The Summit 2021

June 4  & 5, 2021

Hilton Orlando-Bonnet Creek Resort
14100 Bonnet Creek Resort Ln • Orlando, FL 32821

The Summit 2021

For the past three years, representatives from three dozen organizations throughout the State worked together as a Steering Committee to form the Florida Palliative Care Coalition and plan a quality-of-life Summit. The pandemic may have pushed back our timeline for our inaugural event, but it only enhanced our resolve to make a difference in the lives of our fellow Floridians since there are currently no formal activities or plan relative to palliative education, advocacy, awareness, access, and quality. With your support and involvement, the Coalition will be one voice, the axis for advancing palliative care in our state.

Leonard Hock, Florida Medical Directors Association

Steve Bahmer, LeadingAge Florida

Kim Streit, Florida Hospital Association

Jeri Francoeur, Florida Breast Cancer Foundation

Ken Goodman, University of Miami

Laura Morse, Florida Department of Health

Rebecca Gatian, Avow Hospice

Wendy Kraszewski, Stratum Health Services

Paul Malley, Aging with Dignity

Susan Ponder-Stansel, Alivia Care, Inc.

Scott Kistler, Empath Health

Gail Matillo, Florida Senior Living Association

Margherita Labson, Health Care Affiliated Network

Bobbie McKee, Moffitt Cancer Center/ CCRAB

Sheri Kittelson, University of Florida

Tony Carvajal, Florida Tax Watch

Bobby Lolley, Home Care Association of Florida

Vicki Caraway, Florida Cancer Specialists and Research Institute

Cantwell Holtz, Children’s Hospital-University of Miami

Jamie Wilson, Moffitt Cancer Center

Valerie Kenworthy, Hospice of Health First

Paula Ludwig, Hospice of Health First

Mike Simmons, Bridge Builder Strategies

Paul Ledford, FHPCA

Richard Noah, AVOW

Megan Wessel, American Cancer Society

Lauren Lane, Ascension St. Vincent’s



Attendee List

Ben Eby, Halifax Health Hospice

Bridget Highet, Halifax Health Hospice

Linda McIver, Halifax Health Hospice

Patricia Stanco, The ALS Association Florida Chapter

Sarah Ascher, AZ End of Life Care Partnership anchored at United Way of Tucson and Southern Az

Cal Cates, Healwell

Duenna Dorsett, Sunshine Health

Amanda Pellington, BayCare

Kashan Sanaz, Catholic Hospice

Jaysen Roa, Avow

Colleen Walters, BayCare Health System

Dian Backoff, Catholic Hospice

Ken Peach, Health Council of East Central Florida

Marc Kaprow, FOMA

Ken Kniepmann, Florida Conference of Catholic Bishops

Mariana Khawand-Azoulai, University of Miami Health System

Alicia Labrecque, Orlando Senior Health Network

Margarita Cunningham, Optum

Sara Beil, Wuesthoff Brevard Hospice & Palliative Care

Angela Fontenot, LHC Group, Inc

Carmelle Casimir, Optum

Rick Bourne, Hospice of Marion County

Melissa Allman, BAYADA Home Healthcare

Sally Covey, OPTUM

Clement K Gwede, H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center & Research institute

Rory Farrand, VITAS Palliative Care Corporate Office



Peggy Pettit, VITAS

Juan Palacios, US Department Of Veteran Affairs

Bruce Inverso, American Heart Association

Davis Baird, National Homes and Hospice Association

Jim Akin, FL – NASW

Mary Mayhew, Florida Hospital Association

Michael Lawton, United Healthcare

Nercy Radcliffe, Providence Healthcare Services

Sloane Karver, United Healthcare

Bill Novelli, C-TAC

Katy Lanz, Top Sight Partners | CAPC

Kimberly Comer, NAMI Palm Beach County

Aaron Bean, FL Senate

Margaret DiPasquale, BAYADA

David Totaro, BAYADA

Candace Dornstauder, Empath Health

Travis Blanton, Johnson & Blanton

Roger Lopez, United Homecare

Terry Hamilton, Lakeland Regional Health

Leslie Yadi, Lakeland Regional Health

Anna Cleveland, Agency for Health Care Administration – Medicaid Policy

William Scharf, Advent Health

Joanne Eason, FIve Wishes

Mary Thomas, Florida Medical Association

Marisette Hasan, Caroline Center

Jeffrey Goldhagen, UF – Jacksonville

Brenda Daniels, Baptist Health

Event Summary

The two-day groundbreaking of the Florida Palliative Care Coalition Summit opened on Friday, June 4, 2021, to a socially distanced invitation-only crowd of Florida’s 100 premier healthcare professionals at the Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek. The pandemic pushed back the summit’s original launch, but that only enhanced the Coalition’s resolve to create a pivotal event with nationally acclaimed speakers, one that would immediately and positively impact the lives of fellow Floridians. 

For the past three years, representatives from three dozen organizations throughout the State worked together as a Steering Committee to form the Florida Palliative Care Coalition and plan a quality-of-life summit. The summit opened with co-steering committee leaders Paul Ledford, President of the Florida Hospice & Palliative Care Association and Susan Ponder-Stansel, President and Chief Executive Officer of Alivia Care, Inc. followed by Dr. Sloan B. Karver, M.D.’s presentation on the “National Perspective”, and a discussion on “Shaping Better Care” by nationally renowned healthcare experts, Bill Novelli and Dr. Katy Lanz. The day closed with “Thinking Globally, Acting Locally” moderated by Mike Simmons with presenters Sarah Ascher, and Marisette Hasan. The next day’s agenda included additional innovative presentations and the formation of work groups focused on public policy and advocacy, professional education and practice, community outreach and partnerships, and community education. These work group are the heart of the future of

The mission of the Florida Palliative Care Coalition is to support and inspire the acceleration of solutions that promote a better quality of life for Floridians living with serious, chronic, or advanced illness through research, education, advocacy, and access to holistic healthcare. The Coalition’s goals are:

  • Create a greater understanding of the stakeholders involved in palliative care and their respective roles
  • Create a uniform definition of palliative care in Florida
  • Bring key stakeholders involved in palliative care together to help ensure access to care and improved quality of life
  • Partner with the Florida Cancer Control and Research Advisory Council (CCRAB) and incorporate their goals related to standards and education 
  • Garner support for palliative care and the policies needed to: Expand access to hospice and palliative care
  • Improve the quality of life for patients and families
  • Assure excellence in hospice and palliative care
  • Advocate for the needs of those in the final phases of life

The Founding Partners of the Summit are Alivia Care, Inc., Community Hospice & Palliative Care, Florida Hospice & Palliative Care Association, Suncoast Hospice, and Tidewell Hospice. The Summit sponsor is the Home Care Association of Florida.

As Bill Novelli said in his opening remarks, “We all want to be the authors of our lives.” This quote from Dr. Atul Gawande, M.D., a surgeon, writer, and public health leader sums up the mission of the Florida Palliative Care Coalition. This dynamic, newly formed Coalition is singularly focused on the acceleration of solutions to help people be the authors of their own lives.

Facility Information

Hilton Orlando-Bonnet Creek Resor
14100 Bonnet Creek Resort Ln.
Orlando, FL 32821

817 N Gadsden Street
Tallahassee, FL 32303



Contact Us