Senior Staff Bios
Don Blanchon began his tenure as executive director of Whitman-Walker on May 1, 2006. Before that, he spent nine years with Schaller Anderson, a national health care management and consulting firm that specializes in public-sector programs. During that time, he held positions of increasing authority, including CFO and CEO of Maryland Physicians Care, a $325 million multi-product health plan owned by four Maryland-based non-profit community health systems. From 2004 to 2006, Blanchon served as vice president for Medicaid and Medicare programs for Schaller Anderson.
Earlier in his career, Blanchon served as vice president for strategic planning for Health Services for Children with Special Needs, a specialty health plan in Washington, DC. He also spent five years as a budget examiner in the executive office of the president at the federal Office of Management and Budget.
Blanchon, a native of Foxborough, MA., holds a bachelor's degree in biochemistry from Bowdoin College and a master's in public health and public affairs from Columbia University. He lives in Washington, DC, with his wife and their two children.
Chief Medical Officer
Raymond Martins joined Whitman-Walker in February 2008 as Chief Medical Officer. Originally from Connecticut, he came to Washington, DC for medical school at The George Washington University where he completed his internship and residency in Internal Medicine/Primary Care. During that time, he had continuity clinics in many of the city's community health centers including La Clinica Del Pueblo and Bread for the City. After completing a chief residency, Martins practiced HIV and general internal medicine at private practices in Washington, DC, and Arlington, VA, and remained active in teaching Georgetown and GWU medical students and residents.
Martins received a bachelor's degree in Molecular and Cell Biology from the University of Connecticut and a medical degree from The George Washington University. He is a member of the Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society and received the 2003 GWU School of Medicine Gala Honor and the 2003 Jorge C. Rios, M.D. award for excellence in internal medicine. He is board certified in Internal Medicine, and has focused interest in HIV, LGBT health, and medical education.
Chief Financial Officer
Chris Holleman has been Whitman-Walker's Chief Financial Officer since 2009 and has spent the last 11 years in HIV/AIDS related service. He is the former Controller of Population Services International (PSI), a large social marketing non-profit headquartered in the District with 65 locations worldwide. He has also provided financial management to several smaller non-profits such as AIDS Action here in DC and ACRIA, an AIDS research organization in New York City.
He began his career with Time Warner Entertainment in Greensboro, North Carolina, after graduating with honors from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro with a BS in Accounting in 1988.
He lives in Hyattsville, Maryland, with his wife Heather and their Yorkie, Chloe.
Chief Operating Office
Ms. Shafi has been with Whitman-Walker since May of 2007. As Chief Operating Officer, she oversees major areas of Whitman-Walker including clinical and administrative operations, community health, grants management, human resources, information technology and property management. The integration of the areas that she oversees facilitates the provision of high quality, affirming care. She brings her operational view to senior management, supporting the Board of Directors. An attorney by trade, Ms. Shafi was the Director of Compliance for the organization, overseeing various matters related to corporate compliance and risk management, including issues relating to the organizations audits.
Ms. Shafi received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Maryland, College Park. She holds a JD from University of Maryland School of Law and is a member of the Maryland State Bar.
Director of Legal Services
Daniel Bruner is Director of Legal Services. At Whitman-Walker, his practice has concentrated on discrimination in employment and health care; on insurance and employee benefits; and on privacy issues. Prior to joining Whitman-Walker’s staff in 1995, Dan was a partner at the Washington, DC, law firm of Spiegel & McDiarmid. While at Spiegel & McDiarmid, he was a Whitman-Walker volunteer attorney for five years, and also worked on pro bono projects with the Pennsylvania AIDS Law Project and Lambda Legal.
Dan received his law degree, magna cum laude, and a Master’s in Public Policy from the University of Michigan. He received a B.A., summa cum laude, from Rice University, and studied philosophy at the graduate level at the University of California at Berkeley. Dan is the author of the Forward in David W. Webber et al., AIDS AND THE LAW (4th ed. 2007); and High-Risk Sexual Behavior By Persons Living With HIV/AIDS and Failure to Disclose HIV Infection to Sex Partners: How Do We Respond? 19 J. AIDS & Public Policy 11 (2004). Between 2000 and 2005, he was on the adjunct faculty at American University’s Washington College of Law, where he taught seminars on AIDS and the Law and courses on Public Health Law. Dan is rated “AV-Preeminent” for legal ability and ethical standards by Martindale-Hubbell – the highest rating possible.
