Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Man Gives $1 Million to Hospice

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Man Gives $1 Million to Hospice

Article excerpt

A Jacksonville man has donated $1 million to Community Hospice of Northeast Florida's foundation for a new center to educate the public, clergy and medical profession about hospice and end-of-life care.

Ground is scheduled to be broken tomorrow for the Charles M. Neviaser Educational Institute, next to the hospice organization's Earl B. Hadlow Center for Caring in Mandarin.

Neviaser, 77, of the Southside, said he was familiar with hospice's work and its staff because some friends who are terminally ill had used the service. He said he was happy to help when Trudy Harris, president of the Hospice Foundation for Caring, asked him to fund the new center.

"I know hospice does marvelous work, and they do it in a very caring way, and I don't think many people know about it," Neviaser said. "Fortunately, I'm able to help and I want to."

Harris said Neviaser's gift will help educate people about the ways hospice care can ease pain and suffering. There's a misconception that hospice is only for elderly cancer patients, she said. Many doctors and patients are not aware the services can help infants, children and young adults with a variety of diseases. Also, people are being referred to hospice too late in their diagnosis to get the full benefit of the services, she said.

Neviaser is a retiree who said years of private investing enabled him to make the donation. He and his wife, Doris, moved to Jacksonville in 1984 from Fairfax, Va., where he owned a real estate company.

"I think he was visionary to recognize this was an opportunity and such a need," said Susan Ponder-Stansel, chief executive officer of Community Hospice.

The center will be one of a few in the United States to focus on education about issues such as advance care planning, spiritual support and the management of pain and disease symptoms.

Hospice officials cited a study recently published in the Journal of the American Medical Association that found most doctors receive no training in end-of-life issues -- a main reason many people are not referred to hospice as early as they could be.

About 20 percent of people who are eligible for hospice services receive them, according to hospice officials. …

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