Our Physicians

Treasure Coast Hospice physicians are involved in the day-to-day care of our patients. They are called upon to treat a full range of illnesses.

"We experience the immense satisfaction that comes from doing wonderful work in concert with the entire hospice team," Vice President and Chief Medical Officer Dr. Bernice Burkarth says.

Hospice physicians do not seek to cure our patients' underlying disease. But their palliative (comfort) care does do a tremendous amount of healing. They play a vital role in delivering excellent medical care and help patients and their families treasure their time together.

Hospice physicians make home visits

"We are privileged to be invited into the homes and the lives of patients and families," Dr. Burkarth says. "This is the most vulnerable and challenging time a person or family will face. We are here for them."

Meet Our Physicians

Dr. Bernice Burkarth

Bernice M. Burkarth, MD
Vice President, Chief Medical Officer

"I love working for hospice because it allows me to be a complete physician to my patients. I can address not only their physical concerns, but also their emotional and spiritual concerns as well. I love the team aspect of the care we provide and the comprehensive care that it allows."

Before joining Treasure Coast Hospice in 2005, Dr. Burkarth was a practicing neurosurgeon. She achieved a bachelor of science in psychology from Brown University, her medical degree from Temple University School of Medicine and is an assistant clinical professor for the Florida State University College of Medicine.

Dr. James Buttles

A. James Buttles, MD

"I consider it a privilege to work with Treasure Coast Hospice. The staff is superb! There is such dedication in caring for patients. It is a pleasure to come to work and be affiliated with a quality, loving and happy team."

Dr. Buttles joined the Treasure Coast Hospice team May 1, 2007, and continues to provide care to our patients in Martin County. We are grateful for his professional background in the medical field and excellence in quality care he brings to Treasure Coast Hospice.

Dr. Buttles spent his internship at Columbia Hospital in Milwaukee, Wisc., and served his residency at the Medical College of Wisconsin. After moving to Florida in 1974, Dr. Buttles was with Stuart Medical Group and on staff with Martin Memorial Medical Center in a variety of capacities during a 12-year period, including chairman of Medical Records and the Department of Medicine, chief of staff, member of the hospital board and president of the corporation founding satellite and surgical outpatient facilities.

He also worked at Tampa General and University Community Hospital for a year and then returned to the Treasure Coast in a position at Savannas Hospital in Port St. Lucie. In August 1995, Dr. Buttles was employed by Martin Memorial Physicians' Corp. and served as Medical Director of Port St. Lucie Nursing and Restorative until Martin Nursing and Restorative Care opened in April of 2007. He also served as the medical director of Stuart Nursing and Restorative Care from August 1995 to April 2007.

Dr. Buttles is a supporter of community service. He was the founding lay person of the Covenant Fellowship Baptist Church and served as the president for five years. He is also the founder of the Christian radio translator 90.3 FM and has served as president of the station.

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Hospice services are provided through our licensed providers Hospice of the Treasure Coast (d/b/a Treasure Coast Hospice, St. Lucie) and Hospice of Martin & St. Lucie (d/b/a Treasure Coast Hospice, Martin) Licensed since 1982. Copyright 2014, Treasure Coast Hospice and its affiliated companies. All rights reserved. Serving the Florida communities of Ft. Pierce, Lakewood Park, White City, St. Lucie West, Port St. Lucie, Hutchinson Island, Jensen Beach, Palm City, Stuart and Hobe Sound. Serving Martin County and St. Lucie County. The material on this website is provided for general informational purposes only and should not be considered as medical or legal advice or instruction. You must consult a qualified professional to obtain medical or legal advice. FOR A NOTICE OF PRIVACY PRACTICES, CLICK HERE.