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Care Programs / Guides, Forms & FAQ
Guides, Forms & FAQ
Guides

GUIDES

Accepted Insurance Plans

Insurance Navigation

GUIDES

Crisis Hotlines

Behavioral Health

GUIDES

ESP
Crisis Hotlines

Behavioral Health

GUIDES

ESP
DC - Name & Gender Change Guide

Legal Services

GUIDES

End of Life Planning

Legal Services

GUIDES

Gender Affirming Books of Interest

Gender Affirming Services

GUIDES

Gender Affirming Support Groups

Gender Affirming Services

GUIDES

Insurance Navigation - What to Bring

Insurance Navigation

GUIDES

PFLAG Support Groups

Gender Affirming Services

GUIDES

PrEP Flyer

Community Health & Wellness

GUIDES

ESP
PrEP Flyer

Community Health & Wellness

GUIDES

Preparing for Gender Affirming Surgery

Gender Affirming Services

GUIDES

Safer Sex for Trans Bodies

Community Health & Wellness

GUIDES

Safer Sex Guide

Community Health & Wellness

GUIDES

Sexo mas seguro

Community Health & Wellness

GUIDES

Sexo mas seguro para cuerpos trans

Community Health & Wellness

GUIDES

Sliding Fee Scale 2018

Insurance Navigation

GUIDES

Starting PrEP

Community Health & Wellness

GUIDES

ESP
Starting PrEP

Community Health & Wellness

GUIDES

Supportive Resources Guide

Community Health & Wellness

GUIDES

Transgender Resource Guide

Gender Affirming Services

Forms

FORMS

Consent for Behavioral Health Care for Minor

 

- With Parental Consent Only<...

FORMS

Shared Decision Making Tool

Shared Decision Making Tool Form

FORMS

Stock Bond Gift Transfer

Stock/Bond Gift Transfer Instruction Form

FAQ
Behavioral Health & Substance Use Treatment

Is Whitman-Walker accepting new clients for behavioral health services?

At times we have limited or no availability for psychotherapy or certain programs. If this is the case we will provide appropriate referrals for other behavioral health services in the community. We try to offer referrals to behavioral health providers that accept your insurance and are experts in treating your concerns. At this time, we are not accepting new patients for psychiatric services.

Can anyone receive psychotherapy and psychiatry at Whitman-Walker?

Only clients who are currently receiving medical care at Whitman-Walker can be assessed for psychotherapy and psychiatry at Whitman-Walker. Group psychotherapy, substance use treatment, and peer support are open to individuals who do not receive their medical care here.

Does Whitman-Walker provide substance use treatment that's right for me?

Whitman-Walker provides a variety of substance use treatment programs, including: harm reduction, outpatient treatment, and medication assisted treatment for opiate use. For individuals who are in need of medical detox or a higher level of care, we will refer these individuals out for more intensive treatment.

Can I transfer my care from a Core Service Agency (CSA) to Whitman-Walker?

This is not encouraged. Whitman-Walker only provides outpatient care like psychotherapy and psychiatry. Core Service Agencies (CSAs) provide a higher level of care including case management, on-call psychiatry, and mental health crisis management.

Are there groups that can support my needs?

There are many different kinds of groups at Whitman-Walker, including substance use treatment, psychotherapy, and peer support groups. To find out more about peer support contact our Peer Support Coordinator at 202.939.7646.

How do I find out more about behavioral health services?

If you are not a patient of Whitman-Walker and are curious about group or substance use treatment, please contact our Treatment Coordinator at 202.797.3539 to discuss care options. If you are a current patient of Whitman-Walker, ask your medical team or a Client Services Representative to schedule an appointment with a Behavioral Health Specialist to learn more about treatment options.

Cancer Support

Can I participate in cancer support programs even if I'm not a Whitman-Walker patient?

Yes. Our cancer support services are open to the community, regardless of where you receive your healthcare.

Does Whitman-Walker offer cancer treatment (chemotherapy, radiation, etc.)?

No. Whitman-Walker Health is a Federally Qualified Health Center that offers primary medical care, dental, and behavioral health care. We do not offer specialty care like chemotherapy or radiology.

Daytime STI Testing Services

What STI testing is offered during the day at Whitman-Walker Health?

