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August 27, 2012: Breakthrough Initiatives

Hello DHS,

This summer, I've spent a lot of my time thinking about the future.

We've been working to lock down our budget request for 2013-15 and that means making 100% sure we're on track with our priorities for strategic direction and funding for where we are today and where we are going in the future. Our budget work, our Town Hall Meetings and our internal staff, management and executive team meetings have all been "looking forward" to focus on the direction that DHS is charting for the future -- for the agency and our service delivery, for our clients, for our partners and for our communities.

In the last two messages, I set out the big picture about the Governor's direction to state agencies in four main outcome areas: economy and jobs, healthy people, safety and education. A natural question (one I hear inside and outside DHS) is how do you intend to achieve those outcomes?

The answer is simple, but the work involves each and every employee at DHS. We have ten "Breakthrough Initiatives" underway this year, and each one has a sponsor and a work team developing a detailed work plan for how to move the agency into the future and achieve better outcomes for our clients ASAP.

I think you'll recognize your own work in at least one of the work groups below:

  1. Providers Are Delivering Outcomes Established by DHS Programs and Contracts-- Sponsor: Mike McCormick
  2. Service Equity Is Improved -- Sponsor: Gloria Anderson
  3. Employment Outcomes for DHS Customers Are Increased -- Sponsors: Stephanie Taylor, Mike Maley
  4. DHS Customers Have Access to a Transformed Health Delivery System -- Sponsors: Carol Lamon and Sandy Dugan
  5. More People Are Supported to Live Safely & Independently with Family, in Their Home, or in Their Community (includes reduce the abuse rate, increase prevention services, expand ADRC statewide) -- Sponsors: Marie Cervantes and Maurita Johnson
  6. Child Welfare Interventions are Transformed through Implementation of Differential Response -- Sponsor: Lois Day
  7. Program Outcomes and Service Delivery are Improved through Modernized Systems includes client access to self-serve options, service delivery model is modernized) -- Sponsor: Trina Lee
  8. IT Systems are Updated and Responsive to the Changing Needs of DHS -- Sponsors: Trisha Baxter, Jerry Waybrant, Jim Scherzinger
  9. DHS is a Continuously Learning Organization (includes intercultural development, success plans are in place, employees are engaged & understand their role in the organization) -- Sponsors:  Carolyn Ross, Cheryl Miller
  10. Better Outcomes are Achieved through Optimized Allocation of Resources -- Sponsor:  Eric Moore

Some of these plans are completed and work to is already underway, and others are still in development. However, all this work is about taking action now to achieve concrete "breakthroughs" to improve outcomes in the short-term and deliver better results for clients as quickly as possible.

It all comes back to safety, health and independence for our clients and customers and our commitment to deliver those results though the work we do at DHS. We're all in this work together, and I know you can each find your job in at least one of the initiatives above.

Thank you for all you do every day on behalf of Oregonians.

It doesn't mean that summer's over, but Labor Day weekend is upon us. Have a great holiday!


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