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Howard Brown timeline

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Howard Brown Health Center (Lenny Gilmore/RedEye )
January 25, 2012|By Georgia Garvey, RedEye

The Howard Brown Clinic was founded in 1974—though the name wouldn't come into common use until a few years later, according to Howard Brown board chairwoman Karma Israelsen—and quickly became a hub of research activity. When the AIDS crisis took root in the '80s, the clinic led the way in pioneering treatments and services for HIV-positive Chicagoans. The recent problems at Howard Brown, though, which included accusations of mismanagement of federal grant funds, began several years ago. Here's a timeline of the relevant dates:

2006: Current Howard Brown leaders say that, starting in 2006 and ending in 2010, money from the Multi-Center AIDS Cohort Study—a study that has followed gay men for more than 20 years—was used to fund general operating expenses at Howard Brown, which is prohibited.

April 2010: Amid some of the revelations, Howard Brown goes through a period of serious transition. It let go CEO Michael Cook and Chief Financial Officer Mark Joslyn. "There was a lot of angst and a lot of uneasiness," Israelsen said. "We were getting bombarded on all sides."

April 21: The Howard Brown board votes to offer Jamal Edwards the position of CEO. He accepts and unofficially begins working the next day.

April 26: Howard Brown announces in a statement that the National Institutes of Health has launched an investigation into possible misuse of grant money by the organization. Howard Brown said it brought an independent firm to audit all its federal grants, according to a Tribune story from the time.

June 1: Edwards' first official day as CEO.

September: Howard Brown volunteers to transfer federal grant money to Northwestern University while an investigation is under way. Funds from the federal grant, about $500,000, leave Howard Brown's accounts. The money is transferred to Northwestern, a partner in the study.

November: Edwards tells the media if Howard Brown cannot raise $500,000 by the end of the year, it may have to close forever.

Dec. 23: Howard Brown announces it has not only met but exceeded its fundraising goal, bringing in almost $700,000 in 50 days. Fundraising efforts brought in $1.25 million that fiscal year, according to Howard Brown. | @gcgarvey

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