Whitman-Walker offers free, walk-in, confidential testing for syphilis at Whitman-Walker at 1525 and Max Robinson Center, and chlamydia and gonorrhea via our Self-Test Kit at Youth Services, Whitman-Walker at 1525 and Max Robinson Center. The Self-Test kit consists of a phlebotomist blood draw for syphilis, a urine sample, and self-collected throat and rectal swabs for chlamydia and gonorrhea. Test results typically come back in 8 business days. Testing hours may vary by location and some tests may only be available during certain hours. Please, check our website here for the most up-to-date hours.

I think I'm having symptoms of an STI. Is walk-in testing right for me?

No. Walk-in testing is for routine STI screening meant for clients who are not experiencing symptoms of sexually transmitted infections. If you are experiencing symptoms, and you're not a registered medical patient with Whitman-Walker, you should visit our evening sexual health clinic on Tuesday and Thursday evenings. Learn more about our evening clinic here.

What are my options for seeing a medical provider during the day if I have an STI-related concern such as an exposure or symptoms?

If you are a Whitman-Walker Health medical patient, you may schedule an appointment with a medical team member by calling 202.745.7000. If you are not a medical patient, we recommend going to our evening sexual health clinic on Tuesday and Thursday evenings. Learn more about our evening clinic here. Please note, we do not offer daytime treatment for exposures or symptoms without an appointment.

How often should I get tested for STIs?

The CDC recommends that all sexually active individuals get STI screenings at least annually. People who have multiple or anonymous partners should be screened more frequently for STIs. For example, get tested every 3-6 months.

Donating to Whitman-Walker

How do I make a donation?

You can choose to make your donation online by clicking here, or mailing a check to 1342 Florida Avenue NW, Washington DC, 20009.

Is my donation tax-deductible?

Absolutely. Our Federal Tax ID is 52-1122122, and you will receive an email or paper acknowledgment of your gift for your tax records.

Can I donate in-kind items (medical equipment, other supplies, etc.)?

While we appreciate the generosity of our donors, we are unable to accept in-kind gifts at this time. Please consider other, local non-profit organizations that may be in a better position to accept in-kind donations.

I have another giving-related question that I don’t see here.

No problem! Give our Development Office a call any time at 202.797.4415.

Evening STI Clinic & Daytime STI Treatment

What services are offered at the evening sexual health clinic?

The Gay Men's Health & Wellness evening clinic offers free HIV and STI testing as well as STI evaluation and treatment based on exposure or symptoms. Clients can access post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) for a fee if an exposure to HIV has occurred within the past 72 hours. If you have insurance coverage that Whitman-Walker accepts, you can also start PrEP the same you visit the clinic. PrEP coverage navigation is available for clients who are uninsured. Learn more about our evening sexual health clinic here.

What time does the sexual health clinic start?

The clinic begins at 5:30 pm each Tuesday and Thursday evening. In order to secure a space in the clinic, we recommend arriving between 3:30 - 4:30 pm as there are a limited number of spaces each evening. If you arrive before 4:30 PM, please get a number on the second floor. If it is after 4:30 PM, please come directly to the clinic on the 4th floor.

How long should I expect to be at the clinic?

We try to get clients in and out as quick as possible, but based on clinic volume, clients can expect to spend anywhere from 45 minutes to 1.5 hours going through the process once the clinic begins at 5:30 pm.

How long do clinic testing results take?

Results for rapid HIV testing are available in 20 minutes. STI test results are available on the Patient Portal in 5-8 business days or by phone in 8 business days.

Gender Affirming Services 

What will my first visit for gender affirming care be like at Whitman-Walker?

At your first medical appointment, you will be asked to complete a basic history with your doctor or medical team member. You will also be asked to complete lab work to begin the process of establishing yourself as a patient of the health center. Our medical team will introduce you to some of Whitman-Walker's support services. You can expect to formally start and discuss hormones and surgical processes—two things many folks look forward to in their gender affirming care with us—during or after your second medical visit.

Do I have to be in mental health care for hormones?  

Mental Health therapy is not an absolute requirement for hormones. Many Whitman-Walker patients do not need or request mental health services. It is important to note that a past history of mental health or substance use history will not always make a referral to a Behavioral Health Specialist necessary. However, your doctor or medical team member will assess for any risk for relapse and your current mental health stability. Based on this assessment, your doctor may feel that a mental health assessment is needed. Together, you and your doctor will discuss why they feel an assessment is needed and any specific concerns around hormones. These concerns will be shared with the mental health provider – who you will be meeting with – for the assessment to guarantee the best coordinated care and address concerns as efficiently as possible. Our goal is to provide you with complete care and, in turn, positive health outcomes.

