story by carol lauvray photography by paul nurnberg
Lindsay Roberg has two things in common with a lot of the folks in Beaufort—her family’s military roots and her love for the Lowcountry’s pristine waterways and its rich and diverse ecosystem.
When Lindsay was just two years old living in Carbondale, Illinois, her dad joined the Marine Corps. As a military kid, she moved with her family first to California, then to Arizona, and on to Beaufort for three years before moving to Fargo, North Dakota. Finally, when she was 15, Lindsay’s family moved back to Beaufort.
Lindsay graduated from high school here in Beaufort in 2001 and then studied Biology at the University of South Carolina Beaufort (USCB). While still in college, in 2003 she began working for the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources surveying fisherman at boat landings to determine the kinds of fish that were being caught and their weights and sizes, as part of that department’s efforts to formulate regulations on fishing limits. Although she had planned to become a veterinarian, after graduating with her bachelor’s degree in Biology, Lindsay continued to work for the DNR until 2013 because she loved her job. Her work at the DNR included doing research that required scuba diving to study fish populations, such as studies on Gag Grouper eggs washing into the estuaries here and the number of fingerlings growing up in our estuaries. Lindsay also studied other species prominent in the Sounds surrounding Beaufort, including Red Drum, Cobia and shrimp. “I loved working for the DNR because I believe that conservation of natural resources is really important, and because I could be outdoors on the water and get paid for what I love to do,” explained Lindsay.
As happens to many of us, a defining event in Lindsay’s life changed her path completely—the birth of her daughter Madisen (Maddie) in 2006. Lindsay says, “When I was in the hospital having Maddie, I got to see the impact that the nurses’ care had on me and others, and it inspired me.” So in 2008, Lindsay started to attend the nursing school at USCB in Bluffton part-time as she continued to work for the DNR. Each semester in the nursing program, in addition to taking academic classes, she would focus on a different aspect of clinical nursing such as obstetrics and gynecology, community health, critical care management, and surgery, under the guidance of a licensed nurse. Lindsay’s clinical experience during her training included stints working at Beaufort Memorial Hospital, Bay View Manor (nursing home), Port Royal Comprehensive Health Services, and her favorite, Volunteers in Medicine on Hilton Head Island, a clinic that provides free medical, dental and mental health services to people who otherwise would have no access to health care. There she worked with Dr. Palatchi, a thoracic and cardiac surgeon from Mexico City, assisting with small surgeries in his office and providing education to patients about care for conditions like diabetes and pregnancy.
A Calling to Serve Others
After Lindsay graduated from nursing school, Friends of Caroline Hospice, located in Port Royal, S.C., hired her in May 2013 to work with its executive director to obtain certification for the hospice. Lindsay’s role was to assist in hiring hospice employees (doctors, nurses, social workers, certified nursing assistants, and chaplains) and training them, with the objective of the hospice attaining certification by the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) and the Federal Government’s Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). Before Lindsay came on board, nearly everyone working at the hospice was a volunteer and medicines, equipment and care were funded solely by donations. To obtain certification, the hospice was required to meet set standards of care, so that it could receive payment through private insurance companies, Medicare and Medicaid. The funding through private and government insurance for medicines, supplies, equipment and medical care also would allow the hospice to provide a much higher level of service to patients and their families.
After the hospice was certified in October 2013, Lindsay’s role evolved to becoming the clinical coordinator, overseeing the hospice’s clinical team and coordinating all of the hospice’s services to ensure that patients and their families have all the support and services they need. Then in November 2014, Lindsay was recommended for and became the executive director of Friends of Caroline Hospice, with the responsibility of ensuring that all regulations and licensing requirements are being met and that the hospice complies with prescribed standards of care. Lindsay makes the analogy, “As executive director of Friends of Caroline Hospice, I’m like the conductor of an orchestra, who’s ensuring that all of the musicians and instruments are in tune.”
Friends of Caroline Hospice—Adding Life to Days
The mission of Friends of Caroline Hospice is to provide quality-of-life care that offers hope and encouragement to those nearing the end-of-life’s journey and support for their family, friends and the community. Lindsay is proud of the services and care that Friends of Caroline Hospice provides. She says, “Everyone working here is here for the right reasons. What we do for someone who is at the end of life is just as important as what the medical team delivering a baby does. It’s all about the human touch and showing compassion. We provide a holistic approach to patients’ and families’ needs. We learn about them, their cultures, and their last wishes. If someone’s last wish is to go fishing or to attend their daughter’s wedding, we make arrangements so that can happen. We ask, ‘How can we help you make your time more meaningful to you’.”
“The fundraising that Friends of Caroline Hospice does allows us to provide the same level of service to patients who cannot afford to pay because they do not have the funds or insurance,” Lindsay added. “The last thing someone should have to do at the end of life is to have to pay to be comfortable—that is like a human right,” she said. The hospice also provides support for emotional and spiritual concerns, as well as bereavement and caregiver support.
Loving Life in the Lowcountry
When Lindsay is not working for Friends of Caroline Hospice, she’s spending time with her family outside in the Lowcountry. She still loves to get outdoors to fish, scuba dive, and go kayaking with her daughter Maddie. Lindsay and her husband, Jim, live in Sheldon with Maddie, and Jim’s sons, Jaxon and Miles, who like to hunt deer with their dad. Lindsay Roberg has created a life of meaning that she loves—one that allows her to enjoy her family and being outside in the beauty of the Lowcountry, while she serves people who need her loving care.