History - Haven Hospice
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History of Haven Hospice

The path to Haven Hospice began in 1979 out of the combined vision and energies of Dr. Raymond Fitzpatrick, the former Administrator of Alachua General Hospital (AGH) Edward C. Peddie, and the President of the AGH Auxiliary Alice Sharpe.

From a single room in Alachua General Hospital, Haven Hospice has grown to serve more than 700 patients daily throughout 19 counties in Florida. Since opening its doors more than three decades ago, Haven Hospice has provided care to more than 78,000 patients and their families. 


  • Haven Hospice and Visiting Nurse Association & Hospice of the Florida Keys announce the appointment of Gayle Mattson as president.  
  • Haven begins construction on the expansion of the E.T. York Care Center in Gainesville.


  • In January, Haven breaks ground on a 4,495 square foot community center on the campus of the Tri-County Care Center.
  • Haven celebrates the opening of the new Macclenny administrative offices in April. 
  • Over 200 attendees celebrated the Kentucky Derby with Haven Hospice in May at the inaugural Equus event in Lake City. 
  • On July 20, Haven Hospice was selected to participate in the Medicare Care Choices Model. 
  • In August, Haven Hospice hosted its inaugural Island Oasis event at The Haskell Building in Jacksonville. 
  • A certificate of need was approved in September for a new Haven Hospice Care Center in Duval County. 
  • In October, Haven Hospice began the first phase of construction on the 12-room expansion at the E.T. York Care Center in Gainesville.
  • Haven Hospice forms an affiliation with the Visiting Nurse Association & Hospice of the Florida Keys in Monroe County.


  • Haven celebrates the opening of the new St. Augustine administrative offices, community room and Attic Resale Store in March.
  • In May, the Haven Hospice Ambassadors were the recipients of the Florida Hospice and Palliative Care Association (FHPCA) 2014 Synergy Award for their work with Grahamstown Hospice.
  • In December, Haven celebrated the opening of the new administrative offices  on Woodland Boulevard in De Land.
  • ACHC accreditation renewed


  • Haven’s newest office in New Smyrna Beach opens in March.
  • The Haven Hospice Attic Resale Store located in Lake City completes a significant renovation, almost doubling in size from 2,800 s.q. feet to 5,600 s.q. feet.
  • Haven Hospice breaks ground to expand the Roberts Care Center in the city of Palatka after receiving a generous donation from Doris Satterwhite.
  • Five Haven Hospice Ambassadors visit Haven’s sister hospice organization, Grahamstown Hospice in South Africa in September.
  • Haven Hospice marked the one-year anniversary of the Custead Care Center opening with a celebration event in October.
  • The Satterwhite Campus for Care and Compassion opens in December. It houses Haven’s Palatka Offices and expands the Roberts Care Center to 18 private patient rooms.
  • The architectural design of the Haven Hospice Custead Care Center by AG Architecture of Wauwatosa, Wisconsin, was honored in 2013 with several recognitions from national and international healthcare and architectural entities for breaking from traditional approaches to hospice care.


  • The Attic Resale Store in Chiefland has its grand opening in March.
  • Suwannee Valley Care Center in Lake City celebrates five-year anniversary.
  • The Homer J. Sr. & Fern O. Custead Care Center opens in Orange Park.
  • Haven Hospice sponsored three staff members of Grahamstown Hospice to travel to North Central Florida in November to learn more about Haven and end-of-life care in America.


  • Haven Hospice is granted a CON from AHCA to establish an 18 bed freestanding hospice inpatient care center in Orange Park/Clay County.
  • The Orange Park Haven Hospice Attic is opened in March.
  • Haven Hospice receives a $1.3 million gift from the Custead family to name the Orange Park/Clay County care center, The Custead Care Center.
  • Haven Hospice breaks ground on The Custead Care Center on September 9, 2011.
  • Haven Hospice receives accreditation as a hospice organization from the Accreditation Commission for Health Care (ACHC).


