Empath Health President and CEO Rafael J. Sciullo

Empath Health President and CEO Rafael J. Sciullo

During National Hospice and Palliative Care Month in November, we join in celebrating the tremendous care and comfort hospices bring to countless patients and families across our nation.

For nearly 40 years, we at Suncoast Hospice have been honored to be the local community hospice provider in Pinellas County. Our teams are privileged to walk along these extraordinary journeys of comfort and healing at these most precious times at life’s end.

Legacy of Care

Our founding volunteers dreamed and shaped our care of helping the sick, dying and families so that no one would be alone or in pain. Throughout our mission, we’ve been there to serve many generations to live as fully as possible during an illness, loss and grief. From medical treatment to volunteer and emotional support to caregiver education, we embrace and comfort everyone with expertise, open hearts and understanding.

Nurse Nini Covert helps family members Linda Rabe and Darlene Bennett during their mother's care.

Suncoast Hospice Care Center Mid-Pinellas RN Nini Covert helped support sisters Linda Rabe and Darlene Bennett during their mother’s care.

“We understand people’s feelings. We’re all about intuition and anticipation. We’re ambassadors for compassion, hope and inspiration. That’s how we help people in what they’re going through. It’s all an honor and our spiritual care is particularly distinguishing for our organization. We support the uplifting of people’s spirits,” said Rafael J. Sciullo, Empath Health president and CEO.

Expanded Mission

As part of our Empath Health integrated network of care spanning across Tampa Bay, we continue to cherish our values, commitment and growth of care to meet the needs of everyone who needs us in our community.

“We must look at ways in which we can impact people’s lives and deaths even more. We’ve built on the wonderful work of Suncoast Hospice. It’s all about touching as many lives as we can, and that’s happening,” Sciullo said.

With the community’s generous support and partnerships, we’ve expanded in several regions, programs and services. Our palliative care services, Suncoast PACE (Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly) and ASAP (AIDS Service Association of Pinellas) are three primary areas that recently have grown and flourished.

Our palliative care provides an additional layer of medical support and comfort to patients and families facing the discomfort and stress of serious illnesses. Our consultation services now are offered in a clinic, several hospitals and long-term care facilities as well patients’ own homes. “This program is much needed and continues to grow in importance. We have to meet people where they are,” he said.

Participants Walter Herbert and Margaret Drayton groove at ball.

Suncoast PACE Participants Walter Herbert and Margaret Drayton groove at a ball at the day center.

Caring for and supporting chronically-ill seniors to live healthy and independently at home is Suncoast PACE. Sciullo shared, “Our PACE program continues to grow. When you walk through our adult day care center you’ll know why that program exists. You can tell that our participants feel safe, a sense of security and their needs are taken care of.”

A new partnership between ASAP and Francis House, a longtime Tampa-based HIV services organization, is getting ready to serve our community across Pinellas and Hillsborough counties. “These are two legacy-based organizations that provide services, outreach and care for those impacted by HIV and create healing journeys for them. We’re advancing and growing our mission. It’s going to cross the region and really create a strong force together. The community’s excited about this. It’s going to do great things,” he said.

We’re Here for You

Caring for a loved one and need some extra support? Call us for more information and guidance about services at 727-467-7423 or contact us online.