D.C. Council Members, HMO Announce Efforts To Secure Funding for Whitman-Walker Clinic
Washington, D.C., City Council Member David Catania (I) on Tuesday was expected to introduce legislation that would redirect $2.2 million from the city's HIV/AIDS Administration and Addiction Prevention and Recovery Administration to the Whitman-Walker Clinic to help it continue to provide HIV/AIDS services despite serious financial problems, the Washington Post reports. Catania's resolution would allocate $1.15 million to sustain the clinic's HIV/AIDS programs for residents and $1.05 million to preserve health and substance abuse treatment programs. D.C. Mayor Anthony Williams (D) told Catania he also is working on a plan to assist the clinic and asked him to delay a vote on the emergency legislation until July 6. However, a Catania aide said Catania is going to move forward with the legislation. Meanwhile, Council Member Linda Cropp (D) and D.C. Chartered Health Plan on Monday announced that the HMO will donate $150,000 annually for two years to Whitman-Walker's Max Robinson Center in Southeast Washington, D.C. Under the plan, the clinic must secure matching funds for the second year, the Post reports (Levine, Washington Post, 6/21). The announcements come a week after CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield President and CEO William Jews recommended that the health insurer's Washington, D.C.-based affiliate Group Hospitalization and Medical Services donate $500,000 to Whitman-Walker, which last month approved about $2.5 million in cuts to its annual budget and announced that later this year it will end services permanently in the district's Virginia and Maryland suburbs. The group -- which serves about 7,000 HIV-positive individuals in the district and surrounding areas and has a $29 million budget for 2005 -- in May announced it was facing financial constraints that might force the group to consider program cutbacks (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 6/13).This is part of the Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.