VITAS Healthcare recognizes community partnership with Florida State University Panama City

Jan Waddy

This week, VITAS Healthcare donated $15,000 to Florida State University Panama City in support of the university’s efforts to make higher education more accessible to Northwest Florida residents. In addition, the local hospice provider recognized FSU PC graduate Hunter Romans, ’20, with the 2021 VITAS Sales Leadership Award.

“Hunter Romans has been with us since we opened in 2020,” said Michael Smith, vice president of hospice operations for VITAS Healthcare in Northern Florida. “He received the award for his dedication to learning the sales process of VITAS Healthcare and his work ethic, as well as his exemplary customer service. He is in the top 10% of the company coming right out of college. He was willing, able and coachable.”

VITAS Healthcare in Panama City also currently employs FSU PC graduates Johnathan Fuentes, ’21, and Travarous “Jak” Riley, ’21. 

“I like to hire college students. They quickly learn company processes and transition smoothly into full-time work,” said Smith, who earned his B.S. in marketing in 1985 from FSU in Tallahassee. “VITAS is all over the country, in 14 states and the District of Columbia, and we’re in 46 counties in Florida. Graduates have job prospects in different markets and the opportunity for career mobility.”

Headquartered in Miami, VITAS Healthcare serves hospice patients in Bay, Calhoun, Gulf, Holmes, Jackson and Washington counties. A Marianna location opened earlier this year. When hospice care cannot be provided at home, interdisciplinary teams offer inpatient care.

“We really work to provide the best care possible,” Smith said. 
FSU PC is one of six local organizations VITAS Healthcare donated to this week to support the Panama City community and its residents.