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Barry Kast (MSW '75)
Barry Kast (MSW '75)

Barry Kast is a well known name in Oregon. With his social work degree in hand, Barry developed a reputation as a leader in public mental health in Oregon, a system that provides services to over 100,000 Oregonians each year.

Since 2001, Barry served as the State's Assistant Director for Health Services in the Department of Human Services. In this role, he was responsible for managing the full range of health services including public health, behavioral health, and health care financing. Barry concluded his state service as Interim Deputy Director of the Department, when he retired from one of the top positions in the field.

One of the hallmarks of Barry's work has been his focus on improving the systems of mental health care in our communities. He has been actively involved in the management of system change in Oregon including state hospital reduction, children's mental health planning, state-level planning for Oregon's incorporation of mental health services in health reform, the relocation of training center residents (ICF/MR) to community settings, and the streamlining of Oregon's Department of Human Services.

At the national level, Barry served on the Board of Directors of the National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors (NASMHPD) from 1994 to 2001, and was vice-president and president, 2000 - 2001.

Following retirement from state service in 2005, Barry was appointed as the Public Member of the State Psychiatric Security Review Board, the agency that accepts jurisdiction for persons found "guilty except for insanity" of crimes committed in Oregon. In addition, Barry is a private consultant assisting public and private agencies with issues relating to human services and behavioral health issues.

Barry and his wife Carol (MSW, '80) recently moved to Portland after over thirty years in Corvallis.