April 27, 2011 | by Lou Chibbaro Jr.
Whitman-Walker drops ‘Clinic’ from name

The Whitman-Walker Clinic announced on Wednesday that it has changed its name to “Whitman-Walker Health” to reflect its expanded role in recent years as a primary care provider for a wide range of health and medical services in addition to HIV/AIDS.

Whitman-Walker officials rolled out the name change along with a new logo and website at the organization’s 19th Annual Spring Gala Wednesday night at a reception hall in Northwest Washington.

“This name change best emphasizes who Whitman-Walker is now and what we aspire to be in the future: a full-service, best-in-class health center,” said Whitman-Walker Executive Director Don Blanchon.

“We want to educate the metro D.C. community about the full range of health care services we offer,” Blanchon said. “The word ‘Health’ best conveys our current and future role in the community as a health center and reflects our unwavering commitment to the highest quality of care for our patients,” he said.

Blanchon added that Whitman-Walker is staying “true to our roots” by remaining committed to serving the LGBT community and people living with HIV/AIDS.

In a statement released Wednesday, Whitman-Walker Health said it now 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.” As it has in the past, Whitman-Walker continues to offer non-HIV related sexually transmitted disease (STD) testing and treatment on a walk-in basis.

The statement adds, “We are especially committed to meeting the health needs of the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community and people living with HIV/AIDS.”

“The new logo boldly embraces our past, present and future,” Blanchon said. “It honors our past by incorporating the two ‘W’s from the original logo. Its use of color represents the diversity of our patients and the communities we serve. And it includes a triangle symbol, which highlights our commitment to the three principles of community, caring and quality.”

Lou Chibbaro Jr. has reported on the LGBT civil rights movement and the LGBT community for more than 30 years, beginning as a freelance writer and later as a staff reporter and currently as Senior News Reporter for the Washington Blade. He has chronicled LGBT-related developments as they have touched on a wide range of social, religious, and governmental institutions, including the White House, Congress, the U.S. Supreme Court, the military, local and national law enforcement agencies and the Catholic Church. Chibbaro has reported on LGBT issues and LGBT participation in local and national elections since 1976. He has covered the AIDS epidemic since it first surfaced in the early 1980s. Follow Lou

4 Comments
  • Jon Rybka-Wachhaus

    Do they still not accept HMO’s? I was a regular client until due to the economy I had to change to an HMO….They refused to take me as they said “we don’t take HMO” you can pay out of pocket if you want. (?????) I thought they were in the city to help ALL people with HIV not only those with good insurance (or none at all it seems)…..

  • The name should have been changed to “Whitman Walker Illegal Hispanics & Homeless Health.” Don Blanchon destroyed Whitman Walker several years ago and it no longer serves DC’s GLBT community.

  • It’s been 30 years! We are long overdue for a cure! Please support re:solve AIDS and the Chronic Disease Fund. resolvefromcdf.org

  • I used to work for Whitman-Walker Clinic (back in the Jim Graham days), and, under his leadership, it was an insane asylum, full of unhappy people, many with various addictions, some of them larcenous. They would all get good job evaluations, however. You used to have to pass through a thick cloud of tobacco smoke just to get into the building, and they all thought that was OK. The Clinic failed to pay me wages due when I left. I never met anyone who would admit to being a financial supporter of the Clinic. I’m surprised to see it still exists.

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