JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Susan Ponder-Stansel, president and CEO of Community Hospice of Northeast Florida, was installed as the president of the Florida Council on Aging (FCOA) during its annual conference in Orlando. The FCOA is the oldest and largest Florida-based association serving and representing older adults through advocacy, education and innovation.
Florida’s Interest in aging began decades ago and was focused on tourism and bringing retirees to Florida. As more retirees called this state home, that sentiment began to change, and in 1955 the FCOA was formed to focus on the well-being and welfare of older Floridians. Today, Florida is home to the oldest population in the nation, with more than 18 percent of its residents aged 65 years or older.
Ponder-Stansel’s two-year appointment further solidifies her commitment to providing services that allow this booming segment of the population to have the support, tools and resources needed to remain in their communities and thrive and age in place. Ponder-Stansel takes over the FCOA reins from LuMarie Polivka-West, senior vice president at the Florida Health Care Association and a member of the faculty at Florida State University.
“I began my career in the field of aging working at the Area Agency on Aging in Tallahassee, and then came back to my hometown of St. Augustine to work with our Council on Aging, so this appointment holds special meaning for me,” said Ponder-Stansel. “The majority of hospice patients are older adults so I truly never left the field of aging. I look forward to the challenge of leading an organization that works to advocate for the needs of older adults, and serves as the ‘big tent,’ where all those who work with or care about aging can come together.
Ponder-Stansel has been president and CEO of Community Hospice since 1991. She’s also been active with a variety of local and statewide organizations including: past president and active sustaining member of the Junior Service League of St. Augustine; the Rotary Club of St. Augustine; Leadership Jacksonville; the Board of Trustees of the Jacksonville Chamber of Commerce; the Women’s Giving Alliance; and the Jacksonville Women’s Network. She also serves on the National Home Care and Hospice Association Board of Advisors; the Florida Hospice and Palliative Care Association Board of Directors; and the Flagler Hospital Board of Trustees and is currently chair of the Health Planning Council of Northeast Florida.
Community Hospice is an excellent resource for up-to-date information on end-of-life care in our community. We invite members of the media to contact the Communications Department at any time.
Terry Brown, communications manager, media relations