The executive director of the Abbotsford Hospice Society (AHS) will step down from the organization as of May 30, the society announced on Tuesday.
Debbie Lehmann said she is leaving so that an executive director with “clinicial service delivery expertise, as well as a background in social services” can be hired for AHS’s move to Holmberg House.
The facility – the city’s first adult hospice – is part of the Campus of Care currently under construction on Marshall Road adjacent to Abbotsford Regional Hospital.
AHS currently operates from a small home on Marshall Road, east of the Campus of Care.
Lehmann has been with AHS for 10 years and has served as its executive director since 2007.
“I have brought the organization to a critical juncture and now is the time to seek out new leadership,” she said.
Lehmann said she will relocate to Ottawa in June to better meet the needs of her mother, who suffered a stroke in July 2013.
David Turchen, chairman of the AHS board, said Lehmann has been a valuable asset to the organization, providing “unique insights, creativity and resourcefulness.”
“Over the years, she has significantly raised the profile of AHS, increased revenue and, more recently, played a pivotal role in the design of Abbotsford’s first adult hospice residence, Holmberg House.”
Following her departure, Lehmann will continue to work with AHS in a consulting role until Holmberg House is operational.
She acknowledged the support of the AHS board, staff and volunteers who “contributed greatly” during her tenure.
The Campus of Care also includes Canuck Place Children’s Hospice and Matthew’s House, a respite facility for children with complex health-care needs, which is the first of the facilities to have opened, in November.
It is hoped that Holmberg House will open this fall.