What surgeries does Whitman-Walker offer referrals for?

Whitman-Walker offers referrals for the following procedures related to gender dysphoria: chest reconstructive surgeries including breast augmentation and mastectomy; facial feminizing procedures including tracheal shave, rhinoplasty, mandibular lift, and forehead drop; hysterectomy; phalloplasty; metoidioplasty; vaginoplasty; orchiectomy. Whitman-Walker does not offer referrals for body contouring.

What is the process for getting my referral and letters at Whitman-Walker Health?

Once you've had a medical appointment to review recent clinical labs and discuss a surgical referral with your medical provider, you'll be linked to a Trans Care Navigator. Through a phone call, the Trans Care Navigator will coordinate and explain the referral process to you, hear your questions, schedule visits with a Behavioral Health Specialist to collect information for your letter of support, and keep you posted on progress until it’s time to schedule a consult with the surgeon. We don't refer you to a surgeon's office unless your supportive paperwork is ready as that's a sign of everything being in place for insurance coverage and for the surgeon to move forward. If you're paying out-of-pocket, you can move through this process at your own pace and likely won't need letters of support from Whitman-Walker. If your out-of-pocket surgeon still wants letters from Whitman-Walker, your process will look similarly. This process can take a couple of months to complete, depending on your medical health status and how much information a Behavioral Health Specialist might need.

How many mental health sessions will I need to schedule before getting my letters?

For above-the-waist surgeries, you will meet with a mental health provider for a minimum of two sessions. For below-the-waist surgeries, you will meet with a mental health provider for a minimum of four sessions, which includes three sessions with a Behavioral Health Specialist and one session with a doctoral level mental health provider. These sessions will include reviewing your mental health history, exploring your experience of Gender Dysphoria, and working on a thorough surgery preparation and recovery plan. Please note it is very important that you attend these appointments. If you miss two appointments and do not call within 24 hours to cancel, you’ll have to wait three months before you can be rescheduled. If you reschedule your appointment more than two times, you will also have to wait three months to reschedule. These restrictions have been put in place to increase the clinical availability of our mental health providers so that we can serve the high volume of patients seeking gender affirming surgery.

How many letters do I need for surgery?

Any surgery that is above your waist, or above your genitals, will require one letter from a Behavioral Health clinician and one letter from your medical provider. Any surgery that is below your waist will require one letter that is co-signed by two independent Behavioral Health clinicians and one letter from your medical provider.

What happens if my surgery gets denied?

If your surgery is denied, our Trans Care Navigator will speak with you about appealing that denial with our Legal Services team. The Trans Care Navigator will need your consent to get you linked to that department. From there, you will learn about your situation regarding surgery denial, what an appeal will look like with Whitman-Walker support, and wait to hear whether your case is assigned to a lawyer. Not every denial requires ongoing legal support. Sometimes our lawyers are able to troubleshoot with surgeons to simply re-submit the prior authorization.

What surgeons do you recommend I work with?

We keep a list of surgeons we commonly refer to, and we encourage everyone to do some research to learn about surgeons in the area. For folks with DC Medicaid plans, we keep a tighter list of close partners at local hospital systems. We do not have a formal referral network with any one hospital system or private practice surgeon, and really want you to get what you need out of your own relationship with a surgeon.

I am under 18, can I get gender affirming care at Whitman-Walker? Do I have to tell my parents?

Whitman-Walker serves youth ages 13-24 years old. To start hormones, the first step is a visit with your Whitman-Walker primary care provider. To schedule this appointment, you will need parental consent. After discussing your medical history – and once your medical provider feels that you are medically ready to begin hormones -you will be referred for mental health assessment with a mental health provider. This assessment may include a minimum of 3-6 sessions, and may include the recommendation to continue ongoing therapy or a psychiatry referral. We also provide individual and group therapy, and free trauma-focused mental health care to youth who have experienced or witnessed a crime. Youth do not need parental consent to engage in mental health services. However, you and your mental health provider will discuss how your parents or caregivers may be involved in your care. Therapy includes a variety of techniques including art, music, and sand play. To learn more about Youth Mental Health, please call 202.207.2361.

Do you have a list of area support groups?

See our list of Gender Affirming Support groups in the DC, Maryland and Virginia area here.

HIV Testing Services

Do I need an appointment for HIV testing?

No. Rapid HIV testing is offered on a walk-in basis only. Testing hours may vary by location and some tests may only be available during certain hours. Please, check our website here for the most up-to-date hours.

