Dining Out for Life returns to Tampa Bay for 14th year

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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TAMPA BAY | A record number of restaurants and bars will participate in the 14th annual Dining Out for Life (DOFL) in Tampa Bay on April 11, benefiting Empath Partners in Care (EPIC) in the organization’s fight against HIV/AIDS.

Founded in 1991, DOFL is an annual dining event which raises money for community-based organizations serving those impacted by HIV. To raise the funds, establishments donate at least 25 percent of their sales on a specific date to local organizations like EPIC.

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EPIC seeks to raise awareness, rehome couture creations

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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TAMPA | Empath Partners in Care (EPIC) is seeking a permanent home for a collection of five dresses made from condoms and other materials to raise awareness about the nonprofit’s work with HIV and AIDS throughout Tampa Bay.

The creations were featured at Balance Tampa Bay’s fourth annual masquerade ball Aug. 4, which raised $16,000 for EPIC. Conceptualized by artist and event chair Ryan Young, each design represents emotions an individual receiving HIV or AIDS care might feel while working with the organization.

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EPIC Generations coalition forms to support aging LGBTQ community

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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ST. PETERSBURG | Empath Partners in Care (EPIC), a member of Empath Health, has formed EPIC Generations—a new coalition dedicated to serving LGBTQ elders throughout Pinellas County.

EPIC Generations stems from the nonprofit’s partnership with the St. Petersburg-based Project Generations Coalition, an alliance of over a dozen elder care advocates. It was formed by area resident Chris Almvig, one of the founding members of SAGE, the country’s oldest and largest nonprofit dedicated to improving the lives of LGBTQ elders.

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PHOTOS: Balance Tampa Bay goes Avant Garde for EPIC masquerade

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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TAMPA | Balance Tampa Bay held its fourth annual masquerade ball Aug. 4 to benefit Empath Partners in Care (EPIC).

This year’s theme was Avant Garde, a celebration of the new, unusual and artistic. It was evident from the moment attendees entered Armature Works, the fully restored 22,000-square-foot industrial market featuring an open floor plan in Tampa Heights.

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Dining Out for Life returns to Tampa Bay for 13th year

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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ABOVE: EPIC Executive Director Joy Winheim

Tampa | The annual HIV/AIDS fundraiser Dining Out for Life (DOFL) will return to Tampa Bay for the 13th time on April 26 to benefit Empath Partners in Care, or EPIC.

Founded in 1991, DOFL takes place in over 60 cities throughout the United States and Canada. Over 3,000 restaurants donate a portion of their proceeds from the day of dining to licensed AIDS service agencies across North America.

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04.05.18 Tampa Bay Bureau Chief’s Desk

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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It’s often argued that one shouldn’t discuss religion or politics,

so I’d like to talk about both.

When I was in high school, I learned through friends in my Southern Baptist youth group that the deacons of my small-town, smaller-minded church were trying to pray my gay away. Spoiler alert: it didn’t work.

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Dining Out For Life supports Tampa Bay HIV/AIDS efforts

By : Felicia Roopchand
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TAMPA BAY – Dining Out For Life is a charity event both your stomach and your wallet can get behind. In cities all across the world on April 27, selected restaurants will be participating in the event by donating at least 25 percent of their proceeds from that day to the licensed HIV/AIDS service agency in their city. In exchange for their financial support, restaurants are listed in a citywide marketing campaign in an effort to increase customer traffic. The Tampa Bay area will be among the various cities included.

“You know, Gulfport kind of comes in with a vengeance. All the restaurants in Gulfport participate and we’ve got a couple of new restaurants coming on over towards the Tampa side. I think we’re going to have a really good year.” said Joy Winheim, executive director of Empath Partners in Care (EPIC).

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Watermark’s 16 Most Remarkable People of ’16

By : Watermark Staff
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Watermark has chosen those who stood out from the LGBTQ community – 16 remarkable individuals who made a mark in 2016; whether through activism, generosity or beating the odds.

It has been a difficult year for all of us, both politically and personally, and those we have selected have made the most change, been the most inspiring and helped to make our LGBTQ community that much stronger in the face of adversity.

Below, our 16 Most Remarkable People of ’16.

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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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ASAP and Francis House become EPIC, name new executive director

By : Jeremy Williams
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TAMPA – Empath Health announced Dec. 7 that the HIV service’s providers AIDS Service Association of Pinellas (ASAP) and Francis House in Tampa will merge under the new name Empath Partners in Care, or EPIC.

EPIC will become the largest provider of HIV services in the Tampa Bay area, including case management, counseling and pharmacy services, among other programs from its five locations in the region.

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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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Francis House adds space, expands services in Tampa

By : Daniel Lancaster
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Robert Shelley counts his blessings. As a 44-year-old active member of the LGBT community, the Tampa resident spends a lot of time in the garb of a Tampa Bay Sister of Perpetual Indulgence as Tootie Truly Humble. Out of habit however, he is no less an advocate for human rights and the rights of the HIV-positive community and speaks freely of his 20-year, passionate fight against the virus and the stigma that comes along with it.

But Shelley did not have any such support system in place when he arrived in Tampa five years ago, and it is easy to see why he is so thankful.

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