Dan currently is Co-Chair of the District of Columbia Consortium of Legal Service Providers, and is a member of the Board of Directors of the Washington Council of Lawyers, a voluntary bar association consisting of attorneys from every sector of the legal profession dedicated to promoting pro bono and access to justice for low-income and other disadvantaged communities. In 2007, he received the Washington Council of Lawyers’ annual President’s Award. Dan is a member of the District of Columbia Bar, and lives in DC with his partner of 28 years.
Director of Community Health
Meghan Davies serves as Whitman-Walker's Director of Community Health. Meghan currently oversees all prevention and education activities at WW, including the Breast Health Initiative; HIV counseling, testing and education initiatives, both mobile and clinic-based; Whitman-Walker’s Outreach activities, WW’s HIV Peer Support Program:+1; WW’s two DEBI interventions: SHIELD and Healthy Relationships; WW’s retention and re-capture program focused on African American women in Wards 5-8: Positive Pathways; and WW’s partnership program with Mautner: PALS (People Advocating for LGBT Seniors).
Before joining Whitman-Walker in 2008, Meghan spent two years in Honduras with the Peace Corps as an HIV prevention volunteer, where she led a nine-person team responsible for training 200 Peace Corps volunteers on HIV prevention and designed and launched Viviendo Positivamente (Living Positively) to encourage the formation of support groups for people in the region living with HIV and AIDS.
A Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES), Meghan holds a Master’s Degree in Public Health with an emphasis in Global Health Promotion from the George Washington University and a Bachelor's degree in biology with a minor in Spanish from the University of Virginia.
Clinical Research Director
Richard Elion joined Whitman-Walker in 2006 as Clinical Research Director. He has been active in HIV care and research for 28 years, and he currently leads a team at Whitman-Walker that is focused on cutting-edge research initiatives in prevention and treatment of HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis C, and other STDs. Elion’s tenure at Whitman-Walker has coincided with the organization being selected in 2013 as selected as part of the AIDS Clinical Trials Group by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), a distinguished honor for Whitman-Walker, and rare one for a community health center.
Prior to joining Whitman-Walker Health, Elion served as co-director of HIV services at Washington Free Clinic, in private practice in Washington, D.C., and in various research and clinical capacities in New York and in Washington.
Elion received a bachelor’s degree in English and Psychobiology from Tufts University and a medical degree from Temple University. He completed his internship and residency at Duke University. He also holds a Master’s in Counseling and Spiritual Psychology from University of Santa Monica. In addition to his duties at Whitman-Walker, he is currently an associate clinical professor of Internal Medicine at George Washington University and at Johns Hopkins University.
Director of Nursing
Jessica Estrada has been Director of Nursing since April 2013. She oversees medical care management provided at Whitman-Walker including the services offered by the Nurse Care Managers, Care Navigators, and Referral Coordinators.
Jessica is a Registered Nurse and received a Master’s of Science in Nursing for Public Health Nursing from Johns Hopkins University in 2011. She had practical experiences with the National Association for School Nurses and Franklin Square Hospital Center in health policy and program evaluation respectively. Prior to graduate school, Jessica was a Nurse Care Manager here at Whitman-Walker from 2008-2010.
Director of Clinical Operations
Dwaine Gasser has been a Whitman-Walker staff member since 2005. From 2003 to 2005, he worked at the Hospital for Sick Children, an inpatient rehabilitation hospital, and at Health Services for Children with Special Needs, which manages care and coordination of benefits for special needs children and adolescents, in Washington, DC.
In the latter two posts, Gasser worked with credentialing of health care providers, presented credentialing files to both institutions' administrations, assured compliance with Joint Commission for Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations standards, and updated credentialing policies and procedures.
From 1984 to 2003, he worked at Columbia Hospital for Women in Washington, where he held several positions, including vice president for professional services and vice president for support services. During his time at Columbia, he was responsible for medical office practices, professional and support services departments and more than 200 employees. His areas of expertise include budgeting, planning, credentialing, development and administration of policies and procedures, contracting, physician relations, business development, JCAHO accreditation and federal and state inspections.
A native of Washington, DC, he holds a bachelor's degree in microbiology from the University of Maryland and a master's degree in health services administration from the George Washington University.
