St. Francis Reflections Feature Story in Merritt Island Now

Growing to Meet the Needs of Our Community – St. Francis Reflections Brings Compassionate Hospice and Respite Care to Central Brevard

St. Francis Reflections Lifestage Care in partnership with Courtenay Springs Village is pleased to announce the opening of their newly-renovated hospice inpatient unit. This brings a new option for hospice and respite care closer to home for the residents of Central Brevard, Merritt Island and the beaches.

Teresa Kennedy, RHF Regional Nurse Consultant and Jennifer Creel, BSN, RN, CHPN, Director of Clinical Operations

St. Francis Reflections Lifestage Care – Brevard’s first and only independent non-profit hospice – was established in 1977. Emilie Sasko, R.N., created St. Francis Reflections Lifestage Care because of the need she saw for higher levels of care, and for understanding and compassion for patients nearing the end of their lives. Locally based, independent and non-profit, St. Francis Reflections Lifestage Care was licensed in 1990 as a provider of services for Medicare and Medicaid patients. St. Francis Reflections has grown over the years to serve the entire Space Coast as a provider of hospice, palliative care and grief support.

“St. Francis Reflections considered the accessibility and comfort of our patients and their loved ones to be our top priority when opening our newest inpatient unit,” said Joe Killian, President and CEO of St. Francis Reflections. “We have a long-standing relationship with Courtenay Springs Village and look forward to collaborating further to help bring comfort to those dealing with serious illness in Central Brevard.”

Typically, hospice care is provided anywhere a patient calls home. Often that is in the patient’s home or the home of a family member, but it could also be a nursing home or assisted living facility. If pain or symptoms cannot be adequately managed in home, a short-term stay at St. Francis Reflections Inpatient Center allows expert interdisciplinary teams to provide advanced care to ease acute symptoms. A key component of hospice care is supporting the caregivers. Respite stays may be scheduled at the hospice inpatient center, offering the family a break from caregiving while still providing confidence that their loved ones are being cared for with compassion and dignity.

At Courtenay Springs Village, their mission is to provide housing options for older adults in an environment that enhances their quality of life physically, mentally, and spiritually. Retirement Housing Foundation (RHF) is one of the nation’s largest non-profit providers of housing and services for older adults, persons with disabilities, and low-income families. Courtenay Springs Village is proud to be a Retirement Housing Foundation community, offering affordable living options and services to older adults.

“We are proud to partner with St. Francis Reflections and provide inpatient hospice and respite services at Courtenay Springs Village Health Center. Together, we are meeting the need for greater access to hospice care close to home.” said Michael Rivera, East Coast RHS Administrator.

Located at 1100 South Courtenay Pkwy in Merritt Island, the St. Francis Reflections inpatient unit at Courtenay Springs Health Center features all private rooms with en suite bathrooms and 24/7 facility access for family members,in accordance with current health guidelines and safety protocols from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Families also enjoy a shared kitchenette with food provided by the facility, as well as a tranquil outdoor space which provides a peaceful environment for mediation and reflection.

St. Francis Reflections clinical staff works to care for hospice patients at the new Courtenay Springs center.

“We are very excited for this opportunity to serve the central part of Brevard County. This is such a nice addition for this area to be able to care for patients close to where they live,” said Jennifer Creel, BSN, RN, CHPN, Director of Clinical Operations for St. Francis Reflections. “We have a team of physicians, nurses, hospice aides, social workers, chaplains, bereavement counselors and volunteers who are ready and eager to provide care. Courtenay Springs Village has been a wonderful partner as their belief in our mission has been paramount to a successful opening.”

St. Francis Reflection currently operates The Edward M. Poe Hospice Care Center, named for long- time Titusville resident and business owner Edward M. Poe. The center was constructed in 2013 and is located on three beautiful acres in Titusville.

Our expansion continues into early 2022, when we will open a 10-bed inpatient hospice care center in partnership with Melbourne Regional Medical Center.

“At St. Francis Reflections, we are always looking for ways to bring quality and compassionate services to the community we’re so blessed to serve,” said Lauren Loftis, Chief Medical Officer for St. Francis Reflections.

The St. Francis Reflections Foundation is the charitable arm of the non-profit organization. Through their fundraising efforts and generous donations, St. Francis Reflections provides exceptional care to our community during their greatest time of need. Our corporate partner in compassion, Home Depot, has generously donated supplies and labor for the Courtney Springs Village outdoors beautification project, including new benches and a new flagpole to honor our Veterans.

St. Francis Reflections is currently recruiting volunteers to staff the Reception Desk, where visitors receive a warm welcome. There are many ways hospice volunteers ease and uplift the lives of hospice patients and those who love them. Every task is important. Every smile is welcomed. Every day in service to others is precious. Volunteers bring cheer to our patients and provide assistance in our offices. If you are interested in learning more, visit or call 1-321-269-4240.

At St. Francis Reflections, everything we do, everything we are and everything we believe is captured in our mission statement: Uplifting Lives, Uplifting Each Other, and Uplifting Our Community. What we do for patients and families is not a job, a task or a requirement. It is a responsibility – and a privilege – to which we have dedicated ourselves in service to the community. We’re deeply grateful for the confidence Brevard County residents have shown in us since 1977.

We are Brevard’s longest-serving hospice for a very specific reason: we are the local, independent, non-profit team who is dedicated to caring for patients and supporting loved ones.

For more information about St. Francis Reflections Lifestage Care, please visit or follow on Facebook @StFrancisReflections.

For more information about Courtenay Springs Village, please visit

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