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New Big Bend Hospice compassionate care facility to open at Tallahassee Memorial HealthCare this year – First Commerce Credit Union recently committed to provide funding for Big Bend Hospice to expand services through Tallahassee Memorial HealthCare’s inpatient center.

A $1 million gift from First Commerce Credit Union kickstarted Big Bend Hospice’s fundraising campaign for a new state-of-the-art center for compassionate hospice care facility, currently under construction on the third floor of Tallahassee Memorial HealthCare.

In recognition of the credit union’s support of Big Bend Hospice’s mission and the sincere generosity of this gift, the new space will be named the First Commerce Center for Compassionate Care.

The First Commerce Center for Compassionate Care will have eight modern, comfortable patient rooms, one of which can be easily converted to accommodate pediatric patients, and two that will have the ability to isolate patients with airborne diseases to avoid the risk of exposure. Patients being treated at Tallahassee Memorial HealthCare who may need hospice services can be transferred to the First Commerce Center for Compassionate Care on the third floor, where they will benefit from the full services of the Big Bend Hospice’s team.

“We could not be prouder of taking our longtime support of Big Bend Hospice to a whole new level with the First Commerce Center for Compassionate Care,” Cecilia Homison, Chief Executive Officer of First Commerce said. 

“We are blessed to live in a community where the contributions of not-for-profit organizations are valued and supported,” said Bill Wertman, Chief Executive Officer of Big Bend Hospice. “First Commerce Credit Union is a longtime partner to Big Bend Hospice and the community, and we are honored by their legacy gift to our capital campaign. No one ever wants to think about or be in an end-of-life situation, but it is our privilege to support this sensitive and intimate time in people’s lives. This new inpatient unit we are creating in partnership with Tallahassee Memorial HealthCare will provide a beautiful home-like setting where we will give focused, specialized care and comfort to our patients and their families.”

Upon completion of the First Commerce Center for Compassionate Care at Tallahassee Memorial Healthcare later in 2023, an entire team of Big Bend Hospice skilled in end-of-life care including doctors, nurses, social workers, bereavement, music therapists, and trained volunteers will provide loving hospice care to patients and families who otherwise would be unable to receive it due to their condition a press release from Big Bend Hospice says.

“This expansion will touch countless more families during one of the most difficult times in their lives by providing access to Hospice’s care, comfort, and inpatient services at Tallahassee Memorial HealthCare,” said Alan Neubauer, Chairman of the Board for First Commerce.

This major milestone is being celebrated as part of Big Bend Hospice’s 40th anniversary year serving as the hometown hospice for eight counties in the Big Bend area, with a mission of providing a standard of excellent care for those in our community. Throughout its history, Big Bend Hospice has added and expanded services, and the First Commerce Center for Compassionate Care will fulfill its latest goal by offering hospice care and services for patients and families in the most advanced stages of illness who are too fragile to be cared for away from a hospital setting.

“Big Bend Hospice Foundation is honored First Commerce Credit Union has chosen to provide the lead gift in our $5 million capital campaign to name the Center,” said Foundation President Dena Strickland. “The First Commerce Center for Compassionate Care will provide a place of hope and state-of-the-art care for our community.”

Erin Hill –