How much does HIV testing cost?

Rapid HIV testing services are free of charge, but we always welcome donations. Your generosity helps keep this service free and available to our community's most underserved.

Do I need to have insurance coverage for HIV testing?

No. You do not need to present any insurance information to receive rapid HIV testing.

What type of HIV testing is offered at Whitman-Walker Health?

Whitman-Walker currently offers the INSTI® HIV-1/HIV-2 Rapid Antibody Test. This is a finger stick, blood test that gives results in just one minute. Please call 202.797.4439 for more information about Whitman-Walker's HIV testing process.

Do you offer free, walk-in fourth generation HIV (antigen) tests during the day?

No. Whitman-Walker medical patients may schedule an appointment with their medical provider and request a fourth generation lab test. If you are not a patient at Whitman-Walker, you can get a fourth generation test for $20 at our evening sexual health clinic on Tuesday and Thursday evenings. Learn more about our evening clinic here.

Is HIV testing at Whitman-Walker anonymous?

No, testing is not anonymous. Whitman-Walker offers confidential rapid HIV testing. Whitman-Walker complies with the confidentiality requirements of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and the Privacy and Security Rules implementing the Act. Unless an exception to the Act applies or you authorize the release of the information, Protected Health Information relating to your HIV/STI testing will become part of your electronic medical record at our health center and will remain confidential.

How often should I get an HIV test?

The CDC recommends all sexually active individuals get HIV screenings at least annually. People who have multiple or anonymous partners should be tested for HIV more frequently. Getting tested every 3-6 months is recommended.

My partner and I want to get our HIV tests at the same time. Can we do that at Whitman-Walker?

Yes. Testing Together is an HIV testing and counseling service for people and their sexual partner. Testing Together helps couples get tested and talk about safer sex together. It’s a chance for both of you to find out your current HIV status, learn how to play safely, and talk openly and honestly about sex and your relationship! This service is by appointment only. To schedule a Testing Together appointment, please call 202.797.4406.

I would like Whitman-Walker to provide HIV testing at an event. What do I need to do?

Visit our Contact Us page and submit a contact form with "Training & Event" selected. Tell us the date and timeframe of your event. Please also provide a short description of the event.

I would like Whitman-Walker to come and do a health education presentation in my community. What do I need to do?

You can request a training by visiting our Training and Education page. Learn more about educational offerings and submit a form to request a training here.

I would love to volunteer as an HIV tester. How do I start?

Whitman-Walker is always looking for vibrant volunteers on our Community Health & Wellness team! Please contact our Volunteer Coordinator at 202.745.6102 or submit a volunteer form for more information.

Legal Services

How do I get an appointment to speak with an attorney?

The best way to connect with Whitman-Walker Legal Services is by contacting our intake coordinator at 202.939.7630 or our main Legal Services phone line at 202.939.7627. The intake coordinator will discuss your legal issue with you and determine if we can set up an appointment for you to speak with an attorney. You can also email us at contact-legal@whitman-walker.org.

Can you take my case?

Legal issues are very complex. Although Whitman-Walker Legal Services specializes in a number of areas, we are unable to handle all cases that come our way. It is best that you call our intake coordinator at 202.939.7630 to discuss your legal matters. We recommend you reach out to legal service providers as early as possible to make sure you have the best chance at finding representation that fits your needs.

Do you have walk-in appointments for Legal Services?

Before walking-in, we recommend you contact our legal coordinator at 202.939.7630. However, if you are at our Whitman-Walker at 1525 location, you may ask the 5th floor Client Services Representative if there is any walk-in availability for Legal Services. Whitman-Walker also has walk-in Legal Services at Max Robinson Center on a limited basis.

What types of legal issues do you handle at Whitman-Walker?

Whitman-Walker handles legal issues that include public benefits—various insurances and social security; immigration; wills and powers of attorney; employment; discrimination; medical privacy; and correcting identity documents for Transgender and gender non-conforming clients.

How do I volunteer with Legal Services?

Please fill out our volunteer interest form and select "In the Legal Clinic" when submitting.

Medical Care and Appointments

Can I still be seen if I am late for my appointment?

If you check-in with a Client Services Representative within 15 minutes of your appointment time, you can still be seen. If later than 15 minutes, we will check for other appointment openings with your medical provider for later that day, if possible. If you are experiencing a health issue that concerns you or is causing you pain, we will check for openings with another medical provider for that same day or the next morning. If appointments are not available, we will offer you the option of speaking with the triage nurse, scheduling the next available appointment with your medical provider, or providing a list of Urgent Care centers that may be able to see you.

