For immediate release
Contact: Chuck Benya
VP & Chief Development Officer
Board takes action to give organization fresh start; transition in new directors;
and build stronger ties with community
CHICAGO – Dec. 6, 2010 – Today Howard Brown Health Center announced the next step in its
plans for revitalization, stabilization, and transformation.
With new management in place, and with fiscally responsible plans in progress to ensure longterm
viability, Howard Brown Health Center’s Board of Directors announced a “Responsible
Transition” component of its plan. This plan is intended to renew and refresh its membership,
increase its ties to the community, and ensure long‐term stability of Howard Brown and its
services to the community.
The Board also renewed its prior call for interested members of the community who have the
capacity, time, and love for Howard Brown’s mission to apply to join its Board.
To give Howard Brown a complete “fresh start,” its CEO and Board, working together, have
agreed upon a “Responsible Transition” plan to transition the oversight of the organization
from the current Board to new members of the community.
The first phase of the plan will see the Executive Committee of the Board (elected in June) and
four additional Board members resign effective December 31, 2010. The plan does not
contemplate resignations by two Board members who joined the Board this past summer; they
will remain on the Board.
This first phase will reduce the Board by about half of its members, but will leave Howard
Brown with enough Board members to satisfy various funding or grant requirements, including
its critical Federally Qualified Health Center (“FQHC”) application, and enough to ensure a
The remaining transition Board members will continue efforts, in partnership with the
community, to recruit and seat new Board members. Once the new Board is up and running,
the transition Board members will resign, with a goal of having an entirely new Board in place
by the start of the next fiscal year, July 1, 2011.
With this plan, the Board aims to increase confidence in and community ties to Howard Brown
Health Center, while ensuring the transition occurs responsibly and in the best interests of the
“Throughout the difficult past year, the Board’s sole interest has been to stabilize the
organization, make necessary changes and take appropriate actions in response to the
challenges facing the organization,” said outgoing Board Chair Mark Andrews.
He said the Board, and President & CEO Jamal Edwards, agree that this next step in the plan
should go a long way toward achieving the goal of ensuring that Howard Brown continues to
excel in its mission while strengthening both its connections to the community and the
confidence of its stakeholders.
“This Board has demonstrated incredible commitment of time, talent, and treasure, over the
past difficult year, which may not be fully known in the community,” said Andrews. “This
decision to implement a Responsible Transition plan shows courage and demonstrates again
the Board’s commitment to putting the interests of Howard Brown first and foremost. It shows
decisive action, while ensuring Howard Brown has what it needs as it continues its rebuilding.”
Edwards, who was appointed by the existing Board in June of this year, fully supports the plan.
“I support the Responsible Transition plan agreed to by the Board, and I think it shows this truly
is a ‘new day’ at Howard Brown Health Center. I am grateful for all that the Board has done
over this past year,” he said.
Both Andrews and Edwards said Howard Brown gratefully acknowledges the outpouring of
support received from the community in response to the Lifeline Appeal, and during its period
of renewal. The Lifeline Appeal funds will help ensure that Howard Brown can continue
providing services to more than 36,000 people annually. To donate to Howard Brown’s Lifeline
appeal, please visit www.HowardBrown.org/lifeline or call (773) 388‐1600.
About Howard Brown Health Center
Founded in 1974, Howard Brown is now one of the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual,
transgender and questioning and allies (LGBTQA) organizations. The agency serves more than
36,000 adults and youth each year in its diverse health and social service delivery system
focused around seven major programmatic divisions: primary medical care, behavioral health,
research, HIV/STD prevention, youth services, elder services, and community
initiatives. Howard Brown is a multi‐site operation based in Chicago and includes a main health
and research center in the Uptown neighborhood TRIAD Health practice at Illinois Masonic
Hospital, the Broadway Youth Center, and three Brown Elephant resale shops in Chicago and