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Jacksonville Foundation To Fund New University Of Florida Pediatric Care Fellowship

The Neviaser Charitable Foundation

A generous donation from a Jacksonville-based non-profit will support research and services for local terminally ill children, including a new fellowship at the University of Florida.The Neviaser Charitable Foundation donated $900,000 to the Community Hospice of Northeast Florida in support of its nationally recognized Community PedsCare program.

This money will do a lot of things, including establishing a new fellowship in pediatric palliative medicine at the University of Florida this year.

Nancy Neviaser Baker, trustee of The Neviaser Charitable Foundation, and Susan Ponder-Stansel, President and CEO of Community Hospice, sat down with Melissa Ross to discuss the Community PedsCare program.

“When we first heard about the Community PedsCare program we were very interested,” Neviaser Baker said about the decision to fund the program.

”When we came to understand the needs of the kids and the families, and learned about all the PedsCare program had to offer, we knew that we wanted to do something that would make a real impact for the program and our community,” she said.  
Community PedsCare, established in 2000 by Community Hospice of Northeast Florida., works with Wolfson Children’s Hospital, the University of Florida-Jacksonville, Nemours Children’s Clinic and multiple other community  partners to serve families in the five-county Northeast Florida area.
Through a multidisciplinary team of doctors, nurses, social workers, clergy, child life and other specialists, the program helps children living with terminal conditions.
The specialized care is available to all residents of the First Coast, regardless of their ability to pay.
The three-year gift will provide funding for day-to-day operations of the program, which relies on philanthropy for a large portion of its $1.5 million annual budget, in addition to an endowment to ensure future funding for the new UF fellowship.
“The wonderful thing about (palliative care) is that it can be applied to people who are suffering from any type of symptom or pain and at any point of an illness,” said Ponder-Stansel.
“The point of palliative care is that it doesn’t seek to necessarily change the underlying disease process. It says that suffering should be eliminated.”

You can follow Melissa Ross on Twitter @MelissainJax.

WJCT News intern Cole Gordon (@Cagordon33Cole) contributed to this report.

CORRECTION: A previous version of this story incorrectly identified Susan Ponder-Stansel.