Since 1979, Methodist Hospice services have been provided by an interdisciplinary team of doctors, nurses, social workers, chaplains, home health aides and volunteers. Patients may continue to see their own physician while receiving hospice care. Our team will work with the physician on an individualized plan of care for the patient.
Hospice Medical Directors
Joe Blythe, MD. After practicing Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine for over 35 years, Dr. Blythe decided to change directions because he “still felt inadequately prepared to properly care for terminally ill patients”. Now, as a board-certified Hospice & Palliative Medicine physician with well over a decade of leadership and service to Methodist Hospice and the practice of Palliative Medicine, Dr. Blythe sees patients at our Methodist Hospice Residence as well as at our Methodist South and Germantown Hospitals. He is licensed in both Tennessee and Mississippi.
Catherine Clarke, MD, FACP. Dr. Clarke attended medical school at the University of Tennessee Health Sciences Center (UTHSC) and is board-certified in Internal Medicine. After medical school, she completed her Internal Medicine and chief residency at Methodist Hospital. She serves as the Director of the Methodist Teaching Practice and as the Director of the University of Tennessee Transitional Residency training program. She sees private Internal Medicine patients and supervises the Internal Medicine Resident Continuity Clinic. Prior to medical school, Dr. Clarke trained and worked several years as a Radiation Oncology Technologist at Methodist “Central”. She has over 20 years’ experience in primary care and chronic disease management.
Melody J. Cunningham, MD. A graduate of the University of Massachusetts Medical School, Dr. Cunningham completed residency and served as Chief Resident in Pediatrics before continuing on to complete Fellowships in Pediatric Hematology/Oncology and in Transfusion Medicine at Harvard Medical School. Her interest in helping patients and families determine goals for care and work to mitigate difficult symptoms lead Dr. Cunningham to Pediatric Palliative Medicine. She is the Medical Director for, Threads of Care, the Palliative Care program at Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital and the Director of the University of Tennessee Hospice and Palliative Medicine Fellowship. Her clinical and research interests are in staff resiliency and helping families with grief and bereavement. She was a finalist for the prestigious National Schwartz Compassionate Care Giver of the Year Award and has achieved the rank of Fellow of the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine.
Amber Evans, MD. Dr. Evans is a graduate of the University of Tennessee Health Science Center College of Medicine where she earned Highest Honors in her graduating class. She completed residency training in Internal Medicine at UTHSC. She is board-certified in Internal Medicine and an active member of Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society. Initially trained in hospital medicine, Dr. Evans has also personally experienced Hospice through taking care of a close family member through her journey with Hospice. She serves as Director of the Heart Failure Clinic at the Methodist Teaching Practice and has been appointed Assistant Professor of Internal Medicine for the University of Tennessee where she enjoys teaching Internal Medicine doctors-in-training.
Joy Gribble, MSN, ACNP-BC. A graduate of Mississippi College School of Nursing, Nurse Gribble subsequently received her Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree from Vanderbilt University in Nashville with certification as an Acute Care Nurse Practitioner. Although she started her career working with the hospitalists group at Methodist Germantown hospital, Hospice was always where her heart wanted to be after having personally experienced as a teenager the compassionate care it offered. Now with extensive experience in Hospice and Palliative Care, Nurse Gribble follows our patients both in their homes and in our beautiful Methodist Hospice Residence.
Tara Abernathy, MSN, FNP-C, APN. Nurse Abernathy graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from the University of Memphis. After initially working in research, however, she decided to instead pursue the clinical side of healthcare and received her Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing from Union University followed by a Master of Science in Nursing from the Loewenberg School of Nursing at the University of Memphis. As a Certified Nurse Practitioner, Nurse Abernathy currently practices at a growing Internal Medicine Clinic and provides Hospice and Palliative services both in the home and in our Hospice Residence.
Hospice Corporate Leadership
Gina Baptiste, Chief Financial Officer, Affiliated Services. Gina earned her BBA Degree of Accountancy from Delta State University, joined Methodist LeBonheur Healthcare in 2000 as a staff accountant, and has almost 30 years of financial experience. In her career at Methodist, Gina has served as Senior Controller of corporate accounting, Corporate Accounting Director, and Treasury Division Project Facilitator. Now CFO of Affiliated Services, Gina is responsible for planning, directing, organizing, controlling, and participating in the activities of financial reporting and analysis. She is actively involved in the day-to-day management of the Methodist Hospice organization and our Hospice Residence.
Eugene K. Cashman, III, President, Affiliated Services. Gene has 16 years of healthcare leadership experience. Having started his career with Methodist in 2001, he broadened his skillset in a variety of leadership positions with both Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Tennessee and as CEO of Select Medical Corporation’s two long term acute care hospitals in Columbus, Ohio.
In 2012, Gene returned home to Methodist LeBonheur Healthcare. A native Memphian, he holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Auburn University and a Master of Health Administration degree from the University of Memphis. Gene is a versatile leader with a broad range of skills and a strong commitment to outstanding patient care.
A Lloyd Finks, MD, Divisional Medical Director, Affiliated Services. After a successful career which included health care administration and hospitality management, Dr. Finks returned to the classroom later in life and ultimately graduated from St. George’s University School of Medicine. He has trained with the British National Health Service in London, England and in hospitals in Baltimore, New York City, and Washington, DC. Following residency training in Memphis, Tennessee and board-certification in Internal Medicine, Dr. Finks specialized in hospital medicine for many years until his experience with Methodist Hospice through their care of his mother. Convinced of the important role that Hospice can play in the lives of patients and their families, Dr. Finks is now responsible for oversight for all of Methodist Hospice clinical services. Additionally, he is an Assistant Professor of Clinical Medicine for the University of Tennessee as well as the Director of Medical Student Education for Lincoln Memorial University-DeBusk College of Osteopathic Medicine.