  • A new warehouse is purchased and renovated to provide a permanent home for Haven Medical Equipment.
  • Dr. E.T. York is appointed director emeritus by the Haven Hospice Board of Directors for his years of service and dedication to the organization.
  • Haven Hospice adopts and deploys Cerner as the enterprise information system and electronic medical record for the organization.


  • Haven Hospice partnered with researchers from the University of Virginia on a research grant to identify patterns of concerns unique to minority populations and patients who live below the poverty line who are served by hospices.
  • Haven Hospice was named by Jacksonville Magazine as one of the Top 25 Companies that Care.
  • Haven Hospice is named Non-Profit Organization of the Year by the Gainesville Area Chamber of Commerce.
  • Haven Hospice serves its 50,000 individual and their family.
  • CHAP accreditation is renewed.


  • Haven Hospice received the prestigious Circle of Life Award by the American Hospital Association, for its excellence and innovation in end of life and palliative care.  The Circle of Life Award is the highest honor an organization can receive in the field of end of life and palliative care.
  • Gilchrist County Chamber of Commerce awarded Haven Hospice its Civic Organization of the Year Award.
  • Haven Hospice is granted a CON by AHCA to establish a hospice program in Service Area 4b; Flagler and Volusia counties.
  • In October, Haven Hospice’s organizational structure is reorganized, naming Tim Bowen its President.
  • Haven Hospice opens its 7th office in DeLand on December 1, 2008.


  • Haven Hospice is recognized as the Business of the Year Award from the Chiefland Chamber of Commerce.
  • Haven Hospice is recognized by the Palatka Elks Club BPOE No. 1232 with its Civic Betterment Award for Haven’s Roberts Hospice Care Center in Palatka.
  • Haven Hospice opens its office in St. Augustine under the leadership of Marsha Davis-Flowers, RN.
  • Haven Hospice’s Suwannee Valley Care Center is opened in Lake City.


  • In Gainesville, a new location is chosen for the Haven Hospice Attic Resale store, providing 10,000 SQ of retail space, the old Combs Lumber Building.
  • The renovation of the Combs Lumber Building into the Haven Hospice Attic earns Haven Hospice a community project award from the Keep Alachua Beautiful organization.
  • Three Haven Hospice board members are appointed as directors emeriti for their years of dedication and service: Judy Boles, Portia Taylor and Laura Carmichael.
  • Ground is broken for the administrative building and hospice care center in Lake City.
  • CHAP accreditation is renewed.
  • Haven Hospice is selected as one of two hospices nationally to receive the Rural Demonstration Grant by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.
  • The Florida Hospice and Palliative Care Organization recognize Haven Hospice for outstanding contributions to end-of-life and palliative care.


  • HNCF is granted a CON by AHCA for a 16 bed freestanding hospice care center in the Suwannee Valley service area.
  • HNCF joins with the Foundation for Hospices in Sub-Saharan Africa (FHSSA) to partner with and support Grahamstown Hospice, located in Grahamstown South Africa.
  • A hospice inpatient unit is established at River Garden/Wolfson Health & Aging Center in Jacksonville, a not-for-profit skilled nursing center that has served the community since 1946.
  • VIVA! A Bayou Bash is launched as the organization’s annual signature fundraising event.
  • In October, The HNCF Board of Directors changes the organization’s name to Haven Hospice.


  • Hospice of North Central Florida celebrates its 25th anniversary.
  • The Tri-Counties Hospice Care Center and administrative buildings open in Chiefland in November.
  • HNCF is named the Non-Profit Organization of the Year by the Gainesville Area Chamber of Commerce.


  • The Roberts Care Center in Palatka opens in February.
  • HNCF is granted a CON from AHCA to establish a 16 bed freestanding hospice inpatient care center in Chiefland.
  • HNCF purchases an assisted living facility in Chiefland, Country Oaks, and begins the renovation to a 16 bed freestanding hospice care center and administrative offices.


  • Hospice of Jacksonville officially opens and begins providing care in the Jacksonville metropolitan area.
  • CHAP (Community Health Accreditation Program) accreditation is awarded to Hospice of North Central Florida network.
  • A new administrative office building opens in Palatka.
  • HNCF is granted a CON from AHCA to establish a 12 bed freestanding hospice inpatient care center in Palatka.  Construction begins on the Roberts Care Center, a 12 bed freestanding hospice care center.
  • A pediatric specialty program called Pegasus is established. 


