Bobby Watts, MPH, MS, CPH
National Health Care for the Homeless Council
G. Robert (“Bobby”) Watts is the chief executive officer of the National Health Care for the Homeless Council and oversees all aspects of the Council’s activity in advocacy, training, technical assistance, research, peer support, organizing, and fund development.
A nationally recognized advocate and leader in meeting the health needs of people without homes, Watts has more than 25 years of experience in administration, direct service, and implementation of homeless health services. He began his work with people experiencing homelessness as a live-in staff member of the New York City Rescue Mission in Manhattan.
Watts is a former board president of the National HCH Council and served as the executive director of New York City’s Care for the Homeless from 2005-2017. Under his tenure, the Federally Qualified Health Center agency tripled in size, adding major programs and initiatives–including constructing and operating a large women’s shelter (Susan’s Place)–and becoming licensed as a Diagnostic and Treatment Center in New York State.
A long-time New Yorker before his transition to Nashville, Watts is the former Finance Officer of the New York City HIV Health and Human Services Planning Council. As a member of the Steering Committee of the New York City Medicaid Managed Care Task Force, Watts helped to develop safeguards for people without homes under New York City’s Medicaid managed care program. He also has served as a member of the New York State Interagency Council on Homelessness, co-chairing its Health Committee—in addition to serving on multiple boards of membership organizations and governmental task forces such as the HIV Planning Council’s Health Workgroup, the U.S. Public Health Service’s Bureau of Primary Health Care Data Workgroup, and an NHCHC workgroup which published recommendations on outcome measures for HCH programs.
Watts has made numerous presentations at annual meetings of the Community Health Care Association of New York State, National HCH Conferences, the Ryan White Care Act All-Titles Conferences, a Title III Data Workshop, and several American Public Health Association annual meetings.
He is a graduate of Stuyvesant High School, Cornell University, and the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health–from which he holds a Master’s in Public Health in health administration and a Master’s of Science in epidemiology. He also holds a Certification in Public Health (CPH). At Mailman, Watts was a Columbia University International Fellow and received the Gorman Humanitarian Award for founding Homelessness Concern, which mobilized medical and public health students and faculty to volunteer at a shelter for men without homes. He also holds a Certificate of Theological Studies from Alliance Theological Seminary in Nyack, NY.