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Employee Update: Past Issues

April-May 2013

Gov. Pat McCrory and Secretary Aldona Wos launch The Partnership for a Healthier North Carolina as the framework for a statewide overhaul of the Medicaid delivery system; Secretary Wos and Medicaid Director Carol Steckel hold weekly office hours and travel the state to meet with key stakeholders about Medicaid reform and The Partnership for a Healthier North Carolina; DHHS and local DSS leaders gather to focus on communications, customer service at Work Support Strategies leadership summit in April; NC Tracks, the MMIS replacement, is on track for July 1 conversion; DHHS launches new, virtual suggestion box; DHHS leadership update: Sherry Bradsher is named deputy secretary for human services, Rob Kindsvatter, director of the Division of Child Development; David Oglesby, senior legal advisor for grants, contracts and compliance; Chet Spruill, director of internal audit for DHHS; Ricky Diaz, DHHS communications director; and Mark Gogal, DHHS human resources director; The 2012 DHHS employee engagement survey discovers strengths and opportunities to improve job satisfaction for employees; Child Care licensing moves toward greater outcomes for children and families via a Quality Rating and Improvement System; Gov. Pat McCrory declares April Alcohol Abuse Awareness Month; You don’t need a green thumb to plant a pinwheel garden, a way to show your support of efforts to prevent child abuse in North Carolina; Visitors from Denmark visit Lynne Deese in the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation Services’ Assistive Technology Section to learn about how people with certain disabilities may benefit from technology and innovation; Pyreddy Reddy presents tips on ways to protect confidential documents; Congratulations to the folks who contributed more than 1,200 fuzzy animals for the annual bunny drive; DHHS partners with other groups to launch a public health awareness campaign and to help overweight residents lose 10 million pounds; May is Mental Health Month, with a theme of Pathways to Wellness; May 5-11 is Children’s Mental Health Awareness Week; In the wake of tragedies attributed to people with mental illness, The Associated Press has developed an entry in its Stylebook to provide guidance when writing to combat stigma associated with mental illness; DHHS recognizes its employee accomplishments on the Accolades page.

March 2013

North Carolina’s herculean effort to convert 19 social services legacy programs and all their paperwork into a single digital application is streamlining a decades-old process under the name NC FAST; DHHS welcomes three new members to its leadership team, Adam Sholar, director of the Office of Intergovernmental Relations; Robin G. Cummings, M.D., director of the Office of Rural Health and Community Care; and Tom Adams, chief of staff to Secretary Wos; a work group formed by Secretary Wos – the Adult Residential Care Work Group – is looking at ways to protect residents when care homes suddenly close; DHHS/Department of Justice settlement provides supporting housing option for individuals with mental illness; new radiology contract uses technology to hold costs down, and is already saving money for the Division of State Operated Healthcare Facilities; employer recruitment video now posted to YouTube promotes hiring of clients of the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation Services; March is Brain Injury Awareness Month; DHHS neuro-medical treatment centers are top-rated for nursing care in a national report; security access control is a critical element to protecting computer resources containing confidential citizen information; accolades include recognition of Rebecca Parks, a Burlington Vocational Rehabilitation unit manager and Shelby Kennerly, an assistive technology consultant in Morganton.

February 2013

Just days after being sworn, Secretary Aldona Wos spoke with hundreds of DHHS employees at a meet and greet outside the Adams Building; Gov. Pat McCrory stops by DHHS early in his term and is welcomed by hundreds of DHHS employees at Haywood Gym on the Dorothea Dix Campus; Carol Steckel, former president of the National Association of Medicaid Directors, named to lead the Division of Medical Assistance; Joe Cooper, a 35-year veteran technology executive, named to post of chief information officer for DHHS; Secretary Aldona Wos cautions DHHS employees to observe privacy and security rules to avoid costly errors; Protecting confidential information is everyone’s responsibility; DHHS Excels initiative to continue as Excels values of transparency, results oriented, anticipatory, collaborative and customer focused are seen as a good fit with new administration; DHHS invites stakeholders to provide recommendations for improving efficiency and effectiveness of North Carolina Medicaid; State Health Directors Conference shares information, has open discussion on pressing topics for state health leaders; Special guests joined Division of Public Health’s heart health event on Valentine’s Day; The Immunization Branch of Public Health launched a campaign promoting vaccinations using television, radio and print media as well as a fleet of delivery trucks wrapped in appropriate messages; DHHS closes out the 2012 State Employees Combined Campaign with nearly $300,000 in contributions; Division of Information Management Resources operates a print shop that is saving DHHS more than $1 million per year; Social media efforts within DHHS are expanding, with recent additions operating in Public Health and Vocational Resources’ Assistive Technology; Student posters help raise awareness to the dangers of radon; DHHS teams are working to prepare for possible radiological emergencies using elements of the Radiation Protection Section, Emergency Medical Services and Public Health’s Preparedness and Response Branch.

