ACT’s executive director steps down

Hazelle Palmer will soon take over as CEO of Sherbourne Health Centre

The executive director of the AIDS Committee of Toronto (ACT) is stepping down to accept a job as the CEO of the Sherbourne Health Centre.

Hazelle Palmer, who has been the ED since 2009, will serve her last day with ACT on Oct 31.

“I’m so honoured to be joining the team at Sherbourne. It is a dynamic organization that truly makes a difference in the lives of the communities it serves,” Palmer said in a press release. “I’m excited to lead Sherbourne as it implements its new strategic plan and continues to be an innovator in community-based health care.”

Palmer replaces Suzanne Boggild, Sherbourne Health Centre’s founding CEO, who stepped down in June.

Kyle Greenwood, manager of executive communications and administration for ACT, says the organization has mixed emotions about seeing Palmer depart.

“Hazelle has made a significant impact at ACT,” Greenwood says. “She has done a lot, including leading significant change at ACT. She is a visionary, a leader and a force. For her to pursue another opportunity is challenging for us, but we recognize this is a new opportunity for her that she wants to pursue.

“We are proud of her, and we know better than anyone the good she can do for an organization.”

Greenwood says he is hopeful the change will provide an opportunity for ACT to develop a closer working relationship with Sherbourne Health Centre. “Obviously, it’s disappointing for us to accept her resignation, but she has left us in a great position,” he says.

The ACT board will now begin the recruitment process to find a replacement, he says. An interim ED will be chosen prior to Palmer’s last day.

This year marks the 30th anniversary of ACT. In 1983, a small group of community members called a press conference to announce the group’s formation to begin the challenge of responding to the AIDS crisis. Throughout its history, ACT has taken on many roles within the community, such as education, dispelling myths and fears, and working with activists to pressure governments to take action.

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