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Whitman-Walker announces new CEO for Health System division

Blanchon departing after 15 years

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Dr. Ryan Moran, the Assistant Vice President of the Baltimore-based MedStar Health system, is the new CEO of Whitman-Walker Health System. (Photo via Linkedin; used with permission)

Whitman-Walker Health, D.C.’s LGBTQ supportive heath care provider, announced on Sept. 8 that it has named Dr. Ryan Moran, the Assistant Vice President of the Baltimore-based MedStar Health system, as the new CEO of Whitman-Walker Health System. 

Moran will replace Don Blanchon, Whitman-Walker Health System’s current CEO, who announced in January he planned to step down from his position by the end of this year to pursue a career change. Whitman-Walker says Moran will begin his new job Nov. 1. 

“I’m delighted that the Health Care System’s Board of Directors has chosen Ryan,” Blanchon said in a statement released by Whitman-Walker. “I have no doubt that he has the vision, values and entrepreneurial spirit to advance our mission-driven work in the community for many years.”

The Sept. 8 announcement says Naseema Shafi will remain in her position as CEO of Whitman-Walker Health, the division of Whitman-Walker that provides direct medical services to its clients in HIV/AIDS care and other health care services.

“After a comprehensive national search process, we are thrilled to select Ryan,” said Harry Fox, chair of the Whitman-Walker Health System Board. “In what is essentially a newly envisioned role, Ryan’s experience, knowledge, and expertise will be critical to growing the Whitman-Walker Institute into a leading national research, policy and education powerhouse and supporting the Whitman-Walker Foundation in raising much needed funds to make our care programs and clinical work sustainable,” Fox said in the Sept. 8 statement.

The statement says that in his role as Assistant Vice President of Medstar Health, Moran oversaw the operations of MedStar’s four Baltimore area hospitals – Franklin Square Medical Center, Union Memorial Hospital, Good Samaritan Hospital, and Harbor Hospital.

“I am grateful to work closely with the board and the entire team at Whitman-Walker to ensure that we advance efforts to root out all systems of inequity, discover new scientific breakthroughs in health care and ensure philanthropic growth for care and support of our future home at St. Elizabeths,” Moran said in the statement. 

He was referring to Whitman-Walker’s soon to be opened health care center at D.C.’s newly redeveloping St. Elizabeths Hospital Campus in Southeast Washington.

In a separate statement released in January, Blanchon, who is credited with playing a leading role in expanding Whitman-Walker’s operations over the past 15 years, said he was “humbled and grateful” to be a part of Whitman-Walker’s family.

“Leadership change is an essential ingredient to how nonprofits like Whitman-Walker remain relevant and responsive to those we serve,” he said. “This consideration combined with my interest to explore new paths in my life are the reasons why I have decided to leave Whitman-Walker Health System at the end of 2021,” Blanchon said. “My decision, while bittersweet, has been in the works for a few years now and coincides with the beginning of our next chapter of work.”

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Comings & Goings

Umana named associate with Gustafson Guthrie Nichol

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Wolfgang Umana (Photo courtesy of Umana)

The Comings & Goings column is about sharing the professional successes of our community. We want to recognize those landing new jobs, new clients for their business, joining boards of organizations and other achievements. Please share your successes with us at: [email protected]

Congratulations to Wolfgang Umana on being named an associate with Gustafson Guthrie Nichol (GGN). He has been with them for more than five years and is currently its D.C. studio’s office manager. 

“I am honored to become GGN’s newest Associate,” Umana said.I have the glorious privilege of supporting GGN’s continuing dedication to progress, inclusion, social justice, sustainability, and beautification of the world we live in.”

Umana also works with NBR Computer Consulting as an LLC Computer Technician consultant. He has experience in social media, communications, outreach, and technical services, and provides a dynamic approach to the fast-changing world of technology. NBR Computer Consulting, LLC is a gay-owned business. 

Umana has also served as D.C. Army National Guard Director of Environmental Affairs and with EMS Consultation Services. 

