Post-acute health care providers Empath Health and Stratum Health System, which merged late last year, will be moving forward under the Empath Health brand. The merger made the combined company the largest nonprofit post-acute health system in the United States. The company’s hospice subsidiaries —Tidewell Hospice and Suncoast Hospice — will not rebrand.
Their merged enterprise provides hospice, private duty and skilled home health care, physician services, palliative care, primary care, a PACE program and an HIV medical clinic. The combined company will include approximately 2,000 employees and as many as 4,000 volunteers with an estimated gross revenue of $300 million annually. Empath has a average daily census of approximately 6,000 and serves about 50,000 patients per year.
Empath Health’s Sciullo is the first CEO of the combined company, with former Stratum CEO Jonathan Fleece serving as president. Fleece is expected to succeed Sciullo as CEO after he retires in 2023, following completion of the companies’ integration.
“The naming project was very enlightening — and very rewarding,” said Sciullo. “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.”
Empath conducted several months of research, including more than 5,000 interviews with personnel from each company. While Tidewell and Suncoast will keep their current names, Empath is reviewing the brand identities of its other service lines and subsidiaries.
Their agenda for 2021 and beyond will include expanding their PACE programs, home health and palliative care operations, as well as services to address social determinants of health, among other initiatives. The ultimate goal is to create an integrated continuum of chronic care management.
“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,” Fleece said. “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.”