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December 2012

The J. Iverson Riddle Developmental Center kicks off the Holiday Season with its 38th annual Christmas Parade; Acting Secretary Al Delia shares a holiday and transition message for employees; DHHS contributions to the State Employee’s Combined Campaign are up compared to the previous year; the Office of Rural Health and Community Care celebrates 39 years of making medical care affordable and available to people living in rural, under-served areas; a strong password is a top priority for ensuring security for your PC at work in DHHS; the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issues a set of standards to guide states in efforts to identify public health preparedness priorities; the DHHS smoking cessation initiative targets consumers of Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services; Orientation and Mobility Specialist Mike Switzer spent some time with a blind-folded Acting Secretary Delia to demonstrate techniques in helping the blind navigate indoors and outdoors; O’Berry Neuro-Medical Treatment Center employee Rick Wagner receives the Governor’s Award for Excellence; the Communicable Disease Branch of the Division of Public Health tackled an E. coli outbreak; Central Regional Hospital redefines the role and title of direct care staff; Yvette Smith, an employee of the Senior Community Service Employment Program, continues to provide errand assistance to elderly in the Wilson area.

November 2012

Many partners – including the Office of Rural Health and Community Care and the Division of Public Health – join to bring a health center to Andrews in Cherokee County; Secretary Al Delia recognized the five NC FAST pilot counties last month at the Social Services Institute held in Raleigh; DHHS employee pledges have reached 49 percent of the previous year’s contributions in the State Employees Combined Campaign; Prashanth Jathan wins a chili competition among colleagues in a Combined Campaign event at DIRM; Leland Fire/Rescue has the state’s top paramedic team following the 22nd annual competition during last month’s EM Today conference; Broughton Hospital’s Junior Mentor Program provides valuable experience to high school and college age students; Assistive Technology prepares for next month’s GReAT Conference 2012; Instead of piling on the pounds, North Carolinians are invited to join the seventh annual Eat Smart, Move More …Maintain, don’t gain! Holiday Challenge; A grant award of $3.59 million to the Children and Youth Branch of the Division of Public Health will grow a statewide early childhood visiting program for families at risk for child abuse or neglect from pregnancy through the child’s fifth birthday; Accolades focuses on the accomplishments of DHHS employees.

October 2012

October is Disability Employment Awareness Month; DVRS increased the number of North Carolinians with disabilities it assisted with finding jobs last year by seven percent over the pear before. Jallie Daughtry overcame barriers to her success and works as a processing assistant for VR; Antonio Cruz provides background on origins of Disability Employment Awareness Month; Gov. Bev Perdue and others attended a ribbon cutting for the new State Laboratory of Public Health and Office of the Chief Medical Examiner; DHHS agencies were part of the landscape of standby and support services during the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte; DHHS state operated facilities include gift and craft stores where your purchases help support vocational programs; October is Cyber Security Awareness Month and DHHS’s Pyreddy Reddy provides tips for keeping digital information safe; Secretary Al Delia responds to questions from a web-cast dialog; 2012 State Employees Combined Campaign launches; reminder that NC Flex enrollments are due; delegation from Palestinian Territories stops by DHHS to learn about rights of the disabled and children’s domestic violence issues; N.C. Disability Determination Services hosts educational meeting for liaisons from congressional offices.

September 2012

An era of care on the campus of Dorothea Dix Hospital came to an end last month when a group of forensic patients made the move to a refurbished building in Butner; excerpts from historical documents on how Dix started, excerpts from a 1949 newsletter, and remarks by former Chief Justice Burley Mitchell at the Dix cemetery dedication; State Health Director Laura Gerald delivers important messages to media outlets encouraging immunization against pertussis following the first infant death in the state due to the disease; we all are encouraged to take sensible precautions to help avoid mosquito bites and possible exposure to West Nile virus; Secretary Al Delia visited Goldsboro last month to get a look at progress in the construction of a replacement facility for Cherry Hospital, and to tour and meet with staff at O’Berry Neuro-Medical Treatment Center; changes in North Carolina food safety codes present a comprehensive change to standards establishing practical, science-based rules and provisions to help prevent food-borne illnesses; the Division of State Operated Healthcare Facilities announces several leadership changes at state facilities; SAVVY, a summer program sponsored by Division of Services for the Blind, helps visually impaired youth. This year’s program served 29 students; the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation Services is deploying document scanners as part of its case management system to bring offices more fully into the digital age; more than 1,000 people a year die from suicide in North Carolina -the state’s suicide prevention efforts include a lifeline to help those in crisis; the DHHS 2012 State Employees Combined Campaign is up and running, preparing for a successful giving season; Accolades takes a look at recognition of DHHS employees.

