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DHS news release

February 13, 2004

Contact: Patricia Feeny (503) 945-6955

State names new head of the Governors Advocacy Office

The Oregon Department of Human Services (DHS) has hired a 10-year veteran to oversee the Governors Advocacy Office (GAO) in Salem.

Naomi Steenson, of Seaside, will manage the GAO, which is comprised of the Childrens Ombudsman, Pain Management, and Alternate Format programs.

Steenson will be a member of the Directors Office executive team and report to Jim Neely, DHS deputy director.

"Naomi's rich professional background, which includes both direct service and management responsibilities, makes her well-prepared for the challenges of her new position," said Neely. In addition to 18 years of management experience, she has an extensive background working with diverse populations, the legislature, policy and program issues, and other departments within the state.

Most recently, Steenson served as the case management program coordinator and tribal liaison for departments Seniors and People with Disabilities group.

The GAO serves thousands of families throughout Oregon every year. Citizens experiencing a problem with, or seeking information about programs or services provided by DHS receive help and direction from the GAOs ombudsmen.

These concerns include child and elder abuse and neglect, access to health and dental programs, homelessness, personal or family crisis, drug and alcohol treatment, mental health programs, and services for the developmentally disabled.

This office also responds to the management of chronic pain through the Pain Management Program. In an effort to provide comprehensive services, the GAO works closely with similar programs in various federal, state, and local agencies, and provides referrals to a wide variety of private entities.

Steenson, who begins March 1, succeeds Gin Denison, who retired at the end of January.