The plan to redevelop Whitman-Walker Health’s former home at 14th and R streets NW has won the approval of the Historic Preservation Review Board (HPRB).
The board’s members yesterday voted unanimously to approve the plan, which includes the preservation of the center’s original Elizabeth Taylor Center at 1701 14th St. NW as well as a new mixed-use development that would span 155,000 square feet and six stories.
Logan Circle’s ANC 2F last month voted to support the project. John Fanning, who chairs ANC 2F, testified in support of the new development.
“Whitman Walker has been an integral part of our community for many years,” Fanning told the HPRB. “I think they did an outstanding job.”
Though the board’s members had a few suggestions regarding the building’s materials and the roof of the original Elizabeth Taylor Center, they seemed in their comments mostly pleased by the current design.
Construction on the development will likely begin late next year, according to a press release from Whitman-Walker Health, and could be completed as early as 2020.
The health organization will hold its annual candlelight vigil on the sixth floor of its health center at 1525 14th St. NW at 6 p.m.
The ceremony will begin with an introduction from Whitman-Walker Health’s director of community relations, Justin Goforth, and a song from a member of the Gay Men’s Chorus. After remarks from three Whitman-Walker patients, attendees will light candles, participate in an interfaith prayer and take a moment of silence.
Whitman-Walker in previous years held the vigil in Dupont Circle and at its Elizabeth Taylor Medical Center. This will be the first ceremony inside the organization’s new health center on 14th Street.
A District Department of Transportation (DDOT) spokesperson confirmed the department will install two new two-bicycle racks in front of the Whitman-Walker Health Center at 1525 14th Street NW “within a few weeks, permits pending.”
Yellow markers indicating where the bike racks will be installed were stenciled onto the sidewalk in front of the health center last week, noted one Twitter user.
Whitman-Walker Health spokesman Shawn Jain says the health center requested the new racks in May.
“There’s about a hundred staff who work in the building, and at least a handful ride their bikes to work,” Jain says. “We also have some patients who’d want to be biking to the health center. We wanted to make sure there was a place for them to park their bikes.”
“Having bike racks in front of our health center fits in with the community health and wellness we want to promote,” Jain added. “Obviously, biking is a great physical activity, both for our patients and our employees.”
Image courtesy of Whitman-Walker; photo by Scott Henrichsen
Whitman-Walker Health (WWH) will open a new, modern health care center at 1525 14th Street NW in mid-2014 – leasing the entire building south of Q Street, which is now under construction (photos at bottom). The current offices at the Elizabeth Taylor Center, 14th and R Streets NW, will still house certain special programs and administrative services.
WWH is leasing the entire building for 10 years with the option of two five-year renewals, according to Executive Director Don Blanchon.
According to WWH, the 43,000 square-foot, state-of-the-art center will enable them to further its role in the fight against HIV/AIDS, expand on its commitment to provide affirming, culturally-competent care to metro DC’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community, and better serve the 14th Street NW corridor. WWH also has the Max Robinson Center in Anacostia.
Financial Diversity, Long-Term Viability
WWH said in a release that the move is part of an effort to “pursue greater financial diversity to ensure our long-term viability, and will expand our community leadership role in LGBT health and HIV/AIDS care in DC.”
“Whitman-Walker has nearly doubled our patient base over the past six years and we expect growth to continue as more residents access care through the new health reform law,” said Blanchon. Many major provisions of the Affordable Health Care Act “(Obamacare”) take effect January 1, 2014. “This new facility will enable WWH to meet the health care needs of our community and provide the highest quality care in a 21st-Century health care home.”
WWH was founded in 1978. The original offices were at the northwest corner of 14th and S Streets, now part a new JBG Cos. apartment building, which will soon be completed and stretches from S to Swann Streets.
WWH began accepting private insurance from patients several years ago, and the health center’s plans are to move more toward becoming a full-service health center for all residents in the neighborhood. WWH offers primary medical and dental care; mental health and addictions counseling and treatment.
