Foundation names palliative care fund in honor of Maura Lipp, MD


COLUMBIA, Tenn. — On March 9, the Maury Regional Health Care Foundation recognized Maura Lipp, MD, for her contributions to expanding palliative care services in the region by naming a fund in her honor: the Dr. Maura Lipp Palliative Care Fund

Dr. Lipp, a critical care specialist at Maury Regional Medical Center (MRMC), has demonstrated a passion for supporting patients battling chronic disease throughout her career. For some of these patients, their journeys involved palliative care, which focuses on improving the quality of life for patients with serious and end-of-life illness by assisting with pain relief, symptom control and stress relief, as well as connecting patients and family members with beneficial resources.

“We are indebted to Dr. Lipp for introducing the concept of palliative care to Maury Regional Health and the communities we serve,” said Chief Medical Officer Martin Chaney, MD. “In my medical training, most of the focus was on fighting diseases and prolonging life. Thanks to Dr. Lipp and our palliative care team, we are reminded as clinicians that dignity and quality of life are also imperative and, at times, become the most important goals.”

Dr. Lipp joined the MRMC medical staff in 2008 and is board certified in internal medicine, pulmonary disease, critical care medicine and hospice and palliative care medicine. She has also served as medical director for Compassus, which provides outpatient palliative care services.

Working in critical care and having obtained palliative care certification, Dr. Lipp knew that patients needed the tools to better understand and manage chronic disease.

“It became clear to me from very early on in my career that treating a patient with serious illness goes far beyond only the need to cure,” said Dr. Lipp. “Caring for our patients also means focusing on quality of life as defined by that individual. To do so, we must address the total impact that illness brings — physically, emotionally, financially and spiritually. The best tool we have in our arsenal to accomplish this is palliative care.”

In 2012, Dr. Lipp began the process of establishing a palliative care program at MRMC. At the time, palliative care was not a widely understood care plan. Her goal was to ensure that a program was in place to identify individuals who were hospitalized who could benefit from palliative care services and to begin providing them with the education and resources they would need prior to being discharged. After charting the path for a formalized program at the medical center and securing grant funding, the MRMC Palliative Care Program was launched in 2014. Tammy Stokes, MSN, CHPN, was selected to serve as the program’s director.

“When I was hired at the end of 2014 as the only member of the palliative care team, I was scared,” said Stokes. “I wanted to build a successful program but doubted my own abilities to do so. It was then that Dr. Lipp stepped in as an encourager, educator, mentor and friend. Thankfully, God sent me the right person when I needed her most. I truly believe Maura’s passion for providing compassionate palliative care has impacted countless lives and will continue to as long as we have a palliative care team.”

The program currently averages 350 consults per month and has touched nearly 12,000 lives since 2014. In addition to Stokes as director, the program’s team has expanded to include Nurse Navigator Talitha Harris, MSN, Social Worker Katie Estes, MSW, Nurse Navigator Mark Sells, BSN, and Chaplain Lyndall Propst as well as two part-time chaplains. This team assists patients as they navigate from inpatient to outpatient care to fulfill their future needs.

“I could not be more proud of what this team has accomplished,” said Dr. Lipp. “Thanks to their hard work, expertise and heartfelt compassion, they have surpassed what was a dream only a few short years ago. The impact they have on our patients has been dramatic, even miraculous at times. They are a shining example of the humanity that still is the cornerstone of medical care. The need remains great, but with this team, I am certain they will continue to meet that need head on.”

Contributions to the Dr. Maura Lipp Palliative Care Fund are used to assist in meeting the unique needs of those facing chronic illness. The fund was originally established in 2014 and the Maury Regional Health Care Foundation provided funding to assist in establishing the palliative care program and provide training for staff members. To learn more about the Maury Regional Health Care Foundation, visit

“Dr. Lipp has made outstanding contributions to advancing the awareness and practice of palliative care,” said Maury Regional Health Care Foundation Executive Director Joe Kilgore. “This fund will ensure that her work, and the work of others, will continue to benefit patients and their families for generations.”

About The Maury Regional Health Care Foundation:
The Maury Regional Health Care Foundation works to expand health care services and community outreach programs throughout southern Middle Tennessee. Established in 2006, the Foundation provides support, health care services and a caring environment for individuals not able to obtain appropriate care. Since its formation, the Foundation has provided more than $3.6 million in programs and services.



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