TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (Thursday, May 2, 2024)Big Bend Hospice (BBH) and Tallahassee Memorial HealthCare (TMH) announced a partnership today to improve patient navigation within the healthcare system. This collaboration aims to streamline transitions between hospitals, doctor’s offices, rehabilitation centers, and home care. The signing of the Affiliation Agreement creates a governance structure that will develop a transformative approach to improving transitions of care in the Big Bend community.

Transitions of care involve a patient’s movement between healthcare settings, such as doctor’s offices, hospitals, rehabilitation centers, long-term care, home health, hospice, etc.  This partnership establishes a network of connected healthcare services, creating a seamless patient journey regardless of specific needs.

TMH offers existing home-based healthcare services, while BBH is a hospice and palliative care leader. Combining expertise allows BBH and TMH to provide a more comprehensive and patient-centered approach to healthcare across the Big Bend region.

The ultimate goal is improved patient outcomes. Working together, BBH and TMH can offer a broader range of in-home services, including physical therapy, chronic disease management, and hospice care. This integrated approach can improve overall health and potentially reduce hospital stays.

By leveraging the strengths of both organizations, the partnership will expand access to high-quality in-home care for families across the Big Bend region, with a particular focus on supporting those in rural communities.

Bill Wertman, CEO of Big Bend Hospice and Mark O’Bryant, President and CEO of Tallahassee Memorial HealthCare at the First Commerce Center for Compassionate Care

“Meeting the healthcare needs of our region necessitates strategic alliances,” said Mark O’Bryant, President & CEO of Tallahassee Memorial HealthCare. “We are proud to partner with Big Bend Hospice to develop innovative care models that allow people to receive excellent care at home, where they feel most comfortable.”

This partnership will expand its offerings over time, finding ways to collaborate with other providers to meet the unique needs of local communities. BBH and TMH will jointly provide strategic guidance, with Big Bend Hospice leading operations, business development, and clinical programming.

“Big Bend Hospice has over 40 years of providing 24/7 in-home care and hospice services to the communities in Franklin, Gadsden, Jefferson, Leon, Liberty, Madison, Taylor, and Wakulla counties, “said Bill Wertman, CEO of Big Bend Hospice. “We look forward to leveraging our expertise in home-based care while continuing to provide the compassionate care our community has come to know us for.”

The partnership has already achieved success in opening the First Commerce Center for Compassionate Care (FCCCC), a new inpatient hospice unit at Tallahassee Memorial Hospital. Read more here.

Big Bend Hospice and TMH also look forward to growing and providing critically needed services in Panama City Beach. TMH, the St. Joe Company, and Florida State University are partnering on a new campus in Panama City Beach.

The expert care teams at BBH and TMH are dedicated to quality, compassionate care that extends throughout a patient’s life, ensuring they receive the proper care in the right place at the right time.

About Big Bend Hospice:
Big Bend Hospice (BBH) is a more than 40-year-old nonprofit agency and leading provider of end-of-life care. We expertly serve the following eight counties in the Big Bend area of Florida: Franklin, Gadsden, Jefferson, Leon, Liberty, Madison, Taylor, and Wakulla. Our entire team is fully committed to providing comprehensive and compassionate care that meets the needs of the whole patient and family. For more information, call 850-878-5310 or visit bigbendhospice.org.

About Tallahassee Memorial HealthCare:
Founded in 1948, Tallahassee Memorial HealthCare (TMH) is a private, nonprofit community healthcare system committed to transforming care, advancing health and improving lives with an ultimate vision to elevate the standards of healthcare practice, quality and innovation in the region. Serving a 21-county area in North Florida and South Georgia, TMH is comprised of a 772-bed acute care hospital, a surgery and adult ICU center, a psychiatric hospital, multiple specialty care centers, three residency programs and 38 affiliated physician practices. For more information, visit TMH.ORG.