What insurances are accepted for medical care?

Whitman-Walker accepts most public and private insurance plans. See a full list of our accepted insurance plans here.

What should I expect at my first medical appointment?

At your first medical appointment, you will be asked to complete a basic medical history with your doctor or medical team member. You will also be asked to complete lab work to begin the process of establishing yourself as a patient of the health center. Additionally, our medical team will introduce you to some of Whitman-Walker's support services.

How far out can I schedule for an appointment?

Currently with our scheduling system, we are only scheduling appointments 2 weeks out from the time of scheduling. We will contact you and remind you to schedule upcoming appointments that are greater than 2 weeks out.

I have Bluecross Blueshield Blue Choice HMO. Do you accept this insurance?

We accept Bluecross Blueshield Choice HMO, but you must contact your insurance provider to select one our medical providers as Primary Care Physician prior to being seen at Whitman-Walker Health.

I do not speak English. Do your doctors speak Spanish?

We have providers that are fluent in Spanish and can provide interpreters over the phone or in person to assist you for your appointment. This service is available in multiple languages. If you are in need of these language access services, contact Whitman-Walker’s Language Assistance Coordinator at isanchez@Whitman-walker.org or 202.939.7654.

Pharmacy

What are the pharmacy hours?

The Whitman-Walker Pharmacy is open Monday through Friday from 8:00 am to 8:00 pm, and Saturday from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm.

I have a prescription from a medical provider who does not provide care at Whitman-Walker Health. Can I still get my prescription filled at the Whitman-Walker Pharmacy?

Absolutely! We are an open-door pharmacy and will fill prescriptions from outside providers.

What insurances are accepted at the pharmacy?

We accept most government and commercial insurance plans, including but not limited to: DC Medicaid, ADAP, Trusted, Amerihealth, Amerigroup, and Medicare D plans.

Can you deliver prescriptions?

Yes. We offer next-day delivery within the Washington, DC and delivery in 2 business days for Maryland and Virginia.

Do you have anyone on your pharmacy team who speaks another language?

Yes! Our pharmacy team includes staff who speak English, Spanish and Amharic.

How do I refill my prescriptions?

To refill your prescription contact our pharmacy prescription line at 866.724.1805, us the Whitman-Walker Pharmacy app for iPhone or Android, or visit our pharmacy page here.

Can someone else pick up my medications for me?

Yes, however your representative needs to verify your name, date of birth, and address for pick up.

How do I contact the pharmacy?

For general pharmacy inquiries, call 866.724.1805. To refill your prescription, call 866.724.1805 or click here. If you need a new prescription from your medical provider, you can call 866.724.1805, visit the Patient Portal or download the mobile app and request a renewal through there. The app is available in the Apple App Store and the Android App Store.

Can you let me know when my prescriptions are ready?

Yes, you can sign up for automatic pharmacy notifications via text, voicemail or email through the Patient Portal and Whitman-Walker Pharmacy app.

PrEP & PEP

What is PrEP?

“PrEP” stands for Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis. It is an FDA-approved prevention pill for people who don’t have HIV, but who have a greater chance of becoming HIV-positive. When taken every day, PrEP can prevent an HIV infection by over 92%. You can use PrEP with other prevention methods, like condoms, to offer more protection. For PrEP to work, people who use it must take it every day seven days a week.

How can I pay for PrEP? Can I get it for free?

Most insurance plans cover the cost of PrEP prescriptions, but eligible uninsured clients can sign up for the Gilead Patient Assistance Program. Call our PrEP Line at 202.939.7690 for more details on the Gilead Patient Assistance Program.

I don’t have insurance, can I still get PrEP?

Yes. If you do not have insurance, our Public Benefits and Insurance Navigators can help you find options and enroll in an insurance plan that’s right for you. Call our insurance navigation team at 202.745.6151. Additionally, Gilead (the maker of Truvada used for PrEP) has two programs for individuals who need help paying for their PrEP prescription. Call our PrEP Line at 202.939.7690 for more detail on patient assistance programs.

Do I need to see an HIV specialist to start PrEP?

No, you can go to any medical provider who prescribes medication to get PrEP.

How often do I need to see my doctor?

Per CDC guidelines, patients on a PrEP medication regimen are required to attend follow-up visits with their medical teams every 3 months for lab work and prescription refills.

