Barbara Galloway: A Trailblazing County Administrator
by Lester Holmes, Department of Health and Human Services
If you ever visited the Mt. Pleasant Center on Kinsman Avenue, more than likely you have sat in the Barbara S. Galloway Conference Room, located on the second floor of the facility. The woman for whom the conference room is named, has a legacy worthy of the recognition.
Galloway’s career in public service began in 1965, as she began her career with Cuyahoga County Department of Human Services as a direct service worker in the Income Maintenance Department. From there, she was promoted to Chief Supervisor for Family Casework in 1977. Through the years she expanded the department and was appointed the Administrator for Supportive Services and Resource Management. During the late 1980’s, she developed a training model for foster parents, as well as developing an agency wide policy and procedures plan for the HIV/AIDS Unit as well as the Permanent Custody Unit.
In addition to being a skilled program administrator, she worked to increase cultural competencies among staff. Galloway formed the Cultural Diversity Committee in the Department of Human Services and organized the department’s first Black History Program.
After a reorganization of the Department of Human Services in 1992, Galloway, a graduate of South Carolina State University and Case Western Reserve University, became the first Director of the Division of Senior and Adult Services (DSAS). The new program grew under Galloway’s leadership to become a model for senior services throughout the state and country.
In 1998 after 34 years of service, Galloway retired from Cuyahoga County. While she no longer works for the County, she still serves as a mentor and friend to current DSAS staff today as her impact on the community and staff still resonates.
In 2013, under the guidance of then DSAS administrator, Tracey Mason, DSAS created the “Barbara S. Galloway Award,” to honor her mentor.
“It was important to me and DSAS to pay homage to her leadership,” said Mason who conferred the inaugural Barbara S. Galloway award to its namesake in 2013. The award is now given annually as a recognition to outstanding contributions and dedication to the aging community. Mason also named the second-floor conference room at their Mt. Pleasant offices after Galloway. “With the naming of the room as well as the award, we wanted to create a legacy,” said Mason.
With an award and conference room named in her honor, Barbara S. Galloway’s legacy in public service and place in Black History and Women’s History is well established.