A message from our CEO, Don Blanchon

When anyone walks through our neighborhood health center’s door, Whitman-Walker wants them to feel welcomed, affirmed and loved.

At Whitman-Walker, you have found a place where we see the person first; a place where patients are treated with dignity, respect and the love they deserve.

This sense of fairness and equity has always been a part of the fabric of Whitman-Walker. From our earliest days as an all-volunteer organization, the local community stepped up to help sick and dying gay men prepare for their death from a mysterious illness we would come to know as HIV/AIDS. Whitman-Walker was at that time the last frontier for people struggling with a disease few Americans understood, and many were afraid of.

This disease took the life of my brother, Robert, in 1999 at the age of 33. He was just 14-months younger than me — my “Irish twin” as we called him in my family. A talented artist and caring soul, he struggled for nearly a decade before he took his last breath. Losing Robert shook me to my core.

He’s also the reason why I joined Whitman-Walker.

I knew that Whitman-Walker had been one of the only sanctuary’s for people during that devastating era. That was due, in large part, to the contributions of men and women who showed up to test, counsel and comfort those who were dying.

That’s why, from day one, I was committed to sustaining the community’s involvement in the success of this organization.

The community is our endless source of love, compassion and strength.

It takes a community to make Whitman-Walker thrive.

In the tumultuous times that we live in right now, we need each other more than ever before. Our community is calling for more kindness and empathy. Together, I believe we can create a more just and caring world through the compassion and care we serve our patients every day.

I hope you’ll join me on this journey.