HHS Names Henry Claypool as Director of Office on Disability

April 16, 2009

WASHINGTON--(Business Wire)

The Department of Health and Human Services today announced the selection of Henry Claypool as director of the HHS Office on Disability. Mr. Claypool has 25 years of experience developing and implementing disability policy at the federal, state, and local levels, and he has personal experience with the nation's health care system from the perspective of an individual with a disability. "President Obama is committed to ensuring that the 54 million Americans with disabilities have an equal opportunity to achieve the American dream," said HHS Chief of Staff Laura Petrou. "Henry Claypool is uniquely prepared to expand and improve services that will empower more Americans with disabilities."

"I am honored to have the opportunity to serve President Obama and the American people as we work together to make certain that Americans with disabilities have access to the services and supports they need to lead fulfilling lives as valued members of their communities," said Mr. Claypool. "My commitment to working on behalf of Americans with disabilities is a deeply personal one."

Mr. Claypool sustained a spinal injury more than 25 years ago. In the years following his injury, he relied on Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security Disability Insurance and Supplemental Security Income, which enabled him to complete his bachelor`s degree at the University of Colorado. After completing his degree, he spent five years working for a Center for Independent Living, after which he became the Director of the Disability Services office at the University of Colorado-Boulder.

Mr. Claypool currently serves as the Policy Director at Independence Care System, a managed long-term care provider in New York City. Mr. Claypool has advised the federal government on disability policy for several years. From 1998-2002, he held various advisory positions at HHS, including Senior Advisor for Disability Policy to the Administrator of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services during the Clinton administration. From 2005-2006, he served as a Senior Advisor in the Social Security Administration's Office of Disability and Income Support Programs. Mr. Claypool was also appointed by Governor Tim Kaine of Virginia to serve on the Commonwealth's Health Reform Commission in 2007.

As Director of the Office on Disability, Mr. Claypool will serve as the primary advisor to the HHS Secretary on disability policy and will oversee the implementation of all HHS programs and initiatives pertaining to Americans with disabilities.