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will focus on primary health care

will focus on primary health care

D.C. clinic will emphasize both primary health care and HIV services.

The Whitman-Walker Clinic, which in 2005 made sweeping program cuts and staff layoffs in an effort to balance its budget, this week announced that it has stabilized its finances and plans to focus more on primary medical care in addition to its HIV programs, The Washington Post reports. The increased focus on primary health care is part of a move to generate more income from clinic patients with private insurance. "We believe this model will place the clinic firmly on the road to long-term financial stability and enable us to serve a broader clientele more efficiently and effectively," Roberta Geidner-Antoniotti , Whitman-Walker's interim executive director, told the Post. "If anything, this new model will enable us to better serve [our] constituencies."

Whitman-Walker has a budget of $25.6 million for fiscal 2006, down about $5 million from its initial 2005 budget.

Financial problems--some created by long delays in payments by the D.C. health department for services--caused Whitman-Walker in mid 2005 to cut $2.5 million from its budget and end or scale back its food bank, emergency financial assistance, case management, and housing programs. The clinic also laid off nearly 70 employees and permanently closed a satellite location 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. (

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