Biz 417: You most recently served as the Senior Director of Public Health Transformation for Missouri Foundation for Health, after a very public role as the leader of the Springfield-Greene County Health Department. Why move to Burrell Behavioral Health?
Clay Goddard: My work for the Missouri Foundation for Health was important, and I loved it. But I missed being closer to where services are being delivered. With Burrell, I knew the work, the mission. I served as Board chair. So when I came into this role, it affirmed what I already knew: There is so much passion and purpose behind our team in their work.
Biz: Burrell is a local flagship in mental health care; what are your priorities as its new regional leader?
CG: I want to get to know my team, engaging with people in all 94 locations. I want to know their concerns and pain points, to empower them to be a part of any solution. In every conversation, I’m issuing a challenge: Every decision we make should be client-centered and executed with efficiency. The more effective and efficient we can be, the more clients we can serve. Ultimately, that leads to a healthier community.
Biz: You’re a proud fourth-generation Missourian, raised on a farm. How has your personal story impacted you as you lead Burrell?
CG: I’m a little late to this admittedly; I was raised with a mentality that you don’t show weakness. I learned with sustained illness and death with my father that the last thing I needed to do was internalize my pain. I found out the hard way that if I needed help, everyone probably needed help, and everyone deserves high-quality services. That’s my mission.