Northeast Florida Community Hospice

Call to Request Care: 904.407.6500

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Since 1979, Community Hospice has been a “compassionate guide,” focusing on meeting the needs of those with advanced illness in Northeast Florida and their families.

Looking back

1978 - 1982
1978 “Friends of Hospice” volunteer meetings convene. Volunteers begin petitioning the state for hospice licensing. 
1979  Hospice of Northeast Florida, Inc. is granted licensing and nonprofit status.
1979  A pilot program begins with eight patients and 14 professional volunteers.
1979  Shirley Doyle becomes first paid executive director through a grant from Jessie Ball duPont Fund.
1981 Hospice of Northeast Florida serves 125 patients.
1983 - 1986
1983  Hospice of Northeast Florida contracts with St. Vincent’s Medical Center for hospice inpatient beds. 
1983  Hospice of Northeast Florida receives Medicare certification and licensure.
1985  The organization establishes a program for children - Children and Grief: Living With Loss.  
1986 Hospice of Northeast Florida forms a foundation to raise community awareness and support for our programs.
1986  Hospice of Northeast Florida receives grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to care for pediatric patients; establishes the Children’s Home Hospice Program.
1987 - 1990
1989  Hospice of Northeast Florida employs 75 part-time and full-time staff members. 
1990 Chief Operating Officer of St. Vincent's Medical Center serves as chairman of the board for Hospice of Northeast Florida. 
1990  "Sara and Daughter" photo wins National Hospice Organization's Award of Excellence. 
1991 - 1994
1991 Susan Ponder-Stansel named president and CEO of Hospice of Northeast Florida.
1991  The inaugural “Tree of Life Celebration” launches in local shopping malls.
1992  The Espirit de Corps young professionals group raises $124,000 for Hospice of Northeast Florida. 
1994  The Catholic Diocese of St. Augustine donates 12.5 acres on Sunbeam Road in Jacksonville for the Earl B. Hadlow Center for Caring, our first inpatient center.
1994 Community Hospice marks caring for a total of 1,252 patients. 
1995 - 1998
1995 Hospice of Northeast Florida Earl B. Hadlow Center for Caring opens with 24 patient rooms, two respite care rooms and administrative offices. 
1996 Our pet therapy program begins for patients and families. 
1997  The organization establishes Camp Healing Powers, a weekend grief camp for children. 
1999 - 2002
1999 Hospice of Northeast Florida and the hospice programs at Baptist/St. Vincent’s Health System and Methodist Medical Center (now UF Health) transfer hospice licenses to support the newly named Community Hospice of Northeast Florida, Inc.  
2000  Community Hospice creates Community PedsCare® pediatric program in collaboration with Wolfson Children’s Hospital, Nemours Children’s Clinic and the University of Florida.  
2001  The organization establishes the area’s first hospital-based hospice inpatient care center, the Community Hospice George and Margaret Morris Center for Caring, on the 6th Floor of the Shands (UF Health) Pavilion. 
2002  The Charles M. Neviaser Educational Institute, the Community Hospice center for bereavement and community grief, outreach and educational initiatives, opens.  
2003 - 2006
2003 Community Hospice holds the inaugural Frances Pruitt Easter Egg Hunt for Community PedsCare patients and children of Community Hospice staff at the Hadlow Center for Caring.
2004  The Earl B. Hadlow Center for Caring adds a new wing and expands to 36 patient rooms.  
2005  The inaugural Halloween Doors & More raises $425,000 for Community PedsCare.  
2006  Community Hospice cares for an average of 1,000 patients daily. 
2007 - 2009
2007  Community Hospice Dr. Gaston J. Acosta-Rua Center for Caring opens in January with 16 patient rooms.
2007  Community Hospice Anne and Donald McGraw Center for Caring (on Mayo Clinic Campus) opens in December with 16 patient rooms. 
2008  Community PedsCare receives national recognition by receiving the Quality in Palliative Care Leadership Award for our enhanced palliative care services and for implementing the palliative care principles. 
2008 Community Hospice launches the Caregiver Coalition, an alliance of health care, civic and social service organizations that promotes awareness and knowledge of, sensitivity to and support for family caregiving. 
2008  The Community Hospice Bailey Family Center for Caring is announced on Flagler Hospital campus in St. Augustine. 
2010 - 2013
2010 Community Hospice introduces Community Palliative Consultants to help people of all ages find relief from the symptoms, pain and stress caused by serious, complex or chronic illness.
2010  Community Hospice cares for an average of 1,145 patients daily. 
2011  Community Hospice Bailey Family Center for Caring opens with 12 patient rooms on the Flagler Hospital campus. 
2013  Community Hospice Center for Caring at St. Vincent’s Riverside begins serving patients with 10 patient rooms. 
2014 - Forward
2014 Community Hospice Jane and Bill Warner Center for Caring (on Baptist Hospital Nassau campus) opens with eight patient rooms.
2014 Community Hospice receives Hospice Honors Elite status for highest levels of satisfaction from the family’s point of view.
2014 Community Hospice introduces music therapy program for patients and families, including Community PedsCare® patients, in our seven inpatient units as well as in homes and long-term care facilities.
2014 Community Hospice celebrates its 35th anniversary of bringing compassionate, quality care to thousands of Northeast Florida patients and their families.
2015 Nearly 900 employees and more than 900 volunteers care for an average of 1,250 patients and their families daily.
2015 Community Hospice launches Honoring® Choices Florida, a new community-wide initiative bringing together leaders from the community's major health care organizations to establish an advance care planning (ACP) process. 
2015 Community Hospice is Florida’s only hospice provider, among the top 2 percent nationally, to earn Hospice Honors Elite Status two years in a row. This distinction recognizes the highest levels of satisfaction from the family's point of view.
2016 The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid selects Community Hospice as one of 140 providers nationally to participate in its Medicare Care Choices model, a research effort designed for people who qualify for hospice care but wish to continue pursuing curative treatments.
2016 Community Hospice Center for Caring at St. Vincent’s Southside begins serving patients with eight patient rooms. 

Our Journey Together:
35 Years Serving
Our Community


“From a small seed,
a mighty trunk may grow.” – 


Watch our 35-year journey as Community Hospice has grown from caring for one patient afraid to die alone to making a difference in the lives of thousands.



Paul Brenner's Story

Pdficon Small Paul Brenner and 14 volunteers founded Community Hospice.

Learn More.