St. Petersburg – Empath Partners in Care (EPIC), a member of Empath Health, announced today it received a donation of $150,985 as a beneficiary of the

annual SMART (Southern Most HIV/AIDS) Ride. The 165-mile bicycle ride from Miami to Key West was held Nov. 18-19, 2022. It is the second largest of its kind in the country and the only one that gives back 100 percent of dollars raised to AIDS service organizations throughout Florida.

The SMART Ride raised more than $1 million in 2022 and nearly $15 million over its 19-year history. The totals were confirmed Jan. 15 during the organization’s check distribution party in Wilton Manors. As a beneficiary, EPIC fielded a cycling team (We are EPIC) and provided crew members to help make sure the riders were provided food and water, bicycles were maintained, cyclists were cheered throughout the race, honored at the end and so much more. We are EPIC riders raised $30,000 for the race and ride.

“We were honored to be a beneficiary of the 2022 SMART Ride and the funds raised will benefit the Tampa Bay community so we can provide more education and prevention services as well as ensure our HIV+ community members have what they need to live healthy lives,” said EPIC Executive Director Joy Winheim said.

Preparations are underway for SMART Ride 20, to be held Nov. 17-18, 2023. EPIC will once again be a beneficiary and field a team. EPIC is looking for cyclists to join the team or crew or donate funds to the race. Learn how to get involved by visiting Riders are encouraged to sign up soon to begin fundraising and training.


About EPIC

EPIC (Empath Partners in Care), a member of Empath Health, is a nonprofit full-service sexual health and wellness services and support organization. We focus on empowering and supporting clients with HIV, STIs and other STDs to stay healthy and strive as we improve lives by addressing the social determinants of health regardless of HIV/STD status, gender or sexual identity. We do this through primary and pharmacy care, housing and medical case management, counseling, financial assistance and day center support. Education and HIV testing are provided to the community at no charge. For more information about EPIC visit


The Southern Most HIV/AIDS Ride aka SMART Ride started in 2003 with a vision of giving back 100% of every dollar its participants raise to AIDS Service Organizations throughout Florida. The organization promises that participants have a degree of control over the distribution of the funds they raised to the benefiting agencies. Since 2003 more than $14 Million has been raised and 100% of it returned to help those infected, affected or at risk for HIV and AIDS in Florida.


Empath Health is the country’s largest not-for-profit health system delivering non-acute care and services through its skilled, medical and holistic programs to individuals with chronic, advanced and terminal illnesses and those experiencing grief. The Empath Health integrated network of care provides expert medical, counseling and support services including hospice; home health; palliative care; grief services; all-inclusive elder care; HIV/STI prevention services and support; primary care; physician services; and full-service pharmacy and durable medical equipment (DME). Empath Health is honored to have approximately 25,000 people enrolled in our Full Life Care services in north central, west central and southwest Florida. We have nearly 90 combined years of experience serving individuals during some of their most vulnerable times. Our wide variety of community-based programs reflects our commitment to the preservation of our charitable mission.