By Michelle Lancaster. You can follow her and let her know your news on Twitter @MichLancaster. Email her at michellel[AT]borderstan.com.
It seems the management team at Whitman-Walker Health, the well-known clinic located here in the neighborhood, could teach the Republicans in Congress a thing or two, if only the party was amenable to taking advice from a clinic that originally served mostly gay men. If it is possible to segregate politics from the issue of a community clinic that serves the LGBT and HIV-positive community, let us take that pause to evaluate their success and how they were able to sustain a surplus for the second straight year.
“2011 was one of the most successful years in Whitman-Walker’s history,” said Don Blanchon, executive director, in a statement released last week. “By adopting a greater emphasis on community, caring and quality, we produced results for the community that would have been unthinkable just a few short years ago. And we show no signs of slowing down in 2012.”
For one, their patient base has doubled since becoming a primary care community health center in 2006 and changing their name from Whitman-Walker Clinic. The center has increased its patient base by 20% this past year. That’s pretty straight-forward math, as told to Washington Blade — more patients means more payments and revenue. But they also have raised more funds and kept to their budget to account for their gains.
According to WWH, for the second year in a row, the non-profit health center finished with an operating gain. For 2011, WWH projects a preliminary gain in excess of $2.6 million. This operating gain was used to pay off WWH’s outstanding line of credit and reduce accounts payable. The gain of 2011 marked a nearly $7 million turnaround in five years.
Here are the really intriguing numbers, though. Whitman-Walker counts patients from all eight wards, and at least 50% of their patients identified themselves as heterosexual, 29% of the patients were female and 48% of patients were African-American. A budget surplus for a primary care provider with a philosophy and track record of serving all that seek care? That’s pretty rare — congrats to Whitman-Walker and cheers to your continued good work. They are based at the corner of 14th and R Streets NW.
Whitman-Walker Health offers primary medical and dental care; mental health and addictions counseling and treatment; HIV education, prevention, and testing; legal services; and medical adherence care management. We are especially committed to meeting the health needs of the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community and people living with HIV/AIDS.