August 18, 2016 at 9:48 pm EDT | by Lou Chibbaro Jr.
Whitman-Walker names new communications director

singles, gay news, Washington Blade

Whitman-Walker Health has announced Devin Barrington Ward will become its new communications director. (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

Whitman-Walker Health announced on Thursday that it has named communications specialist and LGBT and community activist Devin Barrington-Ward as its new director of communications.

Barrington-Ward, who previously served as communications director for D.C. Council member Mary Cheh (D-Ward 3), is replacing Shawn Jain, who left the position to attend graduate school, according to Whitman-Walker spokesperson Abby Fenton.

“As a black gay man who has spent 10 years working on behalf of LGBTQ communities and people of color, I have firsthand experience working to address health disparities, like HIV that exist in the District of Columbia,” Barrington-Ward said in a statement. “Few organizations are as well positioned to address the very serious health inequities facing D.C. residents like Whitman-Walker.”

In its announcement of Barrington-Ward’s appointment, Whitman-Walker said he has lobbied the Georgia General Assembly in the past on behalf of a reproductive rights organization for improved reproductive health and HIV policies. Among the issues for which he lobbied was a bill, which passed, seeking to eliminate mother-to-child transmission of HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases.

His work with Cheh, among other things, included efforts to increase resources to assist LGBT homeless youth and efforts to protect underage youth victimized by sex trafficking, the announcement says.

“We are thrilled that Devin has joined our team,” said Don Blanchon, Whitman-Walker’s executive director. “Devin brings passion and a strong commitment to health care, equity and the LGBTQ community. We know that he will help Whitman-Walker to increase the public’s awareness of how we serve our community.”

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

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