Betsy Lieberman and Chris Hurley
Founder and Director
Lieberman's role involved raising money, working with the state on licensing and permits, and dealing with community conflicts. Hurley's greatest challenge was to convert the dreams for the facility into programs of care, and build ongoing operations-to which both she and Virginia Mason brought "tremendous vision," according to Lieberman. "It was about creating a 24-hour care residence for people with AIDS, and sustaining the program into perpetuity. And Chris did an amazing job." She is also "immensely proud" of Virginia Mason, which put a tremendous amount of resources into Bailey-Boushay when other hospitals were not interested. "It was not popular to do. But they saw a well-planned project and regarded it as an important aspect in their relationship with their community."
"In the beginning, the environment here was invigorating and emotionally overheated," says Hurley. "It was intense. There were a lot of deaths-about one every 18 hours. The staff was very emotionally involved. They could see themselves in these patients. It was their generation." For Hurley, it was "an interpersonal safari. An opportunity to experience life at its poorest and its richest."
So what was the take-away for Hurley-the woman who devoted over a decade of her life to bring the vision of Bailey-Boushay into fruition?
"What I learned was a priceless lesson in the unfathomable capacity of human beings to accomplish incredible things."