May 11,2021 — Empath Health and Stratum Health System announced today that their merged organizations will be known as Empath Health. The two not-for-profit care organizations have joined together in a merger of equals to create 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 naming announcement follows several months of research, including more than 5,000 hours of interviews with colleagues and stakeholders from both organizations. The brand identity and naming for the corporate entities of the new organization is still under review. However the two legacy hospices—Tidewell Hospice and Suncoast Hospice—will continue to operate under their existing brands.

“The naming project was very enlightening—and very rewarding,” said Rafael Sciullo, CEO of the new organization. “Although the people interviewed were separated by organizations and sometimes by service lines, the sentiments and strengths mirrored one another. The similarities between the Empath and Stratum organizations were almost uncanny. Many shared that they themselves identify as empaths: those who can deeply sense the feelings and experiences of others.”

President Jonathan Fleece agreed, saying: “Our colleagues have a gift for connecting with those we serve, for entering into another person’s experience and bringing ease, care, and of course, empathy. The name ‘Empath Health’ feels like a natural progression for the Stratum colleagues because it is a name they have always embodied, and it now is a name they are proud to wear.”

The combined Empath Health organization will serve over 6,000 individuals a day, 50,000 annually, creating a bridge between chronic, advanced and terminal care and providing seamless integration based on individual needs.  In addition, it will provide a variety of community-based programs that reflect their commitment to the preservation of their charitable missions.


About Empath Health

Empath Health is a leading Tampa Bay, Florida nonprofit, integrated network of care that provides expert medical, counseling and support services to comfort anyone facing chronic or advanced illness or grief. We began in 1977 as Suncoast Hospice and today, our care teams serve hospice, home health, palliative, veteran and pediatric patients, aging seniors, clients with HIV/AIDS, families and caregivers. We also provide advance directives assistance, HIV/STI prevention, services and education, as well as grief and crisis counseling.

Since 1977, Suncoast Hospice has been honored to be Pinellas County’s not-for-profit provider of compassionate hospice care and bereavement support services for patients and families nearing the final stages of life or grieving the deaths of loved ones. As an Empath Health member, we focus on bringing holistic comfort and dignity through our medical and integrative treatment, emotional and spiritual care and palliative and support services. Families and caregivers also are comforted with training, support and healing. Suncoast Hospice is accredited by The Joint Commission.

About Stratum Health System

Founded in 2015, Stratum Health System was created as a not-for-profit integrated health care network to oversee and support the missions of Tidewell Hospice, Approved Home Health, Avidity Home Health, Connexis Medical Services, SCATA Real Estate and Treasures Thrift Shop. Its foundation is based on the strong reputation, financial strength and capacity for growth established by Tidewell Hospice since 1980.

Since 1980, Tidewell Hospice has been an independent, not-for-profit health provider offering a home-centered, comprehensive system of end-of-life and palliative care for people living with advanced illness and their families.  Annually, Tidewell provides care for nearly 10,000 patients throughout its four-county service area of Sarasota, Manatee, Charlotte and DeSoto counties. As the region’s only not-for-profit hospice, Tidewell relies on donor contributions to provide a number of its acclaimed patient and community services. Tidewell is accredited by the Community Health Accreditation Partner (CHAP) with deemed status, signifying excellent care and meeting Medicare’s conditions of participation.