Community Hospice Opening Inpatient Unit at St. Vincent’s Medical Center Southside


Jacksonville, Fla. — Community Hospice of Northeast Florida and St. Vincent’s HealthCare -- a ministry of Ascension, the nation’s largest Catholic and non-profit health system -- are advancing their partnership by creating an inpatient unit at St. Vincent’s Medical Center Southside. The new eight-bed wing opened on Feb. 7.

This new wing, located on the fifth floor of St. Vincent’s Southside, will include eight rooms for hospice care including two specialized rooms, one for bariatric patients and a negative-pressure room to prevent cross contaminations.

“We are always looking for ways to bring the most advanced, comprehensive and compassionate health care services to the individuals and families we’re so blessed to serve,” said Tom VanOsdol, interim CEO of St. Vincent’s HealthCare. “Our strong collaboration and trusted partnership with Community Hospice continues to be a shining example of healthcare partners collaborating to serve all people in their time of greatest need.”

The 6,360 square-foot unit will include home-like amenities such as a family lounge. The goal is to meet patients’ needs in an acute care setting where they are most familiar with receiving health care.

“Community Hospice continues to focus on enhancing our range of programs and services we provide to patients and families where they are most comfortable,” said Susan Ponder-Stansel, president and CEO of Community Hospice. “We have a long-standing relationship with St. Vincent’s and look forward to collaborating further with their physicians and staff to help bring comfort to those dealing with advanced illness.”

Community Hospice currently operates seven other inpatient units, called Centers for Caring, totaling 116 inpatient beds for short-term acute palliative and hospice care needs in Northeast Florida. This latest development – which follows the opening of a 10-bed hospice inpatient unit opened in February 2013 at St. Vincent’s Riverside – further helps both organizations expand services to residents in Mandarin, Arlington and the Southside areas.

These inpatient units are designed to provide short-term support for those who require more intensive care (pain and symptom management) then can be provided adequately at home. The goal of this level of care is to return patients to their place of residence as soon as possible.

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About St. Vincent’s HealthCare

In Jacksonville, Florida, Ascension’s St. Vincent’s HealthCare operates three hospitals in addition to dozens of healthcare facilities and employs more than 5,000 associates. Across the region, St. Vincent’s provided more than $75 million in community benefit and care of persons living in poverty in fiscal year 2016. Serving Jacksonville for over 130 years, Ascension is a faith-based healthcare organization committed to delivering compassionate, personalized care to all, with special attention to persons living in poverty and those most vulnerable. Ascension is the largest non-profit health system in the U.S. and the world’s largest Catholic health system, operating 2,500 sites of care – including 141 hospitals and more than 30 senior living facilities – in 24 states and the District of Columbia. Visit

About Community Hospice of Northeast Florida

Established in 1979, Community Hospice of Northeast Florida is the first and only locally based nonprofit hospice and palliative care provider to serve residents of the First Coast and is one of only 39 hospices in the nation to achieve Hospice Honors Elite Status. More families choose Community Hospice than any other in Baker, Clay, Duval, Nassau and St. Johns counties. Each day, through the support of 850 employees and more than 1,000 volunteers, the organization helps more than 1,300 patients and their families to live better with advanced illness. During its 37-year history, Community Hospice has served 100,000 adults and children—at home, in long-term care and assisted living facilities, in hospitals and at its seven inpatient care centers conveniently located throughout the area. The organization is committed to improving the quality of life for patients and their families and to be the Compassionate GuideSM for end-of-life care in our community. No one is ever denied care due to an inability to pay. To learn more about the support and services of Community Hospice, visit