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DHS Director's Message from Jim Scherzinger,
DHS Chief Operating Officer

Hello DHS and Shared Services

Erinn asked me to do the message today to help explain one of the most innovative parts of our transition into two agencies - the Shared Services model. When we officially separated from the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) earlier this month, we also started a new partnership to share services to save money, time and workforce. A study done about a year ago showed it made more sense - and saved considerable resources - if the two agencies shared some centralized support services and program services instead of duplicating them.

Sharing services is not necessarily a new idea, but the way we're approaching it is.

While you might not notice a change because our IT systems are running normally and bills are getting paid, there are big changes behind the scenes in the management, oversight and decision-making for Shared Services offices. DHS and OHA are managing Shared Services together through the new Joint Operations Steering Committee (JOSC). The JOSC is committed to the following principles:

Every Shared Service office is using continuous improvement tools, including metrics, to measure how well they are meeting the needs of both DHS and OHA customers. Each office has a service-level agreement that spells out the services to be provided to both agencies, how they will be paid for and how issues will be resolved.

Shared Services staff members are being kept in the loop about happenings in both DHS and OHA. It's important for them to know the priorities for both the agencies they serve, so they get both DHS and OHA all-staff and Director's Messages. A strategy is being developed to familiarize Shared Services staff with the DHS and OHA core values, missions, visions and goals, and how they apply to their work.

This new "shared services model" of state government is being closely watched by the legislature and other agencies because it is a pioneering effort to do work in new ways to better help the people we serve.

We all know that sharing isn't always easy, and we'll have some bugs to work out as we learn to work together in new ways. Just like Erinn, I'm committed to keeping you posted on Shared Services and other operational and management issues.

If you're curious about what offices are now Shared Services, see the list below. It points out a few recent office name changes you may want to note. For those who want some background on how the offices were selected and placed in an agency, please visit 

Have a good week.