District Of Columbia: Officials Look for Ways to Maintain AIDS Care
June 8, 2005
Yesterday, more than two dozen officials from the Washington region met privately to discuss the impact of the Whitman-Walker Clinic's (WWC) proposed cuts.
The agency, which is the region's principal provider of AIDS services, has announced $2.5 million in budget reductions that will involve its withdrawal from satellite facilities in Takoma Park and Arlington County. WWC will survey hundreds of suburban clients to learn whether they would choose to continue accessing care through the clinic by coming into the District.
The budget cuts at WWC will affect health, housing, and support programs across the organization. Officials have said a short-term bailout will not solve WWC's problems.
Participants at yesterday's meeting "all agreed to work collaboratively," said Gregg A. Pane, District health director. The central issue for participants at the gathering was how to maintain a continuum of care for clients.
District Councilmember Jim Graham (D-Ward 1) supports the concept of maintaining WWC's regional mission. "We shouldn't slice this thing up," said Graham, who was WWC's executive director for 15 years.
Local agencies are now compiling a list of alternative providers. Northern Virginia AIDS activists and care providers have a task force investigating how WWC's facility there could become a stand-alone operation. Their counterparts in Maryland are not as far along.
06.08.05; Susan Levine
This article was provided by CDC National Prevention Information Network. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update.