Whitman-Walker Health to Honor Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius

Secretary to Receive Partner for Life Award at WWH’s Spring Affair

Washington, DC – Whitman-Walker Health will present the annual Partner for Life award to U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius at “Be the Care,” Whitman-Walker’s annual spring affair on Thursday, April 19, at the Carnegie Institution of Science. Gwen Ifill, moderator and managing editor of “Washington Week” and senior correspondent for the “PBS NewsHour,” will emcee the event. For more information or ticket purchase, visit the Be the Care website.

“I am humbled by this honor and grateful to Whitman-Walker Health for the work they do to care for those affected by HIV/AIDS,” said HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. “We have the opportunity for the first time to usher in an AIDS-free generation. We look forward to working with advocates, health care providers and policymakers to make this a reality.”

“Secretary Sebelius is such a driving force for improving access to high quality, cost-effective health care for all Americans and particularly for the LGBT community and people living with HIV/AIDS,” said Whitman-Walker Health Executive Director Don Blanchon. “Her work is making a huge difference in the lives of communities that are often underserved or marginalized when it comes to accessing quality health care. She is a most deserving recipient of the Partner for Life award.”

Past recipients of the Partner for Life award include former President and Secretary of State Bill and Hillary Clinton, Tipper Gore, Ted Koppel, the MAC AIDS Fund, PEOPLE magazine, Miss America Caressa Cameron and POZ magazine.

The spring affair, marking its 19th year, raises funds for Whitman-Walker’s array of health care services for both HIV and non-HIV patients. This year’s event is co-chaired by Wesley Combs, senior manager at Accenture, and Gardiner Lapham, member of Whitman-Walker Health’s Board of Directors.

“Whitman-Walker has been on a tremendous upswing in the last few years,” said Combs. “The support of the DC community is vital to make sure that success continues. As the number of new patients coming through their doors continues to rise, Whitman-Walker will need our support to continue to provide care for them. ‘Be the Care’ is more than just the name of this event; it’s a call to all of us that we can be a part of the tremendous work done at Whitman-Walker.”

“Last year, Whitman-Walker saw, on average, 150 new patients each month,” said Lapham. “Events like ‘Be the Care’ provide us with the resources we need to continue to provide high quality care to a growing number of patients. We look forward to a wonderful evening with both old and new friends, and a truly deserving honoree in Secretary Sebelius.”

Established in 1978, Whitman-Walker Health is a non-profit community health center located in Washington, DC.   Our mission is to be the highest quality, culturally competent community health center serving greater Washington’s diverse urban community, including individuals who face barriers to accessing care, and with a special expertise in LGBT and HIV care. Whitman-Walker Health 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.  We are especially committed to meeting the health needs of the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community and people living with HIV/AIDS.