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Clinic will sell properties

Clinic will sell properties

Whitman-Walker will sell off three D.C. parcels of real estate.

As part of the Washington, D.C.-based Whitman-Walker Clinic's ongoing restructuring plans and in a move aimed at providing state-of-the-art care to its patients, clinic officials say they will sell three parcels of real estate owned by Whitman-Walker, The Washington Post reports. The clinic will sell its Max Robinson Center on Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue SE, its Elizabeth Taylor Medical Center location, and the clinic's administrative facilities. The site containing the clinic's administrative facilities will be redeveloped by the buyer; Whitman-Walker will own 35,000 to 40,000 square feet of space in that facility, to which it will move the Taylor center.

The sale of the real estate also will help fund an endowment to ensure the clinic's long-term financial stability.

"Our goal is to develop new, state-of-the-art facilities that will allow Whitman-Walker Clinic to continue to provide access to quality health care in locations that are convenient to our clients--both current and future," says clinic interim executive director Roberta Geidner-Antoniotti in a statement on the clinic's Web site. "This is the logical offshoot of our new business model, which is based on expanding into primary care and increasing the number of insured clients we serve."

Whitman-Walker announced earlier this year that the agency was refocusing to place more emphasis on providing primary medical care to patients with health care insurance as a way to bring in more money to the agency. Clinic officials say the change in direction will not affect the agency's programs that provide care to low-income HIV-positive D.C. residents.

The clinic announced last month that it has hired Donald Blanchon, the former vice president for Medicare and Medicaid programs at the medical management company Schaller Anderson, as the new executive director of the organization. He will start work with the clinic on May 1, at which time Geidner-Antoniotti will resume her position as chief operating officer.

Financial problems--some created by long delays in payments by the D.C. health department for services--caused Whitman-Walker in 2005 to cut its budget and end or scale back some of its programs. The clinic also reduced its staff by about 20 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. (The Advocate)

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