He has his bachelor’s in Environmental Science & Public Policy, Human and Ecosystem Response to Climate Change, from George Mason University. 

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Capital Pride bids for D.C. to host World Pride 2025

International event draws thousands of visitors

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Confetti rained down in New York’s Times Square at Stonewall 50 WorldPride New York’s closing ceremony two years ago. D.C. organizers hope to host the event in 2025. (Blade photo by Lou Chibbaro, Jr.)

The Capital Pride Alliance, the group that organizes D.C.’s annual LGBTQ Pride events, announced on Sept. 21 that it has submitted a bid to host 2025 World Pride, the international Pride event that draws thousands of participants from throughout the world to the host city.

The announcement by Capital Pride says its bid to host the event in D.C. notes that the event, among other things, would commemorate the 50th anniversary of D.C.’s first LGBTQ Pride event in 1975, which began as a block party near Dupont Circle.

World Pride is licensed and administered by the international LGBTQ organization InterPride. The World Pride events themselves, which usually take place every other year, are organized by InterPride’s member organizations such as Capital Pride Alliance.

The Capital Pride announcement notes that World Pride “promotes visibility and awareness of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer (LGBTIQ+) issues on a global level.” The announcement adds, “World Pride events include parades, marches, festivals and other cultural activities often enjoyed at Pride celebrations, along with other components such as a human rights conference and large-scale opening and closing ceremonies.”

The InterPride website says the deadline for submitting a bid for the 2025 World Pride has passed. It says D.C.’s Capital Pride and Kaohsiung Pride, located in the large Taiwan port city of Kaohsiung, are the only two remaining cities in competition for hosting the 2025 World Pride.

Ryan Bos, Capital Pride’s executive director, said InterPride was expected to make its decision on which of the two cities to select sometime in November of this year.

“A recent study conducted by Booz Allen Hamilton revealed that the annual Capital Pride Celebrations, during normal years, result in approximately $371 million in positive economic impacts to the region, a number that may be doubled if the organization is awarded the prestigious event,” the Capital Pride statement says.

The 2021 World Pride took place earlier this year in Copenhagen, Denmark. The 2019 World Pride was held in New York City to commemorate the 50th anniversary of New York’s Stonewall riots, which many activists consider the start of the modern LGBTQ rights movement.

InterPride says the 2023 World Pride will take place in Sydney, Australia.

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Va. county supervisors back resolution against ‘required’ pronoun questions

Unanimous vote in Stafford County allows school defunding

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What's Your Pronoun? review, gay news, Washington Blade
(Image courtesy of Liveright Publishing)

The Stafford County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday unanimously approved a resolution that gives it the authority to deny funds to schools that require students to give their pronouns and teach the 1619 Project and critical race theory.

The resolution denounces “the teaching of the 1619 Project and critical race theory (CRT) and related principles in Stafford County Public Schools,” and states the board does not support Stafford County Public School students “being required to identify their chosen pronouns.”

The approved document had been updated to change “requested” to give pronouns to “required.”

Republican Supervisor Gary Snellings told the board he brought the resolution forward, which passed by a 6-0 vote margin, in response to communication from parents. One supervisor was not present.

Snellings called critical race theory “racism.” He also called the New York Times’ 1619 Project published on the 400th anniversary of the arrival of enslaved Africans to the Virginia colony a “theory.”

Critical race theory is not taught in Virginia public schools, but a state law passed in 2020 requires local school boards to adopt policies that are more inclusive for transgender and non-binary students that follow, or exceed, guidelines from the state’s Department of Education.

Snellings said the problem with preferred pronouns was in requiring students to give them. He said that was not in the governing Virginia law.

“This (resolution) does not eliminate anything. It just follows state law,” Snellings said.

A Virginia court in July dismissed a lawsuit that challenged the Department of Education’s guidelines for trans and non-binary students. Equality Virginia and the American Civil Liberties Union of Virginia were parties to the amicus brief in support of the protections.

“We are deeply disappointed that these adults made such a hateful decision for kids in the community,” tweeted the ACLU of Virginia in response to the board’s vote.

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