The State of America’s Direct Support Workforce Crisis 2022

The longstanding direct support workforce crisis, exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, has led to closures of critically needed services and a denial of access to community-based supports.
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Barry Simon

Headshot for Barry Simon, who has short, dark hair and a short beard, and who is wearing a charcoal suit with a white shirt and a striped tie.

About Barry

Barry Simon has served as a leader in the human services field for over 30 years. Since 2013, Barry has been the President and Chief Executive Officer of Oak Hill, Connecticut’s largest private provider of services to people with disabilities since 2013. Barry joined Oak Hill after 20 years as Executive Director of Gilead Community Services in Middletown, CT.

Barry has tirelessly advocated for all aspects of disability services and for the staff providing those services. In particular, the reduction of institutional care, with the end goal of increasing care options while reducing the significant state deficit and improving the quality of life for those individuals provide and need such services.

Barry holds an MPA in Health Care Administration, an MA in Marital and Family Therapy and a BA in Psychology, all from the University of Connecticut. In addition to his work in the human service field, Barry has served as an adjunct professor at Middlesex Community College teaching Sociology.

Since taking the helm at Oak Hill, Oak Hill has become the parent company of Gilead Community Services, Easter Seals of Oak Hill (New Haven and Fairfield County) and Camp Hemlocks, allowing Oak Hill to continue to develop and expand the continuum of services throughout the state. Barry has led a right-sizing initiative, restructuring group homes and day programs so that they deliver high-quality care at a financially reasonable level. He has also expanded the education program to fill age, geography and needs-based gaps, and has significantly expand employment services. Barry has also implemented a new communication initiative, launching a new brand for Oak Hill and deploying technology that optimizes administrative processes and efficiency (e.g., scheduling, reporting, budgeting, payroll, internal communications). He introduced an integrated outcome measurement and continuous service delivery improvement process to meet client needs better, faster and less expensively.

Barry’s involvement with nonprofit boards, public policy, the business community, and health and human services committees has been extensive. He is currently involved with several nonprofits, is an active participant and serves on the Board as Vice President of the Connecticut Community Nonprofit Alliance, and as one co-chair of the Intellectual & Developmental Disabilities Division. Barry serves on the Boards of the Mount Sinai Rehabilitation Hospital and the Metro Hartford Alliance where he is the Executive Lead for the Medicaid Innovation Working group and as the Chair of the Executive Committee of the Connecticut Health Council. Barry has been appointed to the Department of Developmental Services ARPA Advisory Transformational Committee and has previously been appointed to the Governor’s Nonprofit Health & Human Services Cabinet and the I/DD Partnership. He also serves on the Board and co-chairs the Public Policy Committee for Easterseals National.