When the move is complete, WWH will have enough space for health care services, a larger pharmacy, a Travel Medicine clinic, Wellness programs and complementary therapies such as acupuncture. The plan is built around Whitman-Walker’s three core values: Community, Caring and Quality.
Expected Patient Growth, Affordable Health Care Act
“We expect to see additional patient growth as more DC residents seek integrated primary care, as more individuals move into the new apartment and condominium projects along the 14th Street NW corridor and, in 2014 and beyond, as more residents have health coverage via the DC Health Insurance Exchange,” said Dr. Raymond Martins, chief medical officer of WWH.
The building at 1525 14th Street NW is presently under construction and is expected to be completed in spring 2014. The new health care home will provide for major expansions of the following services: primary medical care, pharmacy, mental health and addictions counseling, dental care and legal services. It will also house key new services including optical services, complimentary therapies (acupuncture and massage), pulmonary function testing, and a travel medicine clinic.
Staying in the Community
“Over the past 18 months, the Board of Directors engaged in a thoughtful and thorough planning discussion about Whitman-Walker Health’s role in the community in a post-health care reform world,” said Blanchon. “From these discussions emerged the vision of Whitman-Walker Health as a 21st-Century, best-in-class health care home.
“This option allows us to secure new space in less than two years, lets us expand existing services and add new ones, is affordable, enables us to remain in our current neighborhood, and does not negatively impact our current operations at Elizabeth Taylor Medical Center.”
“We will never be able to meet the health care needs of our community and provide the highest quality care in outdated, crowded buildings that were not designed for 21st Century health care,” said Raymond Martins, MD, chief medical officer of Whitman-Walker.
Growth in Number of Patients
Since 2009, Whitman-Walker Health has experienced the following patient growth:
- 24% increase in number of primary medical care patients
- 37% increase in number of dental care patients
- 85% increase in number of mental health care patients
- 52% increase in number of addictions counseling patients
- 29% increase in number of individuals seeking STD/STI Clinic services
In 2012, Whitman-Walker Health was again recognized by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation as a Leader in LGBT Healthcare Equality. WWH is a non-profit community health center whose mission is to “”be the highest quality, culturally competent community health center serving greater Washington’s diverse urban community, including individuals who face barriers to accessing care, and with a special expertise in LGBT and HIV care.” HIV education, prevention, and testing; legal services; and medical adherence care management. WWH is especially committed to meeting the health needs of the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community and people living with HIV/AIDS.
The Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams team will be participating in the 26th Annual AIDS Walk DC this weekend, and to prepare for the 5K race, they are throwing a party.
This Thursday, October 26, the team will host a soiree from 6 until 9 pm at Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams (1526 14th Street NW) to benefit Whitman-Walker Health. Cork will pour the wine, Occasions Catering will provide the hors d’oeuvres and D.J. Cassidy will spin the tunes. Plus, the party will have a raffle (because what’s a benefit without a raffle?).
To support the team, there is a suggested donation of $20. For more information, or to RSVP, call 202-332-3433 or email casey.covault[AT]mgbwhome.com. For more information on this weekend’s AIDS Walk DC, visit the website.
The 26th Annual AIDS Walk will take place on Saturday, October 27. The 5K walk and run raises funds for Whitman-Walker Health, a community-based nonprofit health organization that provides care to those infected with, or affected by, HIV/AIDS. Every year, thousands of participants show up for the walk with the overall goal of raising $1 million for the cause.
AIDS Walk Washington will begin and end at Freedom Plaza (Pennsylvania Avenue and 13th Street NW). The closest Metro stations are Federal Triangle (Blue/Orange lines) and Metro Center (Blue/Orange/Red lines).
The walk starts promptly at 8:30 am, but pre-race activities (including same day registration, speakers and warm-up exercises) begin at 7 am. After the walk is complete, participants are invited to stay for live music and post-race celebrations.
