Gary Harbison, MA

Executive Director


Gary Harbison has served as the Executive Director of the Missouri Coalition for Oral Health since late December in 2011, the year the agency reorganized. Since then he has provided leadership through several significant changes in Missouri oral health, including the reinstatement of adult dental benefits in Medicaid, the establishment of the Oral Health Caucus in the Missouri legislature and the filling of the MO State Dental Director position after nearly 12 years without oral health leadership in the state system. Mr. Harbison has developed MCOH into a focused and strategic statewide network of advocates dedicated to health equity and access to care. He was awarded Oral Health Champion by the Missouri Dental Hygienists’ Association in 2018. MCOH was awarded Health Advocacy Organization of the Year in 2016. Prior to his work with MCOH, Mr. Harbison has worked in a variety of leadership positions, including the Kansas Mental Health Director, the Maternal & Child Health Title V Director of Special Health Care Needs at the Missouri Department of Health & Senior Services and as the Director of Outcomes Evaluation at the Missouri Department of Mental Health. Mr. Harbison worked in community mental health, psychiatric rehabilitation and hospital-based psychiatric services. Mr. Harbison worked as an individual, marital and family psychotherapist and has worked in community service and in service to people with complex health challenges for most of his career. Mr. Harbison serves on the Board of the American Network of Oral Health Coalitions and is a fellow of the American College of Mental Health Administration. He has a Master of Arts Degree in Psychological Counseling and a Bachelor of Science Degree in Psychology, both from Southeast Missouri State University.