Washington Post Examines History of Financial Trouble at Washington, D.C.-Based Whitman-Walker Clinic
The Washington Post on Monday examined the history of financial trouble at the Washington, D.C.-based Whitman-Walker Clinic, which recently has had to make cuts in services and lay off employees (Levine, Washington Post, 6/6). Whitman-Walker's board at the end of last month approved about $2.5 million in cuts to its annual budget and announced it will end services permanently in the district's Northern Virginia and Maryland suburbs. The group -- which serves about 7,000 HIV-positive individuals in the Washington, D.C., area and has a $29 million budget for 2005 -- earlier in May had announced that it was facing financial constraints that might force the group to consider program cutbacks (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 6/2). The cuts stem from "financial erosion over the past six years and myriad factors that were within and beyond the organization's control," according to the Post. The clinic's troubles began in the late 1990s when contributions fell after "the sense of urgency" about HIV/AIDS decreased following the introduction of highly active antiretroviral treatment, according to the Post. Contributions to the clinic dramatically declined from about $13 million in 2000 to $8.2 million in 2003. The clinic in recent years also has experienced "protracted internal turmoil," according to the Post. "A lot of things out of their control put them where they are, and a lot of things in their control put them where they are, and it's the complicated relationship between the two," Channing Wickham, director of the Washington AIDS Partnership, said, adding, "There's plenty of blame and responsibility to go around here" (Washington Post, 6/6).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.