Dayana Simons has over 30 years of experience in children’s behavioral health, Medicaid, and managed care. She is a nationally recognized expert on behavioral health policy and service design, development, and implementation with extensive experience in contract and project management. She serves as a subject matter expert for several states on children’s behavioral health redesign efforts in response to Early and Periodic Screening, Diagnostic, and Treatment (EPSDT) litigation, and on the development and implementation of systems of care for children, youth, and young adults with serious mental health conditions, and their families.
Prior to joining TAC, Ms. Simons served as 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 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 (MRSS) peer curriculum. Ms. Simons was primary consultant/coach to Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration (SAMHSA) 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 service design and implementation of best practice services for children and youth under the Rosie D. EPSDT lawsuit in Massachusetts. Ms. Simons began her career as a clinician serving multi-system-involved children, youth, and their families.