Background: As Co-Founder and President of The Difference Leadership Group, Dr. Simpson works to strengthen the critical role that leaders play in supporting organizational resilience and transformation.
A Focus on Visioning: Dr. Simpson works to strengthen the critical role that leaders play in supporting organizational resilience and transformation. Visioning is about exploring and finding the right expression of the specific purpose for the person, team and the organization at the right moment in time. He has spent his career being attentive to this theme, integrating the skills of a seasoned clinician honed by treating patients at all stages of life challenges with those of a skilled organizational leader. He pays attention to how to integrate the unique stages of a leaders growth and development with that of the Team they are building and leading in the context of the unique environmental factors influencing this process. His focus on assisting leaders to then establish psychological safety within their teams and in the coaching experience allows leaders to enact true transformation in themselves and their organizations.
Specific Leadership Skills: This means that he has had to develop the transactional skills of managing the Mission (focus, drive, technical skills, accountability) that are optimally unleashed by understanding and developing the transformational skills to unleash purpose (visioning, creating and managing purpose, creating inspiration, reinforcing a culture of resilience). The combination of these skills allows a leader to develop the ability to engage others in a shared meaning through a distinctive compelling voice and message surrounded by a sense of integrity and strong personal values, seasoned by an adaptive capacity and applied creativity and enacted by an ability to transcend adversity and emerge stronger than before by finding opportunity where others might find only despair.
Executive Leadership: He is extremely effective in assisting new and seasoned leaders to accelerate their onboarding experience, setting early expectations for developing a leadership presence through effective communication and targeted skill acquisition.
Particular Skill with Physician Leaders: As a doctoral level clinician with an additional public health degree, he has worked extensively with Physician leaders assisting in clarifying and managing medical management opportunities, a strong quality focus and addressing physician burnout that enhances strategies to create clinician and leader resilience through purpose focused teamwork. Having led complex healthcare organizations, he has worked extensively with executive leaders and physicians as a partner, supervisor and executive sponsor in transforming care in small community hospitals, large tertiary care hospitals and across the community/hospital continuum of care. He brings an intuitive understanding also of the Board/CEO interactions on strategy implementation.
Leadership and Coaching Reputation: He is seen as a quick witted, outcomes focused, pragmatic and supportive transformational leader who can quickly assess and develop a focused plan for leadership success that assures accountability. As a seasoned executive leader and clinician, he brings emotional intelligence and administrative acumen to his work and intuitively and training understands the interplay of personal and professional leadership dynamics. While coaching is not psychotherapy, a sound understanding of each is valuable in crafting an effective, reliable and personally meaningful coaching plan.
Leadership Positions: Simpson is a seasoned healthcare professional, executive and consultant who has served in a variety of senior executive leadership positions throughout his career. From 2006-2016 he served as President and Chief Executive Officer of the Brattleboro Retreat, a psychiatric hospital founded in 1834 and a member of the original Ivy League hospitals. At the Retreat he led a significant turnaround that saw the organization become ranked by Modern Healthcare magazine as number 12 on its 2015 list of the 15 largest behavioral health providers in the United States. In 2013 he launched a new partnership with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Vermont known as Vermont Collaborative Care, LLC. This groundbreaking approach to care management integrates the management of mental health and substance abuse services with those of traditional medical care and supports improvements in the quality, effectiveness, and efficiency of providing care by treating the “whole person” across all conditions setting the stage for Health Care Reform initiatives.
- Prior to joining the Brattleboro Retreat, Dr. Simpson served as CEO of Arbour Hospital, a member of Universal Health Services, Inc., in Boston; Chief Operating Officer of Behavioral Healthcare and Sr. VP of Government Relations at the Sisters of Providence Health System; and VP of Behavioral Health and Cancer Services at Baystate Health System in Springfield, Massachusetts where he co-led the system wide Medical Management quality program with a physician partner, Evan Benjamin, MD, presently Chief Medical Officer at Ariadne Labs. These positions that have given him strong experience with Regulatory matters related to CMS, Joint Commission and Federal, State and local legal requirements that require a focus on corporate ethics, compliance programs, product and patient safety.
Entrepreneurial Skills: As one of the initial founders of CompHealth, Inc, a leader in healthcare recruitment, he understands the challenges of entrepreneurial positioning, investment and IPO decisions. As one of the founders of CompHealth, Inc, a leader in healthcare recruitment, he understands the challenges of entrepreneurial positioning, investment and IPO decisions. He is extremely effective in assisting new and seasoned leaders to accelerate their onboarding experience, setting early expectations for developing a leadership presence through effective communication and targeted skill acquisition.
