The UAB Center for Palliative and Supportive Care utilizes a team approach, blending the best of medicine, nursing, psychology, pastoral care, nutrition and complementary therapies to create a care plan that meets the holistic needs of patients and families.

Below is a listing of our faculty and staff.


Rodney O.Tucker, MD, MMM, FAAHPM
Director, UAB Center for Palliative and Supportive Care
Chief Experience Officer - UAB Medicine

Marie Bakitas, DNSc, APRN, NP-C, AOCN, ACHPN, FAAN
Associate Director, UAB Center for Palliative and Supportive Care
Professor of Nursing

Faculty and Staff  

Dilip Babu, MD
Clinical Assistant Professor

Amanda Baker, CRNP
Nurse Practitioner

Michael Barnett, MD, MS
Assistant Professor

Melanie Farrell, MD
Assistant Professor

Heather L. Herrington, MD
Associate Professor

John Holcombe, MD
Clinical Assistant Professor

M. Garrett Hurst, MD
Assistant Professor

Eddie Mathews, MD
Assistant Professor -
Hospitalist Medicine

Ashley Nichols, MD
Assistant Professor
Medical Director,
Palliative and Comfort Care Unit

Sam Perna, DO
Assistant Professor
Medical Director
Palliative and Supportive Care,
Children's of Alabama

Keith Swetz, MD, MA, FACP, FAAHPM
Associate Professor
Section Chief & Medical Director -
Palliative Care, Birmingham VA Medical Center

Diane Wood
SPARC Program Manager

Mallie Hale
Major Gifts Officer 

Megann Bates Cain
Director of Development

Jennifer Courtney, MD
Clinical Assistant Professor

Vicki Herring, CAP
Program Administrator II

Jennifer Hicks, MSHA, MBA
Program Director

Stephen Howell, DNP, ANP-BC, ACHPN
Lead Nurse Practitioner

Elizabeth Kvale, MD, MSPH
Associate Professor

Jessica Merlin, MD, MBA
Assistant Professor

Jackie Palmore, RN, BSN, CHPN
Palliative Care Coordinator


Neal Steil, MD
Assistant Professor

Eric Walker, PA-C
Physician Assistant