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Robert Norris


Bob Norris has over four decades of experience in human services in government, not for profit and the private sector. At the NYS Office for People With Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD), he held a series of positions including First Deputy Commissioner. In the early 1980s as the Deputy Commissioner with responsibility for federal programs, he was directly responsible for the growth in Medicaid revenue in OMRDD during this period from $125 million annually to $450 million annually. During this time period, Bob Norris created the first community-based Medicaid funded Day Treatment (now Day Habilitation) program for the developmentally disabled in the country. He was the principal author of the “New York State Five Year Plan” enabling New York State to close the Willowbrook Developmental Center (and other State institutions) and comply with a federal court order while forestalling the loss of Medicaid certification for the State’s institutions. The federal government adopted the fundamentals of this innovative Plan and 36 other states submitted similar plans.

After leaving State service he created the Consortium for Worker Education (CWE), a not for profit organization that provides adult training and education, daycare and job placement services to over 100,000 New York City residents annually. He has also served as the Chief Operating Officer for Medicare and Medicaid Programs for the Sanus Health Plan and Senior Vice President for the Merit Behavioral Corporation. He has broad experience providing consulting services to numerous State and Not for Profit agencies concerning Medicaid, Medicare, and employment services. Most recently, first as a consultant and then as the first CEO, he created the nation’s first health plan specifically dedicated to persons with developmental disabilities and their families –Partners Health Plan. Bob has been associated with Camphill organizations for nearly 20 years as a former board member of Camphill Copake Foundation, Camphill Ghent, past President of Camphill Village USA, and currently serving as President of Camphill Hudson. He also serves on the Board of Cerebral Palsy Of New York State.

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