  • HNCF's outlying offices undergo name changes to better reflect the regional locales: Hospice of the Lakes in Palatka, Hospice of the Tri-Counties in Chiefland, Hospice of the Suwannee Valley in Lake City, Hospice of North Central Florida in Gainesville and the soon to be opened Hospice of Jacksonville in Jacksonville. The Hospice of North Central Florida Network is created.
  • In December, a local home medical equipment company, Gresham’s Medical Equipment, is acquired and becomes, Horizon Health Services a part of the HNCF network.
  • HNCF receives the Community and Public Awareness Award from Florida Hospices and Palliative Care for its bereavement program, “Journey Toward Healing.”


  • In January, Tim Bowen, MSW, joins the organization as Executive Director of Hospice of North Central Florida.
  • HNCF is granted a CON from AHCA to expand inpatient care in the ET York Care Center.
  • HNCF is granted a CON by AHCA to serve district 4a; Duval, Clay, Baker, Nassau and St. John's Counties.


  • HNCF moves its office in Trenton to Chiefland. 


  • HNCF hires its first full time Medical Director, Dr. Bob McCollough. 


  • In January, one of the first freestanding hospice care centers in the state of Florida and across the country opened its doors in Gainesville. The ET York Care Center, as it became known later, has 18 private patient rooms and has been an inspiration to numerous hospice care centers across the country since its inception.


  • HNCF opens an office in Trenton under the local leadership of Ina Boyd, MDiv., Th. M. 


  • The need was identified to care for those individuals who were living alone with a life-limiting illness and without a primary caregiver. With the generosity and encouragement of HNCF Board Member Laura Carmichael, a long-term resident of Gainesville, the concept for a hospice care center located in Gainesville was born.


  • Accreditation is earned from the Joint Commission on Healthcare Accreditation of Organizations.
  • Dr. Mary Aplin becomes Medical Director, serving in that capacity until 1997.


  • HNCF opens an office in Lake City under the local leadership of Ray Somera, LCSW.  


  • Hospice of North Central Florida (HNCF) expands its service area to include Suwannee, Hamilton and Lafayette Counties.
  • HNCF opens an office in Palatka under the local leadership of Judy Thomas, RN.
  • Dr. Bruce Stechmiller becomes Medical Director, serving in that capacity until 1990.
  • HNCF expands its services to the Melrose and Keystone Heights communities largely through the efforts of volunteer Bettye Zaworka.


  • Patrice C. Moore, RN, MSN, joined the organization as Administrator and COO of Hospice of North Central Florida and served in that capacity until 1999.


  • The Florida legislature approves the first Hospice Licensure Law. That law was later used as the framework for the Federal Medicare Hospice Benefit.
  • HNCF receives a license and a Certificate of Need (CON) to serve AHCA district 3a; Alachua, Bradford, Columbia, Union, Dixie, Gilchrist, Suwannee, Hamilton, Lafayette, Levy and Putnam Counties.


  • Janice Allen, RN is the first hospice clinical nurse specialist who, along with Fay Knight, RN, the first volunteer, begins to provide care to patients and families with Dr. Fitzpatrick serving as the first Medical Director.  Dr. Fitzpatrick served as the Medical Director in a volunteer capacity for the initial 6 years of operation. 
  • Donna S. Hall, RN, MS, M.Ed., CHPN, is hired as the first Director of Hospice.


  • The concept of hospice care was introduced to Gainesville by a local physician, Dr. Raymond Fitzpatrick, who recognized the need to provide compassionate end-of-life care to patients and families in our communities after the loss of his brother-in-law. Dr. Fitzpatrick, along with the Administrator of Alachua General Hospital, Ed Peddie, and the President of the AGH Auxiliary, Alice Sharpe, came together to lay the foundation to develop and implement a hospice program under the name, Hospice of North Central Florida.

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