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Partnerships Transformation Announcements

 

Steering Committee reviews external report, makes recommendations for better state, county relations

 

At the request of the Oregon Department of Human Services (DHS) and the Oregon Health Authority (OHA), students from the Willamette University’s Atkinson Graduate School of Management took on a project exploring the sources of tension between the two state agencies and county governments. The project team’s resulting report and recommendations have been reviewed by DHS and OHA leadership, and the Partnership Transformation Steering Committee. The Steering Committee will discuss next steps in early 2011.

 

DHS and OHA contract with county governments to deliver a variety of services to Oregonians, including mental health, alcohol and drug addiction programs, and services for the disabled. State and federal rules and regulations require counties to meet many reporting standards. The reporting demands often strain trust between counties and the public agencies. The Willamette University project team conducted research and extensive interviews to identify the sources of conflict and write recommendations for improving communication and contract management. The report was completed in fall 2010.

 

For more information, contact Bobby Green, DHS and OHA director of local government affairs, at bobby.l.green@state.or.us 

 

Four counties participating in pilot to streamline processes and reduce DHS administrative requirements

 

Clackamas, Coos, Crook and Klamath counties are serving as pilot locations for a transformation initiative focused on streamlining process and reducing administrative requirements from the Oregon Department of Human Services (DHS). The goal is to improve the consistency and quality of services provided to citizens across the state, and help DHS be a more effective, responsive partner to the counties it relies on to deliver services.

 

Throughout the fall, two members of the DHS Partnerships Transformation Theme Team visited the four counties to conduct in-depth interviews with staff to identify administrative barriers that prevent counties from working as effectively as they would like and to learn about county delivery systems. An example of an administrative barrier could be two different reports required by two different divisions within DHS that duplicate information. The information gathered during the interviews is being used to develop a survey of all counties about service delivery processes and administrative burdens. Results of the final, statewide survey will be used to identify and prioritize areas for improvement.

 

DHS, counties identifying "quick wins" for improvement efforts

 

Leaders of the Partnerships Transformation Theme are working with program managers and other county staff to identify issues with administrative requirements that can be remedied fairly easy without months of planning involving several work groups. The team is identifying issues that, when corrected, will result in a true lightening of the administrative load for counties, local governments and DHS. County staff and managers are offering a number of constructive ideas for ways that DHS could reduce the time, effort and expense of providing human services to Oregon's citizens. This effort is part of the Partnerships Transformation Theme's Reducing Administrative Burdens Initiative.