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DHS news release

Aug. 31, 2007


Contact: Ann Snyder, 503-945-5922
Program contact: Natalie S. Barnes, 503-947-5499


Oregon Department of Human Services names Rick Howard as Chief Information Officer




Rick Howard has been named Chief Information Officer for the Oregon Department of Human Services. Howard has served as interim CIO for the agency since February.


As CIO, Howard will lead the Office of Information Systems, the agency's information technology services section. OIS is made up of 400 employees and has a biennial budget of $163 million.


OIS delivers and supports technology for nearly 10,000 DHS employees in more than 150 branch locations as well as a range of partner organizations located throughout the state. The current technology environment consists of more than 250 applications programmed in 22 different languages on five platforms using nine database management systems.


"Information technology plays an essential role in providing services to Oregonians," said Bruce Goldberg, M.D., DHS director. "The DHS databases and computer systems support everything from ensuring people receive food and medical assistance to paying medical providers, foster parents and others for the services they deliver. I'm very pleased at the experience and knowledge Rick will be able to bring to the oversight of this complex system."


"For the past two years it's been my privilege to work in partnership with talented staff to resolve complicated technical issues for the business customers we serve," said Howard. "My goal is to ensure that our foundation is a stable one and that we are increasing our capacity to deliver IT solutions for health and human services in Oregon."


He noted that OIS has been moving toward a more customer-focused organization, modernizing computer systems, and developing and implementing a 2007-2009 business plan.


Howard has worked for DHS since 1997. He has served as a data analyst and a section manager in the Division of Medical Assistance Programs, and as a senior data analyst for OIS. He was appointed deputy CIO in 2005.


He has a background in management and technology leadership with companies such as Federal Express, United Parcel Service and Intel. He also co-founded and was president of Oregon Orthotic System Inc., which was twice recognized by Oregon Business Magazine as one of the "100 Best Companies to Work for in Oregon." He has a bachelor's degree in business information systems from Linfield College in McMinnville, OR, and is project management certified.


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