Those interested in walking and/or running, volunteering or making a general donation can register online. General walk registration is $25.
National Gay Men’s HIV/AIDS Awareness Day is on Thursday, September 27, and Whitman-Walker Health will observe the annual day with expanded HIV testing at various locations.
“Getting tested is the first step to, if needed, getting treatment that will not only keep you healthy but protect your loved ones,” said Whitman-Walker Executive Director Don Blanchon. “If you do not need treatment, it’s an opportunity to learn again how to stay safe.”
HIV Testing Locations
This Thursday, Whitman-Walker Health will offer free and confidential testing at the following locations:
- Human Rights Campaign, 1640 Rhode Island Avenue NW: 11 am until 1 pm
- MPD Gay and Lesbian Liaison Unit, 1369-A Connecticut Avenue NW: 5 until 9 pm
- Whitman-Walker Health Elizabeth Taylor Medical Center, 1701 14th Street NW: 9 am until 5 pm
- Whitman-Walker Gay Men’s Health & Wellness Clinic, 1701 14th Street NW: 6 until 8 pm
- Whitman-Walker Health Max Robinson Center, 2301 Martin Luther King, Jr. Avenue SE: 9 am until 4:30 pm
According to Blanchon, one in seven gay or bisexual men in DC has HIV, and one in three Black gay or bisexual men in DC has HIV. No appointments are necessary at any of the locations.
For more information, visit www.whitman-walker.org.
In conjunction with this year’s International AIDS Conference, One in Ten and Reel Affirmations will host the International AIDS Film Festival July 24 and 25 at the Carnegie Institution for Science (1530 P Street NW).
The festival will show four films and will kick-off with an opening reception on Tuesday, July 24, from 5 to 6:30 pm at Number Nine Lounge (1425 P Street NW).
The schedule for the Festival is as follows:
Tuesday, July 24
- 7 to 9:15 pm: “Still Around” (includes a panel discussion with the film’s directors)
- 9:15 to 10 pm: “Seeds of Hope: Meeting the Challenges of HIV/AIDS in Ethiopia”
Wednesday, July 25
- 7 to 9 pm: “Pills Profit$ Protest”
- 9 to 11 pm: “Sex in an Epidemic”
Tickets can be purchased online and are $10 per film or $25 for a package to see all four films. A portion of proceeds will be donated to partnering community organizations, including NOVAM (Northern Virginia AIDS Ministry), Metro Teen AIDS and Whitman-Walker Health. For more information on the festival, or to RSVP to the opening reception; please contact kimberley[AT]@oneinten.org.
Twenty-nine years ago, the Whitman-Walker Clinic held its first community forum on AIDS.
Since then, the clinic has achieved milestones in helping community members access quality medical assistance for primary care, dental care, mental health and addiction issues. Additionally, the center also offers counseling, HIV education, and health testing and screenings, etc.
To celebrate its accomplishments and establish its goals for future years, Whitman-Walker Health is hosting a community HIV/AIDS forum on Tuesday, July 24. The event coincides with the International AIDS Conference, scheduled for July 22 through 27 in DC.
Guest speakers for the forum include, DC Councilmember Jim Graham, Jeanne White-Ginder (mother of Ryan White), Tom Sherwood from NBC4 and several academic and professional experts in the field of HIV/AIDS.
The panel and discussion will take place at 7 pm at the Lisner Auditorium (730 21st Street NW); doors open at 6:30 pm. For more information, contact Chip Lewis at clewis[AT]@whitman-walker.org.
From Alden Leonard. Contact him at alden[AT]borderstan.com and follow him @aldenleonard on Twitter.
Whitman-Walker Health (WWH) is gearing up for AIDS Walk 2012, which is set to take place on October 27. Join them this Thursday, April 26, at Nellie’s Sports Bar on U Street for their kickoff party starting at 6 pm.
