Dr. Liz Rhea, Kathy Ryan, Joyce Taylor, Hanna and Don Witherspoon, Dr. John Zubkus
  • Alive Hospice Closer to Home Capital Campaign Committee
    Co-Chairs:Lynn Lien, Dr. Warren McPherson, Kitty Murfree, Mark Pirtle, Dr. Liz Rhea
    Members: Sydney Boerner, Dr. Max Moss, Dr. Jim Nunnery, Kathy Ryan, Hanna and Don Witherspoon

Alive Hospice broke ground on the new facility in August 2017. It was designed by Earl Swensson Associates and Smith Seckman Reid and built by general contractor Turner Construction.

Alive Hospice is a 501(c)(3) charitable nonprofit health care provider. Founded in 1975, Alive Hospice was the first hospice in Tennessee and the Southeast and one of the nation's earliest. Today, Alive Hospice serves 12 Middle Tennessee counties with compassionate care at the end of life, grief counseling for adults and children, and community education. For more information, visit or call 615-327-1085.

Read more from:
Alive Hospice, Live like you were dying
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