William Jews, president and CEO of CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield health insurance company, has recommended that the agency donate $500,000 to the cash-strapped Washington, D.C.-based Whitman-Walker Clinic to enable the AIDS agency to continue serving HIV-positive people in the D.C. area, The Washington Post reports. The health insurance company's Mission Oversight Committee was scheduled to meet Wednesday to discuss the donation.
Whitman-Walker interim executive director Roberta Geidner-Antoniotti called the donation "an incredible gift." "It's a way for CareFirst to help Whitman-Walker get through this immediate cash crisis," she told the Post. "It's an extremely generous commitment to the community we serve."
Whitman-Walker's board in late May approved $2.5 million in budget cuts to offset financial shortfalls at the AIDS clinic. The cuts include closing satellite offices in Maryland and Virginia; ending several programs, including its food bank and residential programs for those battling addiction; reducing case management, HIV prevention, and support services; and laying off nearly one fourth of its staff of 260 employees.