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Hello DHS,

Last fall, we rolled out a draft of a new organizational design for the department, focusing not on the constraints of the present but our ability to leverage the resources we DO have to get outcomes for our clients -- particularly, the resources we have that support those of you in DHS branches who are on the front lines. We spent a lot of time these last few months receiving a good deal of input from a variety of folks about how to best do that work and to better organize ourselves. Today, I'd like to share some progress about decisions that have been made as we continue to move forward.

I think it's important to note that all our decisions around new leadership so far have resulted in the selection of someone who is already a manager at DHS. I think it says a lot for the quality and pioneering spirit of our management staff that we have been able to build our structure from within, especially during these difficult times of budget reductions and hiring freezes.

As you know, I have already announced that the five DHS Programs Areas will continue to be: Aging and People with Disabilities, Child Welfare, Developmental Disabilities, Self Sufficiency and Vocational Rehabilitation. In addition, we've been talking about some offices that support those program areas coming together -- and working across programs -- so they can leverage the good work they can do together, but also continue to specialize in the particular populations and programs they serve now. I am pleased that we're ready to make some announcements about those offices. After a lot of deliberation, debate and thoughtful processing, the staff in these newly structured offices will come together under new leadership and will formally take shape along a cascading timeline, depending on the office itself.

First, Donna Keddy has stepped in to lead the Office of Licensing and Regulatory Oversight. I thank Donna and her team for all the great work they have done in that area to bring together ideas on how best to partner and ensure the health and safety of the people we serve in our communities and licensed-care settings.

Next, Marie Cervantes has stepped in to lead the Office of Adult Protective Services and Investigations. She will actually be merging the community- and facility-based central infrastructure around Adult Protective Services and the Office of Investigations and Training, so our APS workers on the ground will continue to do their work, but they'll also be supported by a very robust team here that will be able to leverage expertise across a variety of disciplines.

Third, Angela Long has agreed to step in around what's been known as Data Analytics, but we decided we liked the name "Business Intelligence" a lot better. This is the group of people who we depending on to give us good information about what we're doing, how it's working, and what we need to be doing next to provide programs with the information they need to make good data-driven decisions.

Finally, Christy Williams has agreed to lead the DHS Office of Continuous Improvement, where she and her team will carry on the good work of training/coaching/mentoring, implementation of CI projects and helping us build standard processes in all DHS programs. I'm excited to see the work of CI continue with a strong agency focus.

There are two other offices that I don't have leadership announcements for yet. One is the office of Program Integrity -- that's the group that ensures our programs are complying with policy and practice and are doing the things they're supposed to be doing. There is lots of great work happening there, but there is still more to come before we can make an announcement. The other is our office of IT Business Supports, which is the group that is transforming our work so we reach a place where the business leads our IT infrastructure, not the other way around. I expect these decisions to be made by April 1, so we're on a pretty fast track, and I'll keep you posted on both these offices, too.

In closing, I want to thank the staff in the Human Services Building and those buildings surrounding us here in Salem who've been really patient throughout this transition and change process, wondering what's happening with their jobs and who they'll be reporting to. That's an uncomfortable place to be, but folks have been pretty amazing in terms of their resiliency and engagement in the conversation. They've stayed focused on the task of making sure we can maximize the resources that we do have and that we continue to focus on the outcomes we all want for the people we serve -- and the support we want to give to those of you who serve them.

We'll be updating the Intranet site this week with new information about our organizational structure in all our offices, and I look forward to the ongoing conversation about how we move ourselves, as an organization, forward into the future.

Have a great week.

~Erinn


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