August 2012

NC FAST launches customer-focused pilots in select counties to begin delivering food and nutrition services benefits to some of the state’s neediest families; DHHS faces a possible consolidation of office space in Wake County as a request for proposals seeks a 20-year lease agreement for up to 1 million net square feet of office, public service, warehouse and parking space; Jim Jarrard tapped to lead the Division of Mental Health/Developmental Disabilities/Substance Abuse Services; Antonio Cruz joins DHHS as EEO director; DHHS remembers Steve Jordan, DMH/DD/SAS director whose life ended abruptly when his bicycle was struck by a truck; quick thinking and new equipment came into play when an ailing passerby sought after hours care at Westfield Medical Center; Black Mountain Neuro-Medical Treatment Center names driveway in honor of Gail West, center director from 2008 until her death in March; Secretary Delia drops in at the Riddle Center and hears how implementing DHHS Excels is improving service delivery and reducing accidents and injuries; Delia joins about 35 alumni of seven-year-old LeadershipDHHS to share updates on Health Care Reform implementation and the need for better communication in the department; state employees receive a 1.2 percent pay raise and five days of additional special vacation leave; DHHS walking teams in State Operated Healthcare Facilities win seven of the top nine categories in the OSP challenge walk; State Health Director Dr. Laura Gerald hosted seven students from Wuhan University in China to offer a first-hand understanding of the function of the Division of Public Health; Accolades, a new column in the newsletter, features individuals and accomplishments within DHHS.

July 2012

Community Service Leave offers opportunity to support schools and non-profit Community Service Organizations; for nearly 10 years volunteers at DAAS have maintained a weekly route with Wake County Meals on Wheels; volunteers needed for federally funded Summer Food Service Program; Secretary Delia names Beth Melcher chief deputy secretary and Michael Watson as director of the Division of Medical Assistance, John Dervin is named chief of staff; efforts advance to convert the state’s mental health system from Local Management Entities to Managed Care Organizations; the state’s system for delivering social services is evolving to a single point of entry system; through a partnership with a Triangle television station, DHHS reaches out to young people in suicide prevention effort - itsok2ask program; Office of Public Affairs launches three new, convenient forms that accompany publications and other materials that require review; Broughton Hospital is the first among state facilities to earn a gold star from N.C. Prevention Partners; Division of Public Health’s Epidemiology and Evaluation Team selects three poster day winners; Theresa Edmondson, former director of the Walter B. Jones ADATC, retires with an Order of the Long Leaf Pine recognition; N.C. Radiation Protection Section staff takes part in a national study to measure exposures and identify potential problems with X-ray equipment; Secretary Al Delia to hold video conference Aug. 14.

June 2012

Division of Aging and Adult Services kicks off Vulnerable Adult and Elder Abuse Awareness Month; ACCESS North Carolina travel guide for people with disabilities takes a closer look at accessibility; LeadershipDHHS graduates 20 in its seventh class; DHHS Excels focuses on working smarter, not harder and a pilot launched by Workforce Planning and Development subcommittee seeks to ensure the sustainability of key DHHS functions; Public Health Preparedness & Response tests readiness through exercise Eagle Down!; visitors from Botswana examine how North Carolina tracks and responds to disease outbreaks; N.C. Disability Determination Services plays role in developing quick response for securing records of wounded warriors; N.C. recognized as one of 15 states achieving 90 percent monthly caseworker visit rate for children in foster care last year; Take our Daughters and Sons to Work Day finds opportunities in the DSS Child Support Services office in Raleigh; top DHHS staff members pitch in to pack meals for hungry kids at the Interfaith Food Shuttle in Raleigh; two DHHS directives are updated: Employee Grievance Policy (Directive III-8) and Performance Rating Dispute Process (Directive III-9); DHHS tracks heat risks and helps seniors with cooling fans; Dennis Streets, director of the Division of Aging and Adult Services, receives Presidential Award from the North Carolina Association on Aging.

May 2012

Ground breaking for a new Broughton Hospital marks the start of a construction project that will run through mid-2015. Acting Secretary Delia issues an Employee Appreciation Week challenge to all DHHS employees: Lead by example, thank someone who lends a hand, answers a question or provides information, and compliment a coworker on a job well done. A collaborative effort is resulting in healthier newborns through the Pregnancy Medical Home initiative. State response teams set up and evaluated mock medical support shelters ahead of hurricane season. A year after a devastating tornado tore through central and eastern North Carolina a state program continues to help survivors. Lloyd Layton Long Jr. has been appointed to lead the state Environmental Health Section. N.C. wins $1.5-million grant to improve how low-income families access services. May is: National Foster Care Month, Vulnerable Adult and Elder Abuse Awareness Month, and Better Hearing and speech Month. A look at the effects of Hurricane Irene on eastern North Carolina sees rebuilding and repairs happening with help from Area Agencies on Aging and other agencies in the region.

April 2012

National Mobile Disaster Hospital setup provides critical training for N.C. responders; a new DHHS Excels messages is available via the Department home page; process simplification is goal of DHHS Excels Steering Committee; Public Health officials urge safe handling of chicks, ducklings and awareness of salmonella risks; Acting Secretary Delia reads Dr. Seuss to Martin County youngsters; Western Community Resource Connections for Aging and Disabilities helped when tornadoes struck Cherokee County in March; Operation Medicine Drop provides opportunity to clean out medicine cabinets, clean the environment; Senior Tar Heel Legislature discusses priorities for 2012 General Assembly; N.C.’s problem gamblers have a website to help them if they become hooked on wagering; DHHS employees respond to the call for stuffed animals for shut-ins.

March 2012

DSS employee Zabria Booker receives two days of leave for her suggestion that led to customer service improvements for clients;all three neuro-medical treatment centers operated by the Division of State Operated Healthcare Facilities have five-star rankings by U.S. News & World Reports; Acting Secretary Al Delia shares that DHHS Excels and LeadershipDHHS will continue and expand during his tenure; walkers from the Division of Medical Assistance captured first-place in the Alaskan Tip Wellness Challenge, out-stepping 175 other state employee teams; patient safety and fair treatment of employees are the focuses of a new, grant-funded initiative in the Division of State Operated Healthcare Facilities; a grant from the N.C. Council on Developmental Disabilities will help prepare physicians in western North Carolina to provide care and treatment for people with intellectual and other developmental disabilities; a training program prepares rising professionals in the field of intellectual and developmental disabilities to move into leadership positions; the Division of Human Resources is offering training opportunities through its newly designed Recruitment and Retention Section; Division of Public Health is providing a dozen online videos aimed at helping consumers shop for healthier groceries; our weakened economy has left some family bread winners unable to pay their income taxes, Department of Revenue and the State Employees’ Credit Union are offering assistance; J. Iverson Riddle Center has a new look on its campus – a Family, Infant and Preschool Program (FIPP) with a preschool, playground and resource center.

February 2012

Gov. Bev Perdue named Al Delia acting secretary of DHHS following the resignation of Lanier M. Cansler; Acting Secretary Delia speaks of challenging times in a message to employees; Cansler’s exit message to DHHS employees; Dr. Laura Gerald assumes duties at state health director, Jeff Engel becomes special advisor on health policy; DMA picks up a $21-million bonus for enrollments of children; DSS awarded grant aimed at heading off associated mental health problems and chronic disorders associated with childhood abuse/neglect; N.C. wins a $70-million early learning challenge grant; Levine Award honors partnership between hospitals and public health; Surgeon General Regina Benjamin praises N.C. county health directors for embracing Healthy North Carolina 2020s goals; Central Regional Hospital’s Carlos Lopez wins the John R. Larkins Award; four-year savings realized by N.C. Medicaid nearly $1 billion through medical homes initiative; QI showcased at PH event; DHHS Excels outreach sessions comments indicate understanding of Excels efforts; Radon poster contestants recognized in ceremony at Museum of History; Broughton Hospital accredited; Debbie Nichols wins iPad2 at SECC campaign wrap up; training connects the Deaf to first responders via texting; vision impaired find accessibility critical for communications; DVRS cites three for leadership, service, creativity.


December 2011

Highlights: Office of Rural Health and Community Care celebrates the nation’s first Rural Health Day; Secretary Cansler praises accomplishments and hard work of 2011 and encourages more of the same for 2012; DHHS Excels outreach sessions find better communications key to smoother operations; DHHS closes out 2011 SECC campaign having raised more than $274,000 for supported charities; Two employees of the Division of State Operated Healthcare Facilities recognized for service at two eastern neuromedical centers; Radon poster competition draws 286 entries; DMA chooses new diabetic supplies vendor; Gov. Perdue praises benefits of Program of All-inclusive Care for the Elderly; text4baby provides e-tips to moms; Oral Health Section of DPH delivers care to kids at NASCAR racetrack; Ford Foundation grant helps simplify process for people seeking assistance; VR’s WorkSource West in Morganton has completed renovations with ARRA funds; VR’s Kevin Earp recognized for work with Deaf; 11-year-old Lexi tells Capitol Hill of the value of Assistive Technology in her life; Performance Management for Employees course is online.

November 2011

Highlights: A second round of DHHS Excels outreach sessions is held for department employees across the state; DHHS Excels Workforce committee develops list of action items; Public Health holds kazoo symphony at the State Fair; DAAS presents annual awards; Combined Campaign offers iPad drawing for contributors; Senior Community Service Employment Program presents 22011 awards; Medicaid in N.C. has more than doubled the percentage of children receiving dental care over past 10 years; fresh food drive provides learning moment for Exploris Middle School students in Wake County; E-Recruit is set to launch; Eat Smart, Move More …Maintain, Don’t Gain - offers support to those trying to steer clear of holiday weight gain

October 2011

Highlights: DHHS launches 2011 State Employees Combined Campaign; Second round of DHHS Excels Outreach sessions is planned; DHHS Excels has a new definition for ‘Anticipatory’; 10 years after 9/11, N.C. Public Health Preparedness and Response has improved and is looking forward to the future; We are encouraged to report suspected fraud within DHHS; Hurricane Irene was not a ‘dud,’ say folks interviewed by Dennis Streets in the worst-hit counties; Disability Determination Services recognizes staff performance; State employees moving more, weighing less; Becky Wertz collects national award; cyber security is critical; 11 from DHHS complete public manager training; Deaf-Blind counselor’s message is about fall and fire safety; two among DHHS’s 14 nominees are selected for Governor’s Award of Excellence; Cabarrus EMS team becomes tops in the state competition.

September 2011

Highlights: State-run shelter helps those with special needs during/after Hurricane Irene; DHHS response to Irene’s victims; Hurricane season is preparedness season in North Carolina; Reflections on the tenth anniversary of 9/11; State Employees Combined Campaign kick-off; DHHS takes on new responsibilities; Cansler - No ‘little guys’ in DHHS; State/private bed board program cuts ER wait times for patients with mental illness or substance abuse issues; Workforce Committee identifies needs; Vesting period changes to 10 years for new hires; Broughton Hospital recognized for employee smoking cessation effort; Durham is trial site: Next Generation 911 texting to assist hearing disabled; State Operated Healthcare Facilities holds professional development day for teachers; N.C. team, posters win recognition at national MMIS conference; Air quality awareness is focus of asthma outreach campaign.

August 2011

Highlights: Blackley Alcohol and Drug Treatment Center moves into renovated quarters on the campus of former John Umstead Hospital in Butner; Complaint Intake Unit of the Division of Health Service Regulation has found a way to reduce caller wait times during mid-day lunch breaks; Secretary Lanier M. Cansler to hold Web conference on Aug. 10 to relay information on budget, legislative impacts on DHHS, DHHS Excels; DHHS Excels Workforce Subcommittee is identifying ways to make workforce improvements reflecting and supporting DHHS goals and values; Operation Fan/Heat Relief marks 25th anniversary; Division of Medical Assistance uses high-tech program to safeguard the health of children prescribed antipsychotic medications; DHHS teams nearly sweep the top three in all categories in the Lisbon-to-London challenge walk; N.C. Client Assistance Program provides assistance, education and advocacy for customers of public rehabilitation programs; Division of Vocational Rehabilitation Services gets media production facility; Office of Rural Health and Community Care helps make a difference in lives of people in Polk County, elsewhere; Three DHHS divisions collaborate on pilot project with farmers’ markets in seven N.C. communities to encourage lower income families to seek healthy, fresh produce; Sydney Atkinson, manager of the Family Planning and Reproductive Health Unit of Women’s Health Branch wins the State Family Planning Administrators Annual Award at national conference.

July 2011

Highlights: Secretary Lanier Cansler addresses graduates, faculty, friends and family at the 2011 graduation ceremony at the Governor Morehead School; DHHS Excels in action helps make sure a discharged patient continues to receive needed care; Time for the State Employees Combined Campaign is rapidly approaching; Budget reductions eliminate CARE-LINE; Healthy 2020 gets a boost from DHHS Leadership Team members; Be prepared to beat the heat; In the Division of Public Health, the Epidemiology and Evaluation Team held a 10th annual poster competition; The Division of Aging and Adult Services observed Vulnerable Adult and Elder Abuse Awareness Day on June 15; Dr. James E. “Tripp” Winslow joins the Office of Emergency Medical Services as medical director; Dr. Craigan L. Gray, director of the Division of Medical Assistance, is elected to a two-year term on the board of the National Association of Medicaid Directors.

June 2011

Highlights: In a message to DHHS employees Secretary Cansler speaks of the importance of DHHS Excels values as the budget process moves toward conclusion; DHHS Excels Work Force Planning & Development Subcommittee makes inroads with the Office of State Personnel for assistance in developing a work force plan; DHHS receives recognition for NC FAST, the department’s long-term business operation improvements program; Dr. William W. Farley steps down at the age of 92 as a medical consultant for the Disability Determination Services office in Raleigh; the UNC Injury prevention Research Center honors the N.C. Child Fatality Task Force with the 2011 Injury Prevention Impact Award; Theresa Edmondson, director of the Walter B. Jones Alcohol and Drug Abuse Treatment Center, is recognized for contributions to the citizens of North Carolina in the field of alcohol or other substance abuse; the Division of Public Health is joining a national effort to enroll one million moms in the Text4baby campaign.

May 2011

Highlights: Tornadoes brush Dix and GMS campuses; DHHS Excels Goals Teams; Administrative Assistants in Excels outreach session; GMS egg hunt aided by bomb squad beepers; Vulnerable Adult and Elder Abuse Awareness Month; ACCESS North Carolina guide due out in late 2011; Early hearing detection begins with newborns; Broughton Hospital recognized for providing healthier food choices; State Lab welcomes robotic arm; Safety is no accident; Tick and mosquito season approaches; State Health Director Jeff Engel visits Guilford County Health Department to celebrate 100 years of operations.

April 2011

Highlights: Secretary Lanier Cansler spoke with eligibility staff during his webcast on March 17; The ‘bard’ of O’Berry, Fessor McCoy, provides a poem about DHHS Excels; LeadershipDHHS graduates its sixth class; It’s time for team walking; The Dix ‘Grill on the Hill’; A residency program helps prepare dentists for public health work; DHHS teachers receive national certification; Regina Godette-Crawford is named chief of the Office of Emergency Medical Services.

March 2011

Highlights: Secretary Cansler will hold a March 17 webcast to speak to employees about DHHS Excels; Assistant Secretary Dan Stewart is leading a DHHS Excels group to address work force planning and development; FAQs for Excels; Gov. Bev Perdue praises local public health officials and Health Director Jeff Engel says he wants to focus on making North Carolina a healthier state through the Healthy North Carolina 2020 initiative; state employee leave policy changes detailed; Rachel Stevens receives Ronald Levine Legacy Award; smoking cessation help is available through QuitlineNC.

February 2011

Highlights: A message from Secretary Cansler addresses challenges and opportunities that 2011 presents to DHHS; Mental Health’s new direction receives support; DHHS Excels continues to progress throughout DHHS; Antonio Coor, a program consultant for Managing Access for Juvenile Offender Resources and Services in the Division of Mental Health, Developmental Disabilities and Substance Abuse Services, is honored posthumously with the John R. Larkins Award; and, three DHHS walking teams pull off a sweep of state employee competitions to walk the distance of the Appalachian Trail.


December 2010

Highlights: Holiday message from Secretary Cansler; report on Secretary Cansler’s Nov. 10 Excel video conference; new Web tool that helps families determine their eligibility for nutrition benefits; State Employees’ Martin Luther King Jr., day observance; State health director shares concerns with ABC Board regarding high alcohol content energy drinks.

November 2010

Highlights: Gov. Bev Perdue urged participants at the 2010 Governor’s Conference on Aging to find ways to make North Carolina senior friendly; Secretary Cansler plans his next DHHS Excels video conference on Nov. 10; Dr. Jeff Engel was joined by Gov. Bev Perdue to promote awareness of the seasonal vaccination; DHHS Wellness events call attention to the importance of exercise to stay healthy; Surry County EMS team repeats at the state’s top paramedics; O’Berry Neuro-Medical Treatment Center entrance gets a face-lift; Assistive Technology in N.C. ranks high nationally; Ten from DHHS among the graduates of the N.C. Certified Public Manager program; State Employee Combined Campaign attracts work unit fund raisers to help support charities; N.C. children’s immunization rates are fourth best in the nation; Disability Determination Services exceeds all performance targets in Federal Fiscal Year 2010.

October 2010

Highlights: Gov. Bev Perdue joins Secretary Cansler for groundbreaking for new Cherry Hospital in Goldsboro; DHHS Excels outreach sessions continue, a DHHS Excels survey is coming; SECC is under way; VR has renamed its eastern and western centers WorkForce East and WorkForce West; VR’s goal of self employment is working; James Jarrard is new deputy director of MH/DD/SAS.

September 2010

Highlights: Secretary Cansler holds second DHHS Excels Webcast; DHHS Excels Outreach Sessions generate discussions; DHHSLeadership V graduates 22 ; HIT promises quality and efficiency in provision of health care; Don’t forget your flu vaccine! 2010 State Employees Combined Campaign; ADA celebrates 20 years; Brandon Boswell celebrates life; N.C. Sickle Cell Program receives CDC grant for registry, and more.

August 2010

Highlights: Beth Melcher joins DHHS as assistant secretary for MH/DD/SAS, and Steven Jordan will serve as Director of MH/DD/SAS; Drexdal Pratt is named director of the Division of Health Service Regulation; Secretary Cansler talks with DHHS employees on DHHS Excels on Aug. 12; Deputy Secretary Maria Spaulding hosts outreach sessions across the state; DHHS Web redesign is focused on the goals of DHHS Excels; Central Regional Hospital passes Joint Commission review, and more.

July 2010

Highlights: Secretary Cansler talks about the recession and its impact on DHHS; DHHS tackles Health Information Technology; teamwork continues to move DHHS Excels forward; Boomers becoming seniors; Public Health recognized for smoke-free restaurant legislation, and more.

June 2010

Highlights: The Murdoch Center receives an award for excellence in providing autism services; DHHS Excels; DMA is using new software to root out fraud; DPH is working to prevent the three top causes of unintentional death for North Carolinians; the nation’s top official for disability policy visited North Carolina; Dr. Rebecca King receives an award from the North Carolina Dental Society, and more.

May 2010

Highlights: DHHS Excels; Dr. John Butts, state chief medical examiner, is retiring; smoke-free restaurants and bars; new Division of Services for the Blind director, Donald Edward “Eddie” Weaver; hearing screening in newborns, new Vital Records website, and more.

April 2010

Highlights: Secretary Cansler on DHHS Excels; combatting Medicaid fraud, waste and abuse; Katie Davison helps jobseekers on WRAL-TV; DMA enacts a money-saving preferred drug list; Dr. Robert Meyer receives award for significant lifetime contributions to the field of birth defects; author discusses book on Dorothea Dix Hospital; State-operated Child Support Enforcement offices are transitioning to county governments this summer, and more.

March 2010

Highlights: The Division of Social Services receives a $4-million high performance bonus award recognizing accuracy by local-level DSS offices in processing Food Stamp benefits; N.C. to receive grants to develop comprehensive state plans for care of victims of stroke; CARE-LINE begins a partnership with the National Suicide Prevention Line; Census 2010 will be getting under way soon; and more.

February 2010

Highlights: O’Berry Center employees receive the Governor’s Award for Excellence, adult care home star ratings are now searchable; N.C. State mascot helps in flu awareness; social media policy; Aging awards; Vital Records website, more.


December 2009

Highlights: Season greetings from Secretary Cansler, State health director takes H1N1 message to the ACC, Medicaid handles influx of H1N1 cases, Graphic Artist Tracey Jarrett takes two awards from NCAGIO, Vets honored by Disability Determination Services

November 2009

Highlights: Project Excel, Gov. Bev Perdue’s gift ban, LeadershipDHHS, Great American Smokeout, Senior Tar Heel legislators and Medicare “Extra Help,” $4.25 million federal grant to promote child health and wellbeing, limiting H1N1 spread at state-operated health and residential facilities, avoid holiday weight gain! CDC chief visits Wake County health department, Dr. Kanof receives EMS award

October 2009

Highlights: Mobile hospital equipment; gift ban for all executive branch state employees; ‘Give a Little – Feed a Lot’ food donation campaign; seasonal flu shots are becoming available; 2009 State Employee Combined Campaign; Michael F. Watson is the new assistant secretary of mental health service development; the Office of Rural Health and Community Care gets a website.

September 2009

Highlights: H1N1 flu is here; reach out at ethnic festivals; CARE-LINE call volume goes up; Dr. Megan Davies is named state epidemiologist; N.C. Farmers Market helps seniors eat veggies.

August 2009

Highlights: DHHS publications win national awards; DHHS Website redesign project is in high gear; Not all Spanish is the same; ‘Granny Good Drops’ visits Assistive Technology; Diabetes Assn. recognizes Division of Public Health; Cassidy tapped to lead Child Development; Leaving kids in cars always a bad idea, particularly in summer.

July 2009

Highlights: DHHS budget; pay stubs go electronic; energy conservation tips; DDS employee recognized for cost-saving suggestion; new DHHS division focuses on quality of care and patient safety; DHHS videos on YouTube and Department home page.

June 2009

Highlights: Flexible Furlough Program; Tick and mosquito season is back, ‘Fight the Bite’; Latinos the doctor’s office; Hurricane season opens; special needs require special preparation; World Elder Abuse Day is observed on June 15.

May 2009

Highlights: H1N1 flu is focus of state and local health efforts; tips for staying healthy and preventing spread of  flu ; how seniors can learn more about healthy lifestyles; Dr. Craigan L. Gray is new director of N.C. Division of Medical Assistance; mentoring project brings interpreters together; Governor Morehead School students visit Washington, D.C.

April 2009

Highlights: SERVNC helps shape quick response to icy Kentucky; New leadership for state facilities, Public Affairs Office; Achieving workforce diversity; Babies will now be screened for cystic fibrosis in N.C.; Diabetes Advocacy Day

March 2009

Highlights: Two deputy secretaries named for DHHS; Jeff Engel appointed state health director; N.C. adult care homes receiving star ratings; N.C. Public Health Lab helps develop lab in Guyana

February 2009

Highlights: Lanier M. Cansler is new DHHS secretary; SECU offers free tax preparation for qualified members; 11 from DHHS complete Certified Public Manager Program; Bilingual Resource Group stands ready to help with Latino outreach


December 2008/January 2009

Highlights: AIDS Living Quilt Project comes to North Carolina; Three receive the State Employees’ Award for Excellence; N.C. paramedics win international competition; Is your laptop secure? How to tame holiday tension

November 2008

Highlights: Assistive Technology helps DHHS clients achieve independence; Governor Morehead student wins international art contest award; New NC-CATCH data system helps health departments assess community needs; Paramedics make headlines; Medicaid’s “Medical Home” concept works; “Maintain, Don’t Gain” holiday challenge is back!

October 2008

Highlights: Deaf-blind students benefit from Governor Morehead School short-term summer program; Domestic Violence: “The Common Denominator”; Disability Employment Awareness; Serving diverse audiences; How to eat smart at work

September 2008

Highlights: Politics: Out of place in the workplace; helping N.C. students be healthy and successful; mosquitoes can spread illness; protect yourself from bites; staying prepared through hurricane season and beyond

August 2008

Highlights: New DHHS main website is now on-line; see the new DHHS Spanish language site, too; Retired Governor Morehead School employees dedicated over 60 years to helping students; Residents’ art now visible on Caswell campus

July 2008

Highlights: Young parents complete high school with help from DHHS program. Reaching out to minority populations in North Carolina

June 2008

Highlights: A new DHHS website design is on the way, DMA gets $2.26 million to get patients out of emergency rooms and into doctors’ offices for better care, new detox unit to open in Black Mountain, and BEACON news

May 2008

Highlights: Health Service Regulation has new director; Asthma Awareness and Older Adults month, and introducing the Cultural Competency Corner

April 2008

Highlights: Eastern NC School for the Deaf opens Independent Living Center; How to use BEACON; Dix court volunteer retires after 39 years of service; 2008 Leadership DHHS class graduates; Vocational Rehab seeks planning input

March 2008

Highlights: Secretary Benton announces new leadership team for MH/DD/SAS; Public Health forms new Communicable Disease Branch; DHHS employees honored with awards; Important payroll system information; new Latino HIV/AIDS initiative; web-based project management tools

February 2008

Highlights: Secretary Benton announces plan to fix mental health system; Aging and Disability Resource Centers to be discussed in community forums; Providing help to homeless saves money; $1.6 million grant will speed and strengthen emergency medical services; Three recognized for contributions to public health in N.C.; Teacher for the blind has eye-opening experience in Saudi Arabia; Get free tax help from the State Employees’ Credit Union


December 2007

Highlights: Gov. Morehead School student artworks displayed at N.C. Museum of Art; ENERGIZE! Program will help prevent childhood diabetes; Enjoy holiday parties without putting on pounds; New Year means new smoking rules for DHHS

November 2007

Highlights: ACCESS North Carolina is a handy guide to travel attractions for people with disabilities; North Carolina’s childhood immunization rates are among the best in the nation; Instant messaging is popular, but can pose a computer system security problem; New Web Standards and a Website Style Guide are now available to DHHS…on the web, of course! 11 DDHS employees complete the N.C. Certified Manager Program; Stokes County paramedics are tops in the state.

October 2007

Highlights: Dr. Lawrence named acting DMA director; Community Care Networks get national recognition

September 2007

Highlights: Dempsey Benton named DHHS Secretary; NCcareLINK: service info on demand; Financial assistance for first-time homeowners; DHHS website changes: making it easier to get the information you need

August 2007

Highlights: N.C. Food Stamp Program is a national star, A life saved, Helping refugees begin a new life, Direct deposit to be required for employee paychecks, Farewell party for Secretary Carmen Hooker Odom

July 2007

Highlights: The state’s medical response capabilities are tested; Eugenics exhibit opens at the Museum of N.C. History; Disability Determination wins national award; DSS races for the cure and for one of their own, plus news on workplace wellness, preparing yourself for the new BEACON payroll system, a helpful customer service tool, and more.

June 2007

Highlights: Hooker Odom leaving DHHS; Governor chooses Dempsey Benton as next DHHS Secretary; Mark Benton is new DMA director; N.C. to celebrate World Refugee Day; Safe Surrender public awareness campaign begins; Protect yourself against mosquito and tick bite

May 2007

Highlights: May is Asthma Awareness Month; Early Intervention serves tots with special needs; DSS’ Jane Schwartz featured in national film; Making “PDF” documents accessible on the web

April 2007

Highlights: N.C. Public Health Pilot Accreditation a Success! New business directions for DHHS; Better health: Fruits and Veggies; more

March 2007

Highlights: Health in Motion; DMA welcomes new medical director; Health insurance open enrollment; New DHHS Family Disaster Plan; more

February 2007






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