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The May 2006 newsletter, print version

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Past Issues


The May 2006 issue, online version.


Graduation Ceremony held for the first class of Leadership DHHS:

The first class of Leadership DHHS successfully completed the six-month program.

Carmen Hooker Odom Honored by Academy

Withers Named Director of DSDHH

Vodicka Recognized with Award

SCHS launches web-based health data query


¡Salud y Saludos!



Impact of Immunization Initiatives on Hepatitis B Incidence

The Bunnies of 2006



Adoption Profile










Graduation ceremony held for the first class of Leadership DHHS

The first class of Leadership DHHS successfully completed the six-month program and was honored during a graduation ceremony held at the Healing Place on the Dorothea Dix Hospital Campus on March 19th. Secretary Carmen Hooker-Odom addressed the graduates with congratulations and appreciation of their hard work, dedication and interest in the future of the Department of Health and Human Services. She reinforced the importance of this outstanding leadership development program and its impact on preparing future leaders to take on the challenges to come in health and human services. The event was well attended by Division Directors, managers of the graduates and members of the DHHS Succession Planning Work Group. In addition to receiving plaques and recognition of their accomplishments, the graduates presented team projects that focused on topics relative to enhancing staff recruitment, development and retention as well as services to DHHS consumers. Five projects were presented:

  • Livable and Senior-Friendly Communities addressed the social and economic opportunities and supports for senior citizens;
  • NC Nursing Fellows-Excellence in Health Care developed a recruitment strategy to fill the need for Nurses;
  • Plugging the Drain: A Model for Employee Growth, Morale & Retention which focused on strategies to develop and retain employees in DHHS;
  • Assessment of Management support for the DHHS Wellness Initiative; and
  • The Other Side of Orientation: Enhancing the Departmental Welcoming Process, which focused on strategies for a smooth, well-informed entry to jobs in DHHS.

The graduates were very positive about what they learned and the benefits they received.

Jim Koger with the Office of Policy and Planning commented, "Leadership DHHS gave me an opportunity to network with fellow DHHS employees who are very bright and innovative.”

Heather Laffler with the Division of Child Development commenting on her team’s project stating that "Our team decided to make our presentation interesting and memorable by requiring audience participation."

Pearla Alston with Human Resources at the Secretary’s Office said, "The program was good exposure to other agencies within DHHS."

Leadership  graduates

The list of graduates who completed the six month program include:

  • Michael Adamio Office of the Controller
  • Pearla Alston Division of Human Resources
  • Nate Carmichael Cherry Hospital, MHDDSAS
  • Tracy Colvard Division of Medical Assistance
  • Gary Cyrus Division of Aging and Adult Services
  • Asa Fleming Division of Vocational Rehabilitation Services
  • Mary Healy Divisions of Facility Services and Child Development
  • Shelia Higgins Division of Public Health
  • Dale Hill Division of Facility Services
  • Kimberly Hoke Division of Public Health
  • Jim Koger Office of Policy and Planning
  • Kathy Lackey Division of Facility Services
  • Heather Laffler Division of Child Development
  • Kathryn Lanier Division of Aging and Adult Services
  • Steve Murphy Division of Service for the Blind
  • Kristy Osterhut Division of Public Health
  • Mark Prakke Division of Information Resource Management
  • April Reese Division of Public Health
  • Jennifer Smith Disability Determination Services-DVR
  • Karen Smith Office of Procurement and Contracting Services
  • Alma Taylor Division of Vocational Rehabilitation Services
  • Samuel Teruel-Velez Division of Vocational Rehabilitation Services
  • Michael Viar Office of Education Services
  • Lori Walston Office of Public Affairs
  • Mike Zeinstra Division of Human Resources

The department is planning to continue the Leadership DHHS program on a schedule of a least once a year. If the first class is any indication, we believe future classes will be equally successful as the department continues its efforts to recruit and train new leaders for the future.










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