Empath Health’s Executive Team Takes Shape Following Merger with Stratum

Empath Health is assembling its senior leadership team as it moves forward with integration following last year’s move to merge with Stratum Health. Executive-level positions will oversee strategy and integration, operations, legal affairs and finance areas of the recently created nonprofit hospice provider. 

The two Florida-based companies combined forces last February in a merge that formed the combined Empath Health organization. Empath currently operates Suncoast Hospice and Tidewell Hospice, both in Florida. The two companies joined forces with the intention to offer a continuum of home- and community-based care.

“I am proud of the stellar qualities and expertise this leadership team brings to our organization, coupled with a deep understanding of our focus on the mission for serving our communities as a nonprofit,” said Empath Health CEO Rafael Sciullo. “This team will help shape Empath Health’s next chapter so we can serve even more people during some of the most challenging times of their lives.”


Empath Health’s network provides hospice, palliative and home health care to more than 7,000 patients daily across the Tampa Bay and Southwest Florida regions. The merged enterprise’s scope of services also includes private duty, physician services, palliative care, home-based primary care, a Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE) program and an HIV medical clinic. Empath employs approximately 2,000 employees with as many as 4,000 volunteers.

Oversight of the Empath’s managed care initiatives will come from Randal Currin, Jr., chief mission strategy and integration officer. Currin takes the helm of internal project management and staff training with more than 13 years of health care administration experience and after recently serving as president and CEO of Blake Medical Center, an HCA Healthcare (NYSE: HCA) hospital.

Hospice utilization runs high in Florida compared to other states, reaching a rate of 57.9% of Medicare decedents during 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.


Gusty demographic tailwinds are advancing hospice utilization in the Sunshine State. Adults 60 and older represent more than half of the overall population growth between 2012 and 2030, according to a 2014 report from the Florida Assisted Living Federation of America (FIFA). That represents a rise of 4.8 million seniors.

Lynne Craver will serve as Empath’s chief mission implementation officer, leading the organization’s partnerships with hospice and other health care organizations to provide technology, financial and other services. Craver joined Empath in 2013 and served in patient admission, electronic medical record and technology roles before taking a leadership position.

“With mission being at the center of our purpose and service at Empath Health, these senior leaders will focus on continuing that charge so we never waver in truly being the leaders in life-changing care,” said Empath President Jonathan Fleece.

Following the merge with Stratum, Empath Health expects annual gross revenue of $300 million. Leading the company’s financial operations will be Saida Bouhamid, Empath’s new chief mission financial officer. Bouhamid oversaw financial operations for Stratum and its subsidiaries, serving as Tidewell Hospice’s chief operating officer and CFO for the last decade, bringing more than 20 years of experience in health care reimbursement and financial management.

Chief Legal & Mission Excellence Officer Alan Weldy, who joined Stratum last year, will manage legal affairs, safety, quality and compliance. Weldy comes with more than 30 years of legal experience and roughly a decade of background in health care compliance.

The search to round out Empath Health’s senior leadership team continues as it continues a nationwide hunt for a chief mission access officer. The role is aimed at ensuring equitable access to the hospice provider’s community-based programs and services.

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