Prior to Chase Brexton, Shippee served four years as the administrative director of the AIDS Treatment Program at Albany Medical Center in Albany, N.Y. That experience led him to understand the scope of HIV/AIDS as farther reaching, and more complex, than Chase Brexton was able to provide. So, Shippee led Chase Brexton in reaching out to the partners, mothers, fathers, children, and grandparents of the HIV-stricken—they, after all, were in need of health care, too.
During the past two decades, Shippee’s leadership has guided Chase Brexton on a mission to heal communities. Adding services like primary care for children, women’s wellness, substance abuse treatment, and dental care, the organization has grown—in the size of its staff, the number of patients, and the strength of its budget. Throughout its growth, however, Shippee has never led Chase Brexton astray from its original foundation: a safe, supportive health center for the gay community.
“Though our geographic and demographic diversity has increased substantially, I have always believed the core of our work has been to welcome those in need of care without judgment,” noted Shippee. “For LGBT individuals, especially, this is vital to their physical and emotional health—and we would be denying our roots, our mission, and our vision were we not to provide a safe, affirmative place for their care.”
Today, Chase Brexton provides care for more than 17,000 individuals. Its annual budget exceeds $46 million and it is one of the largest federally-funded community health centers in Maryland. Its four locations in Baltimore City, Baltimore County, Howard County, and Talbot County, see patients from every walk of life. It is also one of the few providers in Maryland to offer care for the transgender community.
“We’ve grown a lot during the past 20 years,” remarked Dr. Tracey Gersh, chief programming officer at Chase Brexton. “During my 13 years working with David, it has been incredible to watch him lead us through that growth. His ability to balance business and mission has inspired us and enabled us to remain committed to that growth—because we know we won’t leave our passion behind in the process.”
On April 27, 2011, David H. Shippee walked out of the doors of Chase Brexton Health Services for the last time after twenty years of remarkable service as CEO. Relocating to be closer to his family in Albany, NY, Shippee will continue his work in community health care. His absence at Chase Brexton will be felt profoundly. However, Shippee leaves Chase Brexton not simply better than when he found it, but poised to be a model of community health care for the nation. The community thanks him for his service, and is extraordinarily grateful for the gifts he has given, which extend far beyond the time he served with Chase Brexton.