Two Florida-based health systems get board approval for merger

The board of directors for Empath Health and Stratum Health System have formally approved the merger of the two organizations, pending regulatory approval.

The merger will create the country’s largest not-for-profit health system delivering non-acute care, and services, through its medical and holistic programs to individuals with chronic, advanced and terminal illnesses, according to a statement.

Empath Health’s integrated care network supports patients with chronic, advanced and terminal illness in greater Tampa Bay. Its family of services includes Suncoast Hospice.

Stratum Health System is focused on managing the continuum of care through hospice and home-based care throughout Southwest Florida. Tidewell Hospice is Stratum’s most recognized brand.

Rafael Sciullo, president and CEO of Empath Health, and Jonathan Fleece, president and CEO of Stratum Health System, will work together in the newly-formed entity. Sciullo will serve as the CEO and Fleece will serve as the president of the yet-to-be-named new organization.

Sciullo previously announced his plans for retirement in January 2023. At that time, Fleece will become the president and CEO of the new organization.

Empath Health/Suncoast Hospice and Stratum Health System/Tidewell Hospice will continue to operate under those respective names.

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