VITAS® Healthcare launches services in Florida’s Treasure Coast and Okeechobee County

Categories: People & Places.

Starting July 8, new service area responds to growing need for hospice and palliative care offerings.

VITAS Healthcare, the nation’s leading provider of end-of-life care, will accept hospice-eligible patients in Martin, St. Lucie and Okeechobee counties through its new office in Stuart, Florida, starting Monday, July 8, 2019. Healthcare professionals may contact the Stuart office at 772.281.5293 for referral information or download the VITAS referral app at for one-touch referrals, VITAS locations and hospice eligibility guidelines.

Overseeing the Treasure Coast program is General Manager Susan Acocella, who brings over 20 years of experience managing VITAS hospice operations to her new role. Since joining VITAS in 1996, Susan has managed program operations in Broward, Palm Beach and Brevard counties and brings patient-focused care and extensive knowledge of healthcare and community partnerships.

“We are ready to expand access to hospice and palliative care services for the Treasure Coast and Okeechobee communities, which have a growing need for quality end-of-life services, so patients and caregivers have the physical, emotional, social and spiritual support they need at the end-of-life,” said Acocella.

Since its founding 40 years ago in Florida, VITAS has cared for more than 1.5 million patients nationally. As the number of seniors in Florida continues to grow, VITAS is committed to entering new markets to provide access to communities in need of high-quality hospice services. Today, VITAS employs over 1,200 healthcare and corporate professionals in Florida who care for 10,000 patients daily.

With more than 40 years of hospice expertise, VITAS brings its unique suite of end-of-life care services and resources to improve the quality of life for hospice eligible patients and their families.

VITAS services for hospice-eligible Treasure Coast and Okeechobee patients starting on July 8 include:

  • Admissions personnel available 24/7/365—at the convenience of the family or upon the request of the physician
  • Physical, emotional and spiritual care provided by a hospice team that visits the patient at home, in their nursing home or assisted living facility, an average of five-plus times per week
  • 24/7 access to trained clinicians who can dispatch a team member to the home when necessary
  • Continuous care at home for up to 24 hours when symptoms are clinically appropriate
  • Comprehensive open formulary pharmacy program, with hospice-related medical equipment and  supplies delivered to the home
  • Complex modalities for high-acuity patients (IV therapies, inotropes, paracentesis/thoracentesis, high-flow oxygen, palliative blood transfusions, TPN and more)

Additional therapies and patient-focused programs include:

  • Award-winning veterans program, including virtual reality technology to offer “flightless” trips to US war memorials
  • Lavender Touch: A gentle hand massage administered by trained volunteers that offers added comfort, support and one-on-one attention
  • Massage therapy administered by a certified massage therapist
  • Music Memories: A visit by a certified music therapist with the goal of meeting physical, emotional, cognitive, social, and spiritual needs through music
  • Paw Pals®: Loving animals and their volunteer owners who visit patients to provide comfort
  • Specialty children’s bereavement services
  • Life Bio: A written, audio or video biography of a hospice patient, provided by specially-trained volunteers

The new VITAS office is located at 2179 SE Ocean Blvd. Stuart, FL 34996.

For more information about VITAS and employment opportunities, call 772.281.5293 or visit

VITAS® Healthcare – 40 Years Strong
Established in 1978, VITAS Healthcare is a pioneer and leader in the American hospice movement. Headquartered in Miami, Florida, VITAS (pronounced VEE-tahs) operates 47 hospice programs in 14 states (California, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Kansas, Missouri, New Jersey, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia and Wisconsin) and the District of Columbia. VITAS employs 12,123 professionals who care for terminally ill patients daily, primarily in the patients’ homes, and also in the company’s 27 inpatient hospice units as well as in hospitals, nursing homes and assisted living communities/residential care facilities for the elderly. At the conclusion of the first quarter of 2019, VITAS reported an average daily census of 18,559.



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