I am ready to start using PrEP. What should I do?

Whitman-Walker currently offers PrEP as an option for HIV prevention. To schedule an appointment or learn more, call our PrEP Line at 202.939.7690.

I think I was exposed to HIV. What should I do?

Post Exposure Prophylaxis (PEP) is a 28-day course of medication that is effective in preventing HIV infection when taken within 72 hours after a high-risk exposure. PEP is only available by prescription and can be accessed through the ER or through a visit with a Whitman-Walker medical provider. PEP is available at Whitman-Walker Monday through Friday from 9:00 am – 4:00 pm at Whitman-Walker at 1525 and Max Robinson Center. It is also available through our evening sexual health clinic on Tuesday and Thursday evenings. Call 202.797.4439 for more information about how you can access PEP as quickly as possible.

I'm currently on PrEP, and I think I was exposed to HIV. Do I need PEP?

We think it’s great that you're engaging in preventative healthcare by taking PrEP! If you have missed doses of your PrEP prescription, PEP may be right for you. You should contact your prescribing medical provider as soon as possible to discuss your potential exposure. Please keep in mind that PEP is most effective within 72 hours of an HIV exposure.

Policy

Why is it important for Whitman-Walker to devote resources to public policy advocacy?

Ensuring accessible and high-quality healthcare is more than just offering excellent care to our patients. Much of your health depends on your environment, which is greatly influenced by laws and other government actions. Laws and public policies impact your access to healthcare and other services people need to live safe and healthy lives. Federal and DC laws, and regulatory policies – and laws and regulatory policies in Maryland, Virginia and other States bordering our metropolitan area – can affect the rights, well-being and access to healthcare of LGBTQ individuals and families. These laws and policies also advance or undercut HIV prevention and treatment efforts; and can make life easier or more difficult for our patients and the larger communities at the heart of our mission. Whitman-Walker’s unique combination of medical and behavioral health expertise, legal expertise, and research enables us to advance LGBTQ rights and dignity, and the fight against HIV locally, nationally and even internationally.

What are the top issues for the policy department at Whitman-Walker Health?

The policy team works with local and national groups on issues related to a wide range of LGBTQ and HIV-related topic. Current high-priority areas for us at Whitman-Walker include: 1. Transgender healthcare and wellness.
2. Culturally, welcoming and clinically competent care for LGBTQ individuals and families – of all races and income levels.
3. Fighting HIV in communities that are hardest hit by the virus, including black and brown same-gender-loving men, youth, heterosexual women and transgender people.

How does Whitman-Walker Health decide what policy issues to focus on?

Our policy team works closely with our medical and behavioral health providers, researchers, and community health and youth services staff; local community-based groups; and national advocates, to identify important issues. We also welcome ideas and feedback from our patients and others in the community.

Are there opportunities to intern with your policy team? If so, what are the requirements?

Yes, we accept requests on a rolling basis for unpaid internships. The requirements, including the length of the commitment, depend on the current needs of the policy team. We strongly prefer law students, graduate students in public health or public policy, or individuals with graduate degrees, but we will consider other highly motivated and qualified individuals. If you would like to intern with us, please email your resume and interests to gbagal@whitman-walker.org.

How can I stay up to date with the latest policy work of Whitman-Walker?

You can find out what our policy team is up to by visiting the Policy Blog, and by following Whitman-Walker Health on Facebook and Twitter at @whitmanwalker.

Research

Where is the research department located?

The research department sees patients at Whitman-Walker at 1525, Max Robinson Center and at our Research location at 19th Street, NW. If you are coming in for an appointment, please check in at the front desk, and let them know you are here for a research appointment. We will escort you to the research suite from the waiting area.

Who do I call if I am interested in becoming a research patient?

Please see our Currently Enrolling page for studies with open spots, and contact the study coordinator who is listed for each study. For general research questions, please call 202.207.2510.

Do I need to be a patient at Whitman-Walker to be in a research study?

No. We can enroll any eligible patients into a study, and you do not have to already be seen at the clinic to get involved. If you are not currently a Whitman-Walker patient, we will ask you to fill out a registration form to register you in our system, as well as a Release of Information form so we can get the correct medical records to confirm your eligibility.

I am coming in for my first appointment in Research. What can I expect?

