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VALPARAISO — Leigh Morris, former chairman of the Northwest Indiana Regional Development Authority, has been appointed interim president and CEO of Visiting Nurse Association of Northwest Indiana, succeeding Ann O’Heir, who served in that role since 2015.

Cindy Kaariainen-Tougaw, chairperson of the VNA board of directors, said the board is very positive about the future of the VNA Hospice and its mission to be the Region’s most patient-focused provider of aging, hospice, palliative care and grief support services.

"We are confident that Leigh Morris will help us continue to move ahead during his tenure as interim president and CEO as we work with him to search for exactly the right person to provide ongoing leadership to the organization," she said in a news release.

Morris is an adjunct associate professor in the graduate school at Valparaiso University and was president of LaPorte Regional Hospital for 21 years. He also served as mayor of LaPorte, deputy commissioner of the Indiana Department of Transportation for Toll Road Oversight and senior vice president of the Indiana Economic Development Corp. for Northwest Indiana development.

He was interim president of the Legacy Foundation in 2013 and 2014 and the South Shore Leadership Center in 2016. Former Gov. Frank O’Bannon named him a Sagamore of the Wabash and former Gov. Mitch Daniels awarded him the Governor’s Distinguished Service Medal.

For more information about the VNA of NWI, visit or call 219-462-5195.

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Porter County Reporter

Joyce has been a reporter for nearly 40 years, including 23 years with The Times. She's a native of Merrillville, but has lived in Portage for 39 years. She covers municipal and school government in Porter County.