Wayne Young has spent his entire career working in the field of behavioral health. Wayne is passionate about the planning and delivery of large-scale behavioral health and intellectual and developmental disabilities services to a population who rely upon safety net systems of care. Wayne previously served as the chair of the Texas Health and Human Services Commission Behavioral Health Advisory Council and was recently appointed by the Supreme Court of Texas and Court of Criminal Appeals of Texas to the Texas Judicial Commission on Mental Health. In 2019, Wayne was honored to have been named to Modern Healthcare’s list of Top 25 Innovators and to have received the Charley H. Shannon Advocate for Justice Award from NAMI Texas.
“It’s clear to me where I feel called to serve,” Young says. “It’s probably not by accident that I’ve spent a fair amount of my career path working with individuals that rely on safety nets and public healthcare systems, because of the significance of their need, and a lack of resources.”
As a leader, he describes himself as collaborative. “Both from an internal management perspective as well as an external community leadership perspective, I think collaboration is critical. There’s lots of really bright, talented people that we work with every day, so figuring out how to leverage their expertise, how to empower them and help them grow and bring great solutions to the very significant challenges that we’re dealing with is crucial.”
This approach is also key to managing relationships with stakeholders. “One of the things I like best is that a lot of our community partners don’t hesitate to reach out. They text me and call me on my cell phone with great ideas all of the time. We’ve got to be willing to be open and partner with agencies that can help meet people’s needs” he says.
“I spend a lot of my time really encouraging innovation, and for people to take risks” Young adds. “A lot of the individuals we serve have very complex needs and the solutions that we’ve tried historically don’t always meet those needs. So we’re working to provide solutions to these problems, looking at them from different angles, and engage with people needing our services in ways that we haven’t contemplated yet.”