Palliative Care

Marcus C. Roberts, MD, FAAFP
Medical Director

Tammy Sledge, RN
Community-Based Palliative Care Nurse

Tressie Mathis, RN
Inpatient Palliative Care Supervisor

Palliative Patient

Improving quality of life

A service of Tift Regional Health System (TRHS),  palliative care offers specialized medical care for people suffering from the symptoms and stress of serious illnesses such as cancer, congestive heart failure (CHF), chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), kidney disease, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) and many more. 

Symptoms may include depression, pain, shortness of breath, fatigue, constipation, nausea, loss of appetite, difficulty sleeping and much more.  Palliative care focuses on providing relief from the symptoms and stress of a serious illness. The goal is to improve quality of life for both the patient and the family.

Dr. Marcus Roberts and a team of medical professionals provide outpatient palliative care at Affinity Clinic and are available for  inpatient consultations at Tift Regional Medical Center.  Dr. Roberts also works with Hospice of Tift Area on home visits for hospice patients and will soon offer home visits for palliative care patients.

A partnership of care

The team includes a physician, nurse practitioner, registered nurses, social workers and chaplains.  Dr. Roberts and the palliative care team work together with the patient’s physicians to provide an extra layer of support as well as to enhance quality of life and maintain function.  Palliative care is appropriate at any age and at any stage in a serious illness and can be provided along with curative treatment.  Both inpatient and outpatient services are available.

Dr. Roberts and the palliative care team will spend time communicating deeply with you. They will give you control over your care by truly exploring your goals and helping you to understand your treatment options.  They will help you gain the strength to carry on with daily life and improve your quality of life.

Talking to your provider

If you or a loved one is facing a serious illness, you may benefit from palliative care. Speak to your provider, and ask for a referral.  

Provider referrals

Physicians and advanced practice providers can make a referral by calling 229-391-4426. 

Frequently asked questions

What is the difference between palliative care and hospice care?  Both palliative care and hospice care provide comfort. But palliative care can begin at diagnosis, and at the same time as treatment. Hospice care begins after treatment of the disease is stopped and when it is clear that the person is not going to survive the illness.  Hospice care is usually offered only when the person is expected to live six months or less.

Where do I receive palliative care?  Palliative care is provided in a variety of settings including Tift Regional Medical Center, Affinity Clinic and home.

Does my insurance pay for palliative care?   Most insurance plans, including Medicare and Medicaid, cover palliative care. If costs concern you, a social worker or ¬financial consultant from the palliative care team can help you.

How do I get palliative care?   Ask for it! Tell your providers, nurses, family and caregivers that you want palliative care.

How do I know if palliative care is right for me?  Palliative care may be right for you if you suffer from pain, stress or other symptoms due to a serious illness. Serious illnesses may include cancer, cardiac disease, respiratory disease,
kidney failure, Alzheimer’s, HIV/AIDS, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), multiple sclerosis and more. Palliative care can be provided at any stage of illness and along with treatment meant to cure you.

What can I expect from palliative care?  You can expect relief from symptoms such as pain, shortness of breath, fatigue, constipation, nausea, loss of appetite and difficulty sleeping.   Palliative care helps you carry on with your daily life. It improves your ability to go through medical treatments. It helps you better understand your condition and your choices for medical care. In short, you can expect the best possible quality of life.

Who provides palliative care?   Dr. Marcus Roberts works with a team including nurses and social workers.  A chaplain, pharmacists, nutritionists and others are also a part of the team.

How does palliative care work with my own provider?  The palliative care team works in partnership with your own provider to provide an extra layer of support for you and your family. The team provides expert symptom management, extra time for communication and help navigating the healthcare system.

Palliative Care Flyer

Need more information?


Please call 229-391-4426 or visit these sites below:


Georgia Permit No. 137-021-H