Whitman-Walker Health to Open New Health Care Home in 2015
State-of-the-Art Facility Will Meet the Needs of a Growing Patient Base and Expanded Role in Post-Health Care Reform World
FAQs on New Building
Washington, DC – Whitman-Walker Health will open a new, modern health care home at 1525 14th St., NW, in early 2015 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.
"We will never be able to meet the health care needs of our community and provide the highest quality care in outdated, crowded buildings that were not designed for 21st Century health care,” said Raymond Martins, MD, Chief Medical Officer of Whitman-Walker. “As a physician who sees patients every day, I am heartened to know that Whitman-Walker's leaders have a vision for the future that will ensure that every patient is treated in a comfortable, confidential, state-of-the art environment. This decision is true to our vital mission of high-quality, community-based compassionate care."
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.
“Our patients expect -- and deserve -- the very best care. And we know the setting is one critical component in the patient experience,” said Dr. Martins. “A new, larger setting also allows us to expand the services we offer, like Wellness programs and complementary therapies. That means improved quality care for all of our patients.”
Key WWH quality indicators for 2012 include:
- 95% of patients living with AIDS on prescribed antiretroviral (ARV) medications
- 92% of patients living with HIV on prescribed antiretroviral (ARV) medications
- 86% of patients living with HIV on prescribed ARVs have suppressed viral loads
- 65% of patients living with Diabetes have controlled blood sugar levels
- 74% of female patients received cervical cancer screening according to standard guidelines
- 68% of hypertensive patients have a controlled blood pressure (less than 140/90)
In 2012, Whitman-Walker Health was again recognized by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation as a Leader in LGBT Healthcare Equality.
1525 14th Street NW
The new health care home was secured via a long-term lease with Furioso Development LLC for nearly 43,000 square feet of new space located at 1525 14th Street NW. The building is presently under construction and is expected to be completed in early 2015. The new health care home will provide for major expansions of the following services: primary medical care, pharmacy, mental health and addictions counseling, dental care and legal services. It will also house key new services including optical services, complimentary therapies (acupuncture and massage), pulmonary function testing, and a travel medicine clinic.
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.