Dr. Robert E. Simpson, Jr., MPH, DSW

Robert E. Simpson, Jr.

On April 27, 2015, the Brattleboro Retreat's Board of Trustees announced Dr. Simpson's plans to step down from his role as President & CEO on December 31st, 2015.

Follow this link to read the entire announcement.

Dr. Rob Simpson was named President and Chief Executive Officer of the Brattleboro Retreat in 2006. He is a graduate of Amherst College, Simmons College (MSW), Harvard University (MPH), and the University of Utah (DSW).

Prior to joining the Retreat, Dr. Simpson served as CEO of Arbour Hospital, a member of the Universal Health Services, Inc., in Boston. In earlier executive management positions he served as Chief Operating Officer of Behavioral Healthcare and Sr. Vice President of Government Relations at the Sisters of Providence Health System, and Vice President of Behavioral Health and Cancer Services at Baystate Health System in Springfield, Massachusetts.

Dr. Simpson was named as a Behavioral Healthcare Champion in 2014 by Behavioral Healthcare magazine, chosen for his “unique brand of dedication, courage, inspiration and excellence as a behavioral healthcare leader.” In 2012 he received the Founders Award by the Brattleboro Development Credit Corporation, “Given to a member of the community who enhances the economic vitality of the region.”

He was named as an American Hospital Association Grassroots Champion 2011, 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.”

He also received an Official Citation from the Massachusetts State Senate for “Dedication to the Profession of Mental Health August 2006” and an Official Citation from the Massachusetts House of Representatives for “Dedication to the Profession of Mental Health & Endless Assistance to the People of Western Massachusetts in November 2005.”

During his tenure at the Brattleboro Retreat he has revamped the hospital’s admissions process and successfully launched five specialty clinical services: an Adult Inpatient LGBT Program for people who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender; an Emerging Adult Inpatient Program for young adults ages 18-26; the Uniformed Service Program designed to meet the unique needs of law enforcement personnel, fire fighters, corrections officers, military personnel, and first responders suffering from PTSD; the Mind Body Pain Management Clinic that utilizes biofeedback, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), and mindfulness in place of typical treatments such as medication and surgery; and the Hub Opiate Addiction Program. Modern Healthcare magazine has ranked the Brattleboro Retreat as number 13 on its 2015 list of the 15 largest behavioral health providers in the United States.

Dr. Simpson also spearheaded the completion of numerous major facility upgrades at the Retreat including modern overhauls of three inpatient units, the hospital’s cafeteria, construction of a beautiful and secure outdoor courtyard for patients, construction of a modern central intake admissions area, new pharmacy and numerous other deferred maintenance renovations across the hospital campus.

To enable the transformation of the Brattleboro Retreat, Dr. Simpson partnered with Linkage, Inc., a worldwide leadership development organization, to develop an innovative Leaders Developing Leaders (LDL) process to instill a culture of transformational leadership and embed it into the performance management system. Nine core leadership modules (leadership, innovation, change management, transition management, project management, performance management, strategy, coaching and mentoring, emotional intelligence) are continuously team taught and drilled down to unit leadership core teams.

Also under Dr. Simpson's leadership, the Retreat launched a new partnership in 2013 with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Vermont called Vermont Collaborative Care. This innovative collaboration integrates the management of mental health and substance abuse services with those of traditional medical services thus setting the stage for Health Care Reform initiatives. Dr. Simpson can be heard 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.