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REC hires new leader

By | 2009-09-03T09:00:00-04:00 September 3rd, 2009|News|


In August, the Ruth Ellis Center Board of Directors made the decision to hire Laura Hughes, MPH, as their new executive director. She will begin her duties on Sept. 15.
The Ruth Ellis Center is a youth-focused social service agency that provides short and long term residential safe space and support services for runaway, homeless and at-risk LGBT and questioning youth, ages 13 to 24 years old, in southeastern Michigan.
The center has been without an executive director since the departure of Grace McClelland in fall of 2008. The center had since been running under Interim Executive Director Kevin Howley, who was brought in specifically to help the center during a period of transition.
“Laura brings an expertise in HIV and STD prevention, tracking and program development,” said Board President William K. Greene. “This, combined with her administrative background, which includes both grants management and leading teams of specialists and educators, gives her the ability to lead the center into our second decade with great success.”
Hughes has most recently served as the HIV/STD manager for the Wayne County Department of Public Health. Her past public health roles include serving as the program coordinator for The Detroit Medical Center Sinai Grace Hospital HIV/AIDS program and as a Harm Reduction Coordinator for the HIV/AIDS Resource Center in Ann Arbor.
Her career also includes working as the grants Mmnager for the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History.
A graduate of the University of Michigan Masters in Public Health program, Laura earned her Bachelors from Brown University in Providence, R.I. While at Brown, she wrote “A House on Fire: HIV/AIDS, African American Women and the Black Church” as her senior thesis. A Detroit resident, she is a graduate of Leadership Detroit.
Hughes said of her new position: “I look forward to leading the center and working with the center’s board and staff and the community as a whole to empower at-risk, runaway and homeless youth to not only have access to basic services, but also to have pathways to success and independence in the future.”
For more information on the Ruth Ellis Center, visit

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Between The Lines has been publishing LGBTQ-related content in Southeast Michigan since the early '90s. This year marks the publication's 27th anniversary.