Hadlow Center for Caring was the first freestanding inpatient center in Florida 

It has been the ongoing support of the communities it serves that has allowed Community Hospice & Palliative Care to thrive in its four decades. The personal legacies of local community leaders who champion dignity at the end of life are intertwined with the legacy of Community Hospice.

Jacksonville lawyer Earl B. Hadlow was one of those community leaders. Community Hospice’s first free-standing inpatient center is named in his honor. 

Thanks to the generosity of the Catholic Diocese of St. Augustine, 12.5 acres of land was sold to Community Hospice at a reduced rate in 1994. This gift allowed Community Hospice to build its very first Center for Caring: the Earl B. Hadlow Center for Caring located at 4266 Sunbeam Road. In 1995, the center opened its doors to receive patients; it was the first of Community Hospice’s eight Centers for Caring and the very first freestanding inpatient center in the state of Florida.

“The Hadlow Center was part of our vision for serving our community and meeting the needs of those without caregivers,” said Community Hospice President and CEO Susan Ponder-Stansel. “Earl B. Hadlow was one of the first community leaders to step forward and support the idea of a general inpatient center. He brought Tom Petway and the other community leaders on board to help us raise funds. When Earl died suddenly, his brother and sister-in-law, Tom and Betty Petway, led the capital campaign and gave the lead gift to name the center in Earl’s memory.

The Earl B. Hadlow Center for Caring was Community Hospice & Palliative Care's first Center for Caring and the first freestanding inpatient center in the state of Florida.

Starting with 24 patient rooms, two respite care rooms for families and administrative offices, the Earl B. Hadlow Center for Caring represented the beginning of Community Hospice’s status as the Compassionate Guide in its community and as an exemplar of what large non-profit community-based hospices look like. In 2005, the inpatient center expanded to add a new wing and a total of 36 patient rooms. The Hadlow Center for Caring currently houses 14 patient rooms.

Founded by a group of community volunteers in Jacksonville, Florida in 1979, Community Hospice began as “Friends of Hospice” and quickly became “Hospice of Northeast Florida, Inc.” Community Hospice filled a need for compassionate care and service for those at the end of life.

In its 40 years, compassionate care and consideration of the whole patient -- along with their loved ones -- have remained central to all of Community Hospice’s offerings and to Community Hospice’s commitment to touch every aspect of the communities it serves. The expansion continues: later this year, Community Hospice will open its ninth Center for Caring inside Baptist Medical Center Jacksonville’s downtown location.

For more information about Community Hospice & Palliative Care’s programs and services, please visit www.CommunityHospice.com.