Palliative Care

Palliative care (also called palliative medicine) is specialized medical care for patients living with a serious illness that focuses on providing an extra layer of culturally appropriate care delivered by an interdisciplinary team comprised of doctors and nurse practitioners, nurses, social workers, pastoral care, chaplains, counselors, and other disciplines. Focused on reducing symptoms (physical, emotional, psychologic, or spiritual) while addressing patients’ desires for a care plan that is consistent with their goals and what matters most to them. Palliative care can be delivered alongside curative or long-term medical therapies at the time of diagnosis. Palliative care can be offered at various points in a patient’s illness and in settings such as the home, hospital, nursing home, and ambulatory clinic. Additionally, palliative medicine consultation may be available through virtual or telemedicine mechanisms and providers of palliative care can assist patients in accessing hospice care as appropriate.

Delivery of specialty level palliative care is provided by a variety of professionals, including physicians who are board certified in hospice and palliative medicine, nurse practitioners who carry specialty certification and physicians who solely practice in hospice care and carry the hospice medical director board certification. Many physicians or nurse practitioners may care for patients in hospice or other programs, but may or may not carry board certification, and may not care only for patients with serious illness or whom are at end of life. Certification programs exist also for the disciplines of chaplaincy and social work.

Mission Statement

The mission of this Council is to promote Palliative Care in Alabama by improving consumer awareness of the positive effect of compassionate palliative care on the quality of life and care for individuals and families living with life-limiting illness.

This will be accomplished through establishment of a consumer and professional information and educational program within the Department of Public Health; and by facilitating collaboration among palliative care providers, organizations, institutions and individuals.

State Advisory Council on Palliative Care and Quality of Life

The State Advisory Council on Palliative Care and Quality of Life was created in 2015 to establish a palliative care consumer and professional information and education program. The Council meets quarterly. Information on previous and upcoming Council meetings, including agendas and minutes, are available below.


Next Meeting

November 5, 2021 at 10 a.m. (Virtual via Zoom)
RSA Tower, Conference Room 1554
201 Monroe Street
Montgomery, AL 36104


August 20, 2021 - Agenda
May 14, 2021 - Meeting Canceled
February 12 - AgendaMinutes
November 13, 2020 - AgendaMinutes
August 7, 2020 - Meeting Canceled
June 26, 2020 - AgendaMinutes
May 15, 2020 - Meeting Canceled
February 7, 2020 - AgendaMinutes
November 22, 2019 - AgendaMinutes
August 9, 2019 - AgendaMinutes
May 10, 2019 - AgendaMinutes
February 15, 2019 - AgendaMinutes
November 16, 2018 - Agenda, Minutes
August 10, 2018- Agenda, Minutes
May 11, 2018 - Agenda, Minutes
February 9, 2018 - Agenda, Minutes
November 17, 2017 - Meeting Canceled
August 11, 2017 - Agenda, Minutes
May 12, 2017 - Agenda, Minutes
February 10, 2017 - Agenda, Minutes
December 2, 2016 - Agenda, Minutes
August 12, 2016 - ;Agenda, Minutes
May 13, 2016 - Agenda, Minutes
February 19, 2016 - Agenda, Minutes (1.5 MB)
November 20, 2015 - Agenda, Minutes (2.5 MB)

State Advisory Council on Palliative Care & Quality of Life Board Members

Name: Rodney O. Tucker, M.D., M.M.M. (Chairman)
UAB Center for Palliative Care & Supportive Care
Proxy: Lyle S. Walton, M.D.
Representation: Hospice & Palliative Care Physician
Appointed: 10/01/2018
Term Expires: 10/01/2021

Name: Karen Marlowe, Pharm.D., B.C.P.S., C.P.E. (Co-Chair)
Proxy: Marilyn Bulloch, Pharm.D., B.C.P.S.
Representation: Alabama Pharmacy Association
Appointed: 10/01/2018
Term Expires: 10/01/2021

Name: Kristi A. Acker, D.N.P., F.N.P.-B.C., A.O.C.N.P., A.C.H.P.N.
Representation: Certified Registered Nurse Practitioner
Appointed: 10/01/2018
Term Expires: 10/01/2021

Name: Gregory W. Ayers, M.D., F.A.C.P., F.A.A.H.P.M.
Representation: Alabama Board of Medical Examiners
Appointed: 11/01/2020
Term Expires: 11/01/2023

Name: John G. Beard, M.B.A., J.D.
Alacare Home Health & Hospice
Proxy: Samika L. Williams, M.S.H.A., M.P.A.
Representation: Home Care Association of Alabama
Appointed: 10/01/2018
Term Expires: 10/01/2021

Name: Richard J. Brockman, J.D.
Burr & Forman, LLP
Proxy: Angie Cameron Smith, J.D.
Representation: Alabama Nursing Home Association
Appointed: 10/01/2018
Term Expires: 10/01/2021

Name: Stormy Dismuke, R.N., M.S.N., N.P.-C.
Hospice of Marshall County
Proxy: Shelly Jeffrey, C.R.N.P. 
Representation: Alabama Hospice & Palliative Care Association
Appointed: 10/01/2018
Term Expires: 10/01/2021

Name: Leigh Ann Matthews, R.N., M.S.N., A.T.P., C.R.T.S.
Complete Care Inc.
Proxy: Andy Alvarez 
Representation: Alabama Durable Medical Equipment Association
Appointed: 02/04/2019
Term Expires: 02/04/2022

Name: Timothy B. Mayhall, M.Div., B.C.C.
Southeast Alabama Medical Center
Representation: Spiritual Professional Expertise
Appointed: 06/02/2020
Term Expires: 06/02/2023

Name: Amy L. McAfee, M.S.W., L.I.C.S.W., A.C.H.P.-S.W.
Aspire Health
Proxy: Andrew Dowland, M.S.S.W., L.G.S.W.
Representation: The Specialty of Social Work
Appointed: 10/01/2018
Term Expires: 10/01/2021

Name: John P. Miller, M.D.
Hospice of West Alabama 
Proxy: Daphne Harris, R.N., B.S.N. 
Representation: Alabama Hospital Association
Appointed: 02/04/2019
Term Expires: 02/04/2022

Name: Mary Ann Somers, M.A.Ed.
Proxy: Pam Chandler
Representation: Patient & Family Caregiver Representative
Appointed: 11/02/2019
Term Expires: 11/02/2022

For more information, contact: LaKesha Hopkins at (334) 206-5366 or via e-mail:

Page last updated: September 29, 2021