Director of Behavioral Health
Steve Geishecker was named Director of Behavioral Health in 2007 after a year as interim director. He oversees the delivery of mental health, addiction treatment, and day treatment services. In addition to the clinical service areas, he supervises the volunteer support services which offer peer-based individual and group counseling.
Steve has served Whitman-Walker in many capacities, beginning as a graduate student intern in case management in 1992. From 1995-1997, he provided home-based psychiatric social work for Visiting Nurse Service of New York to chronically mental ill adults in the Bronx. He returned to the clinic in 1997 and worked as a social worker in the intake department and as clinical program manager from 2001 to 2004. He assumed management of mental health services in 2004 and continued to provide direct client care through individual and group psychotherapy. He was honored by his colleagues with the Larry Medley Staff Award for Excellence in 2003.
Steve is a native of Maryland and earned a bachelor's degree in psychology from Salisbury State University and a master's degree in clinical social work from Virginia Commonwealth University.
Director of Community Relations
Justin Goforth serves as the Director of Community Relations. Justin has been with Whitman-Walker in several roles since June, 2006. As Director of the Medical Adherence Unit, Justin oversaw Whitman-Walker’s nurse case management program, nutrition program, treatment adherence programs, social services and referrals to health providers outside Whitman-Walker. Justin also served as Director of the Gay Men’s Health and Wellness Clinic, the longest running program at Whitman-Walker which provides safer sex/sexual health counseling, STD testing and treatment and HIV testing to thousands of community members each year. He also served as Director of Community Health which provides health education, outreach, HIV testing and counseling and preventive health services to thousands of the District’s most vulnerable and at-risk residents each year.
Justin is a Registered Nurse with over 20 years of experience working in HIV prevention and treatment. Justin dedicates his life to reducing the stigma of HIV by living openly as an HIV-positive gay man.
Elizabeth Taylor Medical Center Medical Director
Sarah Henn has been the Medical Director of the Elizabeth Taylor Medical Center since she joined Whitman-Walker Health in 2007. In this role, she oversees medical services and providers at our center in Northwest Washington.
Henn has been working as an infectious diseases specialist since 2004. She previously served as a Clinical Instructor in the Department of Medicine at the University of Maryland and as a Technical Advisor for AIDSRelief/PEPFAR at the University of Maryland Biotechnology Institute and was on faculty at the Cleveland Clinic. Henn has also worked in professional positions in Jordan, South Africa, and England. In addition to her work at Whitman-Walker, she also holds an appointment as an assistant clinical professor at George Washington University and at Georgetown University.
Henn received a bachelor’s degree in Political Studies from Hamilton College and a medical degree from University of Virginia. She was an intern at Emory University, a resident at University of Virginia, and completed an infectious disease fellowship at University of Maryland. Henn also holds a Master of Public Health from Johns Hopkins University. She is fluent in German.
Patrick Hughes joined Whitman-Walker Health in March 2002 originally as a part-time staff dentist and later, in December 2003, accepted the position of Director of Dental Services. A native of Pennsylvania, he attended both Penn State University and The University of Pittsburgh School of Dental Medicine, where he received his D.M.D. degree.
Hughes started his dental career in Texas as a Captain in the U.S. Air Force. He continued with a staff dentist position, and later, the dental director position, in a rural community-based health center in the Appalachian mountains of southern West Virginia. In January 2002, Hughes moved to Washington, D.C. to continue his work in community based health care with an emphasis in oral health care for the HIV and LGBT communities.
Shawn Jain joined Whitman-Walker Health as Director of Communications in March 2014. In this role, he leads external and internal communications and marketing efforts for the organization.
Before joining Whitman-Walker, he worked as a Media Strategist at the American Civil Liberties Union's Washington Legislative Office. Prior to that, he was on the communications team for the landmark XIX International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2012), which took place in Washington, D.C. He also brings experience from his work with a strategic communications firm in New York that specialized in health care.
A native of California, he received his B.A. in Political Science, Spanish, and South Asian Studies from the University of California, Berkeley.
Director of Compliance
Judy Jenkins joined the Whitman-Walker staff as Director of Compliance on Sept. 1, 2010, after having provided legal services to WW’s former Director of Compliance in a pro bono capacity. She received her undergraduate degree from Michigan State University and her law degree from the American University Washington College of Law.
Ms. Jenkins began her career as a Legislative Aide to a United States Senator, after which she worked for many years in the Washington, D.C. office of a Michigan-based law firm. Her areas of legal expertise included white collar criminal defense, antitrust and trade regulation matters, and representation of trade associations. Throughout her years in private practice, she also performed legal work for several nonprofit organizations on a pro bono basis.
