The CRIS Healthy Aging Center facility will now be named for the leader who held the role of chief executive for more than two decades. The board unanimously voted to name the building the CRIS Healthy Aging Amy Brown Center.
“Amy leads like no other – she dreams something and then makes it happen,” said CRIS Board Chair Frank Young. “She has been a visionary, forging partnerships and advancing programming. Everything on this property in particular has been redone, redeveloped, added or ultimately conceived by Amy. It was only fitting the building be named in her honor.”
Brown, who ends her tenure this week, accepted a position with the Illinois Department of Aging.
The Center will be led in the months ahead by a veteran healthcare professional with deep nonprofit, social services and government experience who will help lead the search for a permanent CEO. Carle Foundation Hospital President Lynne Barnes will step into the role. Barnes will transition to the interim role over the next two weeks and join CRIS February 28 following her retirement from the hospital this month.
CRIS Healthy Aging partners with healthcare providers, agencies and leaders to help meet needs of the region’s seniors. Barnes’ experience with the care continuum will support CRIS and those it serves.
“Lynne Barnes brings a wealth of knowledge on the health and social needs of those in Vermilion and Champaign Counties and the communities within. She is a proven leader who brings great energy and innovation to continue to impact care and services within the community,” said Young. “Lynne is a great collaborator, and we are enthusiastic about the skills she brings to CRIS to serve during this time while we seek a permanent executive.”
Originally from Catlin, Barnes has dedicated 45 years to serving patients through the Carle health system. Barnes has provided patient care as an Occupational Therapist and served in many leadership roles including hospital operations, emergency transport and management, facilities and government relations. Additionally, she has served as a Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation facilities surveyor; Promise Health Care board member and chair; Stephens Family YMCA board member and chair; United Way of Champaign County board member, campaign co-chair, and board chair; Champaign County Economic Development Corporation vice chair and chair; Urbana City Council member and City of Urbana Comprehensive Steering Committee member. Barnes is an Athena Award recipient and a member of Leadership Illinois. She is a longtime faculty member in the College of Applied Life Sciences at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
“Our communities have significant needs as our residents’ age and face more chronic conditions, which means services may need to grow or evolve. The healthcare system has experienced ongoing pressure statewide and nationwide, and it is very important that we advance the work locally to meet the needs of all those in our community, said Barnes. “During this search for a permanent chief executive, I’m honored to serve this agency that has such a strong foundation.”
“I look forward to seeing the strong team at CRIS continue to serve our community members with Lynne Barnes’ support,” said Brown.
CRIS Healthy Aging Center is the official gateway to information and services for older adults for the Champaign and Vermilion County area. Caregiver Advisory Services, a locally renowned senior program, Meals on Wheels, Violence Prevention Advocacy, Education and Health Care Programming for hospitals and the BRIDGE Evidence-Based Program at Carle Foundation Hospital in addition to research receiving national recognition for its Alexa Smart Speaker Program and maintains a research relationship with University of Illinois Center for Healthy Aging and Disability.