It’s been one year since the ribbon was cut at The Alice and T. O’Neal Douglas Center for Caring at Baptist Medical Center Jacksonville. The facility, which received its first patient on December 2, 2019, serves those 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.

“Thank you to Alice and O’Neal Douglas for their gracious generosity in making this special space a reality. We are grateful for the seamless transition available to our patients and their loved ones, made possible by the unit being inside our hospital,” said Michael A. Mayo, FACHE, hospital president of Baptist Medical Center Jacksonville. “In just one year since opening, we have witnessed how the lives of patients and their loved ones have been transformed by the compassionate care and consoling support offered to them in this home-like environment.”

The nearly 7,500 square foot facility with 10 private patient rooms, as well as comforting, home-like amenities, and a meeting area overlooking the St. Johns River is a place families can be together while receiving care from a highly trained, loving staff.

Many family members have expressed how valuable this type of facility has been for their loved ones.  Recently, a caregiver shared their experience after his wife was moved from her hospital room at Baptist Jacksonville to The Douglas Center for Caring just a few floors away. After she passed, he expressed that his wife’s nurse was "a gift from God" and the "most wonderful, loving person I've ever met in my 68 years of life."  He shared how she offered the family compassion, kindness and respect to make sure she had a peaceful and comfortable death.  She offered supportive care that they "will never forget." It is this type of care that drives the mission, vision and values of Community Hospice & Palliative Care.

The partnership between Community Hospice & Palliative Care and Baptist Health continues to provide the support for patients and families who are living with advanced illnesses. This month, Community Hospice & Palliative Care will open their tenth center at Baptist Medical Center South, the third Center for Caring within the Baptist Health system.