Our medical staff provides quality and compassionate end-of-life care in partnership with each patient’s own physician.
In each of the counties that we serve, there is an Associate Medical Director accessible to the needs of a patient no matter where they are. Take a moment and learn about our skilled care professionals.
Nancy Chorba, M.D.
Dr. Chorba was born in Delaware and received her undergraduate degree from the University of Texas at Austin in medical technology. She graduated from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School in 1990. Her residency and internship were at the Tallahassee Memorial Family Practice Program in Tallahassee, where she was chief resident. Dr. Chorba joined Big Bend Hospice full time as the assistant medical director, and in 2012, she became the medical director. She is board certified in hospice and palliative care by both the American Board of Hospice and Palliative Medicine and by the American Board of Family Medicine.
Family: Mother of two teenagers
What do you love about being a physician? Relationships with patients, families and staff
What do you believe is the most important thing about hospice? Honoring the patients’ wishes to enable them to die with dignity.
Jennifer Lynes, D.O.
Assistant Medical Director
Dr. Lynes earned her Bachelor of Science in biochemistry and molecular biology at Sweet Briar College in Virginia. She received her Doctorate of Osteopathic Medicine at the University of Health Sciences College of Osteopathic Medicine in Kansas City, Missouri. She completed the Union Hospital Family Medicine Residency in Terre Haute, Indiana, and The Medical Center Family Practice Residency in Columbus, Georgia. Family and church are very important to Dr. Lynes. She moved back to her hometown of Tallahassee nearly eight years ago and is glad to be a part of Big Bend Hospice.
Family: She has been married to Richard Lynes, III, for 12 years. They have three beautiful daughters, Morgan 8, Madison 6 and Montgomery 2 1/2.
What do you believe is the most important thing about hospice? Caring for our patients and helping them meet their goals at the end of life.
Associate Medical Directors
Fitz Blake, M.D.
Dr. Fitz Blake is an emergency medicine physician in Tallahassee and is affiliated with Tallahassee Memorial Hospital. He received his medical degree from Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science, North Chicago, Illinois. Dr. Blake’s subspecialties are hospice and palliative medicine and general emergency medicine.
After training in the Detroit metro area in emergency medicine, Dr. Blake completed a one-year fellowship in hospice and palliative care medicine at the University of Michigan Ann Arbor. He is certified by the American Board of Emergency Medicine and is an allopathic physician.
Family: Married with two children ages 5 and 3
What do you love about being a physician? It is an honor to hear people’s stories and to help them during their most vulnerable times. It is a very unique experience in humanity. Every day, it makes my heart smile.
What do you believe is the most important thing about hospice? Allowing our patients to understand that they do have options that may not have been covered by their other physicians. Many times I have heard, “There is nothing else we can do.” So untrue. This is when hospice starts to shine!
Julie Fabregas-Schindler, D.O.
Dr. Julie Fabregas-Schindler, DO, is a general practice specialist in Madison, Florida. She graduated from the Des Moines University College of Osteopathic Medicine in 1991 and has over 26 years of diverse experience. Dr. Schindler holds a master’s degree in social work, a bachelor’s degree in psychology and an associate’s degree in lab technology. She is certified in osteopathy and board certified in urgent care and is affiliated with Madison County Memorial Hospital.
Hometown/Family: Dr. Schindler is from Des Moines, Iowa, and lives in Lake Park Georgia, where she is the “First Lady,” as her husband, Eric Schindler, LPN, is the mayor of Lake Park. Both sets of their parents live in New York, where they often visit.
What do you love about being a physician? I love healing people. I love the “detective” work – figuring out what is wrong with them and then figuring out the solution.
What do you believe is the most important thing about hospice? The diverse services that are offered not only address the needs of the patient, but also those of the caregivers and family. When hospice becomes part of the medical team, its presence is a gentle daily reminder that change may be coming, but it doesn’t have to be bitter.
John MacKay, M.D.*
Gadsden, Liberty, Wakulla and Franklin counties
Dr. John Mackay is a family medicine doctor in Tallahassee. He received his medical degree from the University of Florida College of Medicine. His residency was at the Florida Hospital Medical Center. He has 28 years of experience and is board certified in hospice and palliative medicine.
Hometown: Ocala, Florida
Family: I am married to Kym and have two daughters and a 2-year-old grandson. I am the second of four boys. My parents still live in Ocala, as did their parents.
What do you love about being a physician? I enjoy being able to help relieve patients’ burdens of fear and pain. I also enjoy the very broad number of conditions I get to help with each week as a family doctor.
What do I believe is the most important thing about hospice? Hospice care brings peace to patients and their families as they face death and dying in much the same way that Lamaze classes prepare moms and families for childbirth. The process is almost always scary and painful, but often is easier to handle when you know what to expect and you have the support of others who have been through it.
Niharika Suchak, MBBS, MHS, FACP
Dr. Suchak is an associate professor in the Department of Geriatrics at the Florida State University College of Medicine. She is a clinician-educator and is board certified through the American Board of Internal Medicine in internal medicine, geriatric medicine, and hospice and palliative medicine. She has extensive clinical experience in a variety of settings including office, hospital, nursing home, rehabilitation facility, hospice, assisted living, and house calls. Dr. Suchak received her M.B.B.S. at Armed Forces Medical College, University of Poona, Pune, India, and an M.H.S. (clinical epidemiology), from the School of Hygiene and Public Health, The Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland. Her internship and residency in internal medicine and in geriatric medicine were through The Union Memorial Hospital, Baltimore, Maryland.
Family: A son who attends the University of Chicago. Her brother, his wife and their two sons live in Florida.
What do you love about being a physician? The geriatric specialty because I receive love and blessings from my senior patients.
What do you believe is the most important thing about hospice? The education and support for the patients, caregivers and their families, especially in their greatest time of need.
Richard Thacker, D.O., FACOI*
Leon County Care and Comfort
Dr. Richard R. Thacker, DO, FACOI, is board certified in internal medicine and hospice and palliative care. He currently practices at Capital Regional Medical Group in Tallahassee. Dr. Thacker received his osteopathic medicine degree from the Nova Southeastern University College of Osteopathic Medicine in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. He completed his postdoctoral medical training at Delaware Valley Medical Center in Langhorne, Pennsylvania, where he served as chief medical resident and received recognition as Resident of the Year. A fellow of the American College of Osteopathic Internists, Dr. Thacker currently serves as a medical director for several skilled nursing facilities in the Tallahassee area. He is the Tallahassee core site clinical director for the Alabama College of Osteopathic Medicine. Dr. Thacker is past chairman of the board of CRMC, past president of the Florida Osteopathic Medical Association and a current member of the Board of the American Osteopathic Association. He was honored to receive the HCA Frist Humanitarian award for 2015.
Hometown: Green Cove Springs, FL
Family: Dr. Thacker lives in Tallahassee with his wife, Sherry, and children, Blake and Allison.
What do you love about being a physician? I have the privilege of helping my patients through any number of serious medical issues during their adult life and truly learning about them and their families.
What do you believe is the most important thing about hospice? End of life transitions come in different ways and at different paces. By working with BBH, I can better assist during that difficult time. I am able to more gently close that circle of life having known my patients in healthier times.
Abdul Sofi, M.D.
Taylor and Jefferson counties
Bio to come
*Certified by the American Board of Hospice and Palliative Medicine