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Snapshot: Ned Simpson

Published: December 8, 2017

The Newtown Bee

Occupation: Retired. I was in health care operations and systems. I started out engineering how health care was delivered. For example, reducing patient waiting times and speeding delivery of test results. Then computers came into the scene, and I did work in computers. Notably, around 2007, I commuted from Ann Arbor, Mich., where we were living, to Boston to implement the Massachusetts Health Connector, also known as Romneycare. In 2012 through 2014, I commuted to Albany, to implement the New York State of Health for Obamacare.

Family: My wife Katherine and I have been married for more than 40 years. We met at University of Michigan. Right now our daughter is in Brooklyn, so what brought us to Sandy Hook was looking for a place at the end of the Metro North Train Line. So, instead of the 12-hour drive from Ann Arbor to Brooklyn, it’s a train trip for an hour and a half. I have a 94-year-old uncle in Albany, and he summers at a remote camp in the Adirondacks and winters in Albany.

Pets: We have a 16-year-old cat, Romeo.

How long have you lived in Newtown? Since July 3. We were looking for a place where transportation was convenient when visiting our daughter and uncle. Also, Connecticut had many choices for senior communities.

What do you like to do in your free time? A lot of it recently has been spent unpacking, installing, organizing, etc. We really enjoy walking and hiking daily, going to Fairfield Hills.

Do you have a favorite book? I just finished reading American Nations by Colin Woodard. It traces what he defines as 11 regional cultures back from their origin in Europe who came over and colonized America. He shows the cultural remnants from a couple hundred years still today.

What is your favorite travel destination? It used to be New York City, but now it is a commute instead of a travel destination. Still, I enjoy going to cities.

What is the best part about Newtown? We love the parks, the trails, and the choice of two wonderful ice cream shops. We appreciate the culture and have been welcomed warmly here. The Labor Day Parade was astounding and walking on Main Street for Halloween was amazing.

Who has been the greatest influence in your life? Professor Johnson. When I was an undergrad he had a great influence. Also, when I heard Uwe Reinhardt, who was a Princeton professor of health, economy, and policy, had passed away it made me think of how he was a major touchstone in my career.

If you could spend the day with one person, who would you choose and why? Barack Obama. There are so many dimensions to him. We would not run out of things to talk about.

What is your favorite musical genre? My wife and I like classical a lot. We are looking to get reconnected to what we had with University of Michigan. There were lots and lots of wonderful conservatories, so there were many free concerts and professional concerts. Now we are looking to get reconnected to that here.

Do you have a favorite TV show? I watch early Law & Order. I am fascinated by the culture, the technology, and the social issues from the 90s and seeing what are still social issues today and how they’ve changed.

What is your favorite food? Meat and potatoes. Anything traditional American grill.

What is the greatest piece of advice you have ever been given? That if you start arguing with a fool, before long, observers can’t tell who’s who.

What is something you cannot live without? The Lord.

What is your proudest accomplishment? When computers were first being introduced into health care I was on the board of a small professional society. We incorporated information systems into our programs and now the Healthcare Information and Management Systems society has more than 60,000 members across the globe.

What is your favorite quote? You shall love your neighbor as yourself.

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