Welcome to Extraordinary Stories of Empath Health. In this space we highlight our fantastic colleagues and the extraordinary work they do to make Empath Health’s Full Life Care a daily reality for the patients and families we serve. Join us as we demonstrate the ways in which our colleagues exemplify Empath’s core values: Eternally Hopeful, Profoundly Helpful, Lovingly Truthful, Confidently Skillful and Courageously Impactful.

Today we have Extraordinary Stories of Empath Health to share from three different service lines.


Haydee Ayala, Volunteer Coordinator

Suncoast Hospice Social Worker Helen Stellrecht and Volunteer Coordinator Haydee Ayala recently organized a special pinning ceremony for a patient who was an Army veteran.

Among four generations of family members attending the pinning ceremony were the patient’s grandson and his great-grandchild, whom the patient was meeting for the first time. The grandson, who was visiting from California, agree to read the appreciation letter and pin the patient.

It was then that the patient’s wife and daughter revealed, through tears of joy, that the patient had once flown to California to pin the same grandson when he graduated from the U.S. Coast Guard. The grandson’s pinning of his grandfather completed the circle for a grateful and proud family.


Diane Muzio, Speech Language Pathologist and Mary Milne,
Talent Development Facilitator

Empath Home Health Speech Language Pathologist Diane Muzio made life-changing progress with a 31-year-old client. The client had been largely nonverbal since the age of 13.

Within 15 visits, Muzio pinpointed a more accurate diagnosis that led to new support and treatment. Updated medication, new teeth and the results of a swallow study that showed the client’s capacity to swallow at a certain angle, helped the client with food intake, and she gained weight. She soon began speaking words and phrases that could be understood.

It was an incredible transformation for the client and her family.



Trish Griesmeyer, Registered Nurse

Jacalyn Goehring, LPN Home Care Coordinator

The final Extraordinary Story comes from the Suncoast PACE program. The PACE mission is to keep seniors safe and improve their quality of life through excellent and compassionate healthcare, socialization in the Adult Day Center and many forms of life enrichment in their homes.

Following is a letter from the daughter of a PACE participant after the participant passed way.


Dear PACE family,

Thank you for the loving care you provided to my mom. When I first contacted the PACE program in Spring 2020, everything in my mom’s life was chaos and I wasn’t sure how to fix it. I didn’t need to worry. Everyone involved worked to provide excellent care to my mom, who we know was never the easiest patient. Please know that my mom was deeply grateful for everything and everyone at PACE, even though she didn’t always express that. I want to give special thanks to Nurse Trish (Griesmeyer) who is one of the best humans I’ve ever met. Her kindness and professionalism never ceased to amaze me. Her communication skills were top-notch too! Also, Nurse Jacalyn Goehring always took time to chat with my mom and with me when I was visiting. Everyone on the team was amazing, the Doctor, the Occupational Therapists, the Social Workers, and especially the Caregivers.


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