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Mayor Bowser Cuts Ribbon on Whitman-Walker Max Robinson Center at St. Elizabeths East Campus

Monday, September 18, 2023

(Washington, DC) – Today, Mayor Muriel Bowser, District leaders, and the Whitman-Walker team cut the ribbon on the new Max Robinson Center at the St. Elizabeths East campus in Ward 8. The new 118,000 square-foot healthcare and research facility will provide a range of services to the community, including primary, dental, and HIV care, behavioral health services, substance use counseling, and a pharmacy.

“Today, we’re opening a bigger Max Robinson Center, in two years, we’ll be opening a new hospital on this same campus – and together, these two facilities are going to change the way we deliver healthcare in DC,” said Mayor Bowser. “We are incredibly grateful that Whitman-Walker is part of the legacy that we’re building on the St. Elizabeths East campus. This campus represents our commitment to Ward 8 and our commitment to a stronger, healthier, and more equitable DC.”  

The Max Robinson Center will greatly increase Whitman-Walker’s care capacity, serving an additional 10,000 patients and clients each year. Building on the legacy and impact of the original Max Robinson Center on Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue SE, the new center will feature over 40 state-of-the-art exam and care rooms, eight dental suites, six group therapy rooms, and a full psychotherapy suite.

“The new Max Robinson Center is the perfect addition to the St. Elizabeths Campus,” said Interim Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development Keith Anderson. “Whitman-Walker has been serving DC residents for over 50 years, and we’re excited that even more residents will have convenient access to high-quality care, a pharmacy, and other health related services.” 

Whitman-Walker’s expansion represents a continued investment in DC’s health technology and life science sectors and will add 16,000 square-feet of research and lab space to the city. This research space will host more than 40 clinical trial labs, labs that will build on advancements in cancer research and HIV treatment and prevention.

“We are thrilled to unveil this once in a lifetime healthcare and research expansion during our 50th anniversary year. Our new healthcare home will significantly improve access to excellent healthcare for all residents.” said CEO of Whitman-Walker Health  Naseema Shafi. “And through the Whitman-Walker Institute, we will be able to engage the community into our research work to learn from their lived experiences. These efforts ultimately allow us to identify what community needs and help us to address disparities and improve health outcomes.” 

The center was developed by Redbrick LMD and built by Davis Construction with the support of GCS Sigal. The exterior base building was designed by Winstanley Architects & Planners and the interiors of the Whitman-Walker space were imagined by long-time collaborators Perkins & Will. The project was in part supported by financing provided by the DC Housing Authority subsidiary DC Housing Enterprises through New Markets Tax Credits.

“Working alongside Mayor Bowser and community leaders, we, at Redbrick, are proud to have enabled one of our region's most innovative health care providers to expand its services in Ward 8. Whitman-Walker's new Max Robinson Center spurs the growth of a health ecosystem in a community that has lacked access to primary, dental and mental health care, and represents an important milestone in the reinvigoration of the St. Elizabeths Campus," said Louis Dubin, Managing Partner, Redbrick LMD.  

The Max Robinson Center is the latest addition to the St. Elizabeths East Campus redevelopment in Ward 8. To date, Mayor Bowser has invested nearly $900 million in the redevelopment, which includes the opening of the Entertainment and Sports Arena, the new 801 Men’s Shelter, the District Townhomes, the Residences at St. Elizabeths, a 750-space parking garage at the Entertainment and Sports Arena, and the Sycamore & Oak retail village. In June, the District celebrated the topping-off of the Cedar Hill Regional Medical Center GW Health facility, a full-service hospital that will open in 2025.

The Max Robinson Namesake:

Maxie Cleveland “Max” Robinson, Jr. was a nationally recognized journalist who began his television career in 1959, covering the DC area for many years. During his career in DC, Max covered many prominent local and national events, including the unrest following the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and the Hanafi Muslims hostage crisis. He also produced an award-winning documentary, The Other Washington, which offered viewers a glimpse into Anacostia and earned him two regional Emmy Awards. When he joined ABC News World Tonight in 1978, Max became the first black co-anchor of a national nightly television news broadcast. This achievement served as inspiration for generations of journalists nationwide. Though he never publicly disclosed his HIV diagnosis, Max was hopeful that his death would draw attention to the prevalence of HIV in the Black community. Because of this, when Whitman-Walker opened the inaugural center in 1993, it was dedicated to and named in his honor.