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Whitman-Walker
Clinic receives $650,000 in federal funding

Whitman-Walker
Clinic receives $650,000 in federal funding

Congress on Friday approved a 2006 budget for the District of Columbia that includes $650,000 for the embattled Whitman-Walker Clinic, which serves about 7,000 HIV-positive people in the region, The Washington Post reports. Financial problems--some created by long delays in payments by the D.C. health department for services--caused Whitman-Walker earlier this year to cut $2.5 million from its budget; end or scale back its food bank, emergency financial assistance, case management, and housing programs; lay off nearly 70 employees; and permanently close a satellite clinic in suburban Maryland. A second satellite office in suburban Virginia also was set to be closed, but several local groups and governments contributed enough money to keep the clinic open through the end of 2006.

The $650,000 in 2006 federal funds will be used to enhance the clinic's patient tracking operations, install an electronic records system, and improve the billing process for insurers, says Whitman-Walker interim executive director Roberta Geidner-Antoniotti. "It will help us upgrade our technology to better serve our clients," she told the Post. "The clinicians are freed to be more productive. They can see more patients." (Advocate.com)

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