Tampa Bay HIV/AIDS service organizations ASAP, Francis House to merge

By : Jeremy Williams
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Empath Health announced that AIDS Service Association of Pinellas (ASAP) and Hillsborough County’s Francis House will merge in order to expand the HIV/AIDS services available to the Tampa Bay region.

The two non-profits signed an initial Memorandum of Understanding and will operate under a newly-named member of Empath Health.

“We’re so proud to unite with Francis House to offer our communities on both sides of the bay the seamless support, care and compassion they need,” said Rafael J. Sciullo, president and CEO of Empath Health, in a press release. “Both organizations provide their own set of unique services that will make us stronger together.”

Francis House began serving those affected by HIV/AIDS in Tampa’s Seminole Heights area in 1990. ASAP began their HIV/AIDS work in Pinellas County in 1987 and moved under the umbrella of Empath Health in 1997.

“All of the programs are designed to empower and support clients in order to maintain and improve their health – and flourish,” said Joy Winheim, executive director of Francis House. “The new organization will provide a combination of services to more than 10,000 people impacted in the region.”

The merger comes less than a year after ASAP opened Home 3050, a one-stop shop for HIV/AIDS related services and care.

“There are many details to work through in the coming weeks, but we think it’s important for staff, volunteers and clients of both organizations to be aware of this partnership and understand it will create more opportunities and services,” Sciullo said. “What we do know at this moment is the existing campuses of both organizations will remain and services to existing clients will continue uninterrupted.”

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