Although first appointments can vary by study, there are a few common things that happen in the initial visit. Your study coordinator, who conducts the appointment, will review the purpose of the study as well as the potential risks and benefits of your participation contained in the Informed Consent Form (ICF). If you have not done so already, you will be asked to read and review the ICF, and any questions you might have will be answered thoroughly. You and your study coordinator will then sign the ICF, and continue on with the visit. Often, first visits are “screening” visits, in which your current health and medical history are reviewed by the study coordinator and care providers to make sure you are able to participate. These visits often include a physical exam, a blood draw for routine lab work, taking your vital signs (height, weight, blood pressure, pulse), and a review of your medical history. The exact details of your first visit will be discussed with you before you sign your consent form.

I am interested in research, but I am worried about my private information being shared. How will my information be protected?

In research, we only share information that is absolutely necessary for your care during the study. It is very important to us that we protect your private health information during the research process. We uphold strict rules regarding patient privacy. Generally, your protected health information (PHI) will not be shared with the study sponsor, and will only be shared with people directly involved in your care. We are bound by HIPAA rules, and your study coordinator will review the details of who can see your health information when you sign the informed consent form.

I am interested in a trial with medication, but I am worried about side effects. How can I learn more about these medicines and their risks?

All the medications we study at Whitman-Walker are developed by study “sponsors” or companies that run these studies. The sponsors have spent a long time evaluating these medications, and these studies are a way to understand more about how the medications work and who they work for. Before you agree to be in a study, your study coordinator will discuss the medication with you, including what it is, how it works, when to take it, and what might happen. All this information is located in the informed consent form. We encourage patients to discuss medication side effects with their personal doctors, as well as with any loved ones. We want you to be 100% aware of and comfortable with your decision to participate before you start the study. Also, during the study, you will be asked about your health and any potential side effects of the medications, and your lab work will be closely monitored.

If I sign up for a study, how long will it last?

Each study runs on a different timeline, depending on the purpose of the study. At Whitman-Walker, we have some studies that are as short as a few weeks, and others that last for years! We will always make sure you understand the time commitment before you sign the agreement to be in the study. Also, if you decide at any time that you no longer want to be involved, you are able to stop. We care first and foremost about your health and well-being, and we want to make sure your participation is completely voluntary.

Current Research Patients

I can’t make my appointment today and/or I don’t remember when my next appointment is supposed to happen. Who do I call?

Please call your study coordinator (the person you saw for your first visit) to reschedule. Your coordinator will always call you the day before your visit to remind you of your appointment, and their information will be located on the first page of the informed consent form. If you cannot remember the name of the person you saw, please call the main Whitman-Walker number: 202.745.7000, and ask to be transferred to the Research department.

I forgot to take my study medication yesterday. What do I do?

Do not take an extra dose!  Don’t worry, just write down the day you missed your medication, and please call your study coordinator for more instructions.

I took more study medication than I was supposed to yesterday. What do I do?

Do not skip today’s dose, and please call your study coordinator as soon as possible for more instructions.

I can’t find my study medication. What do I do?

If you think you’ve lost your medication, please call your study coordinator as soon as possible to alert them of the situation. We can provide another set of medication, but we need to do so through the correct channels for the study. If it is a weekday during business hours, please call your coordinator’s office phone. If after business hours or on the weekend, please call the emergency number: 202.487.7141.

I don’t remember when I am supposed to take my study medication. What do I do?

Please call your study coordinator or the medical providers in the Research department with any questions about dosage of your study medication. You can also find dosage instructions in the informed consent form.

I have a study-related emergency. Who can I call?

If it is during office hours, please call your coordinator (number located on the informed consent form). If after hours, please call the emergency number: 202.487.7141.

I am in the hospital. Do I need to tell my study coordinator?

Yes. We always want to know about major changes in your health, such as visits to the hospital. Please call your study coordinator to discuss your visit. If your hospital doctor has questions about the study, please have him or her call the study coordinator for clarification. Please also note, if possible, if you missed any doses of study medication while you were in the hospital.

Can I have a copy of my study records sent to my doctor?

Yes. With your permission, we can share your information with your provider. We will ask you to complete and sign a Release of Information (ROI) form, and ask for the name and phone number of your doctor’s office. If you like, we can also provide you copies of your lab work to take to your physician. Any information kept in your Research chart is able to be shared, so please feel free to ask.

Can I take a new medication while I am taking study medication?

If you are currently taking a study medication, please call your coordinator BEFORE you start any new medicines. Sometimes, medicines can interact with each other, and it is important for us to make sure the medication you want to take is safe in combination with your study medicine.

