Washington, DC – Whitman-Walker Health will open a new, modern health care home at 1525 14th St., NW, in mid-2014 to meet the health care needs of our community. This state-of-the-art center will enable Whitman-Walker Health to further our leading role in the fight against HIV/AIDS, expand on our commitment to provide affirming, culturally-competent care to metro DC’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community, and better serve our neighbors in the 14th Street NW corridor.
“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 Don Blanchon. “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.”
When the move is complete, Whitman-Walker will have nearly 43,000 square feet of 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.
“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. Specifically, Whitman-Walker Health will improve the health of the communities we serve, will expand program offerings to focus on our patients’ overall health outcomes, will 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.” Blanchon also added “we are a longstanding member of the Dupont/Logan Circle community and continue to believe that we can best fulfill our mission by staying in this historic and vibrant neighborhood.”
After consultation with financial and real estate experts, the Board concluded that leasing this space was the best option to meet that vision.
“In the final analysis, the Board of Directors decided that it was in the best interest of Whitman-Walker, its patients and stakeholders to enter into a long-term lease with Furioso Development LLC for the entire building at 1525 14th Street NW,” said Blanchon. “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.”
With this decision finalized, the Board will now use 2013 to look at the best way to use our existing facilities, Elizabeth Taylor Medical Center and Max Robinson Center in Anacostia, to fulfill our mission in the future. Both centers will still be used for patient services and administrative offices. WWH plans to actively solicit input from the community and key stakeholders as part of its deliberative process before making any final decisions about such assets.
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
“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 Martins.