Ann Hilton Fisher’s ten years as Executive Director of the AIDS Legal Council of Chicago (ALCC) have seen the agency grow from 7 staff members to 12, become the state’s largest training resource on HIV and the law, and double its annual budget. With a wealth of experience honed during 17 years at the Legal Assistance Foundation of Metropolitan Chicago, Ann has transformed ALCC into one of the most respected agencies in both the legal aid and HIV/AIDS service communities.
Ann has also led countless advocacy efforts on behalf of people living with HIV. She was a driving force behind a 2000 bill that raised the Medicaid income eligibility for seniors and people with disabilities. Consequently, nearly 100,000 people in Illinois became newly eligible for Medicaid, including hundreds living with HIV. Whether they know her name or not, Ann’s advocacy has touched the lives of thousands in this state.
In the midst of so many responsibilities, Ann still finds time to work personally with clients, maintaining an active caseload that includes public benefits and immigration matters. The attention she gives to each client evidences Ann’s dedication: if a client is too ill to come to ALCC’s offices, she visits their home or hospital room. Not surprisingly, many clients come to regard her as friend, family and mentor.
Whether working with clients, advocating in Springfield or motivating and challenging her staff, Ann is an articulate spokesperson, a committed public interest lawyer, and an innovative leader whose enthusiasm never wavers. She is truly an inspiration to the Chicago legal community.