Balance Tampa Bay’s Avant Garde raises over $16K for EPIC

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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ABOVE: Balance Tampa Bay’s fourth annual masquerade was held Aug. 4. Photo by Ryan Williams-Jent.

LGBTA volunteer organization Balance Tampa Bay announced Aug. 31 that its fourth annual masquerade ball raised $16,000 for Empath Partners in Care (EPIC).

“On behalf of Balance Tampa Bay’s Executive Board, Committee Members, and EPIC, we would like to thank you for your support of Avant Garde, our 4th Annual Masquerade at the Armature Works,” masquerade Event Chair Ryan Young shared with attendees. “Because of your support and generous sponsorship, Balance Tampa Bay was able to raise over $16,000 to deliver to EPIC to help them continue to change the everyday lives of HIV/AIDS impacted clients.”

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An EPIC Taking: Joy Winheim now manages the largest HIV/AIDS service provider in the Tampa Bay area as EPIC’s executive director

By : Jeremy Williams
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Sometimes being remarkable can be bittersweet. Francis House announced this year that they would be merging with AIDS Service Association of Pinellas (ASAP) under the umbrella of Empath Health. This new organization, Empath Partners in Care (EPIC), would be headed by Francis House’s previous executive director Joy Winheim.

“When we were first approached [by ASAP], we thought there is no way we’re doing this, we don’t need to do it,” Winheim says. “We had plenty of grant money. We’re doing well you know, we have 800 clients. We’re not having any issues so why would we think about this.”

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The 13th annual Tampa Bay AIDS Walk is a huge success for newly formed EPIC

By : Jeremy Williams
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Friends, families and co-workers (even Santa!) turned out as more than a thousand people walked in the annual Tampa Bay AIDS Walk at Vinoy Park in St. Petersburg Dec. 10.

The crowd was greeted with complimentary coffee for the chilly St. Pete morning before helping walk the newly formed Empath Partners in Care, or EPIC (the merging of AIDS Service Association of Pinellas and Francis House in Tampa) to more than $100,000.

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World AIDS Day reminds of what was and what can never be again

By : Billy Manes
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Thom Bland, 54, sits across the table from me at a downtown eatery. His signature shovel beard and glasses speak very much to the currency of fashion – we’re all dialing our time machines backward these days – but his cadence is certainly rooted in the trauma that brought him here. There are tears.

“I knew Patient Zero,” he only half-jokes. Bland is HIV-positive and, though his numbers may read “undetectable,” he’s fallen into the gray area – even the blackest of holes – that has picked off his friends and much of his history indiscriminately. He once woke up from anesthesia while having his lungs scrubbed for Kaposi Sarcoma. He has seen the worst. Bland was diagnosed in 1991.

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ASAP, Francis House merger makes Empath Health largest HIV/AIDS services provider in Tampa Bay

By : Jeremy Williams
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ST PETERSBURG – 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.

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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.

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