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Whitman-Walker Health System, the entity that oversees Whitman-Walker’s fundraising, research, medical training and education, and policy and advocacy arms, and supports the operations of the federally-qualified community health center Whitman-Walker Health, has announced that Dr. Ryan Moran will take over as its chief executive officer on Nov. 1, 2021.
Naseema Shafi will remain the chief executive officer of Whitman-Walker Health, which oversees the health center’s day-to-day medical operations and its various support services, including HIV and STD testing, behavioral health and substance abuse treatment programs, peer support programs, legal services, public benefits, and pharmacological services.
Don Blanchon, the current CEO of Whitman-Walker Health System, will be stepping down from his position after 15 years, during which Blanchon oversaw a complete reorganization of Whitman-Walker’s internal structures, the construction of new health and research facilities, and the organization’s foray into real estate development as a way to achieve long-term sustainability.
Blanchon, who was first hired in 2006 as Whitman-Walker was rebounding from difficult financial hardships, has been credited with providing the stability needed to keep Whitman-Walker Health fully functioning in order to meet the needs of its patients. In a 2017 interview with Metro Weekly, Blanchon, a straight married man with children, revealed how his gay brother’s struggles with, and eventual death from, AIDS, tied him permanently to the fight against HIV and paved the way for his eventual involvement with Whitman-Walker.
“I’m delighted that the Health System Board of Directors has chosen Ryan,” Blanchon said, praising his soon-to-be successor. “I have no doubt that he has the vision, values and entrepreneurial spirit to advance our mission-driven work in community for many years to come.”
In his new role, Moran will oversee the Whitman-Walker Foundation, the Whitman-Walker Institute, and WWHS Real Property Holdings, and ensuring Whitman-Walker Health System’s long-term sustainability by pursuing innovative partnerships, revenue models, and new business initiatives to ensure the health system can sustain and expand upon its existing services.
Moran will also join the Whitman-Walker team as they oversee the organization’s greatest expansion in its history: a new health center on the East campus of Saint Elizabeths, in Southeast Washington, which will allow Whitman-Walker to triple its patient caseload over its current 5,000 patients at the Max Robinson Center.
Moran holds a doctor of public health degree from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health — specializing in research into peer recovery specialist interventions to address opioid use — bachelor’s degrees in public policy and business administration from the University of Charleston, and a master’s degree in health services administration from Xavier University.
He previously served as assistant vice president of care transformation at MedStar Health, where he oversaw community and population health strategy and operations for all four of the health system’s Baltimore-area hospitals, with a focus on improving health outcomes and addressing health disparities between various populations and communities.
“After a comprehensive national search process, we are thrilled to select Ryan,” Harry Fox, the Whitman-Walker Health System Board Chair, said in a statement. “Ryan is a fantastic choice for Whitman-Walker Health System. In what is essentially a newly envisioned role, Ryan’s experience, knowledge, and expertise will be critical to growing the Whitman-Walker Institute into a leading national research, policy and education powerhouse and supporting the Whitman-Walker Foundation in raising much-needed funds to make our care programs and clinical work sustainable.”
“I am grateful to work closely with the Board and the entire team at Whitman-Walker to ensure that we advance efforts to root out all systems of inequity, discover new scientific breakthroughs in health care and ensure philanthropic growth for care and support of our future home at Saint Elizabeths,” Moran said in a statement.
“I am honored to assume this responsibility and will be wholeheartedly focused on the mission for all persons to live healthy, love openly, and achieve equality and inclusion,” he added. “I am humbled to ensure a long legacy of commitment to health care equity through exceptional care, advocacy, research, and education.”
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