Enjoy a beer (or soda) and some fries on the house if you register for the walk. The registration fee is also waived — but that night only.
If you can’t make it to Nellie’s for the kickoff, you can also register register online starting April 27.
WWH is a community health center that specializes in health care for the LGBT communities and those living with HIV/AIDS. They are based in the neighborhood and 14th and R Streets NW.
- Whitman-Walker’s Annual Awards Ceremony April 19
- Whitman-Walker Health Sustains $2 Million-Plus Budget Surplus
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.
Fact: The average person makes 24% of their annual donations between Thanksgiving and New Year’s, and despite a deep recession, charitable giving was up more than 3% in 2010 (Source: Charity Navigator).
Here at Borderstan we want to help you make the decision to give locally this year. That’s why we’re providing you with an easy way to make contributions to charities that provide support for our neighbors in Borderstan and DC. From health care to social services and the arts, philanthropies in our neighborhood make an impact on our community.
Consider adding one of these charities or organizations to your holiday list. Then ask friends and family to make a donation in your name. Or make a donation for someone else. If we missed an organization, please leave a comment with details!
Following are 14 programs, organizations, charities and schools you can support that provide important services to our community, in the following six categories: Help Those in Need, Local Schools, HIV/AIDS Support, Senior Citizens, LGBT Community and The Arts.
Help Those in Need
Bread for the City, 1525 7th Street NW. The mission of Bread for the City is to provide vulnerable residents of Washington, DC with comprehensive services, including food, clothing, legal and social services and medical care. This season for $28.85 you can provide a single low-income family with a complete holiday meal through the Holiday Helpings program. In addition to cash donations that sustain ongoing programs like the rooftop garden, you can customize your gift by contributing an item from the Bread for the City Wishlist. The list contains items needed for programs and clients and includes needed items like Adobe InDesign software, toaster ovens and gift cards to Walmart, CVS and Target.
Central Union Mission, 1350 R Street NW. Although this long time shelter just moved from its home on 14th Street NW, you can still support the mission this holiday season. In addition to cash donations through their website, you can provide presents for a needy child through Operation Christmas Miracle or even volunteer at their food depot or kitchen. The mission also offers you a chance to customize your donation by purchasing items needed for the residents through their Christmas Catalog — you choose if your dollars buy hygiene clothing, toys or even meals.
Charlie’s Place, 1830 Connecticut Avenue NW. In Northwest DC there can be the misconception that everyone is financially stable. But Charlie’s Place provides an important service for those people who are not. This non-denominational, anti-hunger, homeless ministry of St. Margaret’s Episcopal Church provides morning meal, case management, lunch go-go, HIV testing and counseling and clothing distribution. This holiday season and all year long donations can be made online through their Network for Good site.
Martha’s Table, 2114 14th Street NW. The vision for Martha’s Table is to find solutions to poverty in the short term with food and clothing programs, and in the long term by breaking the cycle of poverty with education and family strengthening programs. This season you can browse their holiday catalog for a customized gift in honor of a family member or friend. Choose from a variety of programs to support including debate classes, college preparation courses or wellness and nutrition activities. You can also make unrestricted cash gifts, donations of clothing or food, or contribute an item from the Martha’s Table Wishlist. If you’re looking for a bigger way to support Martha’s Table into the new year consider attending their Sips and Suppers events in early January where for $100 you have a chance to enjoy drinks with Jose Andres, Alice Waters and Joan Nathan.
N Street Village, 1333 N Street NW. Few people know that many of the homeless services in DC focus specifically on men. Services provided by N Street Village focus on empowerment and recovery for homeless and low-income women. They strive to address issues around income, housing, employment and health. To volunteer or make a donation, in-kind or financial, visit their donation site.
