It’s Official!

May 1, 2023 marks the date of the official affiliation between Hospice of Marion County (HMC) and Empath Health. All formal approvals were received and closing documents are signed. The collaborative efforts of coming together now begin.

During the coming months, Empath Health and HMC will form workgroups around clinical operations, human resources, business development, marketing and communications, IT, facilities, finance and all other programs and departments vital the mission of providing Full Life Care to all. These workgroups will focus on reviewing and streamlining best practices, integrating teams, outlining and prioritizing affiliation projects, and making recommendations on how to affiliate our organizations in intentional and meaningful ways to positively impact the communities we serve.

Community-based, not-for-profit HMC is now an affiliate member of Empath Health, along with Suncoast Hospice, Suncoast Hospice of Hillsborough and Tidewell Hospice, already serving the west central and southwest areas of Florida. Empath will also begin hospice operations in Polk, Highlands and Hardee counties later this year.

“We are so pleased to have reached this final milestone in our new affiliation,” said Rick Bourne, CEO of Hospice of Marion County. “It has been our objective to partner with an organization like Empath Health and we couldn’t have found another organization more closely aligned with our core values and dedication to providing life-changing hospice care to our communities.”

HMC has served the community since 1983. Its service excellence has been recognized by the Joint Commission with Deemed Status exhibiting that it not only meets but exceeds standards set by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid. In addition to hospice services, the agency includes Carewell Supportive Care, a palliative care provider for pain and symptom management, and durable medical equipment supplier Accent Medical that serves hospice patients and families and sells directly to the public. HMC also boasts four thrift stores that financially support the organization and will be establishing a foundation to ensure all donation monies remain in and continue to benefit the patient programs of Marion County.

Jonathan Fleece, President and CEO of Empath Health, said, “Today is the official day we come together and affiliate our organizations. Our vision of coming together to provide Full Life Care for all to even more people is coming to light. We are extremely excited about working together for the benefit of our patients, families, business partners and colleagues.”