JACKSONVILLE, FL – Now in its 40th anniversary year, Community Hospice & Palliative Care continues to expand its service to include a ninth inpatient unit, the Alice and T. O’Neal Douglas Center for Caring at Baptist Medical Center Jacksonville. Thanks to the generosity of Baptist Medical Center Jacksonville benefactors, Alice and T. O’Neal Douglas, the nearly 7,500 square foot facility will house 10 private patient rooms, as well as comforting, home-like amenities, and a family meeting area overlooking the St. Johns River.

“We are grateful to Alice and T. O’Neal Douglas for their generous support in making the naming gift for the new hospice unit at Baptist Jacksonville,” said Community Hospice & Palliative Care President and CEO Susan Ponder-Stansel. “We are also deeply grateful to Baptist Health and Baptist Jacksonville president Michael Mayo, for their willingness to allow us to develop this unit on their campus. We look forward to working with our colleagues there as we provide support for patients and families who are living with advanced illness.” 

Several private celebratory events will take place in November in advance of the completion of the center for caring. On November 4, 2019, an official ribbon cutting was held to introduce the new center to partners of both renowned health care organizations. On November 7, 2019, an all-day open house will be held for Community Hospice & Palliative Care employees and volunteers, as well as Baptist Medical Center Jacksonville team members, so they can experience and become familiar with this new offering to better care for our community.

“The lives of many patients and families will be touched by this unit being available on the Baptist Jacksonville campus,” said Michael A. Mayo, FACHE, hospital president at Baptist Medical Center Jacksonville. “A seamless transfer from a hospital room to a hospice room without leaving the facility will provide peace of mind for patients and loved ones. We’re deeply committed to providing compassionate care throughout the full continuum of our patients’ lives.”

The Alice and T. O’Neal Douglas Center for Caring will officially open in December to serve patients living with advanced illness (cancer, congestive heart failure, COPD, Alzheimer’s/Dementia, etc.) and in need of end-of-life care. The goal of each Community Hospice & Palliative Care center for caring is to provide a calming, residential-style environment in which to stabilize the hospice patient’s acute symptoms, providing relief so they can return to wherever they call home (private residence, long-term care facility, etc.). To add to the home-like environment, the walls of the unit will be lined with the work of local artists, all of whom gifted their stunning creations to help patients, caregivers and families facing end-of-life decisions. The new Alice and T. O’Neal Douglas Center for Caring will provide around-the-clock compassionate acute symptom care for hospice patients, respite for caregivers, and a place where loved ones can visit 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

The current Community Hospice & Palliative Care centers for caring are located in Northeast Florida, with the goal of expanding in the coming years to units in North Central Florida: Anne and Donald McGraw (Mayo Clinic West Campus), Dr. Gaston J. Acosta-Rua, Bailey Family (Flagler Health+ Campus), Earl B. Hadlow, George and Margaret Morris (UF Jacksonville; sixth floor), Jane and Bill Warner (Baptist Medical Center Nassau; first floor), Community Hospice Center for Caring (Ascension St. Vincent’s Riverside; fourth floor) and Community Hospice Center for Caring (Ascension St. Vincent’s Southside; fifth floor).

Media tours and interviews with Susan Ponder-Stansel, President and CEO of Community Hospice & Palliative Care and Michael Mayo, Hospital President of Baptist Medical Center Jacksonville will be provided on Thursday, November 21, 2019, at 10 am.

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About Community Hospice & Palliative Care

 Community Hospice & Palliative Care is the only hospice provider in its 16-county service area to receive Hospice Honors, a national distinction for “Best in Quality” care according to patient’s caregivers. During its 40-year history, Community Hospice & Palliative Care has served nearly 200,000 adults and children, and expanded from five to 16 counties. Thanks to the support of more than 900 employees and 1,000 volunteers, the organization helps m 1,600 patients live better with advanced illness every day.

About Baptist Health

Baptist Health is a faith-based, mission-driven system in Northeast Florida comprised of Baptist Medical Center Jacksonville; Baptist Medical Center Beaches; Baptist Medical Center Nassau; Baptist Medical Center South; Baptist Clay Medical Campus and Wolfson Children’s Hospital – the region’s only children’s hospital.  All Baptist Health hospitals, along with Baptist Home Health Care, have achieved Magnet™ status for excellence in patient care. Baptist Health is part of Coastal Community Health, a highly integrated regional hospital network focused on significant initiatives designed to enhance the quality and value of care provided to our contiguous communities. Baptist Health has the area’s only dedicated heart hospital; orthopedic institute; women’s services; neurological institute, including comprehensive neurosurgical services, a comprehensive stroke center and two primary stroke centers; a Bariatric Center of Excellence; a full range of psychology and psychiatry services; urgent care services; and primary and specialty care physicians’ offices throughout Northeast Florida. The Baptist MD Anderson Cancer Center is a regional destination for multidisciplinary cancer care which is clinically integrated with the MD Anderson Cancer Center, the internationally renowned cancer treatment and research institution in Houston. For more details, visit baptistjax.com.