Garrison Elementary School, 1200 S Street NW. Garrison is the in-boundary school for most of Logan Circle and the U Street Corridor, serving more than 250 students from preschool through 5th Grade. The school also has three autism classrooms.You can support the Garrison PTA with a donation; make a check to Garrison PTA, 1200 S Street NW, Washington, DC 20009 (donations to Garrison PTA are not tax deductible at this time). You can also support the school by collecting Box Tops for Education, Labels for Education, linking your Safeway Card to Garrison and just by volunteering! Email [email protected] to join the email list or to get more information.
Ross Elementary School, 1730 R Street NW. There is something so meta about supporting an organization that supports other organizations and Ross Elementary School does just that. In addition to being a local school, through Ross Elementary PTA you can provide donations to Books for America, Children’s Hospital and Charlie’s Place. In addition, you can choose to make a donation to Ross’ programs by bringing your recyclable materials to the school, clipping box top for education labels or selecting Ross as the recipient of the school rewards programs at Giant, Safeway and Harris Teeter.
School for Friends, 2201 P Street NW. One of the ways you can contribute to the School for Friends (Quaker) is through their Fund for Friends Campaign. The fund provides financial aid to students, which allows the school to support their commitment to diversity. One of the great thing about SFF is the diversity of the families, all of varying economic, racial, ethnic and sexual orientation backgrounds. SFF is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year.
Whitman Walker Health, 1701 14th Street NW. If you ever needed to believe a small donation could mean a lot, Whitman Walker Health proves it: just $25 helps their health team distribute 50 safer sex kits. Make a donation to WWH this season and your dollars will go to provide high quality health services to individuals who face barriers to accessing care. You also have the opportunity to make a donation in honor or memory of someone, or even make the gift anonymously.
Dupont Circle Village, 9 Dupont Circle NW. It’s hard to imagine being inside most of the time when all of DC is just outside your door, but for many older resident of the District their world is what they see through their window. That’s why Dupont Village is dedicated to linking older residents to not only social/cultural activities, but to also provide health-related and reliable home-maintenance services. Consider serving as a volunteer to an elderly person in the community by agreeing to provide transportation to and from appointments or provide a pick-up after a medical procedure. Get started with the volunteer application on the Dupont Village site.
The DC Center for the LGBT Community, 1318 U Street NW. The DC Center’s mission is to celebrate and support LGBT residents in the District, and based on the number of programs, activities and communities on their site, they are succeeding. Although the Center accepts cash donations throughout the year, you may want to consider buying a ticket to the Glamour, Glitter, Gold Oscar event held in February each year. Proceeds support the Center and you get to dress up for a fun night out.
Trevor Project, DC Ambassadors Committee. The Washington, DC Ambassadors Committee is group of volunteers dedicated to helping raise awareness of The Trevor Project‘s mission of ending suicide among LGBTQ youth. The committee works with schools in the DC area to reach out to kids directly and raise awareness of the issue, as well as raising support through volunteerism and fundraising, to help The Trevor Project carry on their life-saving efforts. In its first year, the local committee raised nearly $100,000 for the Trevor Project and engaged over 1,000 DC area supporters.
Mid City Artists. The Mid City Artists is “a diverse and talented group of professional artists who have come together for the purpose of promoting their art and the Dupont/Logan neighborhoods of Washington DC that they call home. Twice each year, the private studios of select member artists are open for visitors. Discover painting, photography, sculpture, glass, mixed media, prints and much more.” With a current roster of 42 artists, you can support MCA’s general fund by sending a check to the organization’s treasurer: MCA, c/o Chuck Baxter, 914 Westminster Street NW, Washington, DC 20001. (Donations are not tax deductible.)
The Phillips Collection, 1600 21st Street NW. The artwork in the Phillips Collection is mighty in its scope — the museum features more than 3,000 works of art by Renoir, van Gogh, Picasso, Rothko, Diebenkorn, and other modern masters. Caring for so many historic pieces calls for community support and this holiday it’s easy to do that with a donation to the museum. You can become a member and gain reciprocal special admission at more than 300 partner museums. Unrestricted dollars are welcome, but you can also choose to dedicate your gift to the musical program or the onsite library and archives.
