Jonathan D. Fleece, President & CEO of Empath Health and its Affiliates

Lakewood Ranch and Clearwater – Jonathan D. Fleece has been named President and CEO of Empath Health and its Affiliate Programs, effective January 12, 2023. Fleece was most recently Empath Health President as well as President and CEO of Tidewell Hospice, a member of Empath Health. This transition follows the retirement of previous CEO Rafael J. Sciullo.

Fleece became President of Empath Health in 2021following the merger of Empath Health and Stratum Health System. Prior to the merger, he was named President and CEO of Stratum and Tidewell Hospice in 2018 after a 24-year career as a leading health care attorney, consultant, and advisor to major health systems across Florida and the country.  Prior to becoming Stratum’s CEO, Fleece was also a Stratum and Tidewell board member and was instrumental to Stratum’s strategic expansions and success.

“I am truly honored to be the next leader of Empath Health. Being Empath’s CEO is much more than a job for me. It’s my life’s work and passion,” said Fleece. “When Empath and Stratum came together, a strong leadership succession plan was very important to me and Rafael. Expanding new affiliates and access to Empath’s premier services is a top strategic imperative for the organization. The extraordinary Full Life Care we provide for those with chronic, serious, or advanced illnesses, and for those who are grieving, is essential. Making sure Empath’s specialized care continues to be available in the communities we serve and looking for opportunities in additional communities is of the utmost importance to me so that we can serve more people.”

In addition, Fleece serves on the board of the Florida Hospice and Palliative Care Association and chairs its Public Policy Committee. He is a member of the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization and of HomeCare 100. He received his juris doctor and Certificate in Health Law Studies from Saint Louis University School of Law and his bachelor’s degree from Emory University. Fleece is the co-author of “The New Age: The Future of Health Care in America,” with David Houle. Fleece and Houle are founders of tobe4HEALTH.

Ben Hayes, Empath Health incoming board chair, said “The board looks forward to working with Jonathan as we begin Empath’s exciting next chapter. We have tremendous confidence in his talents, experience, leadership record, and health care vision for continuing Empath’s important work and envisioning new opportunities that align with our mission to provide extraordinary full life care for all.”


About Empath Health
Empath Health is the country’s largest not-for-profit health system delivering non-acute care and services through its skilled, medical and holistic programs to individuals with chronic, advanced and terminal illnesses and those experiencing grief. The Empath Health integrated network of care provides expert medical, counseling and support services including hospice; home health; palliative care; grief services; all-inclusive elder care; HIV/STI prevention services and support; primary care; physician services; and full-service pharmacy and durable medical equipment (DME). Empath Health is honored to have more than 23,000 people enrolled in our Full Life Care services in north central, west central and southwest Florida. We have nearly 90 combined years of experience serving individuals during some of their most vulnerable times. Our wide variety of community-based programs reflects our commitment to the preservation of our charitable mission.