Deborah Hinde, longtime chief development officer at Heartland Health Outreach, will be leaving her post in June because of a corporate restructuring at the organization as well as Heartland Alliance.
Hinde's position will be eliminated once the organizations' development and communications offices are merged, she said in a statement to Windy City Times.
"I have been with the Vital Bridges program for 20 years. During that time, we have grown, changed and evolved as the HIV epidemic shifted," Hinde said. "Thanks to our stalwart staff and amazing volunteers, Vital Bridges has provided nutritious food for nearly 15 million meals, over 700,000 nights of housing and more than 350,000 hours of counseling. While we lost many clients to AIDS, we now are able to see many more live and thrive. I am honored to have had the opportunity to be a part of this work. I am confident these services will continue as a vital part of HHO."
Lori Cannon praised Hinde's work for the organization. Cannon is program manager at North Side Food Center and a founder of Open Hand/Chicago, which was renamed Vital Bridges after a merger and is now part of Heartland Alliance. She remembered when Hinde came to work for Open Hand when that organization was having difficulty in the mid-'90s.
"I do want to give her a lot of credit," Cannon said. "She ensured that people were able to eat and that back rent was paid. We were able to survive largely because of her. Debbie sized up the situation and single-handedly saved us."