The Columbus Organization


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Carlos Hernandez

Senior Vice President, Care Coordination

Why I joined The Columbus Organization 

The company’s history of advocating for individuals with developmental disabilities in the areas of personal choice and self-determination stood out to me. That, as well as the staff’s passion and great sense of pride in the work they do on behalf of those they support. Columbus’ mission and values are closely aligned with my own which is truly important to me and such a motivating force.

How I describe my organization to other people

I say that our mission is to ensure the individuals we serve live a life that is meaningful to them and that our staff have a passion for their work and those individuals and families we support. I am proud that our culture is one that supports our staff in improving the lives and well-being of individuals throughout the country.

How I chose my career

I remember my senior year in High School volunteering with Special Olympics as part of a class project. I was given the chance to work individually with some of the participants, and I remember thinking it was nothing short of a miracle how much joy was expressed by the competitors as well as their families. That inspiring experience is what led me from business to psychology and then ultimately to working with those with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

A career highlight

I worked for a State Hospital for 15 years and developed their community placement program to allow long-term individuals the opportunity to permanently live outside of the facility. Within the first year, we were able to successfully place over 100 diverse individuals to less restrictive residential placements. My experience in dealing with municipalities, families and related issues gave me the confidence and ability to successfully navigate challenges and ensure individuals were meaningfully integrated into their new communities.

How I describe myself

Seeing the organization grow to serving close to 14,000 individuals continues to have a big impact on how I think and continues to motivate me to never take for granted what a positive impact our efforts can have in people’s lives.

My background

I have dedicated close to 40 years assisting individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. My prior experience includes work with inpatient crisis units, residential and Day programs and as Director for Community placement at a State Hospital, successfully transitioning individuals to less restrictive community placements. All this widened my clinical and care coordination experience across a range of therapeutic areas and was great preparation for my role at the Columbus Organization.

A bit about me 

Traveling has always been a passion of mine as well as spending time with my wife and daughter. I am an avid collector and have accumulated all manner of strange and wonderful things. 


Florida State University, M.A. in Family Psychology