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Health care nonprofit CEO to retire

Rafael Sciullo will officially step down on Jan. 11 after being with Empath Health since 2013.

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  • | 1:30 p.m. January 5, 2023
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In just a few days, the Empath Health CEO will officially retire after more than 40 years in the health care industry. 

Rafael Sciullo is set to retire Jan. 11. He began his career with Empath Health when it was just Suncoast Hospice in 2013. Empath Health, a Clearwater-based entity, is now the parent organization to 17 health care affiliates and two philanthropic foundations, all of which include Suncoast Hospice and Tidewell Hospice. 

Upon arrival, Sciullo set out to accomplish a goal of creating an integrated network of care particularly for advanced chronic and terminal illness, as well as those dealing with grief. Under his leadership, Empath Health was created in 2014. 

Throughout his time with the organization, Sciullo oversaw the merger of AIDS Service Association of Pinellas and Francis House that combined to form Empath Partners in Care, as well as the merger that brought Empath Health and Stratum Health System together. The latter merger expanded the organization’s footprint to Manatee, Sarasota, Charlotte and DeSoto counties. 

Also under his leadership, Empath Health signed a memorandum of understanding with Hospice of Marion County that will affiliate the latter organization with Empath Health.

“It’s been an honor and privilege to serve at the helm of Empath Health since 2013,” Sciullo says in a release. “My goal has always been to ensure our quality full life care continues at the highest levels and to look for ways to share it on a broader level.”

The Suncoast Hospice Foundation and Tidewell Foundation boards voted to establish an endowed scholarship fund for those pursuing an education in full-life care in honor of Sciullo’s retirement.  

“When the time came to discuss how we as an organization would honor Rafael’s legacy, we thought about his dedication to creating a culture for Empath Health colleagues where everyone feels seen and heard; and we thought about his passion for removing barriers – systemic, social and otherwise,” says Ben Hayes, Empath Health's incoming board chair. “Given who Rafael is, we knew the best gift we could give him was to give to others.” 

Empath Health is a nonprofit health system that provides non-acute care and services to support those with chronic, advanced and terminal illnesses and those experiencing grief. 


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