As WW’s Director of Compliance, Ms. Jenkins is responsible for overseeing all of the compliance-related activities, advising senior management on the effectiveness of the compliance program, and supporting the Board of Directors Subcommittee on Quality Assurance, Compliance and Risk Management. Ms. Jenkins lives in Bethesda, Maryland with her husband. They have a daughter and two sons.
Director of Public Benefits, Senior Managing Attorney
Erin Loubier is Director of Public Benefits and Senior Managing Attorney. Her area of expertise is public benefits, including Social Security disability law, Medicare and Medicaid, and local DC, Maryland and Virginia public benefits. She oversees Whitman-Walker’s public benefits and client eligibility program and represents clients in complex public benefit matters at all levels of appeal. Erin also oversees pro bono lawyer and staff training and resource materials that Whitman-Walker produces. She is active in systemic reform efforts involving Social Security, Medicaid, Medicare Part D, D.C.’s Office of Administrative Hearings, and access to healthcare generally. Erin is a member of the DC Healthcare Ombudsman Program’s Advisory Committee and DC Medicaid Community Advisory Committee, chairs the DC Bar's Public Benefits Training series, and speaks frequently on public benefit issues throughout the metropolitan area. She is the recipient of the DC Bar Foundation’s 2011 Jerrold Scoutt Prize, presented each year to an outstanding legal services attorney.
Erin came to Whitman-Walker in 1998 after receiving her law degree from American University’s Washington College of Law. Prior to law school, she worked for three years at Equal Justice Works (formerly NAPIL) as student organizer and programs coordinator. Erin received her B.A. in 1992 from Drew University, and has a graduate-level certification in mediation from Syracuse University. She is a member of the District of Columbia and Maryland Bars. Erin lives in Washington, DC with her husband and their two daughters.
Director of Quality Improvement
Rachel McLaughlin has been at WWH since 2008 and has worked in various capacities from grant management to quality improvement. As Director of Quality Improvement, she supports the Health Center’s mission by focusing on two overarching goals: improving the patient experience of care and improving the health of WWH’s patient population. The WWH Quality Improvement department oversees evaluation, improvement, and data reporting activities for the wide range of WWH programs and service and supports the Board of Directors Subcommittee on Quality Assurance. Rachel has participated in quality leader training led by the National Quality Center and is a trainer of trainers in Quality Improvement principles. She participates in regional and national quality improvement activities on behalf of the Health Center, such as The DC Cross-Part Collaborative, HIVQUAL, and the In+Care campaign for retention in HIV care. Rachel was a member of the WWH Quality team that won the 2011 National Quality Center Quality of Care Award in Performance Measurement.
Rachel enjoys volunteering at WWH in her spare time and is an STD screener and HIV risk reduction counselor at our evening Gay Men’s Health and Wellness/STD clinic. Prior to joining Whitman-Walker, Rachel taught writing and literature at the George Washington University and Rutgers University. She holds in MA in English from Rutgers University and a BA with honors in English and Women’s Studies from Wesleyan University. Rachel is currently studying toward a Master’s in Public Health in Health Promotion at GWU.
Director of Human Resources
Carole Schor joined Whitman-Walker in 2012 with 27 years of experience as a Vice President of Human Resources in a variety of large and small hospitals and health care systems. She came to Whitman-Walker because of its dedication to the community and its mission to provide quality care.Most recently, Carole served as the Corporate Vice President of Human Resources for Children’s National Hospital in Washington, DC. Prior to that, she served as the Vice President of Human Resources for Anne Arundel Medical Center in Annapolis, Maryland. She also served in a similar capacity for Parkview Health System in Fort Wayne, Indiana, Franciscan Health System in Cincinnati, Ohio, and Legacy Health System in Portland, Oregon.At Whitman-Walker, Carole oversees all Human Resources functions including recruitment, retention, compensation, benefits, employee/labor relations and training and organizational development.
Carole holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Rhode Island, a master’s degree in educational psychology from Rhode Island College, a doctoral degree in educational psychology from The Catholic University of America, and an executive master’s degree in administration specializing in Human Resources from the University of Maryland. She also holds a lifetime certification as a Senior Professional in Human Resources from The Society of Human Resources Management.
Photos by: Shaun Schroth & Scott Henrichsen