SF HIV, behavioral health agency CEO Andrews steps down

  • by Eric Burkett, Assistant Editor
  • Thursday September 22, 2022
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PRC CEO Brett Andrews resigned September 21. Photo: Courtesy PRC<br>
PRC CEO Brett Andrews resigned September 21. Photo: Courtesy PRC

Brett Andrews, CEO of PRC and Baker Places, which provides HIV/AIDS services and workforce development as well as rehabilitation services, has stepped down from the nonprofit where he first began as executive director in 2003.

The decision, which had apparently been announced to higher level staff only a few hours before the Bay Area Reporter learned of the news Wednesday afternoon, was made "in partnership and support of the board," Tasha Henneman, PRC chief of policy and government affairs, stated in an email.

"There is a comprehensive and long term succession plan in development, and it was solely Brett's decision to retire and not that of our board," Henneman continued. "Effective today, Brett is serving as CEO emeritus and former COO Chuan Teng is serving as interim CEO."

Teng, who has been with PRC for 10 years, was promoted only earlier this month to her position as COO. According to information from the organization's website, Teng has "served as the managing legal director of PRC's Legal Advocacy Program, where she helped launch its health care legal services practice, then as the chief of programs and confidentiality officer, then as chief of client services and talent."

Andrews, a gay man, will remain with PRC for "the next several months to ensure a smooth transition," said Henneman. He is not expected to exit the nonprofit before the new year. Andrews was not available for comment although Henneman said both he and board President Brian Schneider would be happy to talk with the media "at an appropriate time."

Recent financial struggles

Andrews leaves an organization that in recent years has been struggling with financial shortfalls. In 2020, according to IRS filings, PRC reported total revenues of $9,715,674, against total expenses of $10,431,124 resulting in a shortfall of $715,450. The organization reported another shortfall in 2019, as well, of $384,105. That followed years of positive balances. In 2020, Andrews' salary and benefits were listed at $293,230. Six other employees' salaries were cited in the document, ranging from $71,570 to $171,282, excluding benefits.

A separate 2020 990 for Baker Places, but using the same address as PRC, lists a budget of about $9 million, with $12 million in liabilities, resulting in a deficit of about $2.9 million. The Baker Places 990 lists five people with salaries over $100,000, including positions such as medical director and clinical director.

Baker Places and PRC merged in 2016, though it is apparently not finished, as the B.A.R. reported earlier this year.

In 2019, PRC moved to its new location at 170 Ninth Street, a 25,000 square foot building constructed in 1934, and requiring "a head-to-toe renovation" according to a news release issued in June of that year. The total budget for the new space was $6 million, the B.A.R. previously reported, but the organization said it had, by that time, raised $5 million, and expected to raise $2 million more.

In June, the organization approached the San Francisco Board of Supervisors with an 11th-hour emergency funding request that angered some members of the board as they had OK'd a $65 million contract extension — double that of previous years — with Baker Places only one month before. There had been no mention of the organization's financial concerns at that time, several supervisors said.

Administrators for PRC and Baker Places approached the supervisors at their June 14 meeting to request $3.2 million in emergency funding to help them meet expenses, including payroll, and in providing behavioral health and detox services for 215 beds. The programs serve more than 2,000 people per year, according to the San Francisco Department of Public Health.

The supervisors ultimately approved $1.25 million in emergency funding June 28.

The money was needed desperately, Dr. Hillary Kunins, director of DPH's Behavioral Health Services and Mental Health SF program, told the board. The organization, because of that $3.2 million shortfall, was "at risk of insolvency," Kunins told the board, according to a video of the supervisors' meeting. Kunins told the board the agency risked closure.

Following the emergency funding, DPH reported in a statement that "[t]he city will retain an independent consultant to evaluate the financial conditions, including the reasons for the Baker Places/PRC financial deficit and identify all steps necessary to support Baker Places/PRC's long-term financial stability. Receipt of the full amount in the grants is contingent on Baker Places/PRC completing a financial and business plan that the city accepts."

Requests for comments from DPH and Mayor London Breed were not immediately returned. Gay Supervisors Rafael Mandelman (District 8) and Matt Dorsey (District 6) did not immediately respond to text messages seeking comment. PRC's headquarters is located in Dorsey's South of Market district.

PRC assisted 4,400 clients in the 2020-2021 calendar year, through a variety of services ranging from workforce training and development to mental health and substance use programs, according to its Impact Report for that year. The organization distributed $1,190,942 in emergency funds, as well, to clients with HIV to help pay rent, cover medical expenses, and other needs.

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