St. Petersburg – Empath Partners in Care (EPIC), a member of Empath Health, announced today they are proud to join as a team and beneficiary of the 20th annual SMART (Southern Most HIV/AIDS) Ride taking place Nov. 17-18 from Miami to Key West. 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 (We are EPIC) and providing crew members who will help make sure the riders are provided food and water, bicycles are maintained, cyclists are cheered throughout the race, honored at the end and so much more. Cyclists as members of We are EPIC agree to raise at least $1,250 for the race and ride.

The SMART Ride raised more than $1 million in 2022 and nearly $15 million over its 19-year history. EPIC participated as the We are EPIC cycling team and as crew in the 2022 race and received a check for $150,985. We are EPIC riders raised $30,000 for the 2022 race and ride.

“We are honored to be a beneficiary of the 2023 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,” EPIC Executive Director Joy Winheim said.

EPIC is looking for cyclists to join the cycling team or crew to help riders or donors to support the race. Learn how to get involved by visiting Riders are encouraged to sign up soon to begin fundraising and training.

EPIC’s SMART Ride Kick Off Party will be held May 4 from 4:30 pm-7:30 pm at 3 Daughters Brewing, 222 22nd St. S., St. Petersburg.

EPIC is holding four SMART Ride information social events:

April 19 | 4:30 pm–6:30 pm                        April 29 | 9:30 am-11:00 am
The Independent (map)                                EPIC
5016 N. Florida Ave.                                     3050 1st Ave. S.
Tampa                                                           St. Petersburg
Breakfast Served

May 20 | 9:30 am–11:00 am                       May 24 | 5:30 pm-8:30 pm
EPIC                                                            Grand Central Brewhouse
4702 N. Florida Ave.                                    2340 Central Ave.
Tampa                                                          St. Petersburg
Breakfast Served


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 26,000 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.