Whitman-Walker Health System Appoints Heather Aaron as CEO

Washington, DC (March 25, 2024): Whitman-Walker, a leader in LGBTQ health, research, education and policy with special expertise in HIV care, announces the appointment of Heather Aaron as CEO of Whitman-Walker Health System.

Whitman-Walker Health System advances the mission of Whitman-Walker through expanding the capacities of some of the organization’s most critical functions including research, policy and advocacy, thought-leadership, education, and fundraising, as well as supporting critical operational and real estate endeavors. In her new role as its CEO, Heather will oversee the Whitman-Walker Foundation, the Whitman-Walker Institute, and Whitman-Walker Health System Real Property Holdings.

“We are thrilled to have Heather join Whitman-Walker as CEO of our Health System; she brings an enormous breadth and depth of experience and expertise to our organization.” said Board Chair of Whitman-Walker Health System Ann Bonham. “Heather is the dynamic and collaborative leader that will help us to realize the vision and full-potential of our Health System… building revenue and growth opportunities that will further Whitman-Walker’s care, advocacy, education, and research goals in partnership with Naseema Shafi, CEO of Whitman-Walker Health.”

Heather has spent her entire career in health care, making a difference for the communities where she has served as a Health Care Executive and Educator for more than thirty-five years. She has worked tirelessly to develop diversity, equity, and inclusion in all her work. In Connecticut, she operated the only continuum of care model which included a nursing home, independent living apartments and case management in one centralized community. The care model was specifically designed for people living with HIV and AIDS; Heather’s efforts there significantly improved conditions for residents and staff including members of the LGBTQ+ communities. Most recently, she worked with the State of Connecticut to design equitable and community-driven strategies to fight the Covid-19 pandemic including implementing mobile community covid testing and preventative health screening.

“I’m thrilled to be joining the Whitman-Walker family in service to the community. I look forward to getting to know staff, patients, and engaging with DC in a meaningful way. Hearing from the community is key in responding to its needs. Whitman-Walker has been answering the call for support for over 50 years, and as the Health System CEO, my main goal is to continue to strengthen our community service,” said Heather Aaron, CEO, Whitman-Walker Health System. “At this key moment in time, I’m keenly aware of the challenges facing our communities, as well as the responsibility and opportunity for Whitman-Walker to sustain our mission, and vision to address barriers in advancing positive health outcomes for the people we serve. We will continue to align our research institute work to address community needs and work with our philanthropic partners as we strive to create better health outcomes for all.  I look forward to leading the charge.”

Heather is a transformative leader and a firm believer that every team member is important to the success of an organization regardless of title and position. Heather’s character, passion for community, intellect, experience, and calm confidence will make her an ideal partner with Naseema Shafi, CEO of Whitman-Walker Health. Her purpose and her experience align perfectly with Whitman-Walker’s mantra of “We See You.”

Heather completed her undergraduate studies at Quinnipiac College where she received a Baccalaureate of Science Degree in Health Services Administration and a Baccalaureate of Arts in Psychology. She later completed her graduate studies at Yale School of Medicine, Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, where she received her Master’s Degree in Public Health Administration. In addition, she is a licensed Nursing Home Administrator.


About Whitman-Walker

For over fifty years, Whitman-Walker has been part of the fabric of the local DC and national community as first responder and care-provider for those living with HIV; a leader in LGBTQ care and advocacy; a research center working to discover breakthroughs in HIV treatment and prevention science; and one of the DC’s most trusted partners during the current COVID-19 pandemic. Whitman-Walker envisions a society where all people are seen for who they are, treated with dignity and respect, and afforded equal opportunity to health and wellbeing. More info can be found at: www.whitman-walker.org.

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Media Contact:

Lisa Amore, Sr. Director of Communications, Whitman-Walker

Mobile: 206-954-8006; lisa@amorepr.com

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