Tampa – Suncoast Hospice of Hillsborough, a member of Empath Health, announces the opening of its first inpatient unit inside St. Joseph’s Hospital March 20. Suncoast Hospice of Hillsborough Care Center at St. Joseph’s gives hospital patients a seamless transition into hospice care and access to specialized, short-term inpatient care for Suncoast Hospice of Hillsborough patients in the surrounding community. This is the first of its kind collaboration for Empath Health and BayCare Health System.

The Care Center features:

  • 10 private patient rooms comfortably furnished in a home-like manner including:
    • Recliners for visitor comfort
    • In-room private bathrooms
  • A family room where families and visitors can gather, eat meals or take a break.
  • Dedicated care team of hospice and palliative trained physicians, registered nurses, certified nursing assistants, social workers, therapists, spiritual care coordinators and trained volunteers.
  • Peaceful spaces designed with the comfort of patients and families top of mind.
  • 24/7 access for visitors.

“Empath Health is honored to partner with BayCare’s St. Joseph’s Hospital to provide this crucial piece of our hospice care,” said Empath Health President and CEO Jonathan Fleece. “St. Joseph’s is a trusted institution in the Tampa community and Suncoast Hospice of Hillsborough looks forward to being a positive, productive partner.”

“As a member of Empath Health, Suncoast Hospice of Hillsborough draws on decades of experience serving patients and families,” said Kerry Hoerner, Empath Health’s Chief Hospice Officer. “We are honored to have the opportunity to serve patients and families in Hillsborough County through our new Care Center.”

“We are excited to welcome such a well-respected hospice care provider to St. Joseph’s Hospital,” said Jennifer Kotwicki, director of operations, BayCare’s St. Joseph’s Hospital. “The ability to fill a community need further demonstrates BayCare’s commitment to clinical excellence at all stages of care.”

Suncoast Hospice of Hillsborough Care Center at St. Joseph’s is located on the hospital’s main campus at 3001 W. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. in Tampa on the 8th floor of the East building. Visit SuncoastHospice.org to learn more.


About Suncoast Hospice of Hillsborough

Suncoast Hospice of Hillsborough, as a member of Empath Health, is a nonprofit provider of compassionate hospice care and bereavement support services in Hillsborough County. We are honored to serve patients and families in Hillsborough County since 2021 and will continue to lead with the highest quality care. We focus on bringing holistic comfort and dignity to patients through our medical and integrative treatment, emotional and spiritual care and palliative and support services. Families and caregivers also are comforted with education, support and healing. Suncoast Hospice of Hillsborough is accredited by the Joint Commission. Learn more at SuncoastHospice.org.

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 approximately 26,000 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.

About St. Joseph’s Hospital

St. Joseph’s Hospital, part of the BayCare Health System, is known for advanced medical technology and compassionate care. Its Centers of Excellence include the Heart and Vascular Institute, Cancer Institute, Stroke and Neuroscience Program, Robotic Surgery Program and Emergency/Trauma Department, which provides more emergency care than any other hospital in Tampa Bay. More than 70 specialties are represented among the medical team, including internal medicine, cardiovascular surgery and neurosurgery. The hospital was founded in 1934 by the Franciscan Sisters of Allegany. The 615-bed hospital is located at 3001 West Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard in Tampa, Florida. For more information: BayCare.org/SJH.