Hope drives us forward.
Our Story
We are a community-centered enterprise committed to advancing social justice and equality through health.
MISSION

We aim to expand our commitment to culturally affirming care; to create a structure that supports long-term financial sustainability; and to increase the number of people that we serve with care and programming throughout the city.

300 professionals provide care to 20,000+ patients annually.

Our community healthcare center sees patients regardless of their ability to pay.

We have the nation’s oldest medical-legal partnership.

“At the heart of Whitman-Walker is equality
and social justice. We want people to feel
welcomed here, to feel affirmed here.”

— Don Blanchon, CEO,
Whitman-Walker

Our Story

Since our founding in 1973, we have worked toward building a society where all persons are seen for who they are, treated with dignity and respect, and afforded equal opportunity to health and wellbeing.

During the AIDS epidemic, when most doctors, hospitals and clinics were turning people away, we opened our doors to those who were desperately in need of care and support. Our space became a safe haven and our volunteers and staff became a family to the many young men who were sick, scared and had no place else to go.

Today, we remain a safe space where people can be who they are and love who they want without fear of judgement or retribution.

As times have changed, so have the needs of our clients and community and we have had to adapt in order to address the demand. For example:

  • Our transgender and gender non-conforming patient population has grown from just 200 patients to more than 2,000 in less than a decade, and with that expansion we’ve witnessed a rise in the need for name and gender-change services and surgery referrals.
  • The passage of Obamacare in 2010 marked the beginning of an enormous surge in the need for insurance navigation assistance.
  • We are increasing our capacity to serve immigrants who would otherwise not be able to afford legal counsel. Our clients are especially vulnerable having already survived extreme violence in their home country because of their sexual orientation or gender identity.
LIZ, located at 14th and R Street NW, Washington, DC.

But Whitman-Walker has much more to accomplish on the road to equality and social justice.

An investment East of the River is the most vital step that Whitman-Walker can take to show our commitment to addressing the real issues of racial inequity in the DC communities. We have set a strategic plan in place to make it happen but to fully realize this vision will require our community to step up once again.

Our first strategic decision was moving our medical operations to 1525 14th Street in 2015. Next, we developed an innovative partnership with private developer Fivesquares Development to transform two historic structures in the heart of 14th Street into a block-long mixed-use development called Liz. Liz — named after the Elizabeth Taylor Medical Center — not only creates long-term funding for the mission and growth of Whitman-Walker and space for our operations, but has a transformative effect on the entire corridor through the creation of a cultural hub, outdoor gathering spaces, public art and retail amenities.

The ongoing source of revenue for our operations from Liz will help us to fulfill our core mission going forward: expanding east of the Anacostia River. Washingtonians in Wards 6, 7 and 8 routinely go without convenient access to high-quality medical care. We can fill this void with professional, affirming, compassionate healthcare.

You have the opportunity to help us provide health and wellness services to everyone in our city.

Become part of the future of Whitman-Walker and give today.