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St. Petersburg, Fla. – Empath Partners in Care (EPIC), a member of Empath Health, announced today they are proud to join as a team and beneficiary of the 19th annual SMART (Southern Most HIV/AIDS) Ride. This 165-mile bicycle ride 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.

As a beneficiary of the ride, EPIC is fielding a cycling team called We are EPIC to ride from November 18-19 from Miami to Key West. EPIC will also provide crew members to ensure riders have food and water, bicycles are maintained, cyclists are cheered for throughout the race, honored at the end and so much more. As members of We are EPIC, cyclists agree to raise at least $1,250 for the race and ride.

The SMART Ride raised $1.25 million in 2021 and nearly $14 million over its 18-year history. EPIC participated as crew members in the 2021 race and received a check donation for $60,000.

EPIC’s Executive Director Joy Winheim said of last year’s event that EPIC was incredibly moved by the experience of crewing and making sure riders were safe along the route. “We are honored to be a beneficiary of the 2022 SMART Ride. 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.”

EPIC is looking for cyclists to join the cycling team, crew or donate funds to the race. Riders are encouraged to sign up soon to begin fundraising and training. Learn how to get involved by visiting TheSmartRide.org.

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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 MyEPIC.org.

 ABOUT SMART RIDE

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 over $12.4 Million has been raised and 100% of it returned to help those infected, affected or at risk for HIV and AIDS in Florida.

 ABOUT EMPATH HEALTH

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. We were created in 2021 through the merger of two leading nonprofit, integrated networks of care: Empath Health, serving the Tampa Bay region, and Stratum Health System, serving Southwest Florida. 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; and physician services. Empath Health serves more than 12,000 people a day, creating a bridge between chronic, advanced and terminal care and providing seamless integration based on individual needs. Collectively, we have nearly 90 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.