Dayana Simons, M.Ed.

Headshot of Dayana Simons

Dayana Simons has over 30 years of experience in children’s behavioral health, Medicaid, and managed care. As a nationally recognized expert on behavioral health policy, service delivery, financing, and design, she assists in guiding national, state and local children’s behavioral health system transformation efforts that promote cross-system alignment to drive outcomes for children, youth, and families.  She has extensive experience in Medicaid managed care contract and project management and serves as a subject matter expert on children’s behavioral health redesign efforts in response to Early and Periodic Screening, Diagnostic, and Treatment (EPSDT) litigation, and the development and implementation of systems of care for multi-system-involved children, youth, and young adults with serious behavioral health conditions, and their families.

Prior to joining TAC, Ms. Simons was Health Program Director at the Institute for Innovation and Implementation at the University of Maryland-Baltimore School of Social Work. As part of core leadership for the National Technical Assistance Network for Children’s Behavioral Health (TA Network), she co-led a national quality collaborative to improve the use of psychotropic medication with youth in residential care settings, and developed and led the TA Network’s Mobile Response and Stabilization Services peer curriculum. Ms. Simons was primary consultant/coach to Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration (SAMHSA) Children’s Mental Health Initiative System of Care grantee sites in multiple states. Before joining the University of Maryland, Ms. Simons oversaw a multi-year, multi-state quality collaborative, funded by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services through the Center for Health Care Strategies (CHCS); this initiative focused on improving cost, quality, and coordination of services and supports for children, youth, and young adults with serious behavioral health challenges and their families. Prior to her work with CHCS, Ms. Simons was part of the Medicaid leadership team responsible for redesigning the behavioral health services for children and youth in Massachusetts in response to the Rosie D. EPSDT lawsuit. Ms. Simons began her career as a clinician serving multi-system-involved children, youth, and their families.



Recent Publications

Take a Walk on the Child Side: Making Emergency Behavioral Response Systems Work for Youth and Families  (Blog post)