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Final senior-level position of health care merger filled

The new position will focus on the growth of the customer-driven organization.

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  • | 1:21 p.m. December 13, 2021
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Courtesy. Rhonda Sanders joins the health care merger as the new chief mission access officer.
Courtesy. Rhonda Sanders joins the health care merger as the new chief mission access officer.
  • Manatee-Sarasota
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SARASOTA — Following several months of searching, Empath Health has filled its last of five senior level positions. 

The nonprofit hospice organization named Rhonda Sanders the chief mission access officer to help Empath grow as a customer-driven organization. She’ll also be focused on sparking growth in consumers, payors and referral sources for each service line, according to a statement.

The position was designed to serve the newly merged nonprofit created by the merger of Empath Health and Stratum Health System. The life care provider serves the Tampa Bay region and Southwest Florida for those with chronic and advanced illnesses, as well as those dealing with grief. 

“For us to be successful in redefining healthcare as Full Life Care for all, we know we need bold and innovative approaches to creating access to services,” Empath Health CEO Rafael Sciullo says in a press release. “After a wide and deliberate search, we are confident that we have found just the right person to create that strategy and lead us forward in achieving that vision.”

Sanders brings more than 18 years of experience to the table through her career in regional and senior sales leadership in hospice and home care. Prior to this position, Sanders served as VP of business development for Amedisys Home Health in Texas. 

“Rhonda’s approach to leadership demonstrates her focus on patient experience, colleague development and retention,” says Jonathan Fleece, president of Empath Health, “as well as her ability to create partnerships and collaborations that ensure patients have access to a continuum of care.” 

Empath Health and Stratum Health System entered formal discussions to merge the two early last year

The move combined two integrated networks of care that share a commitment to the preservation of their charitable missions of nonprofit hospice, home care and community-based services. The health care system serves the Tampa Bay area and southwest Florida. 


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