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We are your Hometown Hospice

Our History

Hospice of Marion County began in the early 1980s when parishioners learned of the death of one of their church members. The pain of his cancer was so intense it led him to take his own life. A handful of volunteers sought to prevent such a tragedy from ever happening again. They imagined a model of compassionate hospice care for each patient at the end of life. In 1981, The Star Banner published an article written by Kathy Askren, wife of Rev. Robert Askren, calling for the need for hospice services in our community. A task force chaired by Marilyn Curran followed and soon their resolution to succeed resulted in Ocala Hospice, which received licensure from the State of Florida in 1983. The name was officially changed to Hospice of Marion County in 1989.

In the ensuing years, new companies have been formed to complete the continuum of care for our neighbors throughout the county, from Lake Weir to Lake Kerr, Citra to Dunnellon, and every place in between.

Hospice Pioneers

Ann M. Allen, RN*
Kathy R. Askren*
Rev. Robert D. Askren,*
W. E. Bishop, Jr., Esq. *
John Boysen, MD, Volunteer
Roger W. Bruce*
Marilyn Curran*
Pamela W. (Davis) Michell*
David F. Elliott, MD,* 1st Med. Director
Mary Gilchrist, RN, 1st hospice nurse
Dee Grooms, 1st bookkeeper
Debbie Harper, RN, nursing
Rita E. Hofmann, RN*
Daisy A. Kendrick*

Carlton S. Lucius*
John Marshall*
Nan J. McMurphy*
Patricia R. Metzger*
Diane C. Morthland
Jo Ponchos, RN
Jean M. Osborne*
Debbie Parker
Ralph F. Ranieri, MSW*
Rev. Bob Smith,

Larry Wood, CPA*
Edie C. Woolworth*
Charlotte Wright, RN*
Gary Wright, MD*

 

*1983 Charter Board of Directors

David Elliott, MD...since the beginning

David Elliott, MDLooking back, Dr. Elliott doesn’t think he could have been anything BUT a hospice doc. “Even in my early residency,” says the native of Bournemouth, England, “I could see that not enough was being done for the terminally ill. Essentially, they were left alone to die. I wanted to change that.” Everything he has done in his career since that moment has led to the enormous contribution he has made to the hospice movement in our community.

Very few have had the privilege of studying directly with Dame Cicely Saunders, the founder of the modern hospice movement. She has been called one of the most significant social change agents of the 20th century. While on a Geriatric Fellowship in 1976-77, Dr. Elliott gained invaluable personal experience by rounding with her in the mornings at London’s St. Christopher’s Hospice, and attending her afternoon IDT sessions. “She was passionate about making hospice standard care,” he says. “Once, she stood in front of a group of all male physicians and confronted them about what she characterized as their negligence toward dying patients, challenging them to take up the gauntlet of this patient population. She certainly got their attention. The strength of her personality and advocacy for the dying was tangible in the room!”

Dr. Elliott officially “resigned” in 2007, but has never stopped working for Hospice of Marion County. He sees patients each week on a reduced schedule and was recognized for his long tenure at the Employee Excellence Dinner in January 2013.

 

On the Move

1982

1st donated space at Blessed Trinity Catholic Church

1983

1st office at 53 SW 16th Place

1984

Move to 299 SE 17th St.

1985

Move to 3850 SE 58th Ave., Bldg B

1986

Move to 1229 SE Ft. King St.

1987

1st building purchased at 317 NE 36th Ave.

1991

Groundbreaking for Hospice House on land donated by Roger Gribot

1992

Sylvia’s House opens – 2895 SE 62nd St.

1994

Thrift Store #1 opens in Belleview, followed by #2 in Jasmine Square

1996

Estelle’s House opens – 2897 SW 62nd St.

1996

Offices move to new Administration Bldg at 3231 SW 34th Ave.

2000

Thrift Store #3 opens in Silver Springs Shores

2001

Accent Medical and Pharmacy & Material Management Bldg

2002

First bereavement Camp Mariposa for children aged 5-12

2002

SummerField Suites & Hospice House opens – 17421 SE 109th Terrace Rd.

2003

The Legacy House opens – 9505 SW 110th St.

2006

The Tuscany House opens – 17395 109th Terrace Rd, Summerfield

2012

Thrift Store #4 Thrift Store opens in the Terrace Shoppes in Summerfield

2012

Thrift Store #2 re-opens in expanded space in Jasmine Square

2013

Thrift Store #5 opens in the Six Gun Plaza

2013

The Elliott Center education center named

2014

SummerField Suites Memory Care opens