Clinical Skills: As a doctoral level clinician with direct patient care experience and an additional public health degree, he has worked extensively with Physician leaders assisting in clarifying medical management opportunities, a strong quality focus and addressing physician burnout that enhances strategies to create clinician and leader resilience through purpose focused teamwork. Having led complex healthcare organizations, he has worked extensively with executive leaders and physicians as a partner, supervisor and executive sponsor in transforming care in small community hospitals, large tertiary care hospitals and across the community/hospital continuum of care. He brings an intuitive understanding also of the Board/CEO interactions on strategy implementation.
Board Positions: Additionally, Dr. Simpson has served in leadership roles on Boards of Directors:
- Vermont Business Roundtable – Vice Chair (2012-2015), Board Secretary (2011)
- Vermont Association of Hospitals & Health Systems Inc, Vice-President of the Board, Secretary-Treasurer of the Board, Chair Mental Health Committee, Chair By-Laws Committee (2006-2015
- Zen Peacemakers International, Inc. -Co-Chair Board of trustees, Chair Finace Committee (2006-2009)
Leadership Awards: Dr. Simpson has received numerous citations for leadership service:
- 2005 & 2006 Official Citations from the Massachusetts State House and Senate for his “Dedication to the Profession of Mental Health & Endless Assistance to the People of Western Massachusetts.”
- 2011, American Hospital Association Grassroots Champion which “Singles out one hospital leader from each state who, over the previous year, effectively delivered the hospital message to elected officials; helped broaden the base of community support for hospitals; and advocated tirelessly on behalf of patients, hospitals and the community served.”
- 2012 Founder’s Award from the Brattleboro Development Credit Corporation, “Given to a member of the community who enhances the economic vitality of the region.”
- 2014 Behavioral Healthcare Champion by Behavioral Healthcare Magazine, chosen for his “unique brand of dedication, courage, inspiration and excellence as a behavioral healthcare leader.”
- 2015 Southern Vermont Leadership Award for Excellence in Economic Development “Given in Recognition of sustained and effective efforts to mobilize leadership in the development of programs and projects, planning and designing of new and creative economic development activities, and deep commitment as a leader and advocate for economic development in southern Vermont.”
- 2019 National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame – Western Massachusetts Chapter Henry A. Butova Award – as former Co-Captain Amherst College Football- “Given annually to a former football player who is devoted to the game of football and who has distinguished himself in later life.”
Advocacy: Known as a passionate advocate for individuals suffering from psychiatric and addictive illness, Dr. Simpson could be heard for nearly a decade on the weekly radio show, “Keep Talking”, on WPTL 107.7-The Pulse covering topics ranging from the neurobiology of addiction and depression to the prevention and treatment of suicide.
Publications: His publications include articles and Op-Ed’s have spoken to important and critical issues in the public arena related to healthcare reform, gun violence and the need for specialized programs for uniform personal experiencing post-traumatic stress.
“Integrated Primary Care, the Future of Medical & Mental Health Collaboration” 1998. W. W. Norton & Company.
Medical Patent Owner: # 8,500,719 B1: Catheter Support Medical Device. As a patent owner who has developed a medical device that addresses the unique interface of pain management and infection, he has experience in the process of taking an innovative idea through field trials to FDA approval and the legal processes of licensing.
- Choate Rosemary Hall, Harvard Trophy
- Amherst College, BA, Woodward Scholarship
- Simmons College, MSW, Weisenfeld Scholarship
- Harvard School of Public Health, MPH
- U of Utah, DSW, Phi Kappa Phi., Marriner S. Eccles Scholar
Select Professional Coaching, Consultations & Presentations:
- “Change Management for Chief Medical Officers”, Centura Health System, 2016
- “Building a Transformational Leadership Culture,” Helmerich & Payne, Tulsa, OK, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020
- “Change & Transition Management for the Operations Team” Central Maine Health System 2018
- Executive Onboarding-Coaching Physician President to develop a Vision for Central Maine Health System 2018
- “Population Health Needs – Diversification Strategies” CEO & Board, Southwestern Vermont Medical Center -Dartmouth Hitchcock Nov 2020-March 2021
Professional Consultations as Senior Faculty with The Leadership Development Group
- Physician Coaching, Chief Physician Quality Officer, Chairs & Vice Chairs Depts. of Anesthesiology & Urology, Univ. of Massachusetts Health System 2019-ongoing
- Executive Leadership Coaching – Univ. of Massachusetts Health System 2019-ongoing
- Leadership Coaching -Takeda & GSK Pharmaceuticals 2019-ongoing
- “Creating a Team Charter that Enables a Team of Teams Approach to Break Down Organizational Silos” Glaxko Smith Kline, 2020-21
- “High Performing Teams & Maximizing Emotional Intelligence in Leadership” UMass Medical Urology & Anesthesiology Executive Teams- 2020-ongoing