Metro Weekly

Whitman-Walker To Honor Sebelius

HHS secretary receiving award at spring gala for work on the Affordable Care Act

Whitman-Walker Health, the nonprofit community health organization that specializes in HIV/AIDS treatment, will hold its 19th annual spring fundraiser, themed ”Be the Care,” during which the center will honor Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) Kathleen Sebelius with its Partner for Life Award for her work in helping implement the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

The cocktail reception and awards ceremony, which will be emceed by PBS’s Gwen Ifill, is set for Thursday, April 19.

Whitman-Walker representatives praised Sebelius’s work in implementing the ACA to ensure better access to health care for millions of Americans, including those with pre-existing conditions, and to provide support to community health centers like Whitman-Walker.

”Secretary Sebelius is such a driving force for improving access to high-quality, cost-effective health care for all Americans and particularly the LGBT community and people living with HIV/AIDS,” Don Blanchon, WWH’s executive director, was quoted as saying in a release from the organization. ”Her work is making a huge difference in the lives of communities that are underserved or marginalized when it comes to accessing quality health care. She is a most deserving recipient of the Partner for Life award.”

Sebelius was also quoted by WWH. ”I am humbled by this honor and grateful to Whitman-Walker Health for the work they do to care for those affected by HIV/AIDS,” she said. ”We have the opportunity for the first time to usher in an AIDS-free generation. We look forward to working with advocates, health care provides and policymakers to make this a reality.”

Sebelius joins a list of prominent figures and foundations who have previously received the Partner for Life award, including former President Bill Clinton, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, Miss America Caressa Cameron and Poz magazine.

In addition to Sebelius’s award, the gala will feature a movie about Whitman-Walker, narrated by actress Stockard Channing, says Whitman-Walker Health Director of Development David Chalfant. He also says the event will feature a ”killer” silent auction, where attendees can purchase tickets to shows with artists such as Madonna and Kristin Chenoweth.

Whitman-Walker Health’s Spring Affair, ”Be the Change,” is Thursday, April 19, at 6:30 p.m. at the Carnegie Institution of Science, 1530 P St. NW. Tickets, starting at $150, are available by calling 202-797-3510 or online at

John Riley is the local news reporter for Metro Weekly. He can be reached at