SPRINGFIELD — Katherine Cook, who has served in the role of vice president of Behavioral Health at the Center for Human Development since 2016, has been named CHD’s chief program officer, charged with directing the organization’s evolution toward the most effective and cutting-edge provision of services for adults, children, and families across Western Mass. and Connecticut.
In her new role, Cook will assume oversight of all of CHD’s programmatic divisions, including Behavioral Health, Developmental and Disability Services, Children and Family Services, and Connecticut Services. She will continue to report to Chief Operating Officer Nicole Gagne.
“With the continuing evolution of our vision for a healthier and more stable community and our funders’ expectations for strategy, delivery, and outcomes of services, it has never been more important to effectively integrate our programs,” said Jim Goodwin, president and CEO of CHD. “Katherine’s deep understanding of the environment in which all our programs are operating, and her demonstrated excellence in developing, implementing, and measuring the effectiveness of programs and services, will position CHD to exert an even stronger and more life-changing impact on our community and the people we serve.”
Gagne added that “centralizing program oversight with Katherine will place a strong, compassionate, and experienced leader in position to shape our strategy not as an individual program or service line, but as an integrated agency. It will also enable me to apply more focus to other major priority areas such as compliance and quality, infrastructure, workforce strategies, and Innovative Care Partners,” which is CHD’s Massachusetts Medicaid Community Partner program with ServiceNet and Gándara Center, serving individuals in the state’s four western counties.
The new position reflects CHD’s growing footprint of services and the need for dedicated and focused leadership as CHD evolves to meet the challenges of post-pandemic operations and beyond, Goodwin added.
“We know that the pandemic is going to create even more demand for effective and high-quality human services, and for a long time. It will be an enormous task to support individuals’ and our community’s recovery from all of COVID’s impact while at the same time preparing to succeed in the changing environment for funding and service provision in both Massachusetts and Connecticut. With this leadership structure, we will be well-equipped to accomplish both.”
Cook has more than 25 years of mental-health experience across five states in the Northeast, including primary-care behavioral-health integration and implementation, peer-support capacity building, and advocacy in local and state-level policy development. She holds a master’s degree in social science administration from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, and is a licensed independent clinical social worker.