Spirit of Excellence Award: Advanced Practice Provider of the Year

Each year, Spirit of Excellence Awards are presented by our parent company, Amedisys, to select employees who demonstrate exceptional caregiving support to the field and display Amedisys’ core values, which include service, passion, integrity, respect, innovation and talent. 

Our 2023 Advanced Practice Provider of the Year Award was presented to Mary Alyson Carter, ACNP-BC, a nurse practitioner supporting our Palliative Care at Home program in Tennessee. Here are some of the wonderful things Mary’s colleagues said about her in their nominations in support of her:   

“Mary Alyson is always willing to help, encourage, support, and teach whenever possible not only our patient population but also her work peers, and is an inspiration for all of us to learn by watching her lead by example.” 

“She is able to bring love and hope to the elderly who are lonely, overwhelmed with their medical conditions and treatments, and are often forgotten by family and loved ones.” 

“Mary Alyson not only provides excellent care to 200 patients, she also is our primary electronic medical record (EMR) clinical expert who spends all her time when she is not with patients improving our EMR functionality. This is time consuming. She does this without complaints but with true interest in improving the program and the needs of our team and patients.” 

“Mary Alyson provides exceptional care to every patient and always focuses her decisions on what is in the best interest of each patient. She will cover for another provider without hesitation and always charts detailed notes that any clinician following behind can utilize for continuity of care.”  

We are proud to spotlight Mary’s achievements in this role, and we asked her to share a little more about herself and her day-to-day work as a palliative care nurse practitioner.   

What do you do at Contessa, and why did you choose this job? 

I am a part of the value-based interdisciplinary palliative care team in middle Tennessee. I have long embraced elements of palliative care in other practices, so I jumped at the chance to join this team early in the formation of the value-based program. It is such a privilege to be trusted with the oversight and care of palliative patients. The relationships we build transcend the visit and bridge gaps that most patients find confusing and frightening. 

What’s unique about this role and what is special about Contessa?  

My first week at Contessa, I heard someone speak on the development of something foundational to our program. He described the space and encouragement he was given to grow professionally. While at Contessa, I have been trusted in such a way as to inspire success as not only a clinician, but in areas including EMR configuration and implementation, development of risk-based assessment tools, and clinical education. I feel valued as an employee, team member, and person. While the support of an exceptional team and strong leadership enhances my ability to care for patients at a human level, Contessa as a company is invested in me on a human level. 

Tell us about you! What is your educational and job background? 

I have a Bachelor of Science in Biology from Lipscomb University and a Master of Science in Nursing from Vanderbilt. I became a board-certified Acute Care Nurse Practitioner (ACNP) in January of 2008. 

My background includes working in bench research before starting as a clinical tech in perioperative services. As I moved through nursing school, I stayed on as an RN in a post-acute care unit (PACU), and eventually transitioned to an NP in primary care. I have also held roles as an NP in endocrinology, skilled nursing facility/long-term care and urgent care. 

Outside of work, what are your favorite things to do? 

My husband and I have four kids, ages 15 and up — so we are a soccer mom, dance dad and band parents. We love to travel when we can. I also LOVE to crochet and hang out with our Boston Terriers. 

Thanks, Mary Alyson, for sharing your talents and passion for caregiving with your patients, their families and the Contessa team! We are grateful for the care and attention you and other advanced practice providers like you contribute to advancing healthcare at home.