Abbotsford Hospice announces interim leadership

The firm of Giesbrecht, Goodrich & Co. will oversee communications, and more, with departure of executive director Debbie Lehmann.

  • May. 4, 2014 8:00 p.m.

With the upcoming departure of Abbotsford Hospice Society (AHS) executive director Debbie Lehmann, a local company will be providing increased communications and public relations support to the organization.

Giesbrecht, Goodrich & Co. – an advocacy, communications and public and government relations firm – has worked with AHS since May 2013.

They have been helping to establish a comprehensive public and donor campaign to raise the funds to complete construction of Holmberg House, Abbotsford’s first hospice residence.

Patrick Giesbrecht (top photo) – a senior partner with the firm – will now oversee all of the society’s media, communications, marketing, donor relations and campaign activities, as well as other key community stakeholder relationships.

Justin P. Goodrich (bottom photo) – the firm’s other senior partner – will also collaborate on the file and will work closely with the society’s board and staff on a revised communication strategy.

Giesbrecht and Goodrich said they are looking forward to working closely with an organization such as AHS.

“This community needs to see the vision of a hospice residence become a reality, and if we can play a small part in making that happen, then it’s totally worth our time and energy,” Giesbrecht said.

Lehmann announced in February that she would be stepping down from AHS on May 30 after 10 years. She said she would be relocating to Ottawa to help care for her mother, who suffered a stroke in July 2013.

Holmberg House is currently under construction as part of the Campus of Care on Marshall Road next to Abbotsford Regional Hospital.

The campus also includes Canuck Place Children’s Hospice and Matthew’s House, a respite facility for kids with severe disabilities.