First Commerce Center for Compassionate Care Now Accepting Patients

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (8, February, 2024) – Big Bend Hospice, in partnership with Tallahassee Memorial HealthCare (TMH), proudly announces the opening of the First Commerce Center for Compassionate Care (FCCCC), a new inpatient hospice unit on the third floor of Tallahassee Memorial Hospital. 

FCCCC expands access to high-quality, end-of-life services for an eight-county rural service area where healthcare gaps can challenge families. Hospice, which can be delivered wherever a patient is, represents a philosophy of care focused on providing quality of life and relieving pain and symptoms instead of curing illness.

“Most Americans want to spend their last moments at home, surrounded by their loved ones,” said Deborah Morris, M.D., Chief Medical Officer of Big Bend Hospice. “When that isn’t possible, Big Bend Hospice’s inpatient units provide an at-home feeling along with specialized end-of-life care that often exceeds a family’s caregiving capability.”

Eight thoughtfully decorated patient rooms support family members as they stay with their loved one in a warm, homelike comforting environment. The unit features a reflection room, communal kitchen and spaces for family gatherings.

The First Commerce Center for Compassionate Care complements Big Bend Hospice’s existing Margaret Z. Dozier House. The 12-bed facility on Mahan Center Boulevard opened in 2000.

Together, these units establish Big Bend Hospice as the only operator of inpatient hospice care across a region encompassing Franklin, Gadsden, Jefferson, Leon, Liberty, Madison, Taylor, and Wakulla counties.

“Hospice uniquely meets the physical, emotional, and spiritual needs of patients and families facing a life-limiting illness,” said Big Bend Hospice CEO, Bill Wertman. “We’re excited to expand our services directly into TMH where we can meet patients and families where they are.”

Through FCCCC, Tallahassee Memorial HealthCare creates a strategic relationship that strengthens the community’s continuum of healthcare, said Mark O’Bryant, President & CEO of Tallahassee Memorial HealthCare

TMH and Big Bend Hospice are both community-based and locally governed,” O’Bryant said. “We are committed to creating models of care that improve quality of life and address needs across a person’s lifetime. The First Commerce Center for Compassionate Care will ensure that patients transition from hospital to hospice care in a seamless, respectful, and supportive manner. We proudly enhance our services by adding the end-of-life care that Big Bend Hospice has pioneered for four decades.”

The Big Bend Hospice Foundation is actively conducting a $5 million capital campaign for the First Commerce Center for Compassionate Care. The hospice inpatient unit is aptly named after First Commerce Credit Union for having helped launch this ground-breaking initiative with its foundational donation.

“As Tallahassee’s largest local credit union, we are committed to transforming the communities we serve,“ said First Commerce Credit Union CEO Cecilia Homison. “Together with the many others who contributed to this vision, we celebrate and share in the pride of knowing the new center will bring comfort to families for generations to come.”

For more information about the First Commerce Center for Compassionate Care, visit BigBendHospice.ORG.


About Big Bend Hospice 

Big Bend Hospice is a 40-year-old nonprofit agency and leading provider of end-of-life care, serving eight counties in the Big Bend area of Florida including: Franklin, Gadsden, Jefferson, Leon, Liberty, Madison, Taylor, and Wakulla. We are committed to providing comprehensive and compassionate care that meets the needs of the whole patient and family. If you would like information about services, please call 850-878-5310 or visit BigBendHospice.ORG

About Tallahassee Memorial HealthCare 

Founded in 1948, Tallahassee Memorial HealthCare (TMH) is a private, nonprofit community healthcare system committed to transforming care, advancing health, and improving lives with an ultimate vision to elevate the standards of healthcare practice, quality and innovation in the region. Serving a 21-county area in North Florida and South Georgia, TMH is comprised of a 772-bed acute care hospital, a surgery and adult ICU center, a psychiatric hospital, multiple specialty care centers, three residency programs, 38 affiliated physician practices and partnerships with Alliant Management Services, Apalachee Center, Calhoun Liberty Hospital, Capital Health Plan, Doctors’ Memorial Hospital, Florida State University College of Medicine, Radiology Associates, Weems Memorial Hospital and Wolfson Children’s Hospital. For more information, visit TMH.ORG