Clearwater and Lakewood Ranch – Empath Health announces the retirement of its Chief Executive Officer Rafael J. Sciullo January 11, 2023 following a career spanning more than 40 years in healthcare.
Sciullo came to the organization as Suncoast Hospice in 2013. Realizing the impending changes in the healthcare landscape would have a profound effect on the organization, Sciullo set out to create an integrated network of care focused on advanced, chronic and terminal illness and those experiencing grief. That visionary leadership led to the creation of Empath Health in 2014.
In his time at Empath, Sciullo has overseen the merger of two of the area’s largest HIV services organizations to form Empath Partners in Care (EPIC) and the merger of Empath Health with Stratum Health System, expanding the Empath Health footprint to Manatee, Sarasota, Charlotte and Desoto counties. Most recently under Sciullo’s leadership, Empath was granted approval to open a new hospice in Hillsborough County in 2021 and a new hospice in Polk, Highlands and Hardee counties later this year. Additionally, Empath and Hospice of Marion County signed a memorandum of understanding in August 2022 to begin the process of affiliating the two organizations.
Sciullo was also responsible for the expansion of home health care, private duty care, community-based grief services, all-inclusive elder care and palliative care in the Tampa Bay area since his arrival. Today, Empath Health is the parent organization to 17 healthcare affiliates and two philanthropic foundations, and has more than 23,000 individuals enrolled in its full life care programs in north central, west central and southwest Florida.
Sciullo said, “It’s been an honor and privilege to serve at the helm of Empath Health since 2013. My goal has always been to ensure our quality full life care continues at the highest levels and to look for ways to share it on a broader level.”
In honor of Sciullo’s retirement, the Suncoast Hospice Foundation and Tidewell Foundation boards approved the establishment of an endowed scholarship fund focused on education in full life care.
“When the time came to discuss how we as an organization would honor Rafael’s legacy, we thought about his dedication to creating a culture for Empath Health colleagues where everyone feels seen and heard; and we thought about his passion for removing barriers – systemic, social and otherwise. Given who Rafael is, we knew the best gift we could give him was to give to others,” said Ben Hayes, Empath Health incoming board chair.
For more information about the scholarship, contact the Suncoast Hospice Foundation at SuncoastHospiceFoundation.org or call (727) 523-2441 or the Tidewell Foundation at TidewellFoundation.org or (941) 552-7546.
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 22,000 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.