Opinion: ‘Superhero’ commissioner will join Biden-Harris administration

Robert Stack (center), CEO of Community Options, Inc. PHOTO COURTESY OF COMMUNITY OPTIONS
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Robert Stack (center), CEO of Community Options, Inc. PHOTO COURTESY OF COMMUNITY OPTIONS

When Clark Kent puts on his glasses to hide his identity as a superhero his peers see him sit behind a desk oblivious to his agenda.

After Gov. Phil Murphy appointed Carole Johnson as the commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Human Services, the disabled community figured there was another government official to manage the largest department in New Jersey. She had come from the Obama administration working on health care and public disability policy.

The commissioner visited our programs with people with severe medical fragility. She seemed to be a quiet, yet intellectually gifted leader. Then the pandemic hit.

It was at that time that the provider communities in New Jersey saw her turn into a superhero.

As a national non-profit we have experienced firsthand unorganized management for COVID-19 mitigation in many of the other states.

In other states we were faced with the lack of reporting viral outbreaks, actual cuts in supports and in some cases, feckless direction. This was not the case in New Jersey.

Commissioner Carole Johnson knew that direct support retention was critical. She knew how to handle the crisis in the throes of the most challenging times ever faced by those of us serving the most vulnerable have ever experienced. She knew that supports coupled with clear communication was essential for our essential staff.

New Jersey is losing a superhero. Hopefully Carole Johnson will guide the president for successful supports for persons with disabilities as a national leader as part of the Biden-Harris Administration’s White House COVID-19 response team.

Robert Stack

President & CEO

Community Options, Inc.

Princeton