VITAS Healthcare Acquires Florida's Hospice of Citrus and the Nature Coast


Miami, FL – VITAS Healthcare, the nation’s leading provider of end-of-life care, announced the asset acquisition of Hospice of Citrus and the Nature Coast (HOCNC). Effective September 26, 2018, VITAS began operation in the 12 counties previously served by HOCNC, including a free-standing inpatient hospice facility in Lecanto, Fla., that provides high acuity care for up to 16 patients.

The acquisition expands VITAS’ services to the following counties: Alachua, Bradford, Citrus, Columbia, Dixie, Gilchrist, Hamilton, Lafayette, Levy, Putnam, Suwannee and Union. VITAS currently operates in 14 states and the District of Columbia. On average, VITAS currently serves more than 9,000 patients daily in Florida and nearly 18,000 nationwide.

Read more about our Citrus and Nature Coast location.

Nick Westfall, CEO of VITAS Healthcare, stated, “Hospice of Citrus and the Nature Coast has a 30-year legacy of providing quality end-of-life care to patients and families in their community. We look forward to building upon that legacy with VITAS’ services while following our fundamental value of putting patients and families first, a belief that has permeated across our 40-year history in Florida. I would also like to welcome the HOCNC employees who decided to join our VITAS family as we continue to serve the patients and families in need throughout these communities.”

Mark J. Yerman, President of HOCNC Board of Directors, stated, “Today is a proud day for HOCNC because our community can count on the continued delivery of high quality end-of-life care services they need and deserve through the experts at VITAS Healthcare. During our extensive search for the right provider to serve our community, VITAS stood out for their longstanding leadership, supportive partnerships and commitment to patients and families. Throughout every stage of HOCNC’s acquisition, the VITAS leadership team was respectful, professional and considerate of HOCNC’s legacy in our community, they share our mission of putting our patients first and that made them our top choice.”

The HOCNC Board of Directors will continue to fulfill their mission in the community through their newly named charitable foundation “Friends of Citrus and the Nature Coast.” The Foundation will continue to operate their three Thrift & Gift Shoppes, located in Homosassa, Interlachen and Lecanto. They will provide grief support for all residents of the community including children bereavement camps.

VITAS’ acquisition of HOCNC is limited to certain assets that include all licenses and permits required to operate in the Agency for Health Care Association sub-districts 3A and 3C.

To reach any of the following VITAS office locations, please call 352.527.2020:

  • VITAS of Citrus main office: 3280 W. Audubon Park Path, Lecanto, FL 34461
  • VITAS Freestanding Hospice Inpatient Unit: 3350 W. Audubon Park Path, Lecanto, FL 34461
  • VITAS of Nature Coast main office: 18670 High Springs Main Street, High Springs, FL 32643
  • VITAS of Nature Coast satellite office: 320 Zeagler Drive, Suite 101, Palatka, FL 32177

Healthcare professionals who want to connect with a VITAS representative may call 352-527-2020 or download the VITAS app that accepts referrals by patient face sheets.