There are certain people that we work with in state agencies that we can envision retiring. Bob Myers was one of those people. That is why it is such a surprise when he announced his retirement four months ago. Anyone who is familiar with OMH over the last three decades knows Bob either directly or indirectly.
Every major initiative in OMH over that time frame has Bob’s name written all over it. We were joking last night at his retirement party that he is probably responsible for 75% of the acronyms at OMH.
I had the pleasure of working for Bob for several years and I can tell you firsthand, he is one of the most caring, compassionate and brilliant mental health leaders. Everything he touched, he embedded with recovery services like peer support, family engagement, supported employment and person centered planning. His hallmark as a leader and mental health trailblazer were evident in his holistic view of the mental health world. His ability to deal with complexity and yet make sure to inculcate policies of recovery and support have been unmatched around the country.
There have been times we have disagreed with Bob on policy calls but we never questioned the essential underpinnings and belief system that he always led with through any issue.
When Bob shuts the lights today at his office on 44 Holland Avenue, he is leaving behind an incredible legacy.
He will be greatly missed by all of us who have been well served during his tenure at OMH.
Robert W. Myers, Ph.D., LMSW
Senior Deputy Commissioner, Division of Community Program Management and Managed Care