Empath Health is assembling its leadership team to drive integration following last year’s merger with Stratum Health. Leadership positions will oversee strategy and integration, operations, legal affairs and finance for the recently established nonprofit hospice provider
The two Florida-based companies joined forces last February in a merger to form the joint organization Empath Health. Empath currently operates the Suncoast Hospice and the Tidewell Hospice, both in Florida. The two companies have partnered with the intent to offer a continuum of home and community-based care.
“I am proud of the exceptional qualities and expertise that this leadership team brings to our organization, coupled with a deep understanding of our focus on our mission to serve our communities as a nonprofit,” said Rafael Sciullo, CEO of Empath Health. “This team will help shape the next chapter of Empath Health so that we can support even more people in some of the toughest times of their lives.”
Empath Health’s network provides hospice, palliative and home health care to more than 7,000 patients daily in the Tampa Bay and Southwest Florida areas. The merged company will also provide private services, medical services, palliative care, primary home care, an all-inclusive care program for the elderly (PACE) and an HIV clinic. Empath employs around 2,000 people with up to 4,000 volunteers.
Randal Currin, Jr., Chief Mission Strategy and Integration Officer, will oversee the Empath’s managed care initiatives. Currin leads internal project management and employee training with more than 13 years of healthcare administration experience and recently served as President and CEO of Blake Medical Center, an HCA Healthcare (NYSE: HCA) hospital.
Hospice use is high in Florida compared to other states, reaching a rate of 57.9% of Medicare deaths in 2018, according to the National Hospice & Palliative Care Organization. This was the fourth highest rate in the nation that year, with only Utah (60.5%), Delaware (59.4%), and Arizona (58.8%) seeing higher rates.
A gusty demographic tailwind is driving hospice use in the Sunshine State. According to a 2014 report by the Florida Assisted Living Federation of America (FIFA), adults over 60 account for more than half of the total population growth between 2012 and 2030. This corresponds to an increase of 4.8 million senior citizens.
Lynne Craver will serve as Empath’s chief mission implementation officer and lead the organization’s partnerships with hospice and other health organizations to provide technology, finance and other services. Craver joined Empath in 2013 and worked in the patient admission, electronic medical record, and technology sectors before assuming an executive position.
“With mission at the heart of our purpose and service at Empath Health, these senior leaders will focus on continuing this role so that we never hesitate to truly be the leaders in life changing care,” said Jonathan Fleece, president of Empath.
After the merger with Stratum, Empath Health expects gross annual sales of $ 300 million. The company’s finance department will be led by Saida Bouhamid, Empath’s new Chief Mission Financial Officer. Bouhamid oversaw the financial operations of Stratum and its subsidiaries, served as Chief Operating Officer and CFO of Tidewell Hospice for the past decade, and brought over 20 years of healthcare reimbursement and financial management experience.
Alan Weldy, Chief Legal & Mission Excellence Officer, who joined Stratum last year, will lead legal affairs, safety, quality and compliance. Weldy has more than 30 years of legal experience and approximately a decade of healthcare compliance experience.
The quest to complete the senior leadership team at Empath Health continues, while the nationwide search for a Chief Mission Access Officer continues. The role aims to ensure equal access to the community-based programs and services of the hospice provider.