Training & Education

Do you offer LGBT cultural competency or other trainings focused on the needs of gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and queer people?

Yes, we offer a range of reasonably priced, customizable trainings on a variety of topics focused on the health of LGBT people. Our training areas of expertise include: LGBT cultural competency for healthcare professionals, working with LGBT youth, LGBT legal issues, LGBT behavioral health, working with transgender and gender non-conforming clients, public benefits and insurance navigation, HIV, and more. Learn more about LGBT-focused trainings here.

Do you charge for the trainings you offer? How much does it cost? Do you offer free trainings to community groups or non-profits?

Yes, there is a fee for training services. We are incredibly proud of our over 40-year history of working with the LGBT community and we recognize that this expertise has value. We also recognize that not every organization has the same means to pay for trainings. Our trainings are reasonably priced. Connect with us! We will try to work within your budget and think creatively about opportunities for further partnership.

Do you offer Continuing Medical Education (CMEs) or Continuing Education Units (CEUs) credits for your LGBT cultural competency trainings? If yes, what are the associated costs?

Yes, CME and CEU credits are available for doctors, nurses, social workers, and other licensed professionals for some of our trainings. Costs, and CME and CEU details vary based on the training and your needs. Learn more about Whitman-Walker trainings and educational offerings here. Check with your professional licensing board regarding requirements.

Do your trainings help licensed professional clinical staff meet Washington, DC’s new LGBT Competency requirements?

Yes. Find out more about DC's LBGT Competency requirements and how our trainings can meet your needs here. To learn more about your professional licensing board’s specific requirements and timeline for completing training, click here.

Can you provide training at my office or location? Can Whitman-Walker host training for our staff?

Yes. We are happy to host training for your staff at your location, and we can potentially host your group for training at our Whitman-Walker at 1525 location. Please complete the training request form on our Trainings and Education page here. Also, check out our events calendar for upcoming community trainings.

Is there a schedule of regular trainings you offer?

Yes. We offer a series of rotating trainings, usually held at our Whitman-Walker at 1525 location. Check out our events calendar for upcoming community trainings here. If you don’t see what you’re looking for on the calendar already, you can request training. Go to our Training and Education page to learn more about offerings and request trainings.

Youth & Family Care Navigation

Do I have to be a patient at Whitman-Walker to receive youth or family care navigation services?

No. To be eligible for youth care navigation services you must be 13 to 30 years old, HIV-positive and live in DC. To be eligible for family care navigation services you must live in DC, be HIV-positive and either pregnant or parenting children under the age of 18. You can get your HIV care at Whitman-Walker or any other local medical providers.

Who do youth and family care navigators provide services to?

Youth Care Navigation provides support to youth, ages 13 to 30 who are HIV-positive and need extra support to become healthy or stable. Many youth are newly diagnosed with HIV or changing from pediatric HIV care to adult HIV care.
Family Care Navigation provides support to women who are HIV-positive and pregnant, and adults who are HIV-positive and parenting children under the age of 18. Many women and/or families are facing challenges that make it difficult to attend all their appointments, have healthy HIV-negative babies, and easily care for their children.

Where are youth and family care navigation services located?

Youth and Family Care Navigation services are housed at our Youth Services location in Eastern Market. However, our staff are able to meet with you in the community at a location that you find most comfortable. This could be your home, school, doctor's office, a local library, or any Whitman-Walker location.

How can youth and family care navigation services help me?

Youth and Family Care Navigation staff will meet with you to identify what needs you have that are preventing you from being healthy, happy and stable. Together we will create a plan to address those needs. For Youth Care Navigation clients this could be providing support at doctor appointments – including helping them get there – helping clients navigate DC systems including: Medicaid, SNAP, housing, education and more.
For Family Care Navigation clients this could providing support at doctor appointments for HIV care and OB-GYN care – including helping you travel to your appointments, and navigate DC systems including: Medicaid, SNAP, children's health systems, housing, education, mental health and more. Additionally, our team can help you obtain items necessary for children like car seats, pack n plays, clothing, and WIC. Please note, Whitman-Walker does not offer housing services, but can refer you to housing resources.

How do I get connected to a youth or family care navigator?

You, your HIV care medical provider, your OB-GYN doctor, or other case manager can call our Manager of Youth and Family Care Navigation at 202.421.5130 or rbangert@whitman-walker.org to get connected.

All our Services are available in multiple languages upon request.

Our bilingual staff and volunteers will help get the language services you need!

202.745.7000

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