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Clearwater, Fla. – Empath Health today announced the planned merger of Francis House in Tampa with ASAP, a member of Empath Health. The two nonprofits are well-known for providing excellent support programs and services to those infected and affected by HIV and AIDS in Tampa Bay. The organizations have signed an initial Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) and plan to operate under a newly-named member of Empath Health. Together, they will strengthen and expand services to a greater number of people throughout the region.

“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. “Both organizations provide their own set of unique services that will make us stronger together,” he added.

“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 only Housing Opportunities for Persons with HIV/AIDS-funded supportive services agency in the area that focuses on supportive services. “The new organization will provide a combination of services to more than 10,000 people impacted in the region,” she added. Without assistance, HIV treatment and the other programs would cost individuals thousands of dollars a month.

Francis House opened its doors in Tampa’s Seminole Heights neighborhood in 1990, and celebrated its 25th anniversary last year. ASAP began services in Pinellas County in 1987 and became part of the Empath Health integrated network of care in 1997. In February 2016, ASAP opened Home 3050, the most comprehensive HIV services medical home in Tampa Bay. Both organizations have a long, outstanding track record of providing support to the community, which will continue through the merger. Sciullo added, “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. What we do know at this moment is the existing campuses of both organizations will remain and services to existing clients will continue uninterrupted.”

About Francis House
Francis House has been serving those impacted by HIV in Hillsborough County since 1990. Their mission is to provide HIV supportive services in a safe environment designed to encourage and empower those affected to become self-sufficient members of the community. To learn more about them, visit FrancisHouse.org.

About ASAP
ASAP is a nonprofit organization that provides medical case management, pharmacy services, group and individual counseling, basic need items and other services for clients and their families as well as works to prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS through education, free testing and advocacy. ASAP is a member of Empath Health, a nonprofit integrated network of care. Contact ASAP at 727-328-3260 or ASAPServices.org.

About Empath Health
Empath Health is a nonprofit integrated network of care that provides expert, life-changing health care to those with chronic and advanced illnesses. Empath Health includes hospice, home health and physician services, independent living assistance and day care for seniors, HIV services and advance care planning.