AIDS Healthcare Foundation in Discussions To Take Over Whitman-Walker Clinic’s Northern Virginia Branch
The Los Angeles-based AIDS Healthcare Foundation on Friday announced it is in discussions with the Washington, D.C.-based Whitman-Walker Clinic to take over the clinic's Northern Virginia branch, which is scheduled to close on Sept. 30 because of financial constraints, the Washington Post reports (Salmon, Washington Post, 7/23). Whitman-Walker's board in May 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 D.C. area and has a $29 million budget for 2005 -- in May announced it was facing financial constraints that might force the group to consider program cutbacks (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 6/9). "We have the capability to run these types of programs," AHF Executive Director Michael Weinstein said, adding, "We just thought that, rather than see this service go away, ... there would be a way to preserve it." The clinic's 17-year-old Arlington, Va., facility currently offers medical care, nutrition counseling, HIV testing and legal services to about 500 clients annually. According to Whitman-Walker officials, the facility needs about $2.2 million annually to operate but only receives $1.6 million in funding from the government and private donors. Whitman-Walker Interim Executive Director Roberta Geidner-Antoniotti said the clinic will examine AHF and the care they provide closely before making any agreements. At a meeting on Thursday, Geidner-Antoniotti said an informal survey of clients at the Virginia facility showed that about half would travel to Whitman-Walker's D.C. locations to access treatment (Washington Post, 7/23).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.