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Jamal M. Edwards, President and CEO of HBHC, named to 2011 class of top Chicago industry leaders
CHICAGO – Dec. 5, 2011 – Howard Brown Health Center and its Board of Directors are proud to congratulate President and CEO Jamal M. Edwards on being named to the Crain’s Chicago Business’ coveted class of 2011 "40 Under 40". Crain’s reviewed over 700 nominations to select the 40 Chicago-area leaders who have made it to the top of their respective fields before turning 40.
"We applaud Jamal on this prestigious honor and for his continuous commitment to Howard Brown Health Center’s mission to eliminate the disparities in health care experienced by lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered people," said Karma Israelsen, Chairperson of the HBHC Board of Directors. "The Board appreciates all that Jamal has accomplished in the last 18 months to bring stability to Howard Brown Health Center operations and to ensure its continued service to the community."
Edwards, 35, became HBHC's President and CEO in June 2010 following a financial crisis that nearly led to HBHC closing. Since taking the leadership post, Edwards has led an aggressive turnaround of the organization fueled by several remarkable management and financial improvements and from raising nearly $700,000 in 50 days during the LifeLine Appeal campaign. The Lifeline Appeal ultimately raised a total of $1.25 million through the end of the fiscal year, enabling HBHC to remain open and restore and strengthen partnerships. After five years of record losses and a mounting deficit that exceeded $4 million, HBHC closed its first fiscal year under Edwards’ leadership with a surplus of over $1 million and a positive net asset position of nearly $400,000. This tremendous accomplishment occurred while also increasing the number of trusted patient and client relationships that HBHC serves.
The Lifeline Appeal, which Edwards branded and pioneered, received local as well as national acclaim, including media attention from all major outlets and an astounding number of public relations and media awards, such as the Platinum Award from the Publicity Club of Chicago for the best overall campaign of the year, and two Silver Anvils for multicultural and crisis communications from Public Relations Society of America.
"It is an honor to be named among Chicago’s most inspirational and innovative leaders," said Edwards, who came to HBHC from the law firm of Kirkland & Ellis LLP, where he was a partner. "I deeply appreciate and want to thank the members of the HBHC Board, our staff, our patients and clients, and everyone in the community for their ongoing support and faith in Howard Brown Health Center. We are making great progress, and we are committed to expanding our services to bring culturally competent and compassionate health care to those who need us most."
Edwards’ first-year turnaround effort is also highlighted by several operational achievements. Under Edwards' leadership, HBHC received praise and support from federal investigators and auditors looking into past mismanagement who recognized him for taking bold and decisive steps to establish accountability, improve transparency and tighten fiscal control. Edwards earned the confidence of federal agency service heads at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Health Resources Services Administration (HRSA), and Centers for Disease Control (CDC), resulting in a restoration of HBHC's reputation with the agencies that fund its critical work.
HBHC's 2012 is poised for many exciting new initiatives while the turnaround efforts continue. At the top of the list is ensuring HBHC's mission can be fulfilled into perpetuity. To do this, Edwards is working with a new board of directors to identify new strategic partnerships and alliances, develop innovative new programs and service lines, and to craft a bold and powerful strategy to grow HBHC's core competency in health care and research. Examples of this emerging strategy include a new partnership with General Electric whose $250,000 recent donation will fund a new interdisciplinary care delivery model that will serve children to seniors called the Lifecycle project; new business initiatives in pharmacy services and the launch of "mobile clinics"; and the creation of new social enterprise ventures like recycling and green initiatives built on HBHC’s successful Brown Elephant resale business that will fund health care delivery.
The anticipated positive results of these endeavors will ensure that the mission and services of Howard Brown Health Center are available to more people than ever before, at a time when affordable health care is needed most. This will help ensure continuity of service for those who have depended upon the institution for nearly 40 years.
"My vision is to see HBHC become as significant to the patients it serves as the Mayo Clinic is to the patients it serves - to be the health care provider of choice for all LGBT people and people impacted by HIV/AIDS and their friends and families, regardless of their ability to pay. We already are a place where people come for solutions that others can't provide. But we are taking it beyond that to make HBHC the place where research catalyzes and innovation propels us to eliminate health disparities for our patients and to improve health outcomes for all, and to do so better than anyone else -- whether the problem is cancer, HIV/AIDS, smoking or substance abuse, or just the common cold." Looking to the future, HBHC is also looking for more top talent to help move the organization forward. "As health care evolves and patient choice is promoted, HBHC must –and will—be the very best health center, with the very best people, bar none!" Edwards said.
As one of 40-Under-40 in 2011, he joins a distinguished class of Chicago leaders, including Jason Harinstein of Groupon Inc. and Michael Slaby of Obama for America. To read see the complete list from Crain’s Chicago Business, please visit, http://www.chicagobusiness.com/section/40under40-2011#_Edwards#ixzz1fg4fAdJr.
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About Howard Brown Health Center
Founded in 1974, Howard Brown Health Center (HBHC) is one of the nation's largest health care and research organizations, primarily serving the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community and its allies. With an annual budget of approximately $18 million, it is the largest such organization in the Midwest and serves more than 36,000 adults and youth each year throughout the region. As an innovative and growing patient-centered health home, HBHC provides primary medical care, behavioral health services, and specialty chronic and infectious disease services, and conducts nationally-renowned clinical and behavioral research.