Holistic and Human Healing
Avant Healthcare Professionals Founder and CEO Shari Dingle (Sandifer) Costantini, RN, MBA, was diagnosed with viral encephalitis at 13 years old, an experience that led to a loss of much of her motor coordination. It also led to a personal understanding of the gravity of dealing with illness and the difference compassionate health care can make.
Eager to help others in fights similar to the one she faced, she studied to become a registered nurse, where her understanding of the patient experience dovetailed with a new familiarity with the struggles of increasing health care staff shortages.
She eventually transitioned to the position of nursing staff provider, founding Avant Healthcare Professionals in 2003. Her own personal journey — from her experience with illness, to her career as a nurse, to her life as a mother and a CEO — has influenced Avant’s corporate culture.
Avant and Costantini have been recognized for their work by many organizations, with honors that include GrowFL’s Florida Companies to Watch, the Orlando Business Journal Women Who Mean Business, and a listing in Inc.’s 500/5000 list in 2012, 2013, 2017 and 2018.
Today, her company focuses on a holistic definition of health and wellbeing, an approach that has helped Avant place thousands of international nurses, physical therapists and occupational therapists throughout the country.
Avant was a founding member of the American Association of International Healthcare Recruitment, and through the organization the company has taken an active role in immigration reform to ensure health care professionals can help fill gaps in the talent pipeline in the U.S.
The mission has personal significance as well for the highly skilled health care professionals who are able to continue their work of bettering the quality of life for patients, Costantini said. “Seeing these health care professionals arrive in the U.S. to pursue their American dream brings our mission at Avant to life every day.”