Navigating Health Care Journeys

Professional, Caring Assistance Is A Phone Call Away

As a board-certified nurse practitioner with a master's degree in acute care from Vanderbilt University, Neely Cotten has spent more than 15 years working in intensive care units locally and around the country. Her time in hospitals has taught her that many patients don’t fully understand what they are being told or what their options are when it comes to health care. She says she wants to change this narrative. 

Neely founded Compass Health Resources in October 2021 and officially opened its doors in May of 2022. “There’ve been so many times I’ve thought ‘If this person had just had somebody to call, if they had a medical friend they could have run this by or talk things through with, they probably wouldn't even be in this situation,’” she says. “That's how Compass Health Resources really started to take shape in my mind; quite simply, I wanted people to have a strong clinical resource.”

Now, that medical resource person is her. 

Neely is passionate about helping her clients be proactive, informed and confident when it comes to their healthcare journey. “I love helping people navigate the health care system well. People are not a checklist; they are unique and have different needs.” 

“Many times, patients have to come into the hospital in crisis for important ‘goals of care’ conversations to begin,” she says. “My aim is to keep them out of the hospital and help facilitate those conversations with their families and providers before there's a crisis. I've been very successful with my clients and their families in preventing unnecessary hospitalizations.”

Physicians and other practitioners, she’s found, welcome her assistance. “This is not a service that diminishes or oversteps what physicians do,” she says. “Personalized health care navigation is meant to be an additional layer of excellence.

“The most requested service I have right now is an accompaniment to clinical appointments. I take notes for family members who can’t be present, speak with providers, and ask questions from a clinical perspective. My 15-plus years of clinical background is what sets Compass Health Resources apart from a social work or case management company.”

Neely assists doctors and patients in creating a plan of care that they can implement at home. “Helping people formulate an educated, feasible plan from the very beginning is really important.”

She also speaks with clients and their families about the possible need to transition to the next level of care, whether that's finding home caregivers, moving to an independent/assisted living facility, or coordinating end-of-life services.

Other services offered by Compass Health Resources include coordination of tours for assisted living, skilled nursing, mental health, and other facilities; medication management; as well as completing legal healthcare documents, such as medical power of attorney and advanced care directives. 

Originally from North Carolina, Neely moved to Nashville after graduating from UNC Chapel Hill with her bachelor's degree in nursing (BSN). She now specializes in inpatient palliative care. Her husband, Andrew, is originally from the middle Tennessee area and also works in the medical field. The couple and their three children live in Brentwood.

“Family is so important to us,” she says. “We spend a lot of time together and like to travel. We're also very involved with our downtown church, Nashville First.”


*Photoshoot location provided by Ravenswood Mansion, City of Brentwood

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