In addition to the vigil, WWH will be offering free and confidential HIV testing on Dec. 1 at its Elizabeth Taylor Medical Center at 14th and R Streets NW between 9 am and 5 pm. The tests will also be offered from the mobile testing vehicle during the vigil.
WWH now offers a wide range of medical services and accepts insurance.
HIV in DC: 3.2 percent of adults in DC have been diagnosed with HIV. An additional 2 to 3% are believed to be infected but have never been diagnosed. This means about one in every 20 adults in DC has HIV – WWH.
Wednesday Benefit for WWH
On Wednesday, Nov. 30, Kimpton Hotels is hosting their annual “Red Hot Night in the Nation’s Capital” event to benefit WWH. The event is at Urbana Restaurant & Wine Bar, 2121 P Street NW, 6 to 8 pm; $10 donation at door.
Read more from the Washington Blade, including information on other DC events happening this week to commemorate World AIDS Day.
By the Numbers: HIV in DC
- According to WWH, 3.2 percent of adults in DC have been diagnosed with HIV. An additional 2% to 3% are believed to be infected but have never been diagnosed. This means about one in every 20 adults in DC has HIV.
- African-Americans account for three-fourths of all HIV/AIDS cases in DC.
- One in seven gay or bisexual men in DC has HIV. One in three black gay or bisexual men in DC has HIV.
- The Washington City Paper City Desk had an article in June, citing numbers of HIV-AIDS in DC and the current status of new infections and people getting treatment — it’s a very good quick read.
- According to a March 2010 article in The Washington Post, a DC government study showed that 14% of gay men in DC are HIV positive.
- In March 2009, two years ago The Washington Post looked at HIV-AIDS numbers in DC, which show that it is still a huge health problem in DC, with the city having one of the highest infection rates in the country — 3% of the population, in fact.
Whitman-Walker Open House
Formerly known as a clinic, Whitman-Walker Health has undergone a name change and a renovation, and is inviting the public to come and see the results, according to MetroWeekly. This Friday, October 21, stop by the facilities at 1701 14th Street NW and enjoy the Whole Foods snacks while checking out the updated space and learning about the services that they offer, beyond STD screenings. For more information visit their website.
Git Along Little Doggies
Say it ain’t so! After an impressive 18 years of wowing us with their
shirtless bodies dance moves, the DC Cowboys are officially closing shop. Kevin Platte, the group’s founder and the only cowboy to have been in the troupe continuously since its inception in 1994, said that it was time to move on. 2012 will be the final year — but rest assured they’ve got plans for a farewell tour that everyone can go see. Read more from Washington Blade.
Since the first attempt was washed out thanks to Irene a few weeks back, DCist gave us the heads up that the District finally got everything back together for the official dedication of the Martin Luther King, Jr. memorial yesterday. Despite a smaller crowd — 50,000 instead of the originally planned 250,000 — the dedicatation was attended by President Obama, Aretha Franklin and several civil rights icons including Julian Bond and Congressman John Lewis.
Trick or Treat
Not sure you want to participate in the usual Halloween debauchery? Greater Greater Washington has you covered. Check out their plans to screen Urbanized and post-consumed happy hour at Rocket Bar after the show. Get your tickets now!
Whitman-Walker Health will mark the 17th annual National HIV Testing Day June 27 with expanded free HIV testing from Wednesday, June 22 through Monday, June 27. In addition to other locations (get more information at WWH website), there are expanded hours for HIV testing at the WWH Elizabeth Taylor Medical Center at 14th and R Streets NW:
- Wednesday, June 22: 9 am-6 pm
- Thursday, June 23: 9 am-6 pm
- Friday, June 24: 9 am-5 pm
- Monday, June 27: 9 am-7 pm