June 15, 2017
Washington—We are deeply saddened to announce that Jim Graham, longtime executive director of Whitman-Walker Clinic (now Whitman-Walker Health) passed away today.
Jim courageously led our organization and the community at large through the darkness that was the AIDS epidemic of the 1980s and 1990s. His compassion and commitment was only surpassed by his intellect, energy, and creativity. He was a powerful life force that confronted fear, stigma and discrimination head on in everything he did.
“Our health center lost an important family member. Whitman-Walker Health would not be the sanctuary for affirming services that it is today without all of Jim’s contributions,” said Harry Fox, Chair of Whitman-Walker’s Board of Directors.
Jim was widely credited for his community activism and fight for the inclusion, justice, and health rights of all people regardless of their gender identity or sexual orientation. His community leadership is marked by AIDS Walk Washington, the 1993 March on Washington for Lesbian, Gay and Bi Equal Rights and Liberation, and the annual Capital Pride parade.
“Jim’s spirit, determination, and dedication to our community will be dearly missed,” said Don Blanchon, Executive Director at Whitman-Walker Health. “On a personal note, I will hold close my many conservations and exchanges with Jim. He was truly larger than life.”
About Whitman-Walker Health
Established in 1978, Whitman-Walker Health is a non-profit, federally qualified community health center serving the Washington, DC, metropolitan area. For almost 40 years, Whitman-Walker staff have provided stigma-free and vital healthcare to the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender communities of Greater Washington, as well to those living with or affected by HIV; and to individuals who cannot afford to pay or feel uncomfortable in other healthcare settings. In the 1980s, Whitman-Walker took the lead in fighting the AIDS epidemic, and its facilities on 14th Street served as both literal and symbolic centers in efforts to care for those living with and dying from the disease, as well as centers of research and advocacy on their behalf. Through its four locations in the district, Whitman-Walker annually serves over 18,000 of Greater Washington’s residents with medical care, dental care, mental health and addiction services, legal services, youth programming and many other wellness and support services.
Abby